Monthly Archives :

February 2019

Prosperity – Update 2

Prosperity – Update 2 150 150 Adam Reeves

Prosperity Update 2 – A total of 64 investors at the Prosperity Wealth development at Bentley Court and Parkwood Court (aka Parkwood Rise) have signed contracts to participate in an action to recover their investments.

This represents a very high number of investors who are unhappy with the way this development was promoted to them by Prosperity Wealth, and the inadequate legal advice they received from their solicitor which it is alleged amounts to gross negligence, and the rapidly escalating fees charged for the ground rent and the service charges.

It is the view of Safe Or Scam that the sale of apartments in these tower blocks was an elaborate and carefully constructed structure to try to circumvent Financial Conduct Authority regulations regarding the establishment and operation of an unregulated collective investment scheme.

An unregulated collective investment scheme (a UCIS) is a structure which involves the pooling of investments and it can only be sold by FCA regulated entities to investors who meet strict criteria. The entities involved in the formation, operation and sale of the Prosperity UCIS were not regulated by the FCA. No attempt was made to qualify investors to ensure they were suitable recipients of the investment promotional material.

The sale of a UCIS by unregulated sales companies to unqualified investors makes the contracts unlawful and unenforceable i.e the contracts would be deemed illegal. Investors who have lost money by investing in a UCIS are entitled to a full refund. All parties involved in the formation, promotion, operation or facilitation of a UCIS can be included as defendants with liability to refund investors. The Prosperity scheme at Bentley Court and Parkwood Court is not just a UCIS in the opinion of Safe Or Scam. It is also the opinion of one of the UK’s leading barristers specialising in financial services legislation.

It is clear to us that this was on Prosperity’s mind because their promotional material which, don’t forget, was supposed to be the sale of apartments, stated that “this is not a collective investment scheme” on two separate pages within the brochure. We have never seen any property brochure which mentions ‘collective investment scheme’ even once. It just does not appear in any bona-fide property sale brochure because a straightforward property sale is not a UCIS so there is no need to ever mention it.

There are loop-holes that can be exploited to try to circumvent UCIS regulations but most of those have failed when the matter is brought to court. The courts have tended to look beyond the clever structures to determine what the actual intent was. In the vast majority of cases the courts have concluded that the structures were simply cloaking mechanisms to try to get around the regulations. The perpetrators have been found guilty of participating in a UCIS.

It is our opinion that Prosperity PDC Management (Cyprus) Ltd i.e Prosperity Wealth and ALB Investments Ltd were involved in a UCIS. It remains to be seen whether this was known by other parties involved in the transaction who may have decided to turn a blind eye. Investors were not informed of the ownership of the tower blocks by their recommended law firm and they were not warned that their contracts may be regarded as illegal. We believe that no investor would ever have entered into a contract if they had been advised that the scheme may be regarded as a UCIS and that the contracts may be declared unlawful in the future.

The parties involved in the investment were:

PDC Prosperity Investment (Cyprus) Ltd / PDC Prosperity Management (Cyprus) Ltd / Incommunities Ltd / ALB Investments Ltd / Let Me Property Ltd / Allchurch Solicitors.

There is a stand-alone website dedicated to the Prosperity investment at Bentley Court and Parkwood Court which can be viewed on this LINK.

To read the previous post related to Prosperity on this website please click HERE.

Tristone Holdings Ltd

Tristone Holdings Ltd 360 240 Adam Reeves

Tristone Holdings Ltd is a new oil investment offered by the people behind Osage1, Phenco, Kansas MB, Kansas B2 and Sooner Energy.

The original five oil companies operate from this address – Suite 11, Braxted Park Road, Great Braxted, Witham.

Tristone Holdings Ltd operates from Suite 11a, Braxted Park Road, Great Braxted, Witham.  There is no Suite 11a.  It must be a desk and chair in Suite 11…..

Glenn King has been touting Tristone Holdings around various sales companies in an attempt to raise another £4m+ from investors. This will be disappointing news to the 700+ investors in King’s other oil companies who have not been paid their quarterly returns for the past nine months. At Companies House these five original companies are shown as being run by Martin Finch, however there is no doubt that Glenn King and David Hyman are the people establishing and controlling these companies.

Tristone Holdings Ltd is selling its own shares to investors (much the same model as with the other oil companies), but this time instead of using unregulated sales agents to sell the investments, working unlawfully from hard-sell scripts provided by Glenn King, it has gone fully regulated and is selling Tristone through regulated channels. It does bring into question the honesty and integrity of some FCA-regulated companies.

Of course, there is no mention of Glenn King being involved because that would be the kiss of death to the investment. Neither is there any mention of Martin Finch. It seems that his links to the failing oil companies are not a good selling point.

So, if Martin Finch has been dropped from the team, who actually makes it into this select group. Well, there are the usual suspects based in the USA. Unsurprisingly, Rick Coody is one of them. It must be very difficult for Glenn King to find anyone to join the team with the reputation that he, Hyman and Finch have. Rick Coody is known to investors in the five UK oil companies because he is also listed as being one of the US-based members in their teams. He already has a conviction for fraud relating to an oil investment so he is ideally suited to be in the Tristone Holdings team.

There is also mention of UK company, Venture Equity Ltd, being the fourth member of the team, whilst also being the corporate director of Tristone Holdings Ltd.

As you may have guessed, the registered office of Venture Equity Ltd is Suite 11, Braxted Park Road. It must be very difficult to move in that small office with so many companies allegedly working out of there.

According to the Information Memorandum “[Venture Equity] has previously engaged in capital raising ventures within the oil and gas sectors….” What that statement fails to mention is that the fundraising was for Finch, Hyman and King enterprises and all have ripped off investors by paying huge commissions and fees from investor subscriptions, typically 50% – 70%, to Glenn King and his associates. 

What the Information Memorandum does not mention is that there is another director of Tristone Holdings Ltd. Odd that it doesn’t mention him. That director is Mr Henry George Berry. Why no mention of him in the sales literature ? Why no mention of Henry George Berry being in the team ? Could it be that he, like David Hyman, has learnt the value of hiding in the background and keeping a low profile ? Not only is Mr Berry not mentioned as being in the team, on page 5 where it actually lists the directors of Tristone Holdings Ltd there is only Venture Equity Ltd, yet the register at Companies House clearly shows there are two directors – Henry George Berry and Venture Equity Ltd.

Well, we can put that to rights here and now. Step forward Mr Henry George Berry who, it should be noted, is not only a director of Tristone Holdings Ltd but is actually also the sole director and sole shareholder of Venture Equity ! That may change as unfortunate investors are persuaded to invest in this dishonest investment.

So.…. Henry George Berry is an undeclared director of Tristone Holdings Ltd whilst also being the sole director of Tristone’s corporate director, Venture Equity Ltd, but he doesn’t want his personal name to show up anywhere in print. Confused ?

A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that Henry George Berry is not mentioned by name. Perhaps that was one of the conditions he laid down before agreeing to be involved in yet another dubious investment. We will be publishing more on Mr Henry George Berry in future because he has an interesting past with more links to Glenn King.

Investors in the five oil companies may also recognise the name of Henry George Berry from the recent past. We have been provided with copies of the declared dividend statements issued by Martin Finch. It is unlawful for a loss-making company to declare dividends. Some might say that was done to make investors think the company was profitable. Those present at the Board Meetings where those illegal dividends were declared were Martin Finch and Henry George Berry.

Finally, investors may want to know the names of the FCA regulated entities involved in this investment. There are two of them. They are:

Blue Water Capital Ltd of 53 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston. Birmingham. B15 1TH. This company is worth closer investigation. It was only incorporated in July 2017 and is a one-man firm. Mr Henry William Daniel Porter is the sole director and sole shareholder. As with any new FCA-regulated business you should be very careful who you choose to partner with.

City One Securities Ltd, One Royal Exchange Avenue, London. EC3V 3LT. This is the company which has approved the Information Memorandum, but which “accepts no liability for the accuracy of any information contained in the document“.

To view the previous post on these oil companies please click here

To view a more recent article on the UK oil scams please click here.

To visit the separate website for investors in these oil companies please click on this link and read through the blog pages.

 

StratXMarkets – 2

StratXMarkets – 2 150 150 Adam Reeves

A legal action was started in November 2018 against Access Corporate Ltd, a cash mule company used by the StratXMarkets binary option scam.

Safe Or Scam has been working with clients who paid $500,000 into the bank account of Access Corporate as an investment into StratXMarkets. We helped devise the strategy which has led to Access Corporate Ltd being required to attend a hearing at the High Court in London at the end of February 2019.

The registered office of the company is described on this Companies House link as 36 South Approach, Northwood, HA6 2ET.

Legal papers were served at the registered office which the Process Server described as a large residential house on a golf course. Rightmove estimates the value of the property at more than £1.6m.

The response of the director of Access Corporate Ltd to Stage One of the legal action was to declare that “the company has never had a contract or agreement with the investor”. That response was deemed inadequate. The company was charged by our team with taking in $500,000 of investors’ money to which it was not entitled and being part of a scheme to defraud investors. The director conveniently avoided mentioning the money or the bank account in his response.

Following our client’s rebuttal of the company’s response, Access Corporate Ltd appointed a law firm to defend itself against the claim. Unfortunately it was too late. The solicitor raised a series of objections but was outside of the time allowed under Stage One. The objections were registered two days after the deadline laid down by law. We had already moved onto Stage Two.

The company’s solicitor claimed that although the sole director of the company owned the registered office property where the papers were served, he is rarely there as his main residence is his villa in Spain. That is no defence. A plaintiff is required to serve papers at a company’s registered office and it is irrelevant to the plaintiff if the company director is never there.

At Stage Two the company had another time limit in which to respond to the new legal papers. It did not do so by the deadline.

Access Corporate Ltd will have the opportunity to defend itself in court. We will be demanding an explanation as to the role of Access Corporate Ltd in this investment and evidence of where investors’ money was sent once it was received by Access Corporate Ltd. We are making excellent progress in exposing this scam.

There are at least three other companies which acted as cash mules for StratXMarkets and took in money from our clients. An action has already started against one of those companies. Actions against the others will follow.

For more information on the binary option scams we are investigating please visit our separate website here.

To view the previous blog relating to StratXMarkets on this website please click here


Asset Recovery Network – 1

Asset Recovery Network – 1 150 150 Adam Reeves

Asset Recovery Network UK is a recovery room scam. This means that it is brought in after the main scam has been exposed and it pretends to be able to recover some or all of a person’s investment. The truth is that it is part of a follow-up scam and it’s sole aim is to trick investors into paying more money.

Recovery room scams tend to focus on persuading investors that their worthless investment has suddenly become a desirable asset and they have found a serious buyer who wants to buy the investment. There is never a buyer for the investment.

The investor is sold a story about this mysterious buyer wanting to pay top dollar for the investment but there is just one problem. Before he can complete on the purchase he needs the investor to pay either the sales commission or the due diligence fees or the tax bill or the admin bill or the legal bill or the platform listing bill or anything else they can think up. Quite often the investor is asked for a small sum which he/she is happy to pay. Then they are asked to pay another sum and then another sum and then another sum and so on. Once the investor pays the first sum they are on the hook and keep paying because they don’t want to lose what they’ve paid. The reality is that they lost it the moment they paid over the money. Each time the payment keeps increasing with larger and larger sums being asked for. One of our clients invested £30,000 in a scam investment. He was approached by a recovery room scam in which the company told him they had a buyer. He would only have to pay £700. He paid them. By the time he made contact with us he had paid over £28,000 to the recovery room scam. They were now asking for £14,000 for the next instalment stating that if he didn’t pay he would lose the money he had already paid. Fortunately we stopped him making that £14,000 payment but we were too late to stop the £28,000.

Other recovery room scammers known to us include:

Cordell Groves, Phipps Clarke Grainger, PV-Merge, Barola Asset Management, and NLC Partners.

Asset Recovery Network UK has an unusual twist on the recovery room scam model. They pretend to be Insolvency Practitioners i.e the liquidators of the scam investment company.

The original scam company pretends to have placed itself in liquidation and to have appointed Asset Recovery Network UK to handle the liquidation. ARN UK will apparently sell all the assets of the scam company (which are normally a big fat zero) and pay out the proceeds to investors. Asset Recovery Network UK is apparently able to turn worthless assets into solid gold. According to ARN UK, they will be able to sell the assets and pay everyone back with a huge profit. There is just one problem…….. investors will have to pay something upfront first. It doesn’t matter what reason they give you for needing your money – IT IS A SCAM.

If you pay them you will never see your money again. 

European Property Coin – 4

European Property Coin – 4 150 150 Adam Reeves

European Property Coin is a scam digital currency investment operated by Clear View Marketing Services Ltd, otherwise known as Clear View Trading. In January 2019 Safe Or Scam emailed investors who had contacted us over the previous nine months. We requested information on the bank accounts into which investors had been asked to pay their investment money. It has taken us a long time to break through the “data protection” and “client confidentiality” excuses that banks use to protect the identities of scammers, but we have finally managed it in the case of European Property Coin.

Investors are often shocked to learn that neither their own bank nor the recipient’s bank will tell them who owns the account that received their investment money. Even if the investor acts immediately and is successful in the long and arduous process of recovering money, neither bank will tell them the name of the account holder. By protecting scammers in this way the banks are preventing investors from being able to take any action in the courts to recover their money. It is not possible to take a party to court if you don’t know who they are !

It is quite an achievement for us to have found a way to lawfully force disclosure by the banks. So.…. going back to our request for information on the banks and bank accounts used by the Clear View scammers, we were expecting to find that they had moved around a bit. That is a standard practice by scam companies i.e to use an account for a while, close it down and then open a new account at another bank. Clear View has been scamming investors for almost three years so we expected to uncover maybe five or six accounts. At this moment in time we have discovered twenty one bank accounts. We expect that number to increase as some investors have yet to provide information.

The pleasing thing for us is that Clear View Trading / European Property Coin is a clear fraud. This means that the owners of those accounts were either founders or accomplices in the fraud. They will be facing criminal charges and that tends to loosen the tongues of those who don’t fancy going to prison. In amongst those accomplices are at least two accountants. One of them is Yasir Gul of G. and S. Accountants, formerly of Know Tax (High Wycombe) Ltd which was dissolved without filing any accounts. Mr Gul is an accountant (allegedly) and will know that it is a legal requirement to file closing accounts when a company is dissolved. That must have slipped his mind. Not a good advert for someone who claims to be an accountant.

The other accountant is Graham Andrew Arnott of Jade State Wealth. Mr Arnott seems to be a very bad judge of character because Jade State Wealth was involved with the £13.5m Essex and London Properties scam which was the subject of a fraud investigation. He also provided services to the Osage 1, Phenco and associated oil companies scam. These oil companies took in at least £14.5m.

To read the previous blog on European Property Coin, click here

To read the previous blog on Essex and London Properties click here

To read the previous blog on Osage 1, Phenco and associated oil companies click here

To view the separate stand-alone websites for each of these investments click on European Property Coin / Essex and London / Osage 1 and Phenco

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