Moorwand Ltd Embroiled in Scandal – FCA Investigates Complaint.
Following a report to the FCA by a Safe Or Scam client, the Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed it will investigate his concerns and the issues raised.
Moorwand Ltd is a FCA-regulated Electronic Money Institution which, according to a report by Bloomberg, was involved in hundreds of suspicious transactions that were reported by one of Moorwand’s banking partners in Denmark. Here is a LINK to our article on that subject from July 2022.
No action appears to have been taken by the FCA because Moorwand is still operating from its base in the City of London and is still providing regulated services.
To provide a brief recap, our investigation into Moorwand arose because our client (who we shall call John) was the victim of a binary option fraud which ran between 2015 – 2017. He only became aware it was a fraud once the website disappeared and all the people involved in the scam melted away. This is a similar story for many victims of scams.
One of the bank accounts he paid into was supposed to belong to a company called UPayCard Ltd. There had been a company called UPayCard Ltd in the UK, but it changed its name in November 2016 to Moorwand Ltd.
John paid his money into what he believed to be a UPayCard Ltd account in March 2017 based on invoices he received. We encouraged John to write to Moorwand to ask about UPayCard because the company might be able to explain how John was issued with invoices to pay UPayCard Ltd in March 2017, four months after the company name had changed. We advised John to ask Moorwand if they knew who owned the bank account into which he paid his money. He received a reply to his enquiry from David Savell, the in-house lawyer for Moorwand. Mr Savell’s reply was:
In relation to your questions:
Most people would have been happy with that reply because it seems pretty clear. “The payments made in 2017 were made by you to an account operated by UPayCard and which were held in the name of UPayCard”. However, we weren’t happy with that reply because UPayCard no longer existed as a company so it should not have still been able to take money into a bank account in that name. We advised John to seek clarification of the statement. He made several attempts to ask David Savell to clarify, but Mr Savell side-stepped each time declining to answer in a simple and straightforward manner. He avoided answering a very simple question which was asked several times “Was the bank account John paid into owned by Moorwand Ltd”? We wrote an article on John’s attempts to get to the truth and Mr Savell’s ducking and diving which can be viewed on this LINK. John never got a straight YES or NO answer and David Savell refused to have any more dealings with him. The exchange was not unlike that of Jeremy Paxman asking Michael Howard the same question nine times and never getting a clear answer – LINK to Paxman/Howard interview.
Undeterred, we continued our investigations into the bank account which received John’s money. We are now able to prove beyond any doubt that the bank account was with the Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”) and was in the name of Moorwand Ltd. David Savell was not telling the truth when he said that John’s payments were made to an account in the name of UPayCard. It is a criminal offence to allow any party to “operate” another party’s bank account for the purpose of laundering money. Mr Savell has stated that the account into which John paid his money was “operated by UPayCard” and yet we can prove that it was actually a Moorwand account which should have been operated by Moorwand directors. We are certain that any bank would close down an account which was found to be operated by unidentified third parties.
We encouraged John to write to Moorwand again making it clear that we could now prove he had paid the money to Moorwand Ltd. David Savell then changed his story and said “…all funds that you sent via Moorwand were provided to the merchant with whom you had a contractual relationship at your request. Moorwand does not hold any funds that you sent via Moorwand…”. So once he was backed into a corner he finally owned up that it was an account in the name of Moorwand Ltd which received John’s money.
Based on Mr Savell’s reply, John then asked him to identify the merchant to whom Moorwand had transferred the funds because John had not informed Moorwand of the name of the merchant and he certainly had not provided Moorwand with any evidence of a contractual relationship. We were intrigued by the words “at your request”. John had never spoken or written to anyone at Moorwand so John asked for evidence of him requesting the transfer. Mr Savell declined to provide the name of the merchant, nor was he willing to provide any evidence supporting his claim that there was a contractual relationship between John and the unidentified merchant , nor would he provide any evidence of John requesting a transfer to the unidentified merchant.
We accept that Moorwand might be able to claim that the receipt of a money transfer from John which had a reference of ‘UPayCard Ltd’ could be sufficient to be regarded as a request to transfer the funds to that specific company, were it not for one important fact. WE CAN PROVE THAT MOORWAND DID NOT, AT ANY TIME, TRANSFER MONEY FROM THAT ACCOUNT TO AN ENTITY CALLED UPAYCARD LTD.
This beggars the question “where was John’s money transferred to and who is the unidentified merchant”? Only Moorwand can answer that question and they’re refusing to say. What we do know is that money was transferred out of that account to a number of offshore companies which are currently under Police investigation for fraud. We also know that John’s money was transferred somewhere because by the end of 2017 that bank account had been emptied and was closed down.
We believe Moorwand was laundering money for fraudsters who were perpetrating at least one large-scale investment fraud on the general public. If Moorwand will not tell John who they transferred his money to we have to assume that they know they do not have clean hands.
It is worth noting that John’s investment was made in March 2017. The Moorwand directors at that time were ALAIN BAZILLE (65), MARK WAYNE WHEELER (74) and SIMON HEDLEY HOY (74). It’s interesting Mr Savell advised John that UPayCard had become a separate entity in late 2016 with its own bank accounts. He was happy to tell John that UPayCard was later acquired in April 2019 by a Cypriot company called Pap Onpoint Services and was no longer in operation, but he declined to tell John who owned UPayCard from the date he claimed that UPayCard became a separate entity with its own bank accounts in 2016 up to its transfer to the Cypriot company in April 2019. That’s a two and a half year period where he claims that he cannot say who owned UPayCard “for confidentiality reasons”. His excuse doesn’t stack up because he had no problem telling John about the transfer to Pap Onpoint Services in 2019. He is covering up for someone or he is not telling the truth. If UPayCard was made a separate entity in 2016 Moorwand knows who owned it because in the words of Mr Savell “it operated under Moorwand’s licence”. Moorwand was required by law to have completed the ID and anti-money laundering checks on the alleged new owner(s). If the new UPayCard Ltd existed then it was incorporated offshore in a secret location.
There was a company called ‘UPC UpayCard Ltd’ incorporated in Cyprus in 2015. It looks very dodgy too because the real company directors had not declared themselves and were using a local Cypriot citizen as their nominee. This company was dissolved in 2021.
Maybe it’s not that difficult to take a guess as to who might have owned UPayCard during that two and a half year period. We have no evidence of the Moorwand directors’ involvement in UPayCard in that secretive period, but all three of them (Bazille, Wheeler and Hoy) resigned in May and June 2019 a few weeks after UPayCard was allegedly transferred to the Pap Onpoint Services. That’s a coincidence. Maybe the FCA investigation will find out who owned “UPayCard Ltd” assuming that this mysterious company even existed and that it’s not just a lie to put scam victims off the scent. We suspect that several retirement pots received a healthy boost during the time the investment fraud was taking in money.
In the past few weeks there has been another merry-go-round of Moorwand directors resigning and a new set being appointed. This may have something to do with the Police investigation into the binary option fraud network.
Finally, we found evidence of at least one known fraudster being paid from this Moorwand account. A company called CYBERNETICS MARKETING SERVICES LTD – LINK to Companies House received a payment. This company was involved in the ESSEX AND LONDON PROPERTIES LTD fraud which we have covered extensively on this site – LINK to recent article. The company is owned by MUHAMMED NOMAN TANVEER who was convicted for his part in the E&LP fraud and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in July 2022. We wonder what service Mr Tanveer provided to Moorwand Ltd.
Moorwand Ltd Embroiled in Scandal – FCA Investigates Complaint. Moorwand Ltd Embroiled in Scandal – FCA Investigates Complaint. Moorwand Ltd Embroiled in Scandal – FCA Investigates Complaint.