Unopened Carlauren care homes firm in administration

Sean Murray
Image caption Sean Murray's Carlauren Group bought properties across the UK

A developer that wanted to set up a network of luxury care homes across the UK has been placed into administration.

The Insolvency and Companies Court heard that Carlauren Group investors put a total of £76m into projects and that £50m was unaccounted for.

Carlauren's chief executive Sean Murray has been accused of misappropriating company funds, which he denies.

Investors applied to appoint administrators to control the company's assets.

Image caption Carlauren acquired this property at High Littleton near Bristol but it has never opened as a care home

A barrister representing some of the investors alleged significant sums had been transferred into Mr Murray's personal account.

Mr Murray, who represented himself at the hearing in London, previously told the court there were no missing millions and although money had been transferred to his personal account, he said it was being held in trust for the company.

Carlauren bought 25 properties across the UK including Windlestone Hall, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which it acquired for £850,000 in 2017.

The scheme was funded by selling individual rooms in those properties to investors for about £100,000 a time - but most of those homes never opened.

After Judge Sebastian Prentis granted the application to appoint administrators, Mr Murray said: "I am afraid I lost control. I hope they act in the best interest of everyone."

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