A BLACK Country solicitor and former councillor who acted as a director of an overseas housing scheme which collapsed owing millions to investors has been struck off.

A case against former Tory councillor Charles Fraser-Macnamara, a former deputy leader of Dudley Council, was brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal this week.

Mr Fraser-Macnamara, who did not attend the hearing, was previously suspended from practising law for 12 months and ordered to pay £10,000 costs after being found to have breached Solicitors Regulation Authority rules after acting on behalf of investors in a proposed Brazilian social housing scheme which crashed owing around £20million.

The SRA, however, decided to take the case back to the tribunal and Mr Fraser-Macnamara has now been struck off the Roll of Solicitors and ordered to pay costs of £22,725.

The hearing found Mr Fraser-Macnamara, acting as sole director of Ecohouse Developments Ltd and/or sole director of Black Country Legal Consultancy and/or director of Black Country Business Consultants Ltd, caused or allowed misrepresentations to be made to potential investors in Ecohouse Developments Ltd between May 2012 and January 2015 which meant he breached a number of SRA principles.

The tribunal heard investors were misled to believe Ecohouse owned land that would be developed, when in fact it did not own the land, and that funds were secure when they were not. Dishonesty was found proved in the case of both allegations.

Investors were also duped into believing Ecohouse was an approved supplier of housing under a Brazilian Government Scheme, when it was not.

They were also wrongly led to believe Ecohouse was entitled to use and/or display the Olympic logo, and that Ecohouse had been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation.

Dishonesty was also found proved in relation to the following allegations:

That Mr Fraser-Macnamara failed to maintain, preserve or deliver up adequate accounting records for Ecohouse.

That he profited from and misled members of the public into investing in Ecohouse when he knew it was operating a Ponzi scheme.

That he involved himself in a dubious scheme and/or allowed transactions which bore the hallmarks of fraud/money laundering.

A written report on the hearing and conclusions is expected to be published within seven weeks - from which point Mr Fraser-Macnamara will have 21 days to appeal.

Mr Fraser-Macnamara, who was a consultant for Stourbridge law firm Sanders & Co before becoming involved with Ecohouse, did not respond to a request for comment as the News went to press but he previously stated he had not practised law since January 2013.

Sanders & Co closed in June 2016 after failing to secure professional indemnity insurance after the Ecohouse saga.

The firm's senior partner Michael Davies and managing partner Clare Taman, as well as Mr Fraser-Macnamara's daughter Katie, were all found to have breached SRA principles through their handling of the overseas investment scheme at an earlier tribunal.

Mr Davies and Ms Taman were initially suspended from practising law for 12 months but were later given three-year suspensions after the SRA appealed to the High Court.