Richmond property tycoon Myck Djurberg convicted of £3.5m houseboats fraud

Myck Djurberg at the Hampton Riviera Boatyard (CPS)
Myck Djurberg at the Hampton Riviera Boatyard (CPS)

A property tycoon is facing jail after being convicted of selling £3.5 million of luxury houseboats without the legal right for buyers to live inthem.

Myck Djurberg, 64, bought the Hampton Riviera boatyard and a string of expensive houseboats in 2011 with the aim of creating a first-class marina resort.

However he did not have planning permission for the houseboats on the banks of the Thames in Richmond, and then sold them without residential mooring licences.

Djurberg hid the true position from clients that he lined up to buy the houseboats, concealing the fact that the sales were unlawful until the deals had been done.

At Kingston crown court on Tuesday, Djurberg was convicted at the end of a trial of three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of fraud.

His case was adjourned for sentencing when Djurberg could face a jail term. The Crown Prosecution Service has also indicated it will now go after the tycoon’sassets, including his lavish imported 19th Century Swiss chalet in Surrey.

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

“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.”

The conviction comes after a long running dispute between Djurberg and clients who bought the houseboats.

In 2017, two couples - Oliver and Jennifer Small and Fiona Johnstone and Louis Sydney – won a High Court battle with Djurberg over their purchase of houseboats more than £2 million.

A judge ordered the tycoon to give the couples back the money they had paid, after finding he had “misrepresented” the truth.

In 2021, Djurberg was convicted of assault after slapping a tenant with gardening gloves before chasing him around the boatyard.

The victim, Klaus Beversluis, had come into Djurberg’s office at the Hampton Riviera boatyard in a dispute about £5,500 in charges.

In attack caught on camera, Djurberg struck Mr Beversluis on the back of the head with orange and brown gloves before arming himself with a plastic roofing tool, shouting “I will break your f***ing head”.

Djurberg was sentenced to a 12-month community order, including 20 rehab sessions and three months of mental health treatment.

In the police investigation into the houseboats fraud, it was discovered that Djurberg had only acquired planning permission for leisure mooring, not residential. He had also not paid the Environment Agency for this 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.

Sentencing has been set for March 27.