Tory main donor’s failing real estate firm left hundreds of dollars out of pocket in India
Gautam says he developed stress and hypertension due to the company’s “insensitive attitude”. “There is no end to our trauma,” he wrote.
“I feel cheated of my hard earned money,” Miheer Brahme wrote. “I think they take individual clients on a tour,” wrote another client, Abhishek Jhawar. “If all the suffering people can unite, I am sure we can find a way out.”
Dozens of angry buyers have joined online forums and WhatsApp groups to discuss what to do. openDemocracy saw groups named ‘Indiahomes cheated cust[omers]’and’ United against IndiaHomes’.
“This company is a big fraud,” Kiran Lal wrote. “All of their contact numbers are wrong and don’t work. We should all unite. Since the closure of the company, its head office has changed location three times.
“Nothing makes sense”
In addition to making promises to clients, IndiaHomes told investors it would revolutionize the real estate sales industry by using artificial intelligence to convert clients’ voicemails into “leads” who could be sold to real estate agents.
The company, which started operations in 2009 under a different name, has reportedly raised around £ 60million through private equity investments. At the height of India’s real estate boom in 2014, Singh claimed it would turn into a billion dollar business.
At the same time, Singh seems to have prepared for a new life outside of India. In June 2013, Singh became a Dominican citizen, after acquiring a passport from the Caribbean island, where an investment citizenship program offers passports in exchange for as little as $ 100,000.
India Homes ceased operations in early 2016, writing off over £ 5.5million of bad debt and unbilled income.
When the company went bankrupt, a former executive at India Homes told an Indian journalist that “nothing made sense.”
“It was very basic audio recording software that they had developed. We just couldn’t understand why it had cost them so much. “
The “Churchill Room”
While India Homes couldn’t find the money to repay Dinesh, Singh doesn’t seem to have run out of money to spend on himself.
In December 2014, Singh paid £ 4million for Hinwick House, a 12 bedroom stately home in Bedfordshire. Singh reportedly spent a similar amount renovating the property, which is rented out for weddings and events. At the end of 2016 he put it up for sale, initially at an asking price of £ 12.5million, which was later reduced to £ 8.5million. The mansion now appears to have been taken off the market.