A property club speculator who collected nearly £500,000 cash promising investors up to a 50% return on buy to let deals is facing jail after his business collapsed.
Former Royal Bank of Scotland investment manager Bob Quigley was given the money by friends and relatives.
He ploughed the money into Lothian Property Portfolios, which collapsed owing investors cash which he had accepted illegally as he was not licensed or regulated to conduct investment business.
As a result, most of the 30 buy to let properties Quigley owned have been repossessed and the tenants have been evicted after he failed to maintain mortgage repayments.
Sheriff Susan Craig warned Quigley to expect a jail sentence when he returns to Livingston Sheriff Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to illegally accepting cash deposits from his investors.
The court was told Quigley pledged 50% returns on property club investments over five years.
His brother-in-law gave him £50,000 to invest, a friend of Quigley’s sister gave him £153,000, a friend offered £100,000 and Quigley’s mother was offered a 10% monthly return if she made £140,000 available for five years.
The court heard the property club fell apart when house prices plummeted due to the credit crisis and the value of the investments fell into negative equity.
Quigley finally admitted his financial problems when one investor quizzed him on how the property club business was performing when mortgage interest rates fell to 0.5% in 2009.
Quigley then sent a text to his investors saying: “Truly sorry to tell you that I don’t think I can go on like this. Goodnight, and God bless.”
Lorenzo Alonzi, defending, said Quigley had done everything he could to properly manage the investments.
“There was clearly no intention to leave these people high and dry. He suffered as a result of the crash in the market,” he said.
Quigley was bailed pending sentencing.