A bogus investment firm, run by an alleged mortgage expert, has ripped off almost £1m from debt-ridden Scots.
Around 60 people are believed to have lost up to £15,000 each to a get-rich-quick scheme run by Paisley-based Cost Reduction Services, reported the Daily Record.
Manager, Stewart Kennedy, persuaded dozens of Scots to hand over £15,000 each for a franchise in his firm and persuaded others to remortgage their homes to pay off debts to cover the £15,000 fee.
The firm also boasted that people who signed up for their agency franchise could make a fortune without doing any work.
On March 2011, the firm's website revealed that up to 58 people had joined the scheme.
The money taken from its clients has disappeared, with Kennedy refusing to offer his clients' compensation.
He said the firm has ceased trading and all contracts are cancelled.
However, the Daily Record found it is still trading from an office off the M8 near Glasgow Airport.
Kennedy insists it is a new limited company called Cost Reduction Services (UK & NI) Ltd.
Strathclyde Police confirmed its fraud squad is looking into Kennedy's firm in Paisley and his involvement in the scheme.
According to the Daily Record, twice-bankrupt Kennedy, who claims to be a mortgage expert, has been the subject of several police probes.
He also has a track record for taking huge sums of money from people, then going bust.
In 2007, he was charged with fraud after he took almost £100,000 from mortgage clients in the west of Scotland then went personally bankrupt.
Kennedy was also probed by Cambridgeshire Police in 2007 after people lost money to another of his businesses.
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