Project RF-1 Ltd.
Yesterday we published an article titled “Were We Stoned?” Here is a LINK to that article. It questioned why anyone would file a fake copyright claim against us in order to have one specific article removed. That is the act of a desperate person.
The article they were trying to remove by illegal means contained references to Matthew Stone, Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels Ltd, Teysha Technologies Ltd, Nextgen Nano Ltd and the Solari investment scam, amongst others. The article will be reinstated later this month, but we have to allow the legal process to run its course.
We came to the conclusion that the fake copyright claim was related to the above people and companies. The timing of the fake claim, i.e 18 months after the article was written, was both suspicious and surprising.
Things had gone relatively quiet on the activities of Matthew Stone and Duncan Clark until around the middle of September, except for the fact that there is a Police investigation in Australia where Solari is based, and one of the participants in the Solari scam has been charged with fraud in the UK relating to another scam in which he was involved. Some investors in that other scam also invested in Solari so we, in conjunction with those investors, are now seeking to have the Police extend that criminal investigation into the Solari scam. The Police should be interested in Solari because the defendant in their case has already confirmed the involvement of Matthew Stone and Duncan Clark in the Solari scam.
We mentioned things had gone quiet until around the middle of September, but then we received two unconnected enquiries about Matthew Stone and his companies within a few days of each other. One enquiry was from a man who had invested in two Matthew Stone companies. These were Teysha Technologies Ltd and Nextgen Nano Ltd. He was concerned about his investments. The other was from a landowner in Scotland who had been approached by Matthew Stone because he wanted Project RF-1 Ltd to buy / lease his land and facilities. He told the landowner that his company had been given a government grant of more than £4m !
The Teysha Technologies / Nextgen Nano Investor
This investor had invested £10,000 in Teysha Technologies and £10,000 in Nextgen Nano and was concerned that he had been the victim of a scam. He asked us if we had undertaken an investigation into the companies. We told him that we had not because we had not been instructed by any investor. He said that he had seen our articles on the Solari scam and wanted to know if what we had written was true. We confirmed to him that it was and that we knew Matthew Stone and Duncan Clark had founded that scam. It has since become their standard modus operandi i.e to partner with credible firms in the renewable energy sector which have their own technology and to use their credibility to raise money from investors.
The investor told us that when he had first invested he would receive updates on a regular basis, but now they had stopped and both websites were well out of date. He asked us if we would investigate the companies for him. Our advice to him was that if there is no evidence of fraud or deception at the time that he made his investment it might be difficult for him to get a recovery now. He had bought shares in both companies. We also told him that we felt it might not be viable for him to pay for our services because it would require two separate investigations. He had invested £10,000 in each company and we said that in percentage terms he would be paying quite a lot for the investigations when he has no clear evidence of wrongdoing in those companies. The end result of the investigations might be that there is nothing he can pin on them which would force them to compensate him.
£20,000 in total is not a small sum, but we felt it wasn’t cost-effective for him to pay for the service. We gave him some free advice on how to approach Matthew Stone. We told him to tell Matthew Stone that he had been in contact with Safe Or Scam and that we were very keen to investigate the two companies. We told him to say that he is considering it. We said that ought to make Mr Stone take notice of his refund request.
A week later we checked to see how he had got on. He told us that Mr Stone got a little bit ‘tetchy’ when Safe Or Scam was mentioned. He said that he asked Matthew Stone about Solari and Mr Stone refused to discuss it. He then said that he asked Mr Stone to give him an example of one successful company for which he had raised investment in the past and which had resulted in a profitable outcome for investors. He asked Mr Stone to give him something tangible which would enable him to check for certain. Apparently, Mr Stone got a little bit cross at this request and declined to provide him with any information. However, that discussion did have a happy ending. Matthew Stone ended up promising to refund the investor’s money in both companies within the next few days.
We’re surprised that Mr Stone didn’t give the investor anything to prove his previous alleged successes because he wasn’t so shy giving vague references to them in the Renovare Fuels Information Memorandum when he was trying to raise money. Here is a copy of the Management page.
You will note the glowing report on Kevin Godlington. We’ll return to that later in this article.
A week or so later the investor came back to us to say that nothing had happened on his refund, but the websites had now been brought up to date . We told him to tell Mr Stone that he had decided to instruct Safe Or Scam and we would begin investigating.
Another week or so later we contacted the investor to find out how things were going. He thanked us for our help and said that everything was now sorted out for him. He said that he couldn’t discuss it because he had been made to sign what he described as “a big document” and that was all he was allowed to say, but he will never be contacting either company again.
So, normally what that means is that an investor has been paid off and has signed a gagging order forbidding him to talk about it. We assume that Teysha Technologies and Nextgen Nano don’t want other shareholders finding out that they’re willing to refund the investment money if an investor pushes hard enough.
If the investor has been paid off (which let’s face it we’re sure he has) then that is a great outcome for him. We were surprised that the companies rolled over so quickly, but by that time we had received the second enquiry from the Scottish landowner and it all made sense. Matthew Stone could not afford Safe Or Scam publishing that an investor had instructed us to look into two of his companies at a time when he had government grant money to spend and he was in a hurry to spend it before further checks were made !
Before the investor signed the gagging order (which let’s face it we’re sure he has), he did his own research into Kevin Godlington, the CEO of Renovare Fuels as shown above. Mr Godlington didn’t mention his involvement in this palm oil scam on the Renovare Fuels management page !
The Scottish Landowner / Project RF-1 Ltd
As we said, not long after the initial contact from the investor we were contacted by the Scottish Landowner. He told us that Project RF-1 Ltd wanted to buy / lease his land and the Anaerobic Digestion facilities constructed thereon.
He had come across our Solari article. He told us that he already had concerns about Project RF-1 Ltd because the company was pushing very hard to get the deal signed whilst he still wanted further clarifications on some aspects of the contracts. The contracts were, in his opinion, opaque and unnecessarily complicated. He was uneasy and felt something was not right about the proposed structure. Project RF-1 Ltd was represented by Taylor Vintners in the transaction.
The landowner was concerned because there have been some high profile scams involving biogas / waste-2-energy schemes, one of which had already occurred in Scotland. He told us that the current global focus on alternative fuels and reductions in fossil fuel usage had brought a lot of scam operators into the market. Over the past few years there have been a number of renewable energy scams involving solar power (Solari is a prime example), wind farms (e.g DCR) and now scammers are moving into biogas / AD. He did not want to fall victim to a scam like the one which already occurred in Scotland. He referred us to this newspaper report below.
The landowner asked Matthew Stone about his involvement in the Solari scam and has advised us that he did not receive a satisfactory explanation. He has advised that he has informed Taylor Vintners that he will not be entering into a contract with Matthew Stone and Project RF-1 Ltd, and that he believes there was not full disclosure on their part.
Its clear to us that the Teysha Technologies / Nextgen Nano investor benefitted from a unique set of circumstances. His timing in asking for a refund could not have been better.
When funds are being raised from the general public there is a legal requirement for the fundraising documents to be clear, transparent and not misleading. Sometimes it is not what is in the Investment Memorandum that matters, it is what is left out. Knowingly excluding important information from fundraising documents can give rise to claims for compensation.
For example – Kevin Godlington. He is a man who thinks he has learnt how to hide his failed businesses from public scrutiny. Unfortunately for him he’s a novice and we know how to spot false identities. He’s just not clever enough. The difference between Kevin Godlington and Matthew Stone is that Matthew Stone doesn’t falsify records, Kevin Godlington does. Matthew Stone just doesn’t give anyone anything which enables them to check his claims of being successful at anything. Matthew Stone gives waffle and it’s very difficult to prove or disprove waffle. What we do know is that we can find no evidence that any group of investors have ever made any money from any Matthew Stone company. We know 38 investors who have definitely lost a lot of money to one of his schemes.
We’ll be writing a separate article on how Kevin Godlington has attempted to hide his failures. It is relevant to Renovare Fuels investors because none of his failed businesses, where investors lost a lot of money, were declared in the Renovare Fuels Investment Memorandum, which they should have been.
Finally, if a government awards a grant to a company we would like to think it has obtained guarantees that the company directors have disclosed all relevant information. It is public money and the due diligence needs to be extremely thorough. It looks like the due diligence in the Project RF-1 Ltd case. was severely deficient.
On 21st September Taylor Vintners issued this statement “Mishcon de Reya and Taylor Vinters – a leading legal and consultancy business in the innovation economy – have today announced that they will be creating MDR Taylor Vinters, a new business that will offer legal and consultancy services to innovators and entrepreneurs and the organisations and ecosystem that support them”.
Investors be very, very cautious. If this new collaboration intends to support “innovators and entrepreneurs” like Kevin Godlington, Matthew Stone and Duncan Clark, (who Taylor Vintners have supported for years), then there’s going to be a lot of very unhappy investors in the future.