The director of a Windermere-based company has been disqualified from running a business for 12 years.

Gregory Garrett, director of G Loans, is one of three men who liberated just under £12 million-worth of pension funds.

A judge called the scheme a 'house of cards'.

Kevin John Kirkwood, 39, and Gary Quillan, 48, both of Liverpool, along with Mr Garrett, 49, of Leamington Spa, received disqualification orders for a total of 34 years in the High Court.

The two companies at the centre of the case were G Loans and KJK Investments.

Kirkwood was the registered director of Liverpool-based KJK Investments, which was run by shadow director Quillan, while Gary Quillan’s brother-in-law Garrett, was director of G Loans.

The court heard that the companies operated what is commonly known as a ‘pension liberation’ scheme.

Clients seeking a loan were offered one by G Loans, on condition they simultaneously invest their existing pension in KJK Investments shares - the value of that investment being typically twice the value of the loan they received.

KJK Investments advertised a potential six per cent annual return on the investment and it was intended that the client’s pension would be used to repay the loan upon retirement.

Over 30 months, KJK Investments received £11.9 million in investments from 209 individuals. The court heard that KJK Investments loaned roughly half of this money to G Loans, on uncommercial terms, to enable it to make the loans to clients. Investors were, in effect, being loaned their own money.

On becoming aware of the scheme, the Insolvency Service undertook a confidential investigation that resulted in both companies being wound up in the public interest in April 2015 following a petition to the court.

Passing judgement in the Manchester High Court District Judge Obodai found the directors had misled investors and deliberately caused the companies to obscure the relationship they had with each other.