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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into entrepreneur Gavin Woodhouse, whose business dealings were revealed by an undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV News.

The UK’s anti-corruption agency said it was investigating “suspected fraud and money laundering in relation to … Woodhouse and individuals and companies associated with him”.

It added:

“The conduct currently under investigation by the SFO relates to investments offered in care homes and hotels between 2013 and 2019.”

Woodhouse raised more than £80m from amateur investors over several years to build care homes and buy and refurbish hotels, promising generous returns.

The Guardian and ITV News revealed in June 2019 that many of the projects were incomplete, several years after they were due to be operational, while the businessman’s firms had a multimillion-pound black hole.

At the time, several investors, who in some cases had paid hundreds of thousands of pounds into Woodhouse projects, said they had not received the annual dividends they had been promised.

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