Question – When is a regulated bond not a regulated bond ? Answer – When it’s a Westway Holdings Fake Regulated Bond.
Westway Holdings has been issuing unregulated corporate bonds for a few years. Now that the first round of investor capital is due to be paid Westway has started defaulting on interest and capital repayments to investors. It is now telling everybody not to worry because it has issued a regulated bond and the sale of that regulated bond is raising enough money to pay off investors. The actual quote from a Westway Holdings email to investors is “Finally, we would like to mention that the listed bond we referred to in our last email is now live on the Frankfurt Exchange with ISIN number XS2123281201. We will write to you further about that bond under separate cover”.
We searched for a bond with that number but could not find it listed anywhere. You can read our previous article on the Westway Holdings Fake Bond here.
Our investigations into the elusive bond XS2123281201 led us to the company which had been approached to sponsor the bond on the Frankfurt Exchange. They told us they had been approached to establish this bond, but it had not proceeded. They confirmed there is no bond with that number. It does not exist. That’s why we have termed it the Westway Holdings Fake Bond.
Subsequent to our enquiry we have been informed that the company contacted Anthony Marks and made it clear to him that the bond does not exist and Westway should cease claiming that it does. They also informed him that even if the bond had been formed it was never to be sold to members of the public. The company has now ended its relationship with Westway Holdings.
It’s intriguing that Anthony Marks was the man supposedly dealing with the fake bond. He was a founding director of Westway Holdings Ltd but he resigned in August 2019. We wonder why the current director, Joseph Griffin, wasn’t dealing with it. To all intents and purposes it looks like Joseph Griffin is just a willing front man.
So this beggars the question how investors could ever be paid from the WestWay Holdings Fake Bond XS2123281201 if it has never existed. We discovered that the fake bond was never going to be issued in the name of Westway Holdings Ltd. Records show that it was going to be in the name of Envision Development Group Ltd. Envision Development Group Ltd is a UK company which was formed on 7th February 2020.
Here is a link to the information filed at Companies House. We note that it has two directors, a Romanian citizen and an Estonian company.
What connection could a newly-formed company containing these two directors have to Westway Holdings Ltd ? Well, we have no idea about the Romanian chap, but the Estonian company director of Envision Development Group Ltd is called “Westay International OU”. No, we haven’t spelt that incorrectly. That’s the name of the company registered at Companies House. A search for ‘Westay International OU’ reveals that no such company exists. However, there is a company called “Westway International OU” registered in Estonia. It is that company which owns all the shares.
So, either there was a deliberate attempt to install a non-existent company as a director, or the person who incorporated Envision Development Group Ltd was so slap-dash and incompetent that he/she couldn’t get the name right. A check on the shareholders of the company shows that Westway International OU owns all the shares. Therefore it’s fair to assume that this is also the company director. Our searches reveal that the Estonian company is owned by Anthony Marks. Mr Marks was the longest serving director of Westway Holdings Ltd having been appointed in March 2016 and resigning in August 2019. It’s interesting that Mr Marks has owned this Estonian company for a couple of years. We wonder what it does and whether it has received any money from Westway Holdings Ltd or from investors.
Recent emails from Westway Holdings have been sent out anonymously. We raised this point in our previous article and I’m pleased to say that the latest email (below) now has the name of Joseph Griffin written at the bottom. We reached out to Mr Griffin on 8th March 2020 after the promised payment date for investors had passed and no payments had been made. The email got through, but Mr Griffin has not responded. We would have thought he would be keen to explain his contradictory stance i.e ”I’m not a director of Westway Holdings really, but I haven’t resigned or told Companies House”. His actions do not tie up with his words. Here is the latest email allegedly from Joseph Griffin:
Westway are in receipt of funds to pay back all investments.
Due to unexpected restrictions on our current payment platform, payments haven’t been going out as quick as we had hoped. We are therefore in the process of onboarding two new platforms in addition to our current platform to share the load and allow us to get through the payment process quicker.
All investors that have provided AML and bank details should be in receipt of funds by 20th March, although we anticipate sooner.
We do apologise for the delay — we are trying to get these payments out as quickly as possible hence the reason for taking on two new payment providers.
Thank you very much for your continued support and patience whilst we have been working towards returning investments, it is much appreciated.
Westway Holdings Admin Team
Tel : 0203 405 8733
23 Austin Friars, London, EC2N 2QP
Oh no – not the dreaded “payment platform” excuse. As we said previously, a Constantine Pagonis company is involved in the Westway Holdings investment. One of Mr Pagonis’ companies provided “back office services” for five scam oil companies. Our clients closed down four of those companies. They have dozens of emails referring to “payment platform” issues being the reason why investors were never paid. As soon as we see the payment platform excuse we know they’re trying to hide the bank account which is paying the money.
In the case of the oil companies the use of “payment platforms” was to hide the true source of the payments from investors. Considering that the Westway Holdings Fake Bond doesn’t exist and it had the involvement of a newly incorporated company with a Romanian citizen and an Estonian company as directors, it makes us very nervous about the source of funds allegedly available to repay investors.
Dr Constantine Pagonis (“unlucky Constantine Pagonis” as he is known in this office due to the number of bad investments his companies are associated with) was also a key player in the Allansons Litigation Funding scandal where investors are facing losses of £20m.
Another of his companies was involved in the Solari Energy scam which was orchestrated by Matthew Stone and Duncan Clark of Renovare Fuels Ltd. Both men, through their lawyers, have declined to answer questions about their involvement in that scam. They have never actually denied being involved. More on that scam to come.
Back to Westway Holdings – the good news is that the opening line of the latest email says “Westway are in receipt of funds to pay back all investments”. That means Westway has the money in the bank for all investments. That’s very welcome but a bit strange. The money was supposed to come from the sale of a regulated bond. If the money has already been paid over to Westway then the alleged sale of a regulated bond was always just a smokescreen.
For some reason Westway Holdings is asking investors to provide their bank account details. We find that odd because the genuine Westway Holdings has all those bank details. It is supposed to pay interest on a regular basis so why is it now asking investors for their bank details ? Any investor who is owed interest or capital should be able to just ask Westway to send the money to the bank account that they already have on file. Something doesn’t ring true about this request for bank details. It’s almost as if the emails to investors are being sent out by a different firm entirely which doesn’t have any of the Westway company bank records.
We said in our previous article that whole regulated bond story and re-organisation claim looked very suspect. It appears to be getting worse. Our advice is that investors should file a report with Action Fraud because that might prompt the authorities to take a closer look. For whatever reason Westway Holdings is not being transparent or honest with its investors. There is more to this alleged re-financing than meets the eye.
To view a more recent update on this case please click here.