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March 2022

Scam Alert

Black Mountain Investor Relations Scam

Black Mountain Investor Relations Scam 300 233 SOS Team

Black Mountain Investor Relations Scam.

A group of scammers calling themselves Black Mountain Investor Relations is carrying out a share investment scam.  Salesmen are cold-calling investors offering shares in a company called Wavetech.  The website domain for Wavetech is wavetech.de signifying that it is based in Germany.

The reason why we believe Black Mountain Investor Relations is a scam is because they offered to send through two documents. One was a brochure about their own company and the other was a brochure about Wavetech.  The intended target agreed to receive the brochures, but asked Black Mountain for their website address so she could do her own checks.  The salesman told her that the website domain address was blackmtnco.com.

However, this is the website domain for a company called Black Mountain Investment Company LLC allegedly based in the USA, not Black Mountain Investor Relations allegedly based in the Seychelles.  The brochure that was sent to the investor showed that the salesman’s scam uses the domain name blackmountain-ir.com.  So he was lying.  The brochure claims that the HQ of the organisation is in The Seychelles.  That’s reason enough to give it a very wide berth.

The sales brochure sent through for the Wavetech investment was rubbish.  It certainly didn’t inspire investment because it contained no detail whatsoever.  It was a poor brochure done on the cheap.

We’re never going to get to the bottom of these companies without a lot of digging.  We’re not sure any of them are genuine.  Nobody has reported to us that they have lost money to this scam so this Scam Alert warning is as far as we intend to take it. We recommend that if you are approached by any of these companies with an investment proposition you seek independent advice BEFORE you part with any money.  Check it out very thoroughly.  If you cannot afford to lose 100% of your money then you should steer well clear because there are a lot of warning signs. Don’t risk your money.

Black Mountain Investor Relations Scam.

 

Gregory Odia

ScamTrackers Video 4 Published

ScamTrackers Video 4 Published 512 512 SOS Team

ScamTrackers Video 4 Published.

This is the fourth video published by John K, an investor who was defrauded of a substantial sum of money in a binary option scam operated under the name of StratXMarkets. You can view the video via THIS LINK to the Youtube channel.  In this fourth video John introduces four of the money mule companies he was tricked into paying. Many investors are fooled into paying money mules and they often do not realise until the investment scam collapses. Two of the money mule companies deserve special mention. Investigations and legal actions are ongoing against these two companies because the founders committed criminal offences and took the most money from John.

We have written to a number of the salespeople who were part of the scam requesting information on who paid their wages. StratXMarkets didn’t exist and did not have a bank account, but somebody paid the wages of the scam salesmen and we want to know who it was. We are starting to get some responses. One man we are interested in is Bradley Staerck. He now seems keen to forge a career in travel videos using money stolen from StratXMarkets victims. Here is a LINK to the Companies House record for VENTUREUK LIMITED.

Bradley Staerck was a salesman who persuaded people to invest in trading binary options which were all falsified. When he left StratXMarkets he started a business with another one of the StratXMarkets scammers, Rafael Santin. The business was called STARK CUSTOM CAMPERS LIMITED and Bradley Staerck describes himself on the company records as a “Trader” – LINK to Companies House Entry.  He is a scam trader and only trades in misery.  The company is dissolved now and Rafael Santin moved on to establish a crypto-currency scam operating out of Belize in Central America. It is called PROFITARE and here is A LINK to the Profitare website.  PLEASE DON’T BE TEMPTED TO INVEST IN PROFITARE. IT IS A SCAM.

We intend to publish a more thorough article on Bradley Staerck and Rafael Santin in the near future.

The two money mule companies we have focused on are:

ACCESS CORPORATE LIMITED and ISOMATRIX TG LTD.

Here is the Companies House LINK for ISOMATRIX TG LTD. You will note that the director is GREGORY ODIA. Mr Odia has been involved in a number of scam companies. We will let John K explain more about Mr Odia’s companies in his next video (video 5). In the early days, Gregory Odia used to list the registered office address at his mother’s house – 118 New North Road, Ilford, London, IG6 2XJ. She owns the property and is still there.

In the ScamTrackers Video 4 published today, John mentions how we have followed Gregory Odia’s employment. Up to the end of 2021 he was employed as a Business Development Manager at Macfarlane Wealth Partners. Below is a copy of ‘The Team’ from the MWP website.

Gregory Odia_Meet the team _ Macfarlane Wealth Partners

In January of this year he switched to Southover Wealth Ltd. Below is a copy of their Team from their website.

Gregory Odia_Meet the team _ Southover Wealth_Jan 2022

We had serious concerns about Mr Odia’s new career in financial services.  For a start, both Macfarlane Wealth Partners AND Southover Wealth were FCA-regulated companies. Both companies were Appointed Representatives operating under the regulatory umbrella of St James Place Wealth Management PLC.

Mr Odia was not aware that in 2021 we wrote to the compliance department of St James Wealth Management PLC warning them that the due diligence undertaken by Macfarlane Wealth Partners was seriously deficient. They employed a person involved in an investment scam allowing him to potentially use the company’s FCA-regulated status to launder money obtained by criminal means. We approached Gregory Odia some time ago and he admitted in an email that he had defrauded John. He didn’t mean to, but he stated that he “was just a nominee director and played no part in the company“.  Gregory should have taken legal advice because directors of UK companies cannot be nominee directors. Directors cannot say “if my company commits fraud it’s got nothing to do with me“. He can’t even claim that another director was responsible for the fraud because he was the only director. He did wish us the best of luck. We don’t need luck because the net is tightening around the StratXMarkets scammers.

Below is a copy of Gregory Odia’s LinkedIn page from 2nd December 2021. This is how he describes himself:

“A competent Business Development / Sales professional, transitioning into the financial services industry as a whole of market Financial Advisor with key interests in long term
holistic financial planning, wealth management, private banking, tax and estate planning”. – So he was “transitioning into the financial services industry”. Not anymore he’s not. We’ve put a stop to that.

Gregory Odia_LinkedIn_December 2021

You will note there is no mention in his LinkedIn page to several of his companies.  They’ve taken in a lot of money so you would think he would be proud of them. For example, he has not mentioned his company ISOMATRIX TG LTD, nor another company he owned called FIRST ALLIANCE TA LTD, nor his company in Cyprus. This would have been picked up by an employer in basic due diligence and they should have questioned why they weren’t mentioned. We are sure that John will cover them in future videos.

We did not initially tell SJWP Plc that the scammer in their midst was Gregory Odia for two reasons. The first was that John needed more time to make a decision whether to start legal action against Gregory Odia. The second was that we wanted them to check out every employee because if Odia had slipped through due to poor due diligence then other scammers may well have been able to do the same.

When John had made his decision and his solicitor had written to Gregory Odia informing him of impending legal action, we informed SWJP Plc and advised them to check all of the introductions made by Gregory Odia and any investments and payments made by those introduced parties. They advised that Southover Wealth had terminated his contract and he had not made any introductions.

We will be writing a separate article on ACCESS CORPORATE LTD and its owner MR DERRICK WILLIAMS.

To view our previous article on StratXMarkets please click on THIS LINK.

To view an article on Money Mules and how they operate please click on THIS LINK to a recent article.

ScamTrackers Video 4 Published.

 

High Street GRP’s Swamp Gets Murkier

High Street GRP’s Swamp Gets Murkier 150 150 SOS Team

High Street GRP’s Swamp Gets Murkier.

Following yesterday’s article – LINK HERE we have dug deeper into the administration of High Street GRP Ltd (which also ended up expanding a little bit into Gary Forrest’s other companies).

Yesterday’s article explained the extensive business relationship between Stuart Niven of PCR Insolvency and Gary Forrest of High Street GRP Ltd. The PCR companies merged with two other companies to become SKSi in March 2021.

SKSi was appointed as Joint Administrator of High Street GRP Ltd in December 2021 after a contested administration application.  It is also Joint Administrator of other Gary Forrest companies which form part of the HSG portfolio.  An arms-length, independent appointment with full disclosure ? We think not.

We asked in our previous article whether a conflict of interest arose on the part of SKSi due to Stuart Niven’s involvement in both HSG and PCR, considering that PCR was a founding entity in SKSi. There was clearly an attempt to be able to cover that base by appointing Insolve Plus as Joint Administrator. This enables an administrator to say “we can’t possibly abuse the insolvency process because there’s a second IP which provides independent oversight”. By appointing a Joint Administrator at the start it deprives the majority of creditors of the opportunity to appoint their own preferred insolvency firm.  This assumes that Insolve Plus, the appointed Joint Administrator, was SKSi’s first choice and wasn’t foisted upon them by one or more influential creditors. Insolvency firms appointed by company directors are often appointed to protect the interests of the directors as much as they can within the confines of the law, and they tend not to like creditors being able to dig too deeply into the company’s affairs.  We are starting to think that Insolve Plus would not have been SKSi’s first choice.  We think they might have preferred James Cowper Kreston, but their hands may have been tied.

A few weeks ago, the Joint Administrators published their Statement Of Administrator’s Proposals. Anyone who is interested can download it themselves from the Companies House website via this LINK.  It’s quite a surprising tale the administrators tell.  According to the report, poor Gary Forrest had a great business which was going to be very successful, but was killed off due to Covid-19 and the subsequent bad press of defaulting on loan repayments.  There’s barely a mention of long overdue company accounts (2 years plus) or auditors refusing to work with HSG, or the potential for the whole HSG structure being a ponzi scheme.  It’s really an odd report because we expected a more honest assessment of the failings.  Perhaps they were just giving Gary Forrest’s side of the story at this early stage.  Or maybe they had another reason…. Let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out to be a whitewash. Based on our findings below we think that is a distinct possibility.

We found the following sections interesting:

Clauses 3.14, 3.15 and 3.16. In summary, James Cowper Kreston were appointed in March 2021 to assist in restructuring. The report says this did not progress beyond April. However, they were allegedly re-appointed in September 2021 and at that time it was the decision of JCK to bring in SKSi.  The inference being that the people at SKSi had no prior involvement with HSG or Gary Forrest before September 2021.

Clause 6.1 – Insolve Plus and SKSi have split the duties between them. No mention of which company is responsible for the investigation into director conduct, inter-company loans or recovery of unjust payments.

Clause 15.1 – “James Cowper Kreston were introduced to the Company [meaning High Street GRP], by Mr Daniel Allen of 360 Insolvency Ltd on 8th March 2021.”

Maybe that’s true, but there’s no mention of Daniel Allen’s history which SKSi would most certainly have known.  Mr Daniel Allen was, until November 2019, a director of PCR (London) LLP. This company was the one which merged to form SKSi in March 2021, the same month that Mr Allen introduced James Cowper Kreston.

All the time Daniel Allen was a director of PCR (London) LLP, two other people were also directors of the company.  PCR (London) is still in existence.  It has not closed down.  One of the directors is Julie Swan.  She was appointed in 2011 and is still a director, but she also had other directorships over the past 10 years. For example, for 3 years between 2015 – 2018 she and Stuart Niven were the two directors of a company called Pro-Collect Ltd.  So this provides a direct business relationship between a director of High Street GRP Ltd (Stuart Niven) and Julie Ann Swan (of PCR) and then to SKSi because of the alleged merger.  We thought we’d find out what happened to Julie Swan after the merger. We didn’t have to look too far because the SKSi website tells us. “Our Construction Team is led by Julie Swan,”.

Another director of PCR (London) at that time was Mark Richard Phillips.  He has also been a director since 2011.  We came across this statement from the SKSi website “Our commercial property team is led by Mark Phillips”.  Further down is another statement which ought to concern all creditors of any Gary Forrest company over which SKSi has been appointed – “Our Specialist Investigation team is led by Mark Phillips”. Oh dear – Mark Phillips is responsible for investigations. This is starting to look very murky indeed.

In yesterday’s article we asked the question whether Gary Forrest had maintained a relationship with PCR.  It now seems absolutely clear that he did and it has been long term going back a decade or more.

The registered office of PCR (London) LLP is Unit 1, First Floor, Brook Business Centre, Cowley Mill Road, Cowley, Uxbridge, England, UB8 2FX.  It has been there since January 2018.

Companies House records show the registered office of SKSi Ltd is 3 Sheen Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, England TW19 1AD.

However, on page 6 of the Administrator’s Report issued on 9th February 2022, the names and addresses of the Joint Administrators are given. For SKSi Ltd it says:

Carrie-Ann James of SKSi, Unit 1, First Floor, Brook Business Centre, Cowley Mill Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 2FX. Well that’s interesting.  

Furthermore, the registered office of High Street GRP Ltd was changed to that same Cowley Mill Road address by the Joint Administrators on 13th January 2022.  What this suggests is that Carrie-Ann James is working out of the PCR office.  So this beggars the question – who is really running this insolvency ?  Is it SKSi or Gary Forrest’s mates at PCR ? In our previous article we questioned whether SKSi had a conflict of interest by being the administrator of the HSG group companies and it certainly looks that way. 

Note: Companies House has no record of SKSi at the Cowley Mill Road address.  It has never been their registered office. You can check it using THIS LINK.

So, to make this complex web as clear as we can, Gary Forrest had businesses with Stuart Niven of PCR for many years. Stuart Niven was a director of High Street GRP Ltd for 5 years and co-director in another 15 companies with Gary Forrest.  PCR allegedly merged with Carrie-Ann James in March 2021 to form SKSi.  Julie Swan and Mark Phillips have been directors of PCR (London) LLP since 2011 and are now employed at SKSi.  Julie Swan and Stuart Niven were  also co-directors in a company from 2015 to 2018, but she now works for SKSi.  Daniel Allen was also a director of PCR (London) LLP, but now has his own firm called 360 Insolvency Ltd.  Gary Forrest allegedly approached 360 Insolvency Ltd for help in early 2021.  In March 2021, Daniel Allen introduced Gary Forrest to James Cowper Kreston allegedly to assist in restructuring the company.  In the same month, PCR merged with Carrie-Ann James to become SKSi.  The Administrator’s Report claims that nothing happened from that initial approach to JCK regarding the restructuring, but in September 2021 Gary Forrest allegedly came back to James Cowper Kreston.  At that point JCK decided to bring in SKSi and it was at that time that they began talking about the administration of several Gary Forrest companies.  PCR and SKSi appear to be based in the same registered office and SKSi made it the registered office of High Street GRP in January 2022, although there is no record at Companies House of this ever being the SKSi registered office. It is the PCR registered office.

Just to confuse matters, JCK and SCSi are joint administrators of other Gary Forrest companies! But that’s another story.  The Administrator’s Report makes it look like SKSi had no knowledge of High Street GRP Ltd until September 2021.  In our opinion this is nonsense and they know it.

We’re not convinced that the alleged merger with PCR (London) LLP ever really took place in March 2021. PCR (London) LLP is still in existence as a company. Every year, UK companies are required to file a Confirmation Statement showing the shareholders in the company. We would have expected the SKSi statement to show new shareholders e.g either PCR (London) LLP as a corporate shareholder in the new SKSi, or individuals from PCR who were issued shares. Who would merge their company with another one and not get any shares in the new company ? SKSi filed its Confirmation Statement which covered the period up to 5th December 2021, nine months after the alleged merger, and it shows there have been no changes to the shareholders.

Just for fun let’s imagine two alternative hypothetical scenarios.

Scenario 1 

GF:  “I need help.  My companies are in trouble and I need my friends to find me a way out of this mess. I don’t want my creditors to have any control and I want you to protect me from any in-depth investigation”. 

PCR:  “Sure Gary, but we have to be careful how we do this. We’re about to merge and become a new company called SKSi.  We’d really love to have your business and of course we’ll do everything we can to help an old friend, but we all know where this is going to end.  The companies won’t be able to survive so you have to be looking at damage limitation.  If SKSi were to get involved with you right now it would damage our credibility for when we have to go to court for the administrations.  We can use SKSi at that time and it’ll look like a new, independent insolvency firm with no links to you.  We don’t want to give creditors any reason to object to the appointment of SKSi because if creditors find out about your links to PCR and our new structure with SKSi, they’ll be able to claim a conflict of interest and could persuade the Judge to allow creditors to appoint their own insolvency firm instead of us.  You definitely don’t want creditors digging into the business.  To make this work it has to appear that SKSi had never heard of you and we were brought in by a third party.  I know what we’ll do.  We’ll use Daniel Allen to make the introduction to a third party firm on the understanding that they bring SKSi in when the time is right.  Daniel left us a few months ago and started a new firm.  Go to him.  He’ll introduce a friendly insolvency firm that will play ball.  They’ll help you tidy up a few things and then when it’s time for an administration they’ll be the ones to ask SKSi to get involved.  It won’t be you because that’ll make creditors take a much closer look at SKSi.  This is how it’s usually done and nobody will be any the wiser”.

It’s an interesting viewpoint.

Scenario 2

We love a good conspiracy theory because they occasionally turn out to be spot on.  What if the merger itself was only proposed because they knew what was coming i.e a big HSG payday for a lucky insolvency firm.  What if the merger was a smokescreen to enable PCR people to be involved in the HSG insolvencies ? The timing is incredible. Gary Forrest seeks help in March 2021 at the same time SKSi is formed.  What a stroke of luck for all involved.

The High Street Group of companies has been in trouble for a long time.  The group extends to almost 100 companies.  Whichever insolvency firm is able to get appointed over these companies is going to make millions of pounds, probably in the region of £10 million when this is all finished. PCR would have loved this case.  It would have given a few PCR people a very comfortable retirement but, ….. they couldn’t possibly take the case.  PCR’s involvement with Gary Forrest would have been exposed straightaway and they would have been removed.

So what if this merger came about solely to allow the announcement of a new brand, SKSi, which includes PCR people, to engineer its appointment as an apparently independent third party with no history of involvement with Gary Forrest ?  This would allow it to make those millions and benefit everyone involved, including Gary Forrest. Everyone makes money and Gary has friends on the inside.  Wow, now that it’s written down it does make you think…… Let’s take it further.  What if Gary or his friends want to buy the assets.  They’d need friends in the insolvency firm.

Watch carefully who buys the assets.  There’s clearly a lot of questionable activity around these insolvencies and some of the people involved will be trying to get the assets at knockdown prices. It helps if you’ve got friends on the inside.

The appointment of Insolve Plus as Joint Administrator of High Street GRP was a surprise.  We’ll bet James Cowper Kreston was lined up for that one, just like the others.  To our mind it looks like Insolve Plus might have been representing a few creditors and may have had some leverage over the appointment.  They may have been the first to file a winding up petition which would not have been common knowledge because Covid restrictions were in place. This meant petitions could not be publicised so an investor could only find out when he/she filed their own petition and it was declined. A ‘live’ petition would have prevented Gary Forrest from putting High Street GRP in administration.  Perhaps a little bit of horse-trading went on.  We have to admit that this is pure conjecture, but it is worth creditors asking Insolve Plus exactly how they came to be appointed Joint Administrator of High Street GRP Ltd.  If anyone is able to find out please let us know.

360 Insolvency has turned out to be a good name.  Gary Forrest started this scam with PCR and 10 years later he’s been able to achieve a full 360 and get PCR people involved in investigating it !  We have to take our hat off to him.  That’s quite an achievement and it took a tip-off about Stuart Niven being involved with HSG to get us to take a closer look.

Is there anyone who thinks there’ll be a proper investigation of the Gary Forrest companies, that the assets will be sold to arms-length buyers at fair market prices and that Gary Forrest will be genuinely held to account ?  Not in this office, that’s for sure.

High Street GRP’s Swamp Gets Murkier.

 

Justice

High Street GRP’s Murky Swamp

High Street GRP’s Murky Swamp 300 200 SOS Team

High Street GRP’s Murky Swamp. Part 1.

Where do we start with High Street GRP? It’s such a dirty business. This article is going to look at the administration process. Our next article will then move on to some of the parties currently manipulating the unfortunate HSG investors.

The Administration

High Street GRP Ltd jumped into administration before investors could wind up the company. We had a few communications with Paul Buzzeo of HSG a man who, in our opinion, had been given a position way above his competency level. This may have been due to the fact that his partner was Gary Forrest’s secretary. HSG was aware that some of our clients were about to file a winding up petition over the company and we are aware of other investors who were intending to do it at the same time. It’s possible that someone had already filed a petition.  From our communications with Mr Buzzeo it wasn’t clear that he had a full grasp of legal matters. He had trained as a paralegal, but for some reason was given the top job as HSG’s legal representative. At that time HSG was claiming to be worth more than £1 billion so we were surprised it wasn’t using a proper, qualified lawyer.

What are the options for a company that knows a winding up petition is coming ? One of them is for the directors to voluntarily place the company into administration. This prevents a winding up petition from being filed and enables company directors to retain an element of control over the process. Investors tend to believe that once a company goes into administration or liquidation they can expect honesty and transparency from the appointed insolvency firms. They expect a thorough investigation into the money trail and director conduct on a strictly unbiased and impartial basis. They expect full disclosure.

It doesn’t take long for them to realise that not all insolvency practitioners adhere to those principles. When an insolvency firm is appointed by company directors it is well aware that creditors have the power to appoint a Joint Administrator of their choosing. Creditors can even remove the directors’ chosen insolvency firm and appoint their own. So…. to protect their appointment and depending on the ethics of the insolvency firm, the directors’ chosen firm ensures that when they are appointed they already have a Joint Administrator in place i.e another supposedly separate and independent insolvency firm that they’ve come to an agreement with. This makes it extremely difficult for creditors to remove one of the firms and appoint a firm of their choosing.

The problem is that a joint administrator is often NOT as independent as it ought to be. Quite often there’s an old pals act going on i.e “we’ll appoint your firm as joint administrator in our cases and you appoint us as joint administrator in your cases”. It happens all the time. This isn’t how insolvency is supposed to work, but clever people come up with clever workarounds. We don’t know whether Insolve Plus was chosen by SKSi as Joint Adminstrator or not. At the moment we think it probably wasn’t.

So, is the High Street GRP administration a crystal clear, healthy pond or is it starting to smell of a murky swamp? Is it honest and transparent ? Let’s take a look.

1. A man call Stuart Thomas Niven has been a director of 36 companies according to this record at Companies House. Gary Forrest has been a co-director in 16 of those companies. One of the companies was High Street GRP Ltd. Mr Niven was a director for 5 years. At the time there were four shareholders in High Street GRP Ltd. They were Gary Forrest and his wife (owning 80%) and Mr Niven and his wife (owning 20%). It’s fair to say Stuart Niven and Gary Forrest have known each other for a long time and their business interests have been aligned in a lot of companies.

2. Stuart Niven’s LinkedIn profile does not mention any of these companies.  Here is a link to his LinkedIn profile.  It describes Stuart Niven as “Director of PCR Insolvency”. There is a link on the profile which says “websites”. When you click on that button it brings up three websites linked to Mr Niven. They are www.thehighstreetgroup.com, www.pcrinsolvency.co.uk and www.hsbf.com. This proves that the Stuart Niven of PCR Insolvency is the same man who was director of High Street GRP Ltd and 15 other Gary Forrest companies.

3. When you click on the www.pcrinsolvency.co.uk link it takes you to the website of the insolvency firm called SKSi (www.sksi.co.uk). That’s not surprising because here’s an announcement about the merger in March 2021.

4. This is where it gets swampy. SKSi is the insolvency firm appointed as Administrator for High Street GRP Ltd. The next article looks at how they came to be appointed. Gary Forrest was intrinsically linked to Stuart Niven of PCR Insolvency which later merged to become the new firm called SKSi.

There’s no evidence that Stuart Niven has any influence over the High Street GRP administration but isn’t it all very convenient. We can’t help wondering whether SKSi will interview Stuart Niven and other PCR Insolvency members as part of their investigation into the affairs of the company, some of whom may even be part of SKSi right now. That would be interesting. [Update – our next article covers some of those people].

We note from the Administrator’s Report on High Street GRP that they only list the directors going back three years so there is no mention of Stuart Niven. They only mention Gary Forrest and Gavin Fraser. Stuart Niven was the only other director so it would have been simple to have added him to the list for full disclosure of the company’s history.

Bearing in mind the very close links between Gary Forrest and Stuart Niven it’s a possibility that High Street GRP was a client of PCR Insolvency. It may have transferred its business to SKSi in March 2021. This is definitely something creditors should be asking because it may give rise to a potential conflict of interest. Whichever way you look at it, it isn’t a particularly healthy position for creditors and it calls into question whether they are going to get an honest, thorough and transparent investigation. It is worth raising that point.

We also note that James Cowper Kreston were instructed by HSG six months prior to the administration to “restructure” the company. In our experience of bond scams a “restructuring” normally means the company is looking for ways to shaft ordinary investors whilst ensuring the major lenders maintain their protections. It generally involves an opaque, fake and legally questionable voting process where the declared outcome is that investors have always voted in favour of the company’s proposal. Yeah, right.

There is never any oversight (other than occasionally from the bent security trustee which is in the pocket of the company). In the case of HSG, the scam was so imbedded into its corporate DNA that it couldn’t hand over information to JCK because it would have exposed HSG as a scam, so no transparent restructuring process was possible.

One of the key questions investors will want answered is “was the entire HSG structure a ponzi scheme and if so, who was party to it”?

A future article on High Street GRP’s Murky Swamp will look at the parties fighting to sign up and manipulate investors. Some of them we regard as swamp dwellers.

To view our previous article from November 2021 please click on this LINK.

High Street GRP’s Murky Swamp.

UPDATE: Our next article has been published and can be viewed by clicking on THIS LINK.

 

Harley Street Property Club Update

Harley Street Property Club Update 320 400 SOS Team

Harley Street Property Club Update.

We like it when one of our articles puts a dent in a scammer’s ability to steal money from the public. On 21st March 2022 we received the email below from a very shady “Reputation Management Services” organisation, or at least that’s what it claims to be (a reputation management services organisation. The very shady bit is our interpretation).

It has come to our attention that you are hosting information on your website that is untrue, false, or slanderous.

LINK TO HARLEY STREET PROPERTY CLUB ARTICLE OF 19TH FEBRUARY 2022

We are sending you this notice as a final request to cease and desist the display of this page in order to resolve, in-advance, and issues or conflicts to be had in the near future. 

The information displayed is unfounded and not based on fact.

[COMPANY NAME]

Reputation Management Services

The article they have objected to concerns a scam to raise money from health professionals and is operated by Ravinder Singh Dhillon (image above) and Amandeep Kaur (his wife). We have written articles about them before which have exposed their other scams, but they haven’t objected to those articles. They have only objected to this recent one which is rather strange.

The offending article was published 4 weeks ago so Rav Singh has acted reasonably quickly. The email we received was obviously sent on his instructions. This suggests one of two things. Either they are still trying to raise money for Harley Street Property Club and don’t like us putting a spanner in their works, or the victims of the scam are raising merry hell to get their money back. Needless to say we stand by every word in our original Harley Street Property Club article and we have the documentary evidence and emails from one of the victims to back it up.

Normally we would publish the website and email address of the sender of this email, but we are not going to do that in this case. The organisation’s domain name contains the word ‘hacker’ and it is registered in an untrustworthy location. We don’t want readers to click through to a site that might contain malicious content which could be uploaded to their computers. We haven’t bothered to view the website ourselves for the same reason.

We enjoyed their concept though which is explained below. Reputation Management Companies are not new. Their standard process to restore the reputation of their client is to publish positive articles on as many blog sites they can find, to buy ‘likes’ for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and to write negative blogs about the offending article and its publisher. The aim of all of this is to push the offending article down the Google rankings so that it ends up so far down that nobody ever finds it and they also want to discredit the publisher.

This organisation has adopted a different and perhaps not quite as successful strategy. They’re really limiting their customer market. They’ve gone for the ‘black arts’ approach. Unfortunately, if the intent was to frighten us into taking down the article it won’t work. We’ve had far worse than this amateurish attempt.

To begin with they have ‘hacker’ in their company name implying that they’re not really that interested in reputation management and the domain was registered in an obscure and unsafe location late in 2021 so very few companies are likely to use the ‘reputation management services’ of this organisation. That’s not really the long-term plan because we believe this organisation is likely to just be Rav Singh and his wife.

At the end of the email, in an attempt to strike terror in the hearts of our staff, we come across their logo. We can’t show it because to click on it would transport you to their website. It is meant to be a dark and menacing man wearing a hoodie so you can’t see his face. It has text around the outside warning of their cyber powers. We were so scared !

Then someone pointed out it looks more like a very small monk wearing a very large cassock than a dangerous criminal. Perhaps there’s a sinister, tech-savvy monastic order living on this small offshore location and they follow the teachings of the ‘Holy Hacker’, mysterious Lord of the Cyber World. Who knows ? Anything is possible. No…. let’s be honest, it’s just Rav Singh trying to be a hard man. Mr Singh is going to have to do a lot better to get that article removed.

Harley Street Property Club Update.

INTERCARE WEALTH UPDATE:  This is another scam which involved this husband and wife team. On 20th July 2021 we wrote this article exposing that scam – LINK TO ARTICLE. On 12th November 2021 the Financial Conduct Authority issued this warning to the general public – LINK TO FCA WARNINGOn 1st March 2022 the company was dissolved – LINK TO COMPANIES HOUSE.  The effect of the dissolution is that any party who was owed money by that company has lost the opportunity to be paid unless they pay to have the company re-incorporated. They would need the services of a specialist company or a lawyer.

What is interesting is that the investor who complained to Companies House to stop the dissolution of Intercare Wealth Ltd was paid off. The dissolution should still have been prevented for at least another 6 months, but somehow it went ahead. This suggests that the investor withdrew his objection to the dissolution when he was paid. There is only ever one reason why a company director is keen for Companies House to dissolve his/her company and that is because it owes a lot of money to creditors and the director wants it dissolved as quickly as possible. The debts die when the company is dissolved.

This should serve as a warning to Harley Street Property Club investors that the same may well happen to them.

 

Justice

Qualia Care Update March 2022

Qualia Care Update March 2022 300 200 SOS Team

Qualia Care Update March 2022.

We have been receiving reports that the self-appointed ‘Investor Co-Ordinators’ in the Qualia Care scam have had their plans to enrich themselves scuppered by the FCA. Unfortunately they’ve already been enriched by charging a lot of investors £1,000 each.

The Investor Co-Odinator group consists largely of the people who sold the investment and a solicitor who assisted at least one of the sales agents who is involved in several scams. The Investor Co-Ordinator concept was devised to allow this small group to earn money from a recovery room scam. It was dressed up to make it appear that there was an attempt to acquire the 13 Qualia Care properties for all investors, but this was never realistic. We have written several articles about this group, one of which CAN BE VIEWED ON THIS LINK.

We won’t go back over all the details because our articles cover that, but in summary this is the recovery room proposal that the Co-Ordinators and Alastair Dobbie of Shortlands Law put to investors:

Qualia Care Update March 2022 – The Recovery Room Proposal

1. Pay £1,000 into the pot to be represented by Alastair Dobbie. There was an elaborate structure put in place to try to circumvent the SRA Code Of Conduct and deny investors the SRA protection of being a direct client of Shortlands Law (covered in an earlier article).

2. In return for payment, it was claimed the collective group of investors would be able to buy the freeholds of all 13 properties for £1 each. This was a ridiculous proposal which had zero chance of success, but it was proposed and strongly supported by Alastair Dobbie, a lawyer and self-confessed dreamer, so investors were fooled into believing it was possible. It now appears that Alastair Dobbie’s skill set is rather heavily skewed towards the dreamer side and rather less on the lawyer side.

Alastair Dobbie _ Founder @Zimple.it _ F6S Profile

3. The freeholds would be placed into a new company in which investors would be shareholders. The co-ordinators would be paid for running the company and would receive 20% of the shares.

To ensure that the co-ordinators could control everything they loaded the Qualia Care Creditors Committee with their own people, depriving independent investors from having any say, and they entered into an agreement with Robin Forster, the founder of the scam and the man responsible for taking an estimated £50m from investors. This prevented any other party from buying the freeholds, including other room owners, unless they joined this Investor Co-Ordinator group.

We were contacted by groups of investors who wanted to buy the freehold of the property in which they owned rooms, but they could not do so because the Investor Co-ordinators were preventing them. We have a copy of an email from Nico Bruyniks to an investor in which he attempts to dissuade an investor group from buying the freehold of their care home because he tells them they can get it for £1 if they side with the Investor Co-Ordinator group.

Qualia Care Update March 2022. – The Current Position

1. The FCA has, not unsurprisingly, not agreed to the Investor Co-Ordinator proposal. It was a money-making scheme for a few individuals which was neither acceptable nor achievable [our view];

2. The FCA has announced it is prosecuting several parties involved in the Qualia Care scam including Robin Forster. The hearing is scheduled for April 2023. HERE IS A LINK TO THE FCA ANNOUNCEMENT;

3. The agreement with Robin Forster is dead. Investors at individual properties have now bought, and are in the process of buying, the freeholds of some of their properties. None of them have been acquired. or are being acquired, for £1. The purchases need to be approved by the FCA and we are aware of one that is currently under consideration;

4. The Investor Co-Ordinators are asking their investor victims to stump up more money. It’s not clear what they need the money for. Perhaps it’s to pay the legal costs of defending themselves against claims for refunds.

We were heavily critical of the Investor Co-Ordinators’ proposal when it came out. It had no chance of ever being accepted and a decent solicitor would have known that. Several solicitors told us it was seriously flawed and would be thrown out. Their reasons were:

1. The FCA had intervened in Qualia Care alleging that the investment was an unregulated collective investment scheme (“UCIS”). Participating in a UCIS is both a civil and a criminal offence. The FCA had not declared which of those it would be applying, if any. Investors should have been informed right at the start, before they paid any money, that it was possible Robin Forster and some Investor Co-Ordinator members could face charges in which case the proposal would fail.

2. An administrator would never agree to sell 13 freeholds at £1 each. They had been independently valued at £2m. Any lawyer with even a small amount of insolvency knowledge would have known that this would never be acceptable. That is why we believe investors were intentionally misled in order to enrich the Investor Co-Ordinator group and its associates.

3. The FCA was unlikely to agree to allow sales agents to profit from this scam a second time. Sales agents are captured under the UCIS regulations and could yet be prosecuted at some time in the future. It would be entirely wrong for those who received sales commissions (which have not been repaid to investors) to profit again in this proposal and the FCA would be roundly criticised if they had agreed to it. In fact, one of the defendants in the FCA case is a sales agent company called Fortem Global Ltd. Depending on the outcome of the trial, investors may be able to unite to carry out their own independent prosecutions of their sales agents. They include several Investor Co-Ordinator members, Elite Investor Club, Lion Trust Property, One Touch Investment and Properties Of The World, to name but a few.

4. The proposal relied on Robin Forster covering significant costs which would be incurred. This was only possible because he had transferred £1.8m out of the companies in administration to a company he controlled which was not in administration. Investors should have been told by their legal adviser, Alastair Dobbie, that there was a strong likelihood the FCA would challenge that transfer which would kill off the proposal. Sure enough, that is exactly what has happened.

So now the Qualia Care victims are being asked by the Investor Co-Ordinators to sink more money into the scam. Instead of paying money to the co-ordinators, investors should consider uniting to obtain legal advice on whether they have claims against the Investor Co-Ordinators, Alastair Dobbie and Shortlands Law to refund their payments. These people should have enough assets and insurance to refund investors in full.

A lot of investors were directed by the co-ordinators to use one law firm for their UCIS claims. They should be checking with that law firm to ask whether any party involved with the Investor Co-Ordinator group, including its legal adviser, is receiving any payment for having provided, or continuing to provide, services or introductions related to the claims.

Qualia Care is not the only scam that some of this group are involved in. They have been making similar statements about acquiring freeholds for £1 in other cases. We have been contacted by one Qualia Care investor who advised us he was approached to be part of a very small group (most of which were Investor Co-Ordinators) which would buy the freeholds of properties which Investor Co-Ordinator members had originally sold to investors. We’ll bet the hundreds of other investors don’t know about that. It’s worth keeping an eye on who ends up buying the freeholds to see whether they have any link to the Investor Co-Ordinators.

 

Scam Alert

TexPark London Scam

TexPark London Scam 300 233 SOS Team

TexPark London Scam.

A scam group calling itself Texpark London (or Texpark Investments on its letterhead paper) is carrying out a follow-on-fraud on victims of scams. So far they have contacted victims of The European Property Coin scam.

There is no company called Texpark London, but there is a UK company called Texpark Investments Ltd. At this point we normally say that the scammers are using the identity of a genuine company as a smokescreen, but a quick look at the Filing History of Texpark Investments Ltd at Companies House shows that this company has a number of red flag filings indicating that it is part of a scam – LINK TO TEXPARK INVESTMENTS LTD FILING RECORD.

For example, the director Anil Rathod was appointed in January 2012, but did not inform Companies House until March 2018 i.e more than 6 years later. SCAM. The same occurred with the appointment of Ms Vinni Rathod i.e she claims to have been a director since 2012, but documents were not filed until 2018. SCAM. Then there’s the fact that the original company founder was Barbara Kahan who has been a director of more than 30,000 companies, many of which have been used in scams. Finally, we note that the last set of accounts filed by Texpark Investments Ltd were approved by the company’s Board in October 2021 and signed by “Javed Ahmed – Director”.  This screams SCAM. Whoever “Javed Ahmed” eventually turns out to be, he is not a registered director of Texpark Investments Ltd and never has been. Perhaps they are planning to register Mr Ahmed as a director sometime in the next decade or so.

There is one further red flag which we can honestly say we have never come across before and is just so bizarre that we have saved it for the end of this article.

The Texpark London scam (Texpark Investments scam) uses the domain name of texparklondon.co.uk. This domain was purchased in November 2021.

We have covered the European Property Coin scam in our blog articles on several occasions. For example, you can read one of them on THIS LINK.  At the time of writing this article on the Texpark London scam one of the founders of the European Property Coin scam is being prosecuted in the UK for his role in another scam (the Essex and London Properties scam). His name is Florian Pierini and you can read our latest article on that scam via THIS LINK.

We have copied below the letter which the Texpark London scammers have been sending out to investors by email. Please note that they also have investors’ phone numbers and make their first contact by phone. It is very likely that these scammers were part of the original scam or have bought the investors’ details from the sales agents. We have removed any text which might indicate the identity of the investor who sent this to us.

Texpark London Scam Letter_REDACTED

So now the most bizarre element of the whole scam. You will note the address of the company at the bottom of the letter. It is Skanda Vale, Llanpumsaint, Carmathen, Wales, SA33 6JT. It is fair to say that this isn’t your standard registered office address. A check on that address shows that it is the headquarters of THIS ORGANISATION – LINK TO WEBSITE.  Skanda Vale’s website declares it to be “a multi-faith ashram – home to a resident community of monks and nuns“. Yep, definitely not your standard registered office. Skanda Vale is a registered charity. The website states “I have here people, Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, I’ve got every nationality here. I have very carefully respected every person’s belief, and not trespassed in any way to interfere with your belief. All roads lead to Rome… all roads will lead to God”.

It is important to state that the fact the registered office of Texpark Investments Ltd was, until 6 days ago, the home of the multi-faith ashram, does not mean that this organisation was, or is, involved in the Texpark scam. A company can name any address as its registered office, even without the knowledge of the resident of that address, but you have to admit it is all rather odd. The Skanda Vale address was the registered office from February 2021 until 12th March 2022. We would imagine that the 90,000 pilgrims Skanda Vale claims to receive each year would have tailed off rather sharply during the Covid restrictions in Wales.

All we can really say about this whole affair is….. God moves in mysterious ways !

Texpark London Scam.

 

ScamTrackers Video 3 Published

ScamTrackers Video 3 Published 226 160 SOS Team

ScamTrackers Video 3 Published.

A third video in the ScamTrackers series detailing the investigation into the StratXMarkets binary option scam has been published. John shows a screenshot of his online trading account at StratXMarkets which will be familiar to anyone who was a victim of a binary option trading scams.

We have contacted some of the fake brokers and other parties involved in this scam who were listed in our previous article – LINK HERE. We are awaiting their responses. One of the people on that list was sacked from his job after his employer was contacted and informed of his involvement in the scam. We believe this man to be quite senior in the network of binary option scams. We believe him to be ‘a herder’ which is a term used in law enforcement circles for a person who recruits and organises money mules.

The supporting text for the video is “John provides some evidence to support the statements made in Video 2, including a screenshot of his online trading account which turned out to be fake. Finding the software provider would give us a lead to find out who was behind this scam and other binary option scams. We will cover the potential providers in another video and we will show why there is one company which stood out. Safe Or Scam found a link between a software provider, money mules and one family in Essex, UK”.

John’s video can be viewed on Youtube on THIS LINK.

ScamTrackers Video 3 Published.

 

Scam Alert

Whatsapp Scam Doing The Rounds

Whatsapp Scam Doing The Rounds 300 233 SOS Team

Whatsapp Scam Doing The Rounds.

Here is a report of a Whatsapp scam that people should look out for.  The intended victim receives a call from a number he/she does not recognise. They then return the call which goes unanswered, but a whatsapp message is sent back instead.  This was reported to us on a Sunday night and by 10 am the next morning the money mule account had been frozen.

Scammer:  Hi mum, this is my new number. That old number you can delete. I have to look for a new device. X;  [Note – the phone number used by the scammer was +44 7555 939 847 which would have been a UK PAYG phone].

  • What happened ?

Scammer:  I dropped my phone in the loo.  I had to change my simcard. That’s the reason why I have a new number. X;

Scammer:  I only hear noise when I call you;

  •  OK

Scammer:  How are you ? What are you doing ? X;

  • All good.  Just making dinner. What about you ?  The intended victim was already thinking this was a scam;

Scammer:  I am busy with my phone. X;

Scammer:  Do you saved this number? X;

Scammer:  I lost all my contacts and pictures but tomorrow I will go to the phone shop. I hope they can fix it. X;

  • Oh no that isn’t good. Are you near the shops then?

Scammer:  Yes tomorrow

Scammer:  I am really stressed today [Sad face emojis];

  • Oh no, don’t be stressed. Love you lots;

Scammer:  I have 2 invoices due to pay today. I can’t bank because of the water damage. Can you help me pay? I will sort it back tomorrow. XX;

  • I still haven’t worked out if this is Chris or Eve [two laughing emojis].  The intended victim was smart enough to realise that this was a scam so she made up the names of two children to see how the scammer would respond.

Scammer:  Chris mum [two laughing emojis];

Scammer:  Can you help me pay the invoices? X. I will sort it back tomorrow;

  • What account? Send me the account name, number and sort code. I’ll do it tomorrow;

Scammer:  I have to pay it today, can I send the payment details?

  • OK

Scammer then provides details of the money mule account:

NAME:  JOSHUA MORRIS

ACCOUNT NUMBER:  95508779

SORT CODE:  60–83-71

AMOUNT:  £2,104

Scammer:  This is the invoice, can you send a picture if the payment is done? I have to proof that the invoice is paid;

Scammer:  Is it done?

Scammer:  I have to proof that the invoice is paid, they will increase the bill [crying face emoji].

At this point the intended victim stopped communicating and contacted us.  The intended victim filed a report with Action Fraud and we sent an email to a UK Police Officer who deals with cyber-crime. He was able to freeze the money mule account.  The intended victim did not lose any money, but some people are certain to have fallen for it.  Now the authorities should investigate Joshua Morris to find out his role in the scam.

Please note scammers will use different phone numbers and different money mule accounts, but if you are contacted in this way it is likely to be a scam.

Whatsapp Scam Doing The Rounds.

 

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