Alastair Dobbie and Gian Luca Fetta
Many thanks to those people who sent us the email written by Gian Luca Fetta, one of the members of the Alastair Dobbie Investor Co-Ordinator Scam. You can read about that scam via this [LINK].
The Gian Luca Fetta email isn’t true, but it didn’t need to be truthful. That wasn’t the purpose of the email. Its aim was to divert attention away from the roles of Alastair Dobbie and the co-ordinators in running a profit-making recovery room scam. A “recovery room” scam is one where those involved in the initial scam return to the victims with a promise to help them recover their money. The scammers charge a second fee from the victims for that alleged recovery.
Alastair Dobbie and Gian Luca Fetta, along with their fellow investor co-ordinators, are charging £1,000 per room for scams in which they were involved. As we described in our previous article, Alastair Dobbie would have been fully aware that these scams were designed to fail.
According to Alastair Dobbie’s latest communication he charges £590 + vat per hour (£708 per hour) to the scam for his services. Here’s a link to a site where Alastair Dobbie was charging £50 per hour not so long ago [LINK]. The address is the hotel he was managing at the time and is still involved with, although we note from Trip Advisor that it hasn’t had any reviews since 2017. Presumably the hotel was unprofitable and it closed. This was around the same time that Alastair Dobbie ignored SRA warnings and acted for investors in arranging room purchases in hotels and care home rooms. It all adds weight to the claim that Alastair Dobbie knew exactly what he was doing when he put investors into the room scams. Alastair Dobbie’s hourly rate charged to investors is important. It is the rate charged by top level specialist insolvency lawyers who have spent five years at University studying law. Alastair Dobbie is a self-taught, low-grade lawyer who has only a very basic understanding of insolvency law. We believe he is massively over-charging the victims of Qualiacare, MBI and St Camillus scams.
Alastair Dobbie won’t answer any questions about his involvement in any of the scams. He has been involved in at least four that we know. Instead he uses his ‘co-ordinators’ to speak for him. He hides behind Gian Luca Fetta, Roberto Pancaldi and Nico Bruyniks. Gian Luca Fetta describes himself as Alastair Dobbie’s cheerleader. They try to deflect all criticism away from Alastair Dobbie because he is their gravy train. He is the one who ensures that they are able to bring in money. This is the only way they make money these days now that the sales of scam investments have dried up.
Nico Bruyniks has now distributed his proposal in an effort to quell a rebellion by investors. We’ve had it reviewed by specialist law firms. In their opinion it’s an unnecessarily complicated scheme. It appears to be part of a strategy to maximise payments from investors. It enables the Alastair Dobbie Investor Co-Ordinator Scam team to earn money from ongoing “services” in the future. The more complex the scheme, the more money they can charge. The Alastair Dobbie proposal for Qualia is that two CVAs (QCD and QCP) become fifteen CVAs !
The important question is whether or not this proposal has any chance of success. It is the view of our advisors that it does not. It does not matter whether Robin Forster does a deal with Alastair Dobbie or not. It’s a proposal which is designed to favour some creditors and disadvantage others, therefore it does not comply with insolvency regulations and would be unacceptable to insolvency practitioners. They would be expected to refuse any transfer of assets at nominal value and they would be open to prosecution if they released their charge over the assets.
It does not surprise us that the proposal contains the usual warnings designed to frighten investors and prevent them from seeking help or from taking their own actions to recover their investments. We always advise investors to do what they feel is best for them. If they want to speak to Robin Forster then they should do so. If they want to buy the freeholds between them then they should make an offer to the administrator. Investors need only look to Carlauren Group properties where the majority of those investors ignored representations made to them by Alastair Dobbie and Gian Luca Fetta. Those investors did their own thing. The majority of those freeholds have now been sold to investor-led groups at fair prices which allows them to maximise their returns from their investments. There was no need for those investors to pay £1,000 each to Alastair Dobbie’s team. MBI and Qualiacare investors should take note.
We’re happy to send a copy of the proposal to anyone who wants it because although it is marked ‘legally privileged’, it isn’t actually legally privileged. It doesn’t meet the criteria required under UK law. A half-decent lawyer would know that, but the investor co-ordinators aren’t using a half-decent lawyer.
Some investors we have spoken to have been shocked they were not made aware by the Qualiacare investor co-ordinators that they could have bought the freeholds to their properties very cheaply. In some cases, the Alastair Dobbie Investor Co-Ordinator Scam is charging investors 50% of the amount which the Administrator would have accepted to buy the freehold !
It’s even worse for the other Alastair Dobbie Investor Co-Ordinator Scam (the St Camillus property in Albert Road, Blackpool). Investors could acquire the freehold to that property for around £40,000. Alastair Dobbie was asking 43 investors to pay £1,000 each for his legal advice. They would have paid him more than it would have cost them to buy the freehold.
We know quite a few investors who are opposed to the Bruyniks / Dobbie / Pancaldi scam and are only continuing in the Whatsapp groups so that they can keep an eye on what is being proposed. We’re not surprised that the people who have wasted £230,000 on this proposal are insisting that the money is repaid to them.
Ordinary investors who were deceived into paying the £1,000 fee and did not receive full disclosure from Alastair Dobbie about his involvement in the scam can claim the money back from Shortlands Law, Alastair Dobbie and the individual investor co-ordinators upon request. The weight of evidence of deception is overwhelming. The first port of call should be a letter to Shortlands Law requesting a full refund (assuming that all the money went to Shortlands Law and investors actually became clients of that firm). If some investors did not become clients of Shortlands Law that is an even more serious situation.
One of our institutional funding partners has agreed to pay the costs of a solicitor to represent investors in claims against Shortlands Law, Alastair Dobbie and each of the individual investor co-ordinators who were involved in persuading investors to part with money. The solicitor will represent those investors with a claim for compensation through the SRA if refunds are refused or only partial refunds are given. This offer is only for ordinary investors who are not sales agents or investor co-ordinators.
It should be noted that sales agents in these room schemes are paid between 10% – 30% commission. The maximum UK commission for real estate transactions is 3%. If we assume a room was sold for £70,000 and we assume the sales agent received the lowest level of commission of 10% then he/she was paid £7,000. That is £4.900 more than a UK real estate agent would have charged. The sales agents have been sitting on a very nice profit. There has never been any need for any investor to have to contribute towards a recovery plan. The sales agents should have covered it themselves. Alastair Dobbie should never have charged £590 + vat. If he had any morals at all he would have acted for free and no investor would ever have been charged.
We have warned investors about the dangers of believing comments made in Whatsapp or Facebook groups. It is very common for people to pretend to be someone they’re not. We frequently see scammers pretending to be ordinary investors. We have already highlighted how Roberto Pancaldi and other sales agents pretend to be room owners when they are not in order to kickstart a new investor co-ordinator scam (we covered that in earlier articles). Gian Luca Fetta uses the ID of JLETHO when he pretends to be an investor. Look out for postings from that ID on the Whatsapp or Facebook groups. We know he has been using that to provide misleading information to investors in the MBI and Qualiacare cases where he claims that his wife is an investor. She is not – he is a sales agent who has sold a great many scams. The false IDs and the emails in which they pretend to be investors are useful evidence of obtaining money by deception.
We will always pursue Alastair Dobbie, Roberto Pancaldi, Gian Luca Fetta and Nico Bruyniks until we are satisfied that they have been fully investigated by the authorities for their parts in recovery room scams. We don’t mind when scammers post fake articles because it shows we are seriously disrupting their scams.
We shared our previous article with the FCA [LINK]. We expect the FCA to take the matter very seriously considering the extensive hotel experience of Alastair Dobbie, the SRA warnings to solicitors which Alastair Dobbie ignored, the fact that he asks for £1,000 from investors to provide dubious legal services which are not clearly explained and for which he has a clear conflict of interest, his failure to disclose pertinent, relevant and important information to investors prior to being instructed and his failure to comply with the Code Of Conduct standards required by the SRA. We also have the situation of Gian Luca Fetta and Roberto Pancaldi pretending to be investors in order to mislead other investors and obtain money from them by deception.
The FCA has a duty to investigate Alastair Dobbie and the investor co-ordinator schemes, especially when the FCA has alleged that the Qualiacare investment was an unregulated collective investment scheme and comes under their statutory responsibilities. In addition, Shortlands Law and Alastair Dobbie have contravened claims management company regulations by using investor co-ordinators as introducers. Alastair Dobbie and his sales agent investor co-ordinators have been responsible for significant investor losses in these scams and they continue to take money from investors. They can and should be prosecuted by the FCA.
We have asked the FCA to report this matter to the SRA for further investigation because there are clearly sufficient grounds for doing so.
There has always been a simple and cost-effective solution for investors if they had been properly advised from the start. It would have cost around £25,000 to instruct a proper solicitor and achieve a fair and reasonable outcome. £230,000 is a staggering amount for investors to pay, yet the Alastair Dobbie Investor Co-Ordinator Scam team still wants more !
Nico Bruyniks is discredited for his leadership of a recovery room scam, his withholding of critical information from investors and his cover-up of Alastair Dobbie’s involvement in the scams. The entire investor co-ordinator structure was designed solely to enrich a small group of scammers. Shortlands Law [LINK] does not come out of this with any credit whatsoever. It could easily have put a stop to this recovery room scam.