The UK’s first trial of an alleged land banking fraud began on Tuesday at Isleworth Crown Court, prosecuted by Andrew Bird and David McNeill instructed by the CPS Central Fraud Group. Land Banking is a process whereby land is identified, and divided (on paper) into many small plots which are then marketed to investors as being good investments. The defendants are alleged to have defrauded investors of £3 million by marketing small plots of land for many times their true worth, playing on investors’ false hopes that the land would be granted planning permission. Some of the investors were vulnerable and ill pensioners who, after being cold-called by the defendants’ salesmen, paid their money over, and either received nothing, or received plots which were worth far less than they were paying. The trial is expected to last two months.