Lettings probe

Firm ‘refunding’ investors after profile claims

Jamie Stewart and Grant MacCusker at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards

A father and son at the centre of allegations that they used false data about so-called employees are now said to be returning money invested in one of their ventures via a crowdfunding appeal.

Edinburgh-based Grant MacCusker and his son Jamie Stewart have been accused of using misleading information about employees listed as working for Letting Cloud and Student Rents.

Claims these individuals worked for a range of global companies have been denied by the companies concerned.

Mr MacCusker has already been exposed for falsely claiming he had sold Letting Cloud to Airbnb, the global rental company.

It has now emerged that another of his startups, Student Rents, which links students with accommodation, used these same profiles in its fund-raising appeal on the Crowdcube platform. Last year it raised just over £466,000 from 179 investors.

His son, who was recently named CEO of Student Rents and, along with his father was a finalist in the recent Great British Entrepreneur Awards, told Daily Business: “We are actively working with Crowdcube”. He was not prepared to answer any other questions.

Mr MacCusker was previously registered as a director of Lettinglord, the legal name of Student Rents. But his appointment was terminated as of 21 April, according to a filing on Companies House.

UKTN, the technology website, revealed that the profile images of three “employees” are stock pictures and are the same used on fake LinkedIn profiles detailing made-up careers.

Ebay, Shopify and Santander confirmed that nobody by those names ever held the roles claimed under their employment.

Mr MacCusker claimed he was being represented by the London office of global law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati which has denied its involvement.

A CrowdCube spokesperson told Daily Business: “We are aware of the reported allegations and are conducting an investigation. At this stage, we cannot provide further comment.”

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