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Tycoon convicted of houseboat fraud

A property tycoon has been found guilty of a £3.5 million fraud over claims he sold houseboats on a stretch of the River Thames that could not be lived in.

Myck Djurberg (64) was convicted at Kingston Crown Court for fraudulently selling houseboats without appropriate planning permission on 19 March 2024.

Djurberg bought the boatyard in 2011 and built a series of expensive houseboats, with the hope of developing the boatyard into a leisure marina resort.

However, he failed to obtain the appropriate planning permission for the boats and sold them without residential mooring licences.

Djurberg had assured his clients that the houseboats could be used for residential purposes and that they would have no issues in mooring them long-term.

After the sales had gone through and the purchasers moved into their houseboats, they discovered that Djurberg did not have planning permission for the project and the moorings he had sold were unlawful.

After a police investigation it was found that Djurberg had only acquired planning permission for leisure mooring, not residential.

He had also not paid the Environment Agency for the license. The local authority, Richmond Borough Council, which had served several enforcement notices on Djurberg, attended the location, and removed some of the unlawful pontoons.

“Djurberg did not have planning consent in place to use boats for residential purposes, as dwellings nor for commercial business occupation,” said Andrew West, specialist prosecutor for the CPS.

“Despite this, he fraudulently sold five houseboats, financially gaining from the misfortune of his customers. “Following this conviction, we will pursue confiscation proceedings to ensure that Djurberg pays back the money he gained through this criminal operation.”

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