Buccament Bay Resort buyer successfully sues David Ames, Harlequin Resorts for breach of contract

UPDATED: The News retracts Harlequin story – says court case not finished!

St. Vincent & The Grenadines paper The News has retracted its original story that was the subject of our original article.

The News states:

No judgement yet in Buccama case

There has been no judgement yet in the case brought by Scotland resident Ana-Mendez-Canga against Buccament Bay Resort.

Last week’s report in The News – that there was a judgement in favour of Canga when the matter was heard before the Master – was incorrect. The News sincerely apologises for this error. A letter from lawyer Samuel Commissiong of the firm S.E. Commissiong & Co. Law Firm states that “No judgment was entered and could not have entered because a Defence and Counterclaim had been filed in the Suit, and of course an acknowledgement to the Claim was entered in Time.”

Several cases of similar claims are now before the court against the Resort and it’s understood there are some judgements and in others efforts are being made by the company to settle the claims.

Here is a copy of the original The News article:

(click photo for large)

Here is our original October 16, 2012 story…

Can Dave Ames pay the personal judgement?

Does he dare not to pay? How many others will follow?

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court awarded a huge victory to a Scottish resident, Ana Mendez-Canga. Mendez-Canga had sued Harlequin’s Dave Ames personally, as well as corporations Buccament Bay Resort Limited, Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited and UK based Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited for the return of her deposit.

The court ordered that Ames and his companies pay her claim over the failure of Ames and his companies to complete the Buccament Bay project and deliver as promised.

Misrepresentation!

The court found that Ames misrepresented the completion date for Buccament Bay Resort as December 31, 2008. The judgement presumably is an important precedent for the many ‘investors’ who provided monies to Dave Ames and his companies throughout the world, but have yet to see their units constructed.

Is this the beginning of the collapse of the Ames’ pyramid of cards as some have predicted?

Stay tuned, folks!

click image for larger

Further Reading

Andrew Drummond: Harlequin Boss ordered to pay damages. Pattaya Officials remain confused.

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375 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

375 responses to “Buccament Bay Resort buyer successfully sues David Ames, Harlequin Resorts for breach of contract

  1. 138

    Will just keep using investor deposits to pay any bills, if he chooses to. Well known throughout caribbean to be a very bad payer, so that trend could continue, or he uses investor money – either way, no skin off his nose. His millions in the bank from sales commissions already. He is personally unaffected if the homes are not built, which of course they are not and cannot be. Unless the law suits really do pile up and he personally is found liable.

  2. J chalmers

    Hurray not before time come on all you investors join together jump on the band wagon and sink Ames and harlequin in buccament bay and all those in governments that have made money from these schemes with him

  3. 158

    “Judgement” is one thing and “collection” entirely another….

  4. as long as the governments keep enabling foreign crooks, these sagas will never end.

  5. anonymous152

    @BFP. there is no record of a judgment as of yet on the ECSC website as it only shows judgments to end september. is this article” factual”. i am assuming the judgement must have been very recent.is there any way of getting a copy of the actual judgement?

  6. 229


    Hilarious, watch this from late 2009. Marquis Estate open in 2011 (now end 2012, and not started), same with the DR and same with Merricks (opening soon after StLucia, also not even as yet started the resort other than the show homes) Just so obviously someone talking nonsense, beggars belief people invest in this guy. “First company ever to build 24 hours” Amusingly ridiculous interview.

  7. If only the scots lady had waited another year or so,she would have doubled perhaps trebled her investment,thats the downside of listening to anonymous and his cronies

  8. BBaywatch

    another year or so – now just how long would that be? Bearing in mind that she has already waited for several years without any kind of return asking her to wait for a further unspecified amount of time is ridiculous. Re your assertion that she would have doubled or trebled her investment – please provide proof of just one person who has done that (and isn’t an agent!).

  9. Anon - reasons unknown

    Considering Harlequin and their agents have been promoting this spectacular growth in unit value since 2006, some units must be worth millions by now? This even applies to units that haven’t been built on land that has no planning permission.

    Walks like a duck …

  10. 229

    Of course, it would be better to listen to Harlequin trolls and get people to part with their pension money so that agents and IFAs and Harlequin can take their commissions from that hard earned pension, and then not in fact build anything, and not alert people that when the places do finally get built (e.g Marquis estate a good 10 years away from being completed if ever it starts) that there will be a number of years of losses before any payment can be made. Such an investment clearly would increase in value very quickly as it sounds so wonderful, shame on anyone for not seeing such an obviously risk free money making deal.

  11. 138

    But by listening to harlequin trolls and their cronies people can see their pension funds used to pay large commissions to agents and harlequin, and not see their homes built and worry for many years about whether it will get built. Not to mention if it is built, the resort will lose money for years etc etc yawn, frankly those who believe a group who non stop fail to do what they say and invest can’t complain when they lose it all.

  12. BBaywatch

    Meanwhile over on Tripadvisor the Harlequin rapid response team have been co ordinating crayon by numbers reviews to push some negative ones out of sight – that way they don’t show up on the Virgin etc TA feed!

    Slight change of tack though as they also seem to be pushing Harlequin Air with lots of negativity about LIAT. Now I wonder what the premium will be for flying Con Air in the equivalent of a 30 year old Essex stretch limo?

    At least SVG Air seem to have managed the impossible by being the only company to deal with Harlequin and not be sued as a consequence.

    Pip Pip.

  13. What is the matter with you knockers of Buccamentbay and harlequin in the caribbean?with regards to building there resorts,have you any idea how much work needs to be done,to obtain full planning permission on any new development.It is necessary,amongst many other requirements,to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments,which include the nesting sites of birds,coastal erosion studies etc etc.All very essential requirements necessary to meet the stringent conditions laid down by the relevant authorities.So,gentlemen,put your brain in gear before you open your mouth.Better still,put your hand in your pocket and invest!!! Like i plan to do. One final word.Dr Ralph Gonsalves is a man of true courage and vision.In bringing the international airport to his country,he will uplift the standard of living for all in SVG,including many of you knockers,no doubt!!! He deserves a knighthood. Maybe another well known Vincentian should also receive this honour.Sir David .

  14. 138

    Mr brown, anyone with the most basic knowledge of caribbean development knows about EIAs and all the other various planing requirements. What legitimate developers do though is have all planning approved before spending investor money, they hold in escrow in the meantime. Any agent or ifa with the investor’s interests at heart would not allow money to go into a commingled fund that can be spent anywhere, and with no planning for the property being bought. Look now, 6 years after units have been sold in some developments, still no planning never mind construction. The only people who can stand behind and justify this are those involved with harlequin, or agents making commissions.

    Where is the investor’s money who paid up 6 years ago on merricks? Spent on bb, funding operating losses, law suits etc etc. It is a scheme that cannot add up or work. Paying money over to harlequin is not an investment, it is giving money to an organization who has shown they will use your money to do anything other than build, so it is more a donation with a very dim hope that one day you will receive income, but not for many years, at best. The man in charge of your money is a highly inexperienced developer with no hotel experience who keeps randomly starting new projects leaving all the existing commitments (liabilities) unfulfilled. Actually, now you mention it mr brown, it does sound great, where do I sign?

  15. Actually, the TRUTH IS on 13th October ,the same publication carried a RETRACTION & APOLOGY to Dave Ames/Harlequin,and the case overturned.
    You dont post that though, do you ???????????

  16. Anon - reasons unknown

    Why don’t you post it then Sandy?

  17. TL2012

    Can someone please clarify what is going on with this court case?

    Has judgement been passed?

    Who won the case?

  18. BFP

    Hello Sandy Gear,

    Yes, please provide the URL for the story or a photo of the newspaper article you are talking about. We will post it quite prominently of course!

    Marcus

  19. anonymous152

    @ mr brown. agree with 138. whilst i agree there is a huge amount of planning , studies etc before full planing permission can be agreed and this can delay projects surely as a developer you should and would carry out these studies and have the results prior to taking investors monies (outside of escrow). how can you possibly market and sell a a resort without knowing these facts.

    e.g what would happen if for example “the merricks” is found to be on the site of unstable cliffs./caves that have an unstable structure to build on and would need major works to ensure safe.

    in simple terms- how can you cost and price buildings and resorts without all the infastructure /details knowledge of what needs to be done / access works/ impact on wildlife bla bla bla. all these factors could cause massive problems and even result in a total NO GO in terms of planning permission. meanwhile any investors monies can be used for pretty much any purpose in relation to “harlequin” per se. there is very little in the contract to stop your monies being used for anything relating to harlequin “marketing, salaries, promotion ” etc.

    The simple fact is that ALMOST every publication, blog, advisory website etc says about the importance of when buying abroad you need to get independent sols advice, ensure held in escrow and be aware that you are not covered by any regulatory body for compensation. i sincerley hope that the IFA’s and FS companies / sales agents have passed on this information to their clients PARTICULARLY those that have recommended the SIPP route.

  20. BBaywatch

    Of course planning and environmental impact are major factors in the development of any resort and has already been highlighted, far from taking these into account, Harlequin Property seems to have pressed ahead WITHOUT acknowledging these factors. To now use that as an excuse for the late or non completion of their developments is disingenuous.

    Regarding environmental impact – HP have committed another blunder here through their inexperience, having built units unsuitable for the Caribbean. They are retro fitting A/C units to the earlier villas which are otherwise partly unusable. As a standard hotel A/C unit emits as much climate change gases in five years as an automobile does in 100K miles this will certainly have an environmental impact! Let’s not forget that many Caribbean islands (especially in SVG) are very likely to be at risk from rising sea levels associated with climate change.

  21. I do not know how to attach to comments on here …i am seeking help to do so! You can find the article yourselves though,just look on the same local newspapers website.

  22. TL2012

    But which newspaper is it?

    Can you give us the website address for the online version of the newspaper?

  23. its THE NEWS ,St.Vincent & The Grenadines, fri.12th oct. FRONT PAGE. (MORE TO FOLLOW)

  24. 126

    I can’t find any online edition of this newspaper so until someone posts a scanned copy it’s hard to comment

  25. BBaywatch

    Sandy, in your post of 20th October you state (with total authority) that – ‘the TRUTH IS on 13th October’ and now today it was on the 12th October. Well now, which one is correct? No doubt you have a copy in front of you? You have seen an actual copy haven’t you? – or did someone just tell you about it?

  26. Henry

    Sandy Gear (? Harlequin stooge)
    Searched everywhere for News online doesn’t exist according to all search engines also checked the News and my copy obviously has a printing error as it makes no mention of a retraction.And to believe that the SVG courts could overturn something inside of a week miraculous.

  27. Anon - reasons unknown

    Sandy, who told you about this story in a newspaper called The News in SVG? I can’t find any newspaper of that name in SVG. Maybe it’s a Harlequin publication for investors. Did you read the hardcopy or website edition, or did someone (on behalf of Harlequin) tell you about this retraction? Please stop this unquestioning belief. It really is not in your interests if you genuinely are an investor. Question hard and demand evidence and then post it here.

    Regarding Mr Brown’s post about the trouble Harlequin are having with Planning and impact studies etc (hence the years and years of delay). You’re merely reinforcing the argument that Harlequin have no idea what they’re doing. An experienced developer in the Caribbean would have accommodated these normal events in his programming and contractual dates. Have they managed to sort the problem of water demand for Merricks? As I understood it a few years ago, the only way the project could work in synergy with Barbados’ environmental conditions was to build a desalination plant. I think that may have rendered the financial viability of the project defunct. And that’s just one of the many resorts which have yet to even get planning …

    Walks like a duck ….

  28. TL2012

    Neither can I find an SVG newspaper called The News. We would all appreciate a scan of this article so we can all assess the situation.

    Also completely agree about the developer’s key role of managing the construction programme. Way back in 2008 I considered investing but when I asked the agent for a complete and detailed construction programme showing the whole process of planning permission, EIAs, ground condition surveys and then the enabling works and construction dates, they looked at me as though I had asked for something deeply in appropriate. Any developer that can’t furnish an investor with a comprehensive programme either hasn’t actually produced one and doesn’t know what they are doing or isn’t willing to share it with the investor and is therefore not worthy of receiving my money.

  29. 36

    As an investor in Harlequin I sat down with Mr Ames and negotiated my money back on 2 Rivers as per my contract and received compensation for the late delivery of Buccament Bay again as per my contract. I am also receiving my rental income. Yes I am twitchy about the future of this company, but there was no need to go legal. I would suggest that the claim went to court because of the nature of what was being claimed for, which seemed some what excessive. And no I am not a Harlequin stooge!

  30. Anon - reasons unknown

    That’s great news, well done. Why are you posting anonymously?

  31. 243

    You are receiving rental income? Buccament Bay loses money, Harlequin themselves have stated this publicly. For you to be receiving income means that the money is not coming from the resort operation, so it must be coming from other sources. The only source of revenue is new investor money. So, new investors are being used to fund the investments of older investors, rather than the actual business operation. This is the definition of a ponzi scheme. (if anyone claims Ames is funding anything, background checks show he was a bankrupt with no real personal wealth and certainly no experience in this industry, and so any wealth he now has comes from commissions from his sales as his hotel operating businesses lose massive amounts of money. To take money from investor funds before meeting the commitments he is making to those investors is also beyond reprehensible, but then his record in thailand is also there for all to see, the allegations of scamming investors are not new) Glad you got your money back though, obviously many dont find it so easy hence set up websites and take him to court.

  32. 36

    To Anon: The reason is I am still an investor. To Anonymous: I did not say it was easy to get my money back, just persistance and being factual. The claim quoted in the court case includes many opportunist claims for damanges which the court refused. Harlequin were never going to agree those.

  33. 243

    Fair enough, am sure it was not easy, and at least you are one of early investors in BB who actually has a property (although no title yet perhaps) and do wish you luck as never nice to see people lose money. Think though about the investors who paid for Merricks or Marquis 5 plus years ago and nothing even started at the latter, and not even planning permission. It is a shocking state of affairs, should never have been allowed to happen. Money should have been escrowed, but as it stands, there is very little chance of these people actually seeing anything for their money within another 5 plus years. Yet agents and so on still claim the investment is so strong, risk free, returns great etc when this is patently untrue. It is so obviously a charade to con people out of pension money, it is disgusting and cannot see how anyone can support these antics. IFA and agent websites have been proven to have lied profusely to get people to part with money (you can refer to Blu marketing for example which was marketed as 4-5 star, massive refurb after one year would be done and rates of US$700 per night like “similar upmarket properties” such as LeSPORT, East Winds and Cap Maison – these properties being water front proven luxury products, and then Harlequin said they will not be doing the refurb and are charging US$100 per night and the hotel is stil empty. Basic due dilligence would have shown the claims were a mile from reality) These same liars then disappear with the commissions. Ames is a pariah in development circles in the Caribbean and for good reason.

  34. BBaywatch

    ‘The claim quoted in the court case includes many opportunist claims for damanges which the court refused. Harlequin were never going to agree those.’

    with respect it isn’t for Harlequin to agree or not, that is for the court to decide. We live in an increasingly litigious world and given Harlequin’s propensity for suing any and everyone and claiming extended damages perhaps this investor was just following their example?

    I don’t want to pry into your personal financial affairs but perhaps you could clarify how your rental income is being calculated?

  35. MR brown

    Anon et al
    Did i say there was trouble with planning or environmental impact assessments ? No.These matters are progressing very well and are near to completion.Harlequin have ahighly experienced team of 30 to 40 experts based at the harlequin headquarters design studio in Barbados,an enviable asset.They really are Redesigning Luxury in the Caribbean.

    Of course everyone is concerned about global warming. If we are to take any notice of your way over the top neurotic phobia,perhaps resort developers should refocus their plans and build a Caribbean Atlantis!!!

    There are no abandoned Harlequin resorts in the Caribbean.unlike many others left behind by some developers,so stop spreading malicious gossip and lies,suggesting that this will happen. I have 100 % confidence in Harlequin.
    Have you seen the stunning photos of Jacks restaurant,Trader Vics ect ect inte waterfront village at BuccamentBay? Does this look like an abandoned project? Absolutely Not! !! Beautiful setting,top class design.

    If people wish to invest their pension pot or savings into an overseas property development,that is entirely their business and is no concern of yours whatsoever!!!!

  36. BBaywatch

    Take the blinkers off Mr Brown – teams of experts should have thoroughly investigated planning and EI issues PRIOR to offering the resorts for sale – otherwise there is no way of knowing if they are selling a product that can actually be built. You obviously have no experience of other quality developers working in the Caribbean or would know just how ridiculous the claim to be ‘redefining luxury’ is.

    Regarding the global warming issue – the point is that Harlequin designed buildings that were untenable without air conditioning, which again demonstrates their lack of experience. There are many Caribbean architects who can build without 100% reliance on a/c thereby avoiding some of the environmental impact and their work actually looks as if it might belong in the Caribbean too.

    When it comes to lies, well just answer these two questions – Where is the marina that Dave Ames stated unequivocally was nearly finished? Where is the ‘galleon’ that was shown for years on their website as being ready and available for weddings? – just two examples but there are many more on the record.

  37. 243

    So much wrong with your posting, hard to know where to begin. You are correct that people losing their pensions is no real concern anyone’s other than those people losing them – alrthough of course it is a shame if it is money that will impact on their lives once they realise it has gone.

    What is a concern is the impact these schemes have on the overseas property market as a whole, the reputations of the islands where the scams take place and the peple whose jobs and livelihoods are affected. Yes, BB looks lovely and it is not an abandoned project, few people would argue with that and that holiday makers will enjoy the place, especially at the current low rates.

    The facts are that Harlequin were selling holiday homes in St Lucia, Barbados and the DR 6 years ago. Over 3 years ago your Chairman Ames said he had sold 1,200 homes in St Lucia. this clip remains on youtube. Not a single home has been started in St Lucia, or the DR and only show homes at Merricks. Can you defend that? They wait until now to have a large team of “experts” to sort out planning. Surely even a blind Harlequin supporter like you can see that this is all wrong. Surely you can do the maths and see that if 10% commissions of the initial 30% deposits (therefore a third of what is paid over to Harlequin) goes to agents and IFAs, 10% to Harlequin, and no financing in place, there is simply not the money to build what has been sold. Do you not then think it unreasonable to go ahead and begin other projects with these commitments unfulfilled? Add to that mathematical equation the fact that BB loses money and those losses must be covered somehow, as well as all the legal fees paid, Harlequin Air planes purchased, football pitches built, celebrities paid etc etc. How on earth can this add up? this is also not to mention the fact that at a site like Marquis ( I doubt many Harlequin agents have been there and tried to drive through to the tiny black sand beach) needs at least US$20m invested to bring all the necessary infrastructure to a resort like the one they have planned. can you explain that? Most people in the Caribbean are not bothered about a foreigner’s pension money being lost, that is already assumed gone. What they are bothered by is the perpetuation of an obviously impossible situation and ongoing lies that hurt our region. They want Ames to show his funding, his ability to build what is sold and just go ahead and build out. But he has only shown that he cannot. The Caribbean is a small community, one major Canadian bank has snubbed Harlequin completely as their DD showed it to be a scheme that can only survive if future sales continue in abundance and even then it has too many unfulfilled commitments to actually advance. The information available about Harlequin in the Caribbean is very clear and obvious, but of course people buy in the UK site unseen, believing the propaganda that people like you push out to the world.

    There are no abandoned Harlequin sites because only one has started. It is a certainty that if they ever start Merricks properly or Marquis or DR, they will not finish based on the elemental mathematics of this impossible equation. Simple calculations of build costs in the Caribbean, minus gross revenue from the sales made, less the fees and other sundries paid out, show the resorts cannot be built. Even if financing was available to complete the purchases of individual owners, which it is not.

    Glad you have 100% confidence, but luckily there are still a couple of sites available where people can get other viewpoints, and then make a decision. If they go ahead and invest, then absolutely is their business, but this region will be faced with the fallout when this crashes down as it surely must, hence people are concerned. If you or Ames can explain how the equation can work, then perhaps you should let everyone know so they can stop being concerned and also give an explanation as to how what has happened to date can be considered a success – since Ames started this charade, resorts have been launched, built and operated at a profit before he has put one brick in the ground, whereas all he has to show for 6,500 sales is 150 or so units forming part of a massive loss making resort, and a small inn on a road in St Lucia that he overpaid for and just makes no sense at all.

  38. TL2012

    MR Brown, Dave Ames went on TV in Thailand explaining how he was going to offer a low risk route for people to invest in luxury resorts through Harlequin Property.

    Can you tell us how the highly experienced team of 30-40 experts helped to bring those projects to their low risk conclusion?

    No, I thought not, because it appears that the conclusion was far from low risk and not very pretty.

  39. Terry

    Mr Browne and anonymous can you please take up my case of recovering my deposits of £200 thousand pounds of my total life savings at bb they have of mine. I stupidly believed my unregulated financial advisor without doing my own due diligence. I have now done my own due diligence detailed research and quite frankly stunned that this very clever scam is still been defended. Every investor, barring a few public ones, eg the one featured on BBC rip off program ( a bit of a clue there), is offered refunds in stages over two years minus interest payments paid so far which after 6 years doesn’t leave a lot left. God help you if you paid the deposit a litlle late, you will find most of it gone in penalty clauses if you want a refund. Your are either Harlequin stooges or investors unable to grasp that you have been taken for a ride. I have been there myself and met many scared and devastated people who are looking at having no pension.
    Ames doesn’t care he already has is share and moved it to the caymans. When this scam breaks it will be one of the uk biggest £1 billion +.
    I’m just hoping that my case gets heard in st Vincent before the bubble bursts. As for Browne and anon keep thinking the way you do at least then I am still in with a chance of getting something back.

  40. Anon - reasons unknown

    Terry, I gasped reading that. For what it’s worth, I wish you the very best of luck. I know the stress you’re going through and how this nightmare will have completely taken over your life.

    I am so angry that Harlequin have not been stopped, and cannot believe it is so easy for them to operate apparently legally in the UK by simply being an unregulated scheme. What is the point of the FSA if a firm can merely chose to operate outside the regulations??

    Please look into suing your agent for negligence. He doesn’t have to be an IFA, he has a duty of care as an agent recommending the product to you, and it sounds like he carried out no DD (like all the other agents recommending the investment).

  41. 243

    Terry,if Ames did not have Carter Ruck scouring the internet to sue anyone who told the truth about his group of thieves it would be easier to help you. The advice above is a good start, go after agent or IFA, contact the FSA and whoever you can in authority. Start a website if you have to, that seems to get people paid. The alternative and perhaps option fewer people have tried is to get in touch with a good local lawyer. There are assets in the Caribbean, Blu in st Lucia and Allamanda in Barbados. If your contract has been breached and the contract is in the Caribbean, you could get a caution placed on those assets, meaning they cannot sell them until they have settled what you are owed. You can then proceed to get a judgement and force an asset sale if still not paid. You should contact regional lawyers asap whilst those assets are still there. I am not a lawyer, but have seen this done before.

    Your story is awful, and very sorry to hear you go through this, but it is perpetuated by self interested IFAs and agents who tell complete and utter lies about the products they are selling, as anyone would know who knows the islands, the locations they choose, the way the industry works and the build costs here etc. Sadly, very few people do know that when they buy. There are many people like you and many more who will soon part with their pension money so it is crucial that this is stopped before more people go through the same experience. As for Ames, you said it – he takes his commissions on each sale and is happy, it makes no difference to him if he builds anything. He was not a wealthy man before Harlequin, he has not built anything that does anything other than lose money, so his wealth can only come from your money in commissions that really should have been spent on building what he sold you. His money may be in the Caymans, or St Vincent, but when the UK govt come after him, both governments would freeze his assets and hand him over to the UK authorities in a heartbeat. Brazil might work for him though….

  42. anonymous152

    terry. agree with the above. all financial advisors are regulated ( albeit some of the products e.g overseas, timber, carbon credits etc are not) however if they are a regulated ifa/fs firm you need to make a complaint to them and the fsa if you have been misled/mis-sold. did they carry out a fact find to determine your attitude to risk, provide you with a detailed summary of their recommendations etc. i would suggest that you contact the firm and make a formal complaint if this procedure has not been followed and then follow up with a complaint to the fsa if not satisfactorily resolved.

  43. Terry

    Thanks everybody for your words of support and advice. Every thing you advised is being done although advisor has no money left.
    Just to go back to the guy anon who negotiated a refund, got his penalty for late building and is receiving an income. YOU ARE A LYING HARLEQUIN SCUMBAG. “Investors” if you are reading this do not believe his propaganda. Any late penalty was taken off the final purchase payment at handover. Ames will never do this. Once he signs over any individual plot he no longer owns a large chunks of land that he fully intends to keep for the second part of his scam. That is why his company is “lending ” money to bb. He will be 1st in line creditor when it goes bust.
    All this legal and technical stuff goes out of the window though when you start ripping people off of millions. Its naive to think all of that money was nice clean money from nice people. That is where you get the measure of the man Ames. He doesn’t even care that he is putting his own children, grandchildren etc in the line of fire.

  44. 101

    I hope you have tried local action too – his scam is common knowledge and good lawyers would be happy to help. It must be more than upsetting to see a man like Ames willingly and knowingly lose your savings like that, and I do hope you find a way to stop it from happening.

    It appears you are suggesting that not only does he want to scam commissions from people, but he also wants them to not be able to complete so he can foreclose on them and keep the property that he has built using funds from the many other developments. If that is so, it still would not work, as he will still have all the other commitments to fulfill, and he clearly has misrepresented his products on a massive scale, defrauding thousands of British citizens. there are many aspects of what he has been selling that he can be proven to know were incorrect, and for this the penalty can be severe. He has also sold properties on land he does not own, none of his developments have full planning permission (perhaps BB does now), but it would be very easy to paint a picture of deception in court and so there is no way for him to scam his way out of this when it crashes. Like Madoff, having high profile supporters buys him time and what he believe is legitimacy, but unlike Madoff, these high profile supporters are in a no lose situation, being paid large fees from your money without having to invest.

    Irony is he uses your money to pay Carter Ruck to keep this all from being written about in more wider circles.

    He is the only “developer” to walk with body guards – many far wealthier and more successful and better known businessmen would not even consider this. That tells its own story about Ames, a man who knows nothing about resorts or development, but does know how to prey on the less experienced investor as he has done in Thailand previously.

  45. TL2012

    With around 6500 investors and only around 200 units built (and it being far from clear how many of these have had a clean transfer of title) why don’t a group set up to do a peaceful protest. Call it Occupy Essex.

    I imagine that a group of strategically placed peaceful protestors, a few placards and a BBC film crew would work wonders.

  46. BBaywatch

    Dates for your diary – November 5-8th, World Travel Market at Excel, London. Harlequin, stand CA 500 and Resort Marketing International, stand CA 320.

    There will of course be full media attendance.

  47. Mr Brown

    Anon et al
    In response to your assertions that lies have been told about the Galleon and the marina.
    The Pearl is to undergo a refurbishment after a fire and will then be relocated to her permanent home in beautiful Buccament Bay.
    The marina is obviously behind schedule.However,I have no doubt the”Best marina in the Caribbean” will materialise.
    With regard to Dave Ames venture in Thailand,he obviously came away as conditions were not suitable for his business model.

    The near hysterical un-natural 24/7 obsession of your smear campaigns aimed at SIPP and other investors has little to do with the reputation of the Caribbean as a place to invest.Little to do with investment advice or risk assessment. Its all to do with your green-eyed jealousy of the ever-growing Harlequin success story!!!

    The small number of investors who have been taken in by your negative rantings and seeking a refund will lose out bigtime!!!

    Dave Ames is building a dream. Be part of it !!

    I am not an agent or an IFA. I will be an investor in beautiful Buccament Bay very soon. YIPPEE!!!!

  48. 101

    That would be a time to protest, otherwise it is just Ames and his cronies swanning around pretending to be legitimate hoteliers. I know most hoteliers give him and them a wide berth at these things as they know he is behind a ponzi scheme, but agents do give him time as Buccament Bay is indeed a decent place to go on holiday at the current rates out there, plus he pays them brochure contributions etc as he is using your money and not his.

  49. Adrian Loveridge

    Am I not right in thinking that at the last WTM, their stand was right next to that of the Barbados Tourism Authority.

  50. 112

    Mr Brown, I think your comments are offensive in the extreme to everyone who invested in Harlequin Property (Thailand). Take a look at the interviews with people on the Andrew Drummond website (http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2012/10/harlequin-boss-ordered-to-pay-damages.html) and note that Mr Ames promises that people investing in his resorts in Thailand will see a return on their investment in two years. The interviewer prompts Ames by saying, “so there is no risk for [the investors] at all” and Ames replies, “basically there isn’t”.

    Mr Brown, how could you look the Thailand investors in the eye and tell them, sorry but Harlequin walked away from your project because it didn’t suit their business model??? Never mind that your retirement income depended on the project that was sold as basically no risk at all.

    And, Mr Brown, what if Harlequin decide the Caribbean no longer suits their business model and walk away? Would you be so cavalier about that?

    And another thing, the marina and Pearl galleon that you mention as being “behind schedule”. Would that be the same marina and galleon that Mr Ames refers to in his video of 26 January 2010? When he says that all his technical team are agreed that everything is going to be ready (referring to the June 2010 opening) and everything is on schedule. He then refers to the marina within the context of things that will be ready. We are nearly three years down the line from that video and where is the wonderful marina? Did Harlequin’s team of 30-40 experts get this wrong?

  51. 101

    It is not worth responding to anything Mr Brown says as he clearly is not able to answer any of the issues and glaring failings of Harlequin and obviously works for Harlequin. A true potential investor learning about the factual issues that have been stated here and elsewhere would simply move on or do his own checks. All issues relating to the model that has been highlighted and the mathematical impossibility of his equation due to all his outgoing on commissions etc, plus the state of what is not built yet is all indisputable fact. Mr Brown should perhaps explain to Terry why he has nothing to worry about.

  52. J B

    Mr Brown is just another Harlequin cronie trying to look like an investor. They all mention the “Harlequin business model” and how they are smart enough to understand it. That’s the easiest way to spot them.

    There is no “business model” every one knows that by now. Unless “you give them your life savings – they spend it on houses, holidays, a 5 million dollar ‘loan’ and a Lamborghini” qualifies as a business model.

    Nice to see one court case completed. May there be many, many more.

  53. Terry

    Couple of things don’t make sense about the newspaper article. Ames is not a director of Harlequin Svg (the development company) the company we have contracts with, his wife is. He made sure legally it is nothing to do with him. He is director of the uk marketing/selling company a total different entity. The marketing company took the commission immediately from the initial deposit. Hence he as already got his money. To sue for a refund of your deposit you have to find a st Vincent qualified barrister and take on Harlequin Svg on the island. Although he is all over the celebs and literature he LEGALLY is nothing to with the operation. Clever eh.

    Harlequin Svg basically almost has no money except what it receives from new “investors” each month. It is subsidised. Ames seperate uk company loaned harlequin Svg millions last year. Now if you think harlequin Svg were to go bust which creditor would you guess is going to be first in line to claim money or assets/land etc. clever eh

    The yippee anon that wants to be bb investor I know a few people that would sell you there investments at a discount. :)

    Think about this. Today you can put a deposit down on a property at BB.

    They have been selling units at this resort for 6 years.

    Getting it yet ?

  54. Adrian Loveridge

    Terry,

    You have me a bit confused here. Isn’t David Ames an undischarged bankrupt and therefore cannot be a director of any British registered company. The law may be different for the Cayman Islands, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and where any other companies are registered.

  55. Anon - reasons unknown

    Yes Adrian, my question is the same to Terry.

    Terry, when I carried out D&B searches on the companies some years ago, it was the complete opposite to what you’re saying.

    Dave Ames was the sole director of Harlequin Caribbean Properties Ltd, and his wife and son Dan were directors of the UK company, with Dave being a share holder in the UK company (along with the daughter in Perth). As Adrian says, at that time, he could not be a director of a UK company due to his former bankruptcy. That disqualification may now have been discharged though.

    However, I also discovered the same as you financially in that there was no money in the Caribbean company I researched. Money merely passes through there apparently. Although nobody can tell what the financial arrangements of the Caribbean companies are as they don’t file their accounts. The Caribbean authorities don’t seem too fussed about this. And neither do UK agents recommending the investment.

  56. 112

    The UK company that handles the sales is called Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited and a quick search of Companies House suggests that the directors are still Carol Ames (wife) and Daniel Ames (son)

  57. Anon - reasons unknown

    Yes, that’s as it was when I researched.

  58. 101

    Ames is represented as the Chairman and boss of all things Harlequin, especially the Caribbean resorts. It would not take much for him to be held accountable legally. If there is no finance and the properties are unencumbered as Ames keeps saying, then a lawyer will be able to get a charge on those properties if contractually Ames/Harlequin owes money to an owner. I have seen this done numerous times in the Caribbean and would love to give names of lawyers I know who could do this, but obviously given the nature of Carter Ruck, will not do here.

  59. anonymous113

    @terry. yes the other posters are correct. dave ames is not a director of HMSSE according to latest companies house information. he is a director and shareholder in the various caribbean companies along with several others although as stated previously there is very limited information available re the other overseas companies as little/no accounts submitted. as your contract would be with the overseas company you may have to consider direct action against them for the return of your deposit via a solicitor approved in the region of your contract ( should your contract be overdue and thus enabling you to a refund). it really does depend on where and when you bought and what ” your contract” actually states as over the years i believe the contract has changed / been tweaked and this does not apply to everyone. you should also still consider contacting the fsa/ sfo/ etc to see what your position is. good luck

  60. 138

    Mr Brown, not that you are really worth listening to, but humour us. What is the nature of Harlequin’s success that you refer to? Over 6,000 investors with nothing to show for their “investment”, hotels that are losing money, and therefore no returns for the owners that do have their villas built? Or could it be that wonder of the skies Harlequin Air that investors must be so glad their money has been spent on? Perhaps it is the success of HMSSE’s commissions, which indeed are a success, but not really a benefit to investors. Maybe it is the success of the tennis academy, complete with two whole tennis courts giving free lessons (although no doubt being charged to some owner ledger that will appear at some point, along with the charges for food, tours and Dave Ames’s body guards…) I can see why people would be jealous of this magnificent dream and legacy Ames is creating. Never has a developer been able to create such a legend.

    Imagine – Dave Ames is promising to build hotels for people who have bought villas in them. It is a miracle he is creating. Who else can sell a villa or condo, and actually build it, and then amazingly run it as a hotel with sporting facilities and restaurants! It really is pure genius, and indeed it is some dream!.How people who invested in developments that actually exis, where investors have clear title, and make money, must be jealous of this dream that Ames is creating.

  61. 138

    The retraction of the title story does not change the validity of the content above. A large ponzi scheme is in operation by Ames.

  62. TL2012

    Have we actually established that the title story that started this thread has actually been retracted?

    Sandy has gone quiet and doesn’t seem able to point us to the article. Sandy’s posts can’t even establish which newspaper it is and on what day it was published.

    If it has been retracted I think we should have the article posted up here. BFP can you assist?

  63. BBaywatch

    Seems that the report may have been a little premature, however as -

    ‘Several cases of similar claims are now before the court against the Resort and it’s understood there are some judgements and in others efforts are being made by the company to settle the claims.’

    it cannot be dismissed as irrelevant.

    Meanwhile on Tripadvisor the carefully orchestrated review and response, which has been part of Harlequin’s marketing strategy from the beginning, continues.

    Current themes are a running down of LIAT and puffing of Harlequin Air and support for the Argyle airport (the manager in response opines that it will be open ‘soon’!!!!) There is also a continuing comment that the resort shouldn’t be allowed to become too big. This has been frequently expressed so I’ve a feeling this presages an announcement that there is a change of plan by Harlequin in the offing.

  64. 36

    In response to Terry who called me “A LYING HARLEQUIN SCUMBAG” I would suggest you turn nown the volume. I thought you were interested in a balanced view, but it seems you are just an angry individual. This is my experience and factual. Perhaps your attitude is why you are not getting anywhere?

  65. 138

    I’d be angry too if I had handed over life savings years ago for properties that have not even been started yet and don’t have planning permission, despite the promises that places would be complete years ago never mind started. On what planet is the behaviour by such a developer justifiable?

  66. 36

    I’m not suggesting it is. I object to being called a “LYING HARLEQUIN SCUMBAG” I negotiated the activication of the clauses in my contract. I’m not sure what it achieves from using a forum to just slag off Harlequin. If Terry is not happy then he should get his money back, as I did. I didn’t do it by using deflamatory name calling!

  67. Mr Brown

    Anonymous ( THE SCUMBAG) et al

    You said my previous post was offensive to those people who have lost money in Thailand.These losses occured some time after Dave Ames discontinued his involvement there and are the responsibility of others. i suggest your comments are offensive to Dave Ames. How can you libel an innocent man??? Talk about a witch hunt !!!
    Also , you could not wait to jump the gun in your reporting of the lawsuit against Dave Ames and Harlequin.
    Why do you continue to make a fools of yourselves? Have you no life??

    Thanks,by the way, to Sandy Gear for the truth!!!

  68. 57

    Mr Brown,

    All I said was the following factual information:

    Mr Ames is recorded on video marketing a number of resorts under the banner of Harlequin Property in Thailand.

    On that video Mr Ames declared that these projects represented basically no risk to the investor and that they could expect a return within two years.

    Several people who invested in those resorts are also on video declaring that various things went wrong which either meant that their resort was not built or that the clean transfer of title was not made.

    At some point in the process Harlequin decided to walk away from the projects.

    If there is any factual inaccuracy in the above then please point it out to me and I will gladly and publically retract it and apologise on this forum.

  69. 13

    that video is easily obtainable on the internet. As are videos of him saying in 2009 he has sold 1,200 homes in St Lucia, as well as the marina at BB being almost complete (obviously a lie as it had not started), also going back a couple of years, as well as him saying Merricks and St Lucia will be open in late 2011 (neither have started, other than “show homes” at Merricks. so that too was an obvious lie) Anyone seeing a trend? Can you defend those facts Mr Brown?

  70. Thank You BBWatch ! At least you have found that news article, other people seem to be accusing me of making it up ! Iv been away a few days with no internet access (deceased parent’s house)
    and come back to find much more negativeness,and people critising other innocent parties which is not helpful in any way,shape or form!

  71. 36

    Mr Brown, I think you are getting your “anonymous” posters mixed up. I (the scumbag) poster has not mentioned Thailand. Where has “Terry” gone by the way. Perhaps he’s writing an apology?

  72. Anon - reasons unknown

    Let us stick to the facts.

    1. Harlequin are awaiting judgement in a case in the Caribbean where an investor is seeking a refund which Harlequin have chosen not to pay.
    2. Terry is seeking the refund of his £200K for units which should have been completed and are not.
    3. Other investors are seeking refunds, and Harlequin do not appear to be honouring their contract clauses entitling investors to refunds once completion dates have been passed. Even our anonymous poster defending Harlequin after allegedly obtaining a refund states that this was obtained after negotiations. We have no idea how long these negotiations took, on what terms, and whether there are other business interests between him and Harlequin.
    4. There has been evidence on the internet and on the BBC of Harlequin resisting payment to investors of refunds to which they are entitled for non-delivery of contract terms.
    5. There have been articles in the Investors Chronicle and the Sunday Express which did not end in litigation reporting on Harlequin investors’ seeking refunds unsuccessfully.
    6. Harlequin have yet to file accounts for all companies in the Caribbean since their inception in 2006.
    7. For two years running, Harlequin UK accounts have been published with qualifications as full audits were not possible since it was not clear what had happened to funds, and transactions were not clear and Harlequin were unable to provide sufficient evidence of those transactions and obligations.
    8. Harlequin are suing their previous accountants.
    9. Harlequin attempted to sue DLA Piper for a dispute over fees (let’s face it, Harlequin legal fees must be HUGE!) in the High Court, and applied for a freeze on fees due to be paid until judgement.
    10. Harlequin are extremely litigious and use investors’ money to threaten websites such as TripAdvisor, Property Tribes, Pimlico Flats, Harlecon and private investor websites with Libel to silence any negative comment about them.
    11. Buccament Bay is running at a loss, as advised by Harlequin in press statements where they are reportedly funding the resort. This can only be using investor money.
    12. Harlequin UK reported an 18% growth last year as reported on Rip Off Britain. Their income only comes from investor deposits.
    13. Dave Ames is a former Bankrupt and is disqualified from being a director of any company in the UK. (We’re all safe from him then).
    14. Harlequin promote an unregulated investment, so investors are not protected under the FSA, and that includes SIPP investors.
    15. If the Harlequin bubble bursts, the mortgages secured (and currently being paid by Harlequin) by investors, will be payable by the investors. You have provided the security for those mortgages against your UK assets.
    16. Our anonymous Bucc Bay investor who allegedly successfully obtained a refund claims to also be receiving an income from his Bucc Bay unit(s). His income is being paid using investor deposits. This is therefore a ponzi scheme.

  73. 36

    Anon-reasons unknown. I,m sorry but I strongly object to your comments aimed at me in 3 and 16. This is a forum, if you want to ignor and disbelieve my personal experiences thats fine. Unfortunately you will then only get on here the experiences of bitter and disillusioned investers. I did not “defend” Harlequin I stated the facts. My refund was as per my contract, My income is as per my contract. If people signed up to shit contracts than thats their problem. Have you tried to get any of your contracts activated, if you have any, or are you just a professional collator of information which you then decide to post? Whats your interest in this then?

  74. Anon - reasons unknown

    Hi Anon. Please don’t be sorry, you can object as strongly as you like to two of my 16 points.

    I take it you are offended at my use of the word ‘alleged’? You’re clearly not employed in the legal profession! I qualified my references to your story with that word since the only proof I have of your refund is your anonymous posts on an internet forum. Of course I couldn’t rely on those as evidence, so I’m correctly clarifying your report as alleged.

    I’m not at liberty to discuss my interest in Harlequin with you. But if you look back at my previous posts, you’ll note they are informed, accurate and that my aim is to help investors who are having trouble obtaining refunds to which they’re entitled; and that I would strongly encourage anyone considering investing in Harlequin to carry out thorough DD. In that respect, I’m extremely happy to have Sandy’s, Mr. Brown’s and your contributions to this thread on behalf on Harlequin.

  75. 138

    I don’t doubt what you are saying about getting the refund but anon-reasons unknown is correct in saying that if you are getting an income, then this is a ponzi scheme as the operation itself is not making those returns, it is new investor money. Perhaps Ames is paying that income with commissions, but again ths depends on new salesi This is not your fault of course, and great that you go the refund.

    Other facts that could be added to anon-reasons unkinown are:

    17. 6,500 sales to date (Harlequin information), less than 200 built in one location and none of the other locations have started building. Over 1000 homes sold in St Lucia as of 3 years ago, and none have started construction, Merricks sold out years ago, only a handful of show homes started, no homes started in the DR.
    18. Harlequin launched a sales program in Grenada when they did not own any land there. That “project” was quickly shelved.
    19. Harlequin do not have full planning on their developments despite selling them for years.
    20. Harlerquin sold Blu St Lucia based on a massive refurb a year after opening, and after a soft redecoration. Also sold on a US$750 per night rate. You can now stay there for US$100 per night (all-inclusive) and they have cancelled the refurb promised. The resort remains virtually empty at all times.
    21. Ames in on the internet making claims that at the time of saying them he must have known were not possible and therefore misleading, including saying a marina was almost complete that had not even started, and that Merricks and Marquis would be open late 2011, when they also had not even started (and still have not)
    22. As a result of these additional facts, one could deduce that this is a very high risk investment at best, and Harlequin have a track record of being dishonest or wildly naive – either way, not a firm to put pension money into.

    Again, glad anonymous got out of it and is getting money, but would be interesting to see what Harlequin staff (e.g. Mr Brown) thinks of these facts. They are all irrefutable, because either Harlequin themselves have stated them, or they are there for the eyes to see.

  76. Anon - reasons unknown

    Regarding my point 5, links to the stories (for the purpose of DD):

    Investors Chronicle, September 2010
    http://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/2011/11/11/comment/property-matters/the-risks-of-getting-burnt-abroad-2CuEEn8SS5Hb5cmbz9ylHI/article.html

    Express, January 2010http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/154474/Recession-2010-When-hotspots-turn-cold

  77. Anon - reasons unknown

    Sorry, inserting a space before the second link:

    Express, January 2010
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/154474/Recession-2010-When-hotspots-turn-cold

  78. Anon - reasons unknown

    The risks of financing your place in the sun

    The setting may be picturesque, but the financial structure behind foreign property transactions is often precarious, with smitten investors choosing high-risk strategies to secure their dream property.
    For ease of reference, since the Investor Chronicle article is quite long (although I do recommend overseas property investors read the full article), I’ve copied the relevant Harlequin paragraphs as follows:

    This is dated 09 September 2010.
    Take the case of Essex-based Harlequin Property. Promising to “make the Caribbean affordable”, many buyers attracted to its off-plan resort developments on the islands have taken the financial route outlined on its website.

    After paying a £1,000 reservation fee, a deposit of 30 per cent of the purchase price is required. The “100% Finance Example” detailed on Harlequin’s website suggests purchasers could remortgage their UK property to raise this. Furthermore, Harlequin even offers to pay the additional interest on UK mortgage repayments until the Caribbean property is completed.

    According to the developer’s example (which is subject to the usual small-print disclaimers) assuming the value of the Caribbean property has risen by more than 50 per cent by the time of completion, investors will be able to get a mortgage to cover the balance, plus repay the rolled up interest repayments on their UK mortgage. There is no discussion of how the investment might be funded if the price rises fail to materialise, or conditions in the mortgage market tighten.

    As Harlequin has yet to complete a development, this strategy has yet to be tested. However, unforeseen delays with the construction of Harlequin’s Merricks development in Barbados have caused some off-plan investors to try and back out of deals they originally signed up to.

    A group of dissatisfied investors on the Merricks scheme are seeking to pursue a legal case against the developer, and have instructed barrister Stuart Kennedy of 3PB chambers to act on their behalf. They are seeking refunds of deposit monies where completion dates in contracts have not been achieved.

    In a statement released to Investors Chronicle this week, Harlequin claims it has “no knowledge of any impending legal action”. However, the company says it is “well aware of the fact that we are behind schedule with some of our developments, and that some of the contracts have passed their completion dates”. Progress on obtaining planning permission continues.

    “While most of our purchasers are happy to waive their right to cancel, a small number have requested a refund,” the company says. “We have no intention of refusing this although, as a result of our launch event last month, we are catching up with a few of the outstanding requests. A number of the purchasers have openly stated they are only requesting refunds due to their own financial difficulties and not the late completion. All refund requests will be considered sympathetically.”

    Those investors who have received mortgage interest payments from Harlequin will still have to repay this debt in full upon cancellation of their contracts.

    When pressed about the high-risk nature of its “100% finance” example, Harlequin responded: “Purchasers make their own decisions as to whether they wish to finance the deposit by way of a loan, or using their own funds… Neither we nor our primary agent in the UK offer financial advice as we are not authorised to do so by the FSA… Our guidelines recommend that purchasers seek financial advice to ensure they are aware of any risks involved with secured borrowing before they make a commitment.”

    The developer is still hopeful that capital appreciation of properties under development will occur. “We anticipate an increase in value due to the fact that the economic history of the Caribbean islands suggests that property values tend to increase steadily over a period of time… we always suggest that our purchasers carry out their own due diligence to satisfy themselves that they are happy to proceed with the investment.”

    Harlequin says that it is “in discussions with a number of lenders” who are interested in offering mortgage finance to purchasers upon completion, adding: “We are so confident that we will be able to successfully assist our purchasers to secure finance [to complete Caribbean purchases] that we have written to all of our agents to advise that in the event that purchasers are in breach of contract for failing to complete, we will not chase their UK assets.”

    For certain investors, though, the Caribbean may not be as affordable as it first appeared.

  79. Anon - reasons unknown

    Unfortunately I’m not able to edit posts here, clearly!

    This is taken from my post above and should be at the beginning of the post (hope that makes sense, and I would appreciate it if BFP could edit accordingly):

    For ease of reference, since the Investor Chronicle article is quite long (although I do recommend overseas property investors read the full article), I’ve copied the relevant Harlequin paragraphs as follows:

    This is dated 09 September 2010.

  80. 36

    To Anon, yes you are right I am not familiar with the legal profession. I object to the inference of “other business interests” with Harlequin. The more I read of your position “I am not at liberty to discuss my interest in Harlequin with you” the more I think you are just a Troll. Allegedly!

  81. Mr Brown

    Anon et al

    Anonymous,In reference to your comment about Dave ames and the andrew Drummond video.Not one of the people who claimed to have lost money refer to Dave ames.You have not one shred of evidence to make any claim of malpractice.You are finding Dave Ames guilty by assocIation. This has no value in law.Dont you know a person is innocent untill proven guilty.I do not require anapology from you,Dave Ames does.
    Dave Ames is not the first person .or the last,to turn away from an unsuccessful business venture to subsequently enjoy huge success in another.Stop trying to blemish his reputation as a highly successful businessman.

    Watch this space.More to follow.

  82. BBaywatch

    Sandy Gear – you seem to have interpreted the retraction as a complete denial of the events reported. As I pointed out, the announcement may have been premature but that does not mean that the outcome of the action once completed will be different. A counterclaim has been made which will delay the judgement but it might well go in favour of the lady mentioned. As has also been accurately reported it is not the only claim against the company so clearly this is an ongoing issue.

    Mr Brown, I do believe that you are getting desperate!

  83. 13

    Mr Brown does not talk any sense at all, and ignores all the glaring issues and questions asked. Can someone other than Mr Brown, who clearly wears blinkers, advise as to what has been successful about Harlequin given all its failings and inability to do the most basic thing, which is build what is sold? They have failed in all its promises (that are still on the internet) and only has operations that lose money hand over fist and has built up the largest liability seen by any development company in the Caribbean (been born and raised and living in the Caribbean, it is a fact that this is the larges liability ever created by a developer here) They owe over 6,000 homes to people – they are in a hole of well over US$1bn and has not shown he has any money to bail himself out, other than taking in more pension money. Again, how is that successful?

  84. waw.

    Baywatch. I can well understand Mr Brown being desparate.Desparate to go to the fabulous Buccament bay resort with all the luxury it has to offer. Lets hope Mr Brown can get ticket for the historic inaugural flight into Argyle international Airport itself a dream come true for so many. Hooray for Buccament bay and the Argyle international airport, partners in Prosperity.

  85. 138

    People getting confused by buccament bay, which is quite nice, and Dave ames’s very obvious ponzi scheme. Fool and his money, learn the lesson. He’ll be in jail one day, but that won’t bring your money back.

  86. yatiniteasy

    “Sandy Gear” has already been exposed as a liar on a previous post when she/he declared that he/she had viewed a video of the completed resort in St Lucia, and almost completed resort in Barbados.So we can simply ignore anything from this probable Harlequin operative as being untrue.

  87. anonymous6

    please keep to facts. i do not believe the business model of harlequin can work without 3rd party funding and i have made various comments to this effect and to let know future/previous investors the real concerns regarding planning/ costings issues etc etc . however you cannot call “sandy gear”a liar. they said that they had been shown this from their advisor and they may well have had some literature/pictures spiel that convinced them that their advisor was telling them the truth ( so they may have been in the dark regarding the actual current progress of each resort.) do not think it is constructive for anyone to resort to personal attacks. just keep to the facts that are clearly available for all to follow up doing their own DD if they should wish to do so.

  88. 138

    I am afraid that the model cannot work even with third party financing, and that is why banks are not lending to him. Banks here are lending to developments that make sense, but not ones that show there is no way for the loan to be serviced. The commingling of funds to date make it a very unclear business and very hard to audit with deposits for example for a home in the dom rep being used to buy a plane, or fund hotel losses or build a home in st Vincent. Most of those deposits are now gone. If for example all the deposits for marquis estate had been kept in a separate account, escrowed, then a bank could see that there are x number of sales and a balance owing on these of y, and could then loan y. They could also loan against what sales may happen in the future if the business is looking strong. They would need security also of either assets and/or personal guarantees from directors. Ames has no strong history and his personal guarantee would not be accepted, but perhaps the land at Marquis would be good security. The problem also is that even if the deposits were there, harlequin’s agents and ifa’s are paid one third of those (10 per cent of price) and ames takes 10 per cent too for himself,leaving just a 10 per cent deposit. A bank is unlikely to loan against that these days. Build costs are not cheap, at least $200 per square foot for decent quality. Also, at marquis the infrastructure the hotel would need would cost tens of millions. It is a big risk when there are already bad debts out there for most of them, and lower risk options around. (I am just sticking to facts – I am afraid senior banking circles have expressed their concerns about the nature of harlequin’s scheme and the ponzi allegations, but won’t suggest these affect things for the purposes of looking at the model for due diligence purposes)

    Alas, the deposits are not kept separate anyway, spent on all sorts so financing is not really an option. Even if though a bank did somehow take such a massive risk, and even if they started building now, phase one at best would be open in 2 years. The operating costs of a hotel as planned would be very high. Hotels tend to lose a lot of money early on even if in a prime location. This location in st Lucia is not prime (and nor is the one in Barbados, and dom rep area is having a very tough time) is east coast and has a terrible and tiny beach. Buccament bay lost $1m per month according to harlequin. Marquis would lose about the same. Again, a bank would look at that too, and due to comingling of funds would be worried about deposits being used to fund those losse rather than pay the bank back. Of course, Ames needs those deposits to fund legal battles, harlequin air and whatever else, and the bank would be very strict on what the deposits get used for, which is another reason no financing has been forthcoming. It really is a no go area for banks. But, even if they did lend, the invstor would still have no income for at least 5 years as two years to build and at least three to get the resort breaking even. With all their cost
    s and now decision to make the resorts all inclusive, the net room rate will be so low, the return will be negligible for a very long time.

    Harlequin also sell on rising prices, indefinitely. The suites do not have kitchens so are worthless as standalone homes, and their prices are dependent entirely on the resort operation. So there is no guarantee of rising prices. The villas have kitchens but again the locations are not prime , and of course property market has dropped heavily, so this is not really a god reason to buy off plan. Better to buy existing property, and that is the general trend now.

    So, for banks it is too high risk, and for investors a very high risk. This is all assuming ames is going to try his best and is not running a ponzi scheme as alleged. If he is then of course the investment is more than risky, it is throwing money away, but let’s assume he is a genuine developer. Harlequin does not make sense as an investment. Good luck though to those who have invested,would be nice to see it work.

  89. 46

    The whole business model essentially collapsed when it was realised they wouldn’t be able to get the end mortgages. There is nowhere to go from here, the model fails and eventually everybody will lose out apart from Ames and the agents. It’s really a shame as the company may have been successful if it had attempted this strategy on a much smaller scale and built up from there. The real danger now is that they just keep selling to stay afloat and take more hard earned pensions in the process.

    For current investors unless your property is built and you have legal title I would recommend that you try to get your deposit back. If this company were legitimate in anyway they would stop selling and try to consolidate what they have against the liabilities to investors. I would assume this won’t be enough to satisfy all their commitments but its possible they could return a potion of the deposits where property will never be built.

    I really feel for all those people that were taken in with is and will lose their savings. Schemes like this should not be able to continue in the UK unregulated. IFAs that recommended this product to their clients as low risk are probably the worse offenders here.

    My theory is this company will keep selling until they collapse and will then blame something or someone for their downfall. The authorities will have to stop this at some point. Hats off the BFP for being the only online blog brave enough to allow comment on their activities. Without this website more people would have potentially been taken in by the scheme.

  90. anonymous6

    138- totally agree- i have tried over the last few years to get as much info out as possible regarding how this cannot possibly work on the scale and commitments/ infastructure costs etc .unfortunately most of online site have been closed. just saying that “sandy gear” may be a genuine investor and may be being misled regarding the true state of affairs.

  91. TL2012

    In relation to bridging the funding gap for investors who need finance to complete the purchase of their unit, am I right to recall that Harlequin announced a relationship with Caldora earlier this year?

    Looking on the Caldora website I can see something called their Harlequin fund. Is this supposed to be the source of third party finance? I’m not sure how it is supposed to work. It’s not clear if the Caldora Harlequin fund has been set up to invest in Harlequin resorts (ie I’m a punter off the street with no interest in investing directly in a resort but will put money into the Caldora fund to get some defined return)? Or is it that Harlequin investors have had their money put into the Caldora Harlequin fund?

    It’s far from clear how this source of finance (if indeed it is a source) can be an alternative to bank finance for completion mortgages.

  92. BBaywatch

    TL2012 – Caldora -mmm looks like this one came out of the same bottle, see

    http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2012/10/updating-some-of-thailands-re-invented.html

  93. BBaywatch

    re the various comments accurately analysing the inherent problems with the Harlequin business model and lack of third party finance – probably the only question left to ask is at what point did Ames/Harlequin board realise that it didn’t work? (and why didn’t he do anything about it but kept on selling?) Being generous one could say that he wasn’t the only one to fail to predict the consequences of the banking crash – after all several governments managed to get it spectacularly wrong as well.

    However, when viewed against the actions and history of Harlequin I’m not inclined to give that that suggestion much credence. I think that the first point on the timeline that needs considering is the move from the Thai market to the Caribbean. At that time I do believe that Harlequin were intending to build homes, the UK overseas property boom was still being fuelled by programmes like A Place in the Sun and credit for property related investments was relatively easily obtainable. When coupled with what seemed like very low initial payments the attractions were obvious to the inexperienced.

    Another factor was the restrictions on ownership in the Thai market which made it more difficult to promote home ownership. Ames might also have come to realise just how dubious his partners were so a new start beckoned.

    This confusion around HP selling homes or investments continues with many still referring to ‘homes’ at Buccament Bay which is clearly completely inaccurate.

    The second point comes with the emergence of fractional ownership development funding, which has been very successful in the hands of experienced UK developers and Caribbean hoteliers. Ames has been quick to ape his rivals success but unable to achieve the completed products with his own developments, largely I suspect because of inexperience. He priced his investments far to low trying to catch the investor with smaller pots to spend and general inexperience of the market but without the end financing in place he was inevitably bound to fail.

    The along came the credit crunch and it is at this point that you have to wonder what the motives for continuing were – trying to make ends meet with more sales or something more sinister? On the one hand he seemed like any other person in a credit crisis juggling his credit cards, desperately fending off creditors and trying to put a brave face on it – or was this the point at which deception crept in?

    Probably all academic now and only the courts will finally decide and untangling this mess will be quite a task.

  94. TL2012

    I suspect that even had the banking crash not happened it would have been hard to source third party funding given the lack of audited accounts filed in the public domain in the Caribbean and the auditors qualifications in the HMSSE accounts.

  95. 138

    138 here, @ anonymous, I also agree sandy gear may well be an investor who was duped into thinking this was low risk. I recall very clearly some 7 or so years ago when I was alerted to the buccament bay model and sales pitch. Having been involved with a lot of resort development throughout the Caribbean, the model did not seem to add up back then, even with just one resort. St Vincent, though beautiful, would be a tough place to run a profitable, large resort given airlift and infrastructure challenges (although delighted at the prospect of growth for the island). The prices the room inventory was being sold at were very low, and the promises seemed too high to be real – 10 per cent guaranteed returns, then more in revenue sharing, the time frames of opening etc. Back then, many I am afraid laughed it off as a scam, rightly or wrongly. It came along at a time when many resorts were being built and sold in the caribben, and none were anywhere near as cheap nor offered such returns, but these other projects were being run by experienced resort developers and they are all built and open now. Also, buccament bay was in a much more challenging place than others being developed, so the development community back then had to think that the people behind harlequin were either very inexperienced or were scamming people.

    Then they began selling Marquis estate and merricks, on a similar basis, and the view was cemented by very many in the Caribbean that this was a scam. This was now going back 5 years. I say all this as a brief background given the above questions over when this went awry for harlequin. Here in the Caribbean, many felt it started that way, but I agree it would seem that it stood more chance of legitimately working if they had stuck to one resort, and financing would have been an option. The caldron fund was an effort at raising finance for harlequin, that fund really was the same group mr ames had been previously involved with and the model behind that fund was even more risky than harlequin as the fund was looking to make its returns by loaning/investing in harlequin and we be as exposed to the lack of profits and ongoing losses. There is very unlikely to be any institutional financing, so it was an effort to raise to raise funds that petered out.

    Now it would seem the liabilities are so huge and the hole too big, they are flailing to keep selling, keep paying the celebrity endorsers to keep the funds coming in. I am aware suppliers on the ground still find it very hard to get paid, but that does not necessarily mean a huge amount, other resorts operate that way. To stay alive though, it would appear, looking at the model, that without the financing, a drying up of sales could put them under an unsustainable financial bind. As others have pointed out, mr ames has collected commissions and reported profits in his uk company (in his family’s name) and so he has ensured he is in good shape, when his clients are not so insulated. I think it is this that really adds fuel to the
    sinister theories as you do then go from naive developer to something a lot more devious. It would of course ease many people’s concerns if harlequin were able to show they have the funding in place, or be open about how losses are being covered and returns paid. I would love to see the many doubters proved wrong of course as the alternative is fairly dire.

  96. Anonymous

    I should correct a statement I made above – not all the resorts being sold and developed back in 2005 are complete and open – some did get caught in the crash and either were opened but not entirely finished, or did not even get far enough to open. Some of those were also managed by inexperienced developers, and one or two just were unlucky. Many did succeed though, but again the price points were much higher and returns promised nowhere near what buccament bay was advertising.

  97. sandragear88327@aol.com

    Harlequin statement attached, sure this will attract many many more comments !! this is what that have sent me in response to my expressing my worries about our investment… i can assure you all i am just an ordinary ‘housewife’ who’s husband is ‘into’ schemes in the hope of giving us a comfortable retirement.

  98. TL2012

    Can’t see an attachment Sandra

  99. oh damn, i dont know why i cant forward attachments to this page ! ( technophobe,unfortunately) anyway,it was the ‘official’ harlequin response to defamation ,including who is being sued for libel. Every investor can pick one up,so maybe one of the ‘disgruntled’ from her can get it and post it properly…

  100. Barbados no more

    Interesting article re SVG and their new airport coming on line in 2013….also stating BB resort and extolling how nice it all is…the Liverpool football acadamey…the tennis school etc etc…even a chance to holiday with special discount etc

    all sounds very nice

  101. Barbados no more

    Oops forgot to say in previous post…in Mail on sunday newspaper in the UK

  102. 138

    I think that reports of how nice buccament bay is are a smokescreen to the fundamental unworkability of the harlequin model. Buccament bay may well be lovely and liverpool academy a nice touch, but it does not explain away the 6000 plus unbuilt homes, the funding of the losses and the general impossibility of the maths as have been outlined here. Even if there were no pending law suits, anyone doing their due diligence would have to see that the workability of it all does not add up, or is massive risk at very best with no possible positive outcome for many years. It is very hard to see why a property investor would go near this.

  103. 36

    To “Barbados no more” the article was in Saturday’s Mail, not Sundays. Also the article mainly was about St Vincent to promote tourism, BB was only mentioned late in the article.
    Also where has “terry” gone? He still owes me an apology!

  104. yatiniteasy

    I find it interesting that Tingo, a Trip advisor Company, can offer me today, a 1 bedroom garden villa for two people, from Nov 9th to 16th at $683 per night, while all other booking sites such as Orbitz and Booking.com offer the same room at $1365 per night. Why and how can Tingo offer a 50% discount? Could it be that the glowing 5 star reports on Trip Advisor (usually from people with only one post on their profile) are really nothing more than a promotional gimmick?Just a thought.

    If we take $683 per night, less commission of say 10%, that leaves $614.70 per night, for two people, with all food, drinks, watersports etc…how can they make a profit at such low rates?

  105. BBaywatch

    I don’t think that there is any doubt at all that Harlequin are using TripAdvisor reviews as part of their marketing campaign. Although there are currently about 230 reviews on line don’t forget that TA has previously deleted something like 200 reviews.

    The reviews posted seem to follow patterns – any negative review is immediately followed by enough positive ones to move the negative one off the top page of TA, so that it doesn’t show in the links on Virgin or Kuoni.

    Promotion of the opening of the restaurants or other facilities is heavily puffedin advance and currently there is a concerted effort to run down LIAT, no doubt in advance of the commencement of Harlequin Air (at last!). It will be interesting to see Harlequin Air’s pricing.

    Local opinion regarding the opening of the new international airport at Argyle varies between ‘not for two years’ to ‘never happen’. Even with the facilities built there remain major issues regarding the runway orientation and the lack of interest from carriers in servicing the airport.

    Bizarrely investors seem to be sticking their fingers in their ears and covering their eyes even in the face of the comprehensive dissection of the Harlequin business model as reported in this thread.

    Sandy Gear – all you have to do is copy the URL (that’s the address that starts www in your toolbar and paste it into your comment here and then we can all read it) – and I really wouldn’t reveal your own email address, you are asking for trouble from spambots.

  106. 138

    Yatiniteasy, it is possible to make money on that rate. Sandals offer rates lower than that, as do other decent all-inclusives, but the break even comes at between 70 to 80 per cent occupancy. Any level below that leads to heavy loss making, and these are resorts run by caribbean experts who know their business inside out and run a very smooth machine. Buccament bay has a paying occupancy in the 30 s of per cent, a stat gained from on site harlequin staff, not from the pr machine. Also, sandals and others do not have to pay celebs whatever they charge for their services, nor do they have to deal with ongoing construction. Nor harlequin air, Carter ruck, and financing investor loans. Furthermore, they do not have to share the net room rate with anyone, such as investors like bucc bay. The challenge is immense to make any returns, and there will be more years of heavy losses yet, and again anyone investing has to know how those losses are being funded. I would guesstimate harlequin have to get a rate of us$1k and operate in the 80s per cent to be able to pay any money to their investors (much will depend on how they account for the food and beverage component, free tours and spa treatments etc. Perhaps anonymous, who is getting a return, can advise on how they report that in the statements they send along with the income being paid out) Now, their other resorts have not even started building, and so the matter of rates and operation are problems they won’t have to deal with for years, the issue of constructing those are even bigger – again all pointing to an investment that simply is non sensical unless you really have money to burn.

  107. B Baywatch. Where do you get your information about the airlines showing no interet in serving the New Argyle international Airport in st Vincent? Admit you are lying, why.do you continue with this sad Desparate behaviour? I travelled to st Vincent September had a nine hour wait in Barbados. Longer than it took to fly from Gatwick. Yet more frustration on return journey. Liat have only them selves to blame.for adverse publicity.
    Cant wait for harliquine air for stress free transfers

  108. TL2012

    I dont this Harlequin Air will solve the lengthy transfer problems at peak times.

    Roughly 20% of Buccament Bay accommodation units are built which means at peak capacity there could currently be 600 guests staying there.

    Assuming 25% of these arrive and leave on Saturday this would mean 150 passenger transfers.

    I believe that the 2 Harlequin planes can take 9 passengers each (am I correct?).

    Both planes would have to fly 9 non-stop return flights just to transfer all the passengers. Whoever was unfortunate enough to be on the last plane would probably have wasted the whole day.

    Now scale this up to all the units being completed and the problem multiplies by 5. If the international airport is complete by that time the problem goes away but if anything stops that project in its tracks then the scaling of BB begins to look very doubtful. This is another example of where the investors return depends on a sequence of uncorrelated outcomes all coming good. The trouble with probabilities is that they multiply and start to make my investment look ever more risky – if one outcome in the chain of necessary events fails then so does my investment.

  109. TL2012

    At the risk of teaching grandmothers to suck eggs I thought I’d give an example of risks multiplying for investments.

    Let’s imagine putting following percentage probabilities against each of these outcomes. This is always a case of educated guesswork and different people might assign different probabilities. The following are just examples and may not accurately represent the actual risks.

    Outcome 1 – Deceloper remains in business long enough for me receive clean title of my unit – probability 90%

    Outcome 2 – resort is completed on budget – probability 80%

    Outcome 3 – international airport complete and operational – probability 70%

    Outcome 4 – occupancy rate assumptions are valid – probability 80%

    Outcome 5 – room rate assumptions valid – probability 80%

    Outcome 6 – completion finance is available – probability 70%

    None of these percentages look like scaremongering and some might even call them generous. The problem is that I lose some or all of my investment unless all these work out ok. But probabilities multiply so the probability of my investment coming good is:

    90% x 80% x 80% x 70% x 80% x 70%

    Which works out at less than 23%. So the odds have hugely gone against me. This is why track record of a developer is so important because if they have proved they can manage the ups and downs of construction and resort operation successfully before you might feel that you can increase each of the above percentages.

  110. BBaywatch

    waw – I believe that it is generally accepted that being called a liar by an active troll is usually a sign that your statement is correct – so I’ll take that as a compliment (and I know my sources!).

    Having flown with LIAT for over twenty years I’m not their biggest fan and it is true that the service has suffered in some areas. However don’t forget that LIAT class 35% of their operation as social – ie uneconomic routes. Being government sponsored they also have a purpose to serve the people and nations of the region and not just the interests of holidaymakers. They also had to pick up the pieces of Allen Stanford’s abortive foray into Caribbean air transport (am I seeing this about to be repeated?)

    As TL2012 has correctly pointed out Harlequin Air will not be able to provide a better service overall as they don’t have the capacity (but I bet there will be a premium system so that those who pay get to go first – not one to miss a trick Mr Ames)

    Rather than put the blame with LIAT you might direct your ire at the developers who were so inexperienced that they built in the wrong place at the wrong time and then mislead everyone with their marketing and advertising.

  111. 36

    To BB Watch, you still did not answer the question regarding airlines showing no interest in the new airport. You have proof of this?
    To 138, regarding rental returns, I am being paid as per my contract which does not need to specify any deductions. You assume there are deductions.

  112. L2012.oh come on naw you cannot be. Serious as think that a two 9 seater aircraft Will transfer all the buccament bay guests. Harliquine Will purchase more aircraft to meet their ever growing demand.bBaywatch if i pay top dollar for Liat to transfer me to st Vincent i expect them to keep to their own timetable. Your backward comments about the successful genuine developer of buccamentbay shows Haw stupid you are. Stop posting nonsense.

  113. yatiniteasy

    @waw. Where are the Harlequin Planes?What are they? (Capacity etc) Has Harlequin Air even filed for operation license to fly from St Lucia or Barbados to St Vincent? St Vincent is OK with granting landing rights, as Mr Gonsalves is reportedly involved with Mr Ames and Harlequin,and Mr Ames is now a citizen of St Vincent. But what are the FACTS? Planes ready since March 2012 in Antigua? NO aviation rights. No maintenance for the “fleet”.
    When this whole affair is over, the story and characters involved would make for a great book and movie.

  114. 138

    @anonymous, thanks for clarification. If there are no deductions for the all inclusive costs, and the extras, it surely follows there is further strain on cashflow of the developer. The cash has to come from somewhere to pay for all these items, and harlequin themselves have said the resort loses a lot of money. Who is providing the funding for that, and I wonder what the statement says when the income is being paid out? Most resorts provide financial statements for investors when operating a rental pool. With that said, I don’t know your contract, so perhaps they are honoring it and providing you with the information as required.

    I have flown liat for well over 30 years. It is very expensive these days, and whilst still not totally reliable, I think has been a little better of late. Waw, with what money will harlequin buy more planes? If their hotel operations are losing money, and there is no financing, then where is the cash coming from to buy more? You could well be right, but with for example homes not yet started that sold 6 years ago, would it be responsible to keep diverting funds away from their construction?

  115. 17

    The contract I was asked to consider made provision for a flat 10% return for the first two years of operation and a 50% net room rate share thereafter. The latter was marketed as a very much better return and it was supposed to reflect the fact that the resort would be established after two years and able to offer the higher return.

    My problem with the contract was that nobody could give me a cast iron definition of “net room rate”. I was given no clarity or insight into which operational costs would be taken off the gross room rate prior to it being split 50:50 between the resort and the investor. Equally, nobody could supply me with the contract that I would ultimately have to sign with the resort operator. This left me totally exposed to a risk that I couldn’t mitigate.

    I could have been handed a contract which said that all the maintenance, cleaning, gardening, upgrades, IT, staff, catering, sports facilities, marina… costs could be itemised and removed before the 50:50 split happened. Under these circumstances it was anyone’s guess how much I might be left with as an investor.

    And, if it did turn out to be a poor contract for the investor where could I go from there? I couldn’t say no and rent out the unit independently of the resort. Also, the unit would become pretty worthless as a capital asset under those circumstances. After all, who would want to pay to buy a unit if the return was poor even on the pre-launch price?

  116. 13

    Not sure if the above is from the same anonymous who has actually invested. It is a shame we cannot talk under fixed names due to the Carter Ruck threat as investors could really benefit from on the ground due diligence and decide from there. There is a concern about a 10% guaranteed return. Many develpoers have offered this, and a lot of those never were able to pay them. The theory is that they will use the sales proceeds to pay those guarantees, but that is assuming a construction profit. Without a constrution profit, there is no way to pay those guarantees and complete the build, unless more money is invested because it is felt that that can be ultimately recouped from the developer’s share of the resort operation. I have seen this many times. With Buccament Bay, there can be no construction profit as yet, because the financing has not been there to complete the purchase of the majority of the homes, and more importantly, the costs to build outweigh the gross revenues to date. The resort operation itself is losing money in a big way according to Harlequin. So, the guarantees must be coming from either sales revenues for homes sold at Buccament Bay, or from sales revenues on the as yet unstarted developments. Either way, there will be a shortfall in revenues to build Buccament Bay or a shortfall in monies available for the unstarted developments. Of course, you add to the guarantees all the other costs that were never part of the initial development plan – Harlequin Air, Carter Ruck, self financing, yet new resorts, funding operational losses (staff and trades at Blu say the place has been virtually empty since it opened – they also report not getting paid on time) and once again it does not add up to an investment that makes sense. As mentioned above, money really starts leaking when you have to operate a resort, and if the rental agreements are not crystal clear, as is suggested above, an investment into Harlequin really is not only illogical, it just is not clear what you are really getting into to even come to any conclusion other than that there is not enough information on which to enter into an agreement with them.

  117. 36

    I seem to have been given the no 36, so this “anonymous” will now use 36 as his tag. It’s strange how posters disappear when challenged. Terry, and BBaywatch.

  118. Yatiniiteasy. The consultant employed to oversee the full certification of harliquinair has stated, that he expects to have this work completed by the end of 2012, if not before, I am not privy to the purchasing strategies of harliquine air as to Haw many aircraft,Will be operating or their capacities we Will have to wait and see, by the way, harliquine air does have a maintenance team in place. Tell me Yatiniiteasy are you member of the green – eyed. Desparados club.???

  119. 13

    This anonymous poster is the one who has given his personal view on the investment potential without using emotive language (flown liat over 30 years) and would be happy to be wrong in my postings, but being based in the Caribbean there is a strong degree of accuracy in the assumptions. I can also say I know the maintenance team of Harlequin planes, and can verify they are in very good shape, and of course have seen them several times. the issue remains about the wisdom in investing in more planes before building or starting to build other commitments. If the international airport is coming on stream, then would not seem worthwhile. Furthermore, if they want to offer private transfers, it would be simpler to add that charge onto the price of the holiday and charter SVG air for example, for those that want to pay for that extra ease of arrival or travel between resorts. Of course, that is their decision to make. My point is simply that all these extra outgoings from Harlequin just do not add up to a good investment in a greenfield/off plan hotel room or villa when there already appears to be such an ongoing delay in fulfilling long outstanding commitments. All these new little resorts, and airlines, were never part of what was being sold and presented initially and whenever the goal posts are moved when making investments, that would be a concern and with that knowledge and given all the information that is available, this investment has too much potential to fail completely and I would lose all my investment. Others may take a different view.

  120. BBaywatch

    ‘Harliquine Will purchase more aircraft to meet their ever growing demand.’

    Oh that’s a good one! How on earth will Harlequin be able to purchase larger aircraft when they admit that the resort needs a $1m cash injection each month? And bear in mind that the LIAT Dash 8′s have only 50 pax capacity and are just about the largest aircraft that can land at ET Joshua Airport, so even if by some miracle Harlequin managed to buy one it still wouldn’t be big enough to practically service transfers from international airports if the resort reaches even 75% completion.

    Do you people do no research and just believe whatever you are told?

    In this thread alone there are a large number of posts that demonstrate the potential risks in every aspect of the Harlequin business and together with similarly well argued posts on other sites there is now a considerable body of opinion suggesting that extreme care should be exercised by anyone contemplating investment in this very high risk business.

  121. waw,you are right, when we went to bucc.bay for 2 weeks, which was fab. the flights (independantly arranged) were such a pain- as we arrived in barbados in morning,but couldnt get on to st.vincent til end of the day..and you cannot leave your luggage at the airport, so you have to lug it about wherever you decide to go in the intervening time. exactly the same in reverse! -spending a lot on taxis to take us + the luggage somewhere nice whilst waiting. So the use of harlequin Air will make the whole experience so much better…there arent ever all that many people at once wanting the St.Vincent transfer,so im sure 9 journeys will not be necessary-remember people are arriving on different flights all the time,so it’ll be great being able to move on a few at a time.
    Iv said I wont go back til that is happening,so I do hope it’ll be soon, as very keen to return !

  122. 36

    BBaywatch: Ok we understand you think Harlequin is a bad investment. Now change the record and answer a straight question for once. Where is your evidence that international airlines are showing no interest in the new airport?

  123. BBaywatch

    That’s a threadbare trolling technique – I could just as easily ask where you evidence to the contrary is. As I said earlier I know my sources.

  124. 36

    “Threadbare trolling technique”? You made a statement, I’ve asked you to support it and you have refused. Your opinion is therfore discredited. I suggest you sod off from this forum until you have something of substance to say. “I know my sources” is pretty lame.

  125. 138

    There has been mixed information as to the opening time of the international airport in SVG.. Senior political figures told me it would be 2015 before it was operational, and we also see now reports of 2013. If we split somewhere in the middle, perhaps mid 2014 is a good guideline. I have not seen the site in the last 12 months so could not know.

    With regards to international airlines, I would think that UK airlift would have to do a stop in St Lucia, Barbados or even Antigua to justify initially that route. MRGs, minimum revenue guarantees, would be too high also for the SVG government initially perhaps, but they may have a large budget for those given the investment in the airport. Airlines are interested in profitable routes and know it can take time to make them so, so with good MRGs I would think they would listen. I suspect it could also make sense for some US airlines to do a weekly trip from Miami and/or New York, and perhaps more in the season. Of course, those flights would service the other resorts in the Grenadines – Petit St Vincent, Canouan, Palm Island etc, and of course the sailing. All speculation on my part with some knowledge of how they make their decisions, but also probably not worth listening to as no doubt the SVG ministry of aviation has already set up meetings with the airlines and they have more than speculative comment. I do know that Mr Ames claimed he had an agreement with British Airways agreed a year or two ago, and this was not correct. But, I think any airline would consider new routes that they think they can get a good load to and get the front of the plane filled – with a few high end resorts in the Grenadines, one would hope that is possible. Buccament Bay would benefit enormously of course from that airport being open. It still does not do enough to counter other arguments made here, but would certainly help whoever does end up operating those properties long term, if not Harlequin. If investors do get title to their properties in Buccament Bay, they do have the security of knowing that whatever happens to Harlequin, they won’t lose everything, so I would be pushing to get title there ASAP.

  126. 36

    Well done “Anonymous” for a balanced thread. I notice the “doom mongers” have not mentione the award that BB has received from the World Travel Awards for Leading New Hotel. Harlequin have not even made a press release about this, it was from the SVGT’s news letter. All investores should welcome this type of news as it will help secure their investments. Or do some posters just want to write anything negative they can get their hands on or make up?

  127. 36,I did indeed mention The Travel Industry award, and harlequin have sent all us investors the details.Great news!

  128. yatiniteasy

    @waw I do not know of any “green -eyed Desparados Club. I Just get a personal kick out of following possible Ponzi schemes.

  129. 13

    There is again a distinction between the possible ponzi scheme angle, and BB itself. Having been to BB, can see it being a nice place to stay and one day could work as a profit making business – not for a while, but it could if everything comes together. For those invested and with title to BB, they can sit on the investment, and as long as they are not relying on any returns for a few years, then they are relatively safe. The awards they won, congrats to them.

    As for the rest of the business model, it does flirt with the concept of ponzi scheming, and I think that is what is getting the interest of many people regionally and perhaps internationally as, if it does turn out to be one, it would be big news. Hopefully Mr Ames and Harlequin have managed their finances well enough to have funds set aside for each of the projects which have not as yet started and are waiting for some final piece of the puzzle to come together before building out quickly and efficiently. After that of course, they have to fund the operations, like BB, until they do make money. It would also be hoped that after they have taken their commissions and paid agents and IFAs, there is enough money to fund the other non-resort operations, such as the sporting academies, airline etc. . Time will tell, and good luck to the investors. I know some people have invested and it is too late and some posts may seem real doom mongering, and it is really hoped that these people do manage to get something from this investment. Some may not have had the benefit of knowledge that forums like this can give them on the realities of the risk levels and can get carried away with the IFA sat in front of them, or the grand shows that Harlequin put on, as well as their excellent marketing material. I think it fair that people should have access to other people’s viewpoints so they can decide what is their risk threshold and decide then. Also, investors should always visit a place before investing, unless it is an amount of money that they can afford to do without.

  130. BBaywatch

    While we are discussing the airlift options, a quote from the very latest review of BB

    ‘Don’t believe the resorts own airline is coming soon. I heard from one of the managers it is two years away.’

    I was going to respond to Sandy Gear’s comments on Harlequin AIr, but if the above is true then that would seem pointless. I’d agree with most of what the poster commenting on airlines has said, especially as he has qualified every statement. Quite sensibly he recognises that this could happen but at the moment there is no indication that it will. I’ll also point out that although there is increasing capacity from the US to the Caribbean, it is mainly through low cost carriers and to existing destinations which act as hubs, so those carriers are most unlikely to be interested in servicing the new airport.

    This is not excessive negativity, just a realistic appraisal of the situation.

    A final point (quote) – ‘It still does not do enough to counter other arguments made here, but would certainly help whoever does end up operating those properties long term, if not Harlequin. If investors do get title to their properties in Buccament Bay, they do have the security of knowing that whatever happens to Harlequin, they won’t lose everything, so I would be pushing to get title there ASAP.’

    If that scenario (Harlequin failing) happened I agree that they will not lose everything, they will have a unit within a development in need of rescue and quite what residual value it will have is impossible to know.

  131. 36

    BBaywatch: and where was this review of BB? Do you have a link/article or is this another made up statement you cannot substantiate.

  132. 13

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147380-d1719145-Reviews-Buccament_Bay_Resort-St_Vincent_St_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines.html

    I think if you copy and paste that, you will see the review relating to the comment about Harlequin Air. As I have said previously, I have seen these planes regularly, mostly in St Lucia – they are in good shape. Getting permits to actually operate an airline is very difficult, which is perhaps what the manager is referring to about Harlequin Air. The planes are real and they are here.

    With regards to residual value of hotel inventory after a management company fails, whilst this is getting ahead of the situation, there are two options normally. One is that a new operator will come in who also wants to own the inventory and makes an offer to buy that inventory from the individual owners. The other is for the receiver/adminstrator or whomever to operate until another management company comes in, and then either one would just operate the resort to make money, and the owner of that inventory will hopefully then make a return. The value would be directly linked of course to resort performance. There is a theory in hotels here that the third owner/operator is the one that makes it really work. That is not always true, but it does happen. Hopefully Harlequin can get it right first time, and the challenges they face are hopefully clearer for all to see who read this website. As said before, if they get BB to work, it could be to the detriment of the other unbuilt resorts as all resources are being focused on BB. I only say could, as I am not privy to inner workings of how Harlequin allocate their sales revenues, but perhaps other investors have been made privy to this.

  133. Anon and B-baywatch. Yes i do wear blinkers. They allow me to keep my eyes on the winning post and save me from being distracted by the also ran
    s, like you, around me.i reckon both of you are suffering from stress. You need to take break from whatever is eating you up inside.why not book a holiday at the beauful multi award – winning buccamentbay resort. Enjoy the sweet. Smell of success.take a tennis lesson. Or two. My be some singing lessons or perhaps enjoy a frolic on the ul l ovely white sand beach. You my never want to leave. Get in there now before prices rocket.thisparadise Will be packed out when the state of the art Argyle international airport opens at the end of 2013 / early 2014.yiipee

  134. anonymous6

    BB does look a lovely place to stay as a holday maker. BUT this thread i believe is about the actual viabilty as an investment. one simple question.
    if you were buying a property in the UK would you hand over your cash (even if via a sipp this is actual cash that you have earned) without having any restrictions on where and how that money was spent and furthermore would you pay a deposit on a property without knowing end finance was in place to pay the remainder. way back in 2008 when i did my DD on this hmsse were promoting 100% guaranteed finance but actually the contract that you actually sign with the company that you hold a contract with and this your only legal recourse stated ” we will endeavour to obtain the finance”. speaks volumes in my opinion.

  135. 138

    There have been many well reasoned arguments here without emotive comment. The question is not whether buccament bay is a lovely place, that has been agreed for the most part. Mr brown, you are not making any reasoned argument about the fundamental issues raised by both worried investors and critics foe harlequin. I don’t think your posts are contributing, unless you can counter those arguments with well reasoned ones of your own as to how and why the harlequin model will work, and why those people who invested years ago and have not seen their suite/ villa even started should not worry. Many are open to a reasoned argument, that is what forums are for. To date your approach perhaps does harlequin more harm than good as it is a very biased and unclear commentary which is fairly consistent with the information harlequin send out I am afraid.

  136. TL2012

    Look, I think a lot of the heat in the posts on this page are caused by people failing to see that others may have a different attitude to risk/reward.

    I absolutely defend Mr Brown’s right to decide that these projects fit his risk/reward profile and for him to choose to invest. These may well be a perfect opportunity for some people.

    I also absolutely defend the right for potential investors to scrutinise the projects thoroughly and to be allowed to ask any question they like. They can then judge for themselves whether the project fits their own risk/reward profile. I object to allowing potential investors being given a sophisticated marketing spin whilst being told that an investment is low or even practically zero risk.

    If people go on to invest having been allowed to air questions in an open and honest way then that’s great and I wish them all the very best and hope that their investment comes good. Personally I take zero pleasure seeing anyone’s hard earned savings go bad.

    So, as an example of a question that I think is legitimate in determining whether to invest, I might ask, “have the various companies operating in the Caribbean filed their audited accounts during the last five years?”. I think the answer to this question is “no”. If I’m wrong then someone tell me and I’ll correct this statement.

    So, what do I then do with this information? The following train of thought develops:

    1. How robust is the corporate governance of this group of companies if they don’t file their accounts?

    2. How will I be able to keep track of the money I invest if I have no audited accounts to scrutinise each year?

    3. Why is this group of companies choosing not to place this information in the public domain? Do they have something they wish to hide?

    My personal answers to these questions now place this project outside my own risk/reward profile so I choose to say no thank you. Again, others may answer the questions very differently or not be concerned by them in the slightest. That’s perfectly fine – we live in a free society.

    I applied this process of due diligence to about twenty other questions and, in each case, these projects fell outside my risk/reward profile so they just aren’t for me.

    If Mr Brown then asks why do you keep on bleating about it in here? I would reply that there are people who might choose to invest but who do not know about how to conduct a thorough programme of due diligence. It is only fair that they at least have the chance to ask some penetrating questions. I am not claiming that Harlequin do not have very good answers to every legitimate question that might be posed to them but I absolutely defend the right for anyone to ask them.

  137. 36

    I totally agree with the above comments. What I disagree with are negative comments and opinions being thrown about and when challenged as to their accuracy there is no surporting evidence to back them up. Terry called me a LYING HARLEQUIN SCUMBAG because my experience was different to his. I am an investor and these comments are affecting my investment so I will take issue to throw away comments which are not substanciated.

  138. yatiniteasy

    One plane, a Piper Chieftain landed in St Lucia in Nov 2011. The other one is apparently still in the US being beautified with Harlequin Air logos etc. This from Harlequins own information put out last year.

    So it takes a year to get certification to operate the plane?(The tail number JG HAA shown in their photo is not registered with the FAA, but that may just be a CGI photo)

    Also, apart from its low capacity (8 to 9 souls) there is very limited space for baggage. Using these small planes just does not make sense.

  139. Mr Brown

    i believe dave ames is a genuine developer. how dare you say he is operating a ponzi scheme? he most certainly is not. he has a product which is there for all to see. What he has completed so far inBuccament Bay must have cost many millions,which .in due course,will bring in many millions.

    It is disgusting that you knockers continue to spread malicious lies and unsubstantiated facts trying to cause an exodus of existing investors and frightening off potential investors.
    what is your hidden agenda? Are some of you defunct or struggling hoteliers? Are you failed developers in awe of Dave Ames/ Are you run- down resort owners afraid of the new kid on the block with new attractions?

    In forecasting the downfall of Harlequin,are you recalling your own failure and demise,wishing this upon others? Are you trying to engineer a closure, hoping to pick up hotels and resorts (the very best of 5 star resorts and hotels with ultra modern amenities and facilities) for minimal outlay?

    Reading your comments and forecasts is akin to reading something that is derived from your personal experiences.

    It will not be long now before the Buccament Bay Resort returns a profit, if it is not already doing so.The resort was very likely losing ,money for a few months following its opening,that is commonplace for new ventures all around the world.It was at this time(2 years ago now) that a member of Harlequins management was reportedly overheard saying Harlequin were injecting USD one million into the resort every month.You keep suggesting that this is still happening and that the resort continues to lose money “hand over fist”. Have you seen the figures? No,of course not!!
    Pure conjecture on your part, a fabrication of a web of lies,guesswork and scaremongering!!!

    In about 12 to 18 months time,the Argyle International Airport will open.( I notice you dont like talking about the airport???).That,gentlemen, will change everything. Buccament bay will be generating good profits, making it more than ever a safe,secure investment.At this time,if not before,banks and other financial institutions will be falling over each other to offer developer finance and completion mortgages for all the resorts and hotels. Dave Ames will be recognised for the genius that he is!!!!

    Your vindictive,ill-judged smear campaign to sabotage the success of Buccament Bay and Harlequin will come to an end. So might as well shut up now,take your doom and gloom and stuff it!!!!

    PS Yatiniteasy Your information about the aircraft is well out of date!!

  140. TL2012

    Mr Brown,

    In your last post you said:

    “You keep suggesting that this is still happening and that the resort continues to lose money “hand over fist”. Have you seen the figures? No,of course not!!”

    This was exactly my point from earlier. We haven’t seen the figures because they haven’t been put in the public domain. Good corporate governance would ensure that the best levels of accounting procedures and public transparency were maintained. Without being able to see the figures it is simply anyone’s guess about whether this investment is good, bad of indifferent.

    And please note, this is not doom-mongering. I am not for a moment making any claims about the demise of Harlequin or their resorts. All I am saying is that it is extremely hard for a potential investor to gather all the necessary data on which to come to an informed decision.

  141. yatiniteasy

    @ Mr Brown..My information is indeed out of date, as Harlequin has not mentioned anything about Harlequin Air lately…Can you then update us on the aircraft of Harlequin Air..what has changed? Have they received their license /certification? Do they now have different planes to the 8-9 seater Pipers? Can the aircraft carry 1 suitcase per passenger plus the passengers?
    From your comments it is obvious that you do not know what a ponzi scheme is.

    It is this: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.

    Is Buccament Bay a Ponzi scheme?

    Is Merricks a Ponzi scheme

    Are Two Rivers Resort and Las Canas Resort in DR ponzi schemes?

    Is The Marquis Resort a ponzi scheme?

    I don`t know the answer, but sooner or later investors in these various projects will realize that Harlequin is not delivering what has been promised…and that is a simple fact. Maybe they will be just happy to sit and wait it out for another 6 or 10 years.

  142. TL2012

    I find it helps if you read Mr Brown’s posts in the voice of the cartoon character of your choice.

    I found that Dick Dastardly works best but a close second was the archetypal Scooby Doo baddy that is exposed at the end of each episode. All we need now is to hear him say, “I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you pesky kids”.

    It doesn’t make his posts any more coherent but does make them more entertaining.

  143. anonymous6

    @ Mr Brown. I can understand that you are concerned regarding negative comments and the damage that this may do to current / future investors. However, it is important that people can be allowed to express an opinion regarding the overall working model that harlequin represents. when this product was being promoted as stage payments and thus self funding it was not that successful ( as a search of the accounts at companies house would show) this all changed when the SIPP route and guaranteed 100% finance was promoted ( although the guaranteed finance is not actually in place as you yourself have already confirmed). this meant that agents whether they be ifa’s/ fs companies/ or indeed anyone that has completed the harlequin agent training can sell this as it is TOTALLY unregulated. YES, BB looks lovely . is it profitable/viable – who knows as been open over 2 yrs now and still no accounts filed. YES, millions and millions has been spent on BB to get it to where it is now ( approx 20% complete I understand) as well as advertising, salaries, commissions, legal fees etc .

    However, the real concern is not whether in the long turn BB can return a profit for those investors ( inc those that have not yet had their properties built) BUT how are Harlequin per se going to fund the build of all the other resorts in St Lucia, DR, Barbados etc. the deposits that investors paid for these can be used to build BB and in the absence of any other 3rd party funding one would have to assume that they have used these “deposits ” in other resorts to build BB. you have to remember that most people have only paid 30% deposit of which a third roughly goes straight as commission to the “agents”. roughly a third will go to cover “costs” of HMSSE thus leaving the remaining third to actually build. e.g buy for £90k and actually once the agents and HMSSE costs deducted only £10k is actually available for the build.figures are an estimate but even if not accurate will give you an idea. do you know ANYWHERE in the world that you can build a property for 1/10th of the purchase price.?? inc infastructure / fixtures/fittings/amenities ?

  144. 13

    Even without a cartoon voice, Mr Brown’s posts are amusing in their incoherence and lack of any real information, and it is clear he certainly has an agenda. These posts really do continue the general PR of Harlequin. Why he cannot address the balanced points that have been raised here is anyone’s guess. It has also been stated here that the issue is not Buccament Bay, it is all the other unstarted projects. Ames has indeed built a quarter of this resort, and it looks nice, but he has done so using the deposits of some 6,500 units sold. This is not an impressive achievement, and not the work of a genius. With all the changes in plans (H Hotels etc) it is the work of a scatty business operation not focussing on delivering to the client what they have bought, which would also deter me from investing in such a man. It could be more sinister, and be the work of a ponzi schemer, but I am not saying that it is. Much evidence shows why those allegations are gaining support in many circles. It really is for the early investors themselves to do their own investigations, or report to relevant authorities if they are worried about the nature of the scheme.

    Most agendas here I presume are just to take part in an interesting forum about a company that has raised more questions than answers, and has created a very dubious reputation for itself in the Caribbean for whatever reason. I have outlined reasons I would not invest, that is all. No agenda, just offering a version that would be investors may wish to take on board. 36 seems like a very reasonable man, and I wish him the very best with his investment, as well as Sandy Gear’s husband. I would agree entirely that the new airport will change everything for Buccament Bay once the airlines start flying in and would wish that hotel and all its staff the very best. It would seem though that this will not help build the homes that have not as yet started.

    The paranoia is quite something from Mr Brown as to people’s agendas. I hope the existing investors get answers that give them comfort and those that are yet to invest are able to do so having done some research, that is all. It would be nice if a Harlequin operative came on these forums, or issued more general press releases to the Caribbean and UK public, and spoke logically and with some clarity about their model rather than either ranting like Mr Brown, or reporting about a charity football match in Barbados or PAt Cash playing someone at Wimbledon. What does that have to do with the homes that remain unstarted and how they propose to go about generating money to pay investors and build, rather than relying on new investors.

  145. BBaywatch

    There is a certain irony in being accused of having a hidden agenda by an adherent of a company that reveals almost nothing about its workings or records (accounts in particular!). Being more transparent would dispel some of the criticism, although I would still have strong reservations about the motivations behind these schemes.

    Recent discussion has mainly focussed on the companies funding model and ability to deliver (even the to and fro re Harlequin Air, the new airport etc is really more about competency, poor planning and lack of experience than anything else), but we shouldn’t forget the original poster who blew the whistle on Harlequin on TA.

    This was a Vincentian national who was incensed that they proposed to make the beach at Buccament Bay private and although the company have fudged that issue there does still seems to be the attitude that because they are a developer spending large sums in the country that they should be allowed to do what they like unchallenged. Anyone who does not understand why making a Caribbean beach private is so offensive needs to learn a little about local culture and history. Remember, ‘Jack, dis beach belong to we!’

    In fact the beachfront at Buccament Bay as it now exists epitomises all that is wrong with this type of development – it’s ersatz, created without any consideration for the environmental consequences and totally out of place. Everyone who knew the old Buccama on the Bay says how special it was and to see it replaced with a bland, characterless, ‘international’ hotel is pretty depressing.

  146. just to let you all know, we have received an invitationto use KINGSLEY DAVID solicitors/notaries to ‘ensure smooth,efficient completion service,including due diligence & legal documantation, via carefully-selected a caribbean lawyer’,including SIPP purchases. Their no. (Milton Keynes) is 0845 313 8992
    Would some of you like to call them and thrash out the legalities to satisfy yourselves one way or the other. ???
    Then let me know how you got on!!

  147. TL2012

    From whom did you receive the invitation Sandy? Are you about to go through the process of receiving title to your property in BB?

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  148. yatiniteasy

    There is a Mr Bernard Punnett, a Vincentian local who sold SOME of his land to Harlequin , and who also LEASES a lot of land to Harlequin. It is understood that many of the Buccament Villas are built on this Leased land. It would therefore be impossible for them to transfer Tile to anyone who purchased a unit built on Mr Punnett`s land.
    Of course a good lawyer in St Vincent should be able to verify this information.

  149. 13

    I live in the Caribbean, and am very much up to speed on which lawyers on which island is good or bad – I would not be going through a UK law firm for a purchase here, even if they are working with a local lawyer. How do they know who is a good lawyer or not a good lawyer? Many times I have seen this mistake made, and the client uses a lawyer they deeply regret using.You need to come over here, pure and simple and do the work yourself, ask around, ask unbiased industry professionals questions that you want to ask to complete your DD. There are a number of lawyers here who are really not people you would want to represent you.If anyone thinks buying off plan blind in the Caribbean is the way to go, then let this be lesson one in overseas investment anywhere – do not do that. An investment flight and a hotel could save you a lot or give you the peace of mind you need.

  150. Mr Brown

    B-Baywatch (Back to your original post about the beach,are we?)

    Those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit St Vincent and to engage with the lovely people there,will not have failed to notice the eye-watering abject poverty that many have to endure (see T.A.review KAAAZZa Oct 5th 2012 – ” Do not cry when you are driving to the resort. When on your way to Buccament Bay,the drive is a serious shock.It is very run down.”)
    When Dr Gonsalves was first elected to the post he now holds,it is reported he said”Enough is Enough” and he set off on the long and arduous road to establish a more prosperous future for his country and its people.
    Instead of continually searching for the opportunity to talk down Buccament Bay,you should get behind this governments efforts to raise living standards.Like it or not,Buccament Bay is part of the answer.
    Now,it goes without saying that the beach at Buccament Bay is public,open to anyone who wishes to use it.From a resort point of view,the only people not welcome there are drug dealers and the like pestering those using the beach. The main body of the resort is private.This is necessary for the security of the guests.All high-end resorts have security.
    The importation of white sand to dress the original black sand was an absolute necessity in order for the resort to attract large numbers of guests. This is what they expect. Without it ,apart from a few backpackers, holidaymakers would simply go elsewhere.
    You seem to have lost sight ,or choose to ignore, the huge benefit this resort will bring to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines,namely the inflow of a substantial amount of money into the economy,through visitor spending,wages, airport taxes ect. ect.
    Although I accept that you and a few others have objected from the outset to the building of beautiful Buccament Bay resort,complete with its lovely white sand beach,it would seem to be a small price to pay when set against the ever-growing benefits it is generating.Sometimes changes have to be made and accepted that these changes are for the common good,even though some may not like it
    How else do you propose to bring prosperity to this island? Furthermore what are you actually doing??? Is it OK that you sleep well in your comfortable bed?? Do you really care about anyone else??Y
    Your never-ending attempts to run down Buccament Bay resort .
    your complete lack of appreciation and your turning a blind eye to the plight of so many in St Vincent tells me you do not care and that you are neither genuine nor sincere!!!
    B-Baywatch Take your blinkers off!!!

  151. 13

    Whilst a little aggressive at times, it is the first time I have seen some sense come from Mr Brown. Whilst some may not like the arrival of large resorts that change the beautiful scenery and take up beaches and so on, St Vincent is in dire need of generating tourism revenue, as there is so little of it in St Vincent. There are so few resorts on the island (only one other really), it has to be a good thing to have a new resort built to create jobs and bring in the tourist dollar. BBaywatch in turn makes a solid point that it must be responsible tourism, and there have been reports of environmentally unfriendly practices going on, about which I could not comment. The beaches must remain public, but at the same time guests need to have their privacy when they want it. In general, I think a new resort has to be positive – we can’t have it all, a beautiful untouched island as well as tourism. Tourism inevitably is going to leave its mark on the landscape, but how else would the island bring in the money it needs to raise the living standards?

    With that said, this does not change the fact that, whilst BB is indeed lovely, there are massive holes in the Harlequin model which may well be too big to ever see the other resorts started, let alone completed (reports today suggested many IFAs and agents are now dropping Harlequin) The more that BB gets built though, the better for SVG, because once the bricks and mortar are there, even if Harlequin disappears, someone will be able to run a nice resort at some point.

  152. Anon - reasons unknown

    Hi Anonymous,

    A good, balanced post. I do wonder what BB visitors would do once the resort is completed, as the beach, pool and restaurants will not accommodate them all. But maybe the development of alternative tourist “attractions” (so to speak) and services outside the resort will keep pace with the development of BB.

    Please could you give details on your statement regarding reports today suggesting many IFAs and agents are dropping Harlequin? Where has that info come from?

  153. BBaywatch

    Well Mr Brown, that’s one way of interpreting that reviewers comment – it could be read as an assurance that once you are cosseted within the confines of BB you won’t have to see the poverty.

    Your remarks about the ‘necessity’ of importing white sand, the need for tourists to have privacy and dismissal of other holiday makers as ‘back packers’ reveals your ignorance of the true state of tourism in SVG. You only have to look at neighbouring Bequia, which is if anything even harder to get to, but there my friends inform me that the recovery of tourism has been strong and this has directly benefitted the numerous small locally owned businesses which serve it. The visitors to Bequia spend with local people, eat at local restaurants serving local food (not chilled steaks imported from Miami) and frequently return year after year.

    This model of sustainable tourism puts money directly into the pocket of local people, not into the bank accounts of speculators and overseas developers who avoid paying local taxes and pay their work force late – or not at all. Of course, Bequia being the heartland of Gonsalves’ political opponents gets other forms of ‘development’ – a rubbish incinerator was proposed to be built there.

    If BB is this miracle of of regenerative tourism, moving from success to success and benefiting the whole nation, why is it necessary for Harlequin to be offering discounts of up to 50% for booking for the high season? BB is nothing more than yet another bland international style AI 2-3* resort with a superficial gloss, promoted by a sprinkling of z list slebs.

    The 7th of November is World Responsible Tourism Day, a reminder that there are alternatives to exploitative, ecologically damaging development which benefit the nations as well as investors. Having personally spent over 20 years promoting tourism to the Caribbean, ten of them promoting St Vincent and the Grenadines (all of the islands!) I find your neo-colonialist carpet bagging offensive – so you can shove it!

  154. 138

    I would say that finally it would be a good problem to have, accomodating large numbers of visitors that is! If they come and stay, between all the various activities on and off property, one would hope everyone would be accommodated – not everyone will sit ont he beach at the same time, or play football, or sit by the pool etc. As you say, development of other aspects of the holiday will most likely ensure there is enough for everyone.

    I am afraid with Carter Ruck’s presence I cannot say where I got that information from. That will of course then just sound like negative speculation based on nothing, which is why I did not go further. I shall just say I was speaking with someone very well known in the UK who knows exactly what is happening in that SIPP/fractional/IFA industry and this is the word in the industry. The reputation of Harlequin has a cloud over it, and the more thorough IFAs are not selling. I would hope Harlequin could lift that cloud, sell and build, but they do not seem to be dispelling the issues people have raised. I could go further about what I do know about the various governments’ views on the model, however one can just say the internet is available to all, and the community in the Caribbean is very small – from bank managers, to lawyers. to contractors. People know the sites, and they know the work needed and they know the industry, and therefore they know the holes too.

  155. yatiniteasy

    Anonymous…I agree, when the “default” comes at Buccament Bay, the owner of the land, Mr Bernard Punnett will be the owner of some nice villas.

  156. Mr Brown and 13, you are right, when we stayed for 2 weeks at bucc.bay, we visited a lot of other places, hiring a car & taxis locally, visiting local shops & cafes…the people we met were ALL extremely postive & appreciative of bucc.bay,it is SUCH a great improvemnt on what was there.And the cafe next door is used by all the staff, so they are delighted.
    i went along to the local church, and had SUCH a great welcome ,was invited along afterwards to visit a local’s home just outside the resort-she was such a wonderful woman..open invite any time i return-which will.The lady & her husband had absolutely nothing negative to say about B.B.

  157. Lucky 7

    Mr Brown.What a wonderful post. The resort is truly a godsend to those of us living on St Vincent. We all look forward to the resort being completed.The new airport too. We will always make the guests very welcome in our community.

    B Baywatch gives the impression he is a very bitter man.I feel sorry for him. Why does he show such insensitivity to the needs of others? He should try to get some counselling for his troubled mind.
    Please keep up the good work,Mr Brown, with your posts.

  158. Mr Brown.

    B- Baywatch. Your angry response to my last post says a lot about you. Turning my TA reference to suit your own selfish thinking confirms my earlier belief that you do not care and that you out of touch with reality.

    You say you were promoting St Vincent as a tourist destination for 10 years. How successful were you in creating jobs? Feathering your own nest,more like it !

    Everyone knows the islands of Bequia,Palm island,Mustique,Mayreau,Tobago Cays ect. have superb white sand beaches,yachting and diving experiences and over the years have attracted many thousands of tourists seeking and finding paradise.I am talking about developing major tourism in St Vincent itself. Bringing mass tourism to St Vincent will in turnbenefit all the Grenadines. Lets not forget the new airport coming soon.

    You speak of Eco Tourism,suggesting that this will itself silve the employment problem and reduce poverty.This is a splendid ideal,but sorry it will not suffice on its own. Have you been to Petit Byhaut lately and seen The mess left behind following the abandonment of one couples “Eco Friendly Dream” ? – Concrete slabs, rusting fridges and cookers etc.littering the environment.

    I anticipate many of the guests at Buccament Bay resort will want to venture outside the “cossetted Environment” ( your words) and experience all else that the island and its people have to offer.

    I personally had some wonderful days outside of the resort(Eco Tourism?).A visit to Kingstown,enjoyed a harouin beer or two in Wallilabou Bay,invited to sit down with the locals(in the next bay to Wallilabou) to taste smoked whale meat,given a present of a jar of whale oil,snorkelled in Tobago cays, swam in the beautiful waters of Saltwhistle Bay in Mayreau.Did a little shopping in Buccament most days (Say hello to my new friends Annie and her dog Falcon and others too numerous to mention.Tell them I will be returning soon! ).

    I met some destitute people on my travels and was pleased to return some of the kindness shown to me.

    Some will wish to spend time relaxing on the resort.Some,like I did,will want to see all that the islands have to offer.

    Dont try to force your politically motivated views on to others! Most tourists will have worked hard to save for a luxury holiday in the Caribbean and dont need any guidance from the likes of you on how to spend their hard- earned money!
    Neo-colonialism? Carpetbaggers? Absolute Rubbish! Looks like you still live in The Dark Ages !!!

  159. 138

    This blog is more about harlequin than bucc bay though. It can be conceded that the resort is lovely and good for svg. This does not change the unsustainability and likely final outcome of harlequin and all these as yet unstarted properties that have been sold – over 6000 properties have been sold since 2006, but not yet started, and all without final planning either it would seem.

  160. Henry

    Been reading with interest the recent comments about Buccament Bay and i would love to know where Mr Brown goes shopping in Buccament, is that in Miss Griffiths shop selling luncheon meat or by Barkers Rum shop. That would be a exciting 5 minutes of your day !!
    But then all is so good with the Harlequin process just found this website which may be of interest to the concerned investors who have posted on here http://riskwarning.co.uk/group/harlequin-investor-group.
    Also it seems that in the Basildon Echo 30/10/2012 head lined as
    Accountants face legal fight over web claims
    A SENIOR accountant is said to have run an anonymous
    spoof website accusing a luxury resort developer of fraud,court papers say. Wilkins Kennedy, based in Southend, and two of its accountants are being sued for defamation by Basildon-based Harlequin Property.
    The firm sells “off-plan” accommodation at a number of planned
    Caribbean resorts. Harlequin claimed in a High Court writ that accountants Jeremy Newman and Martin MacDonald were behind a website called Harlecon,which Harlequin says falsely likened the business to the “Ponzi scheme” frauds of Charles Ponzi, Bernard Madoff
    and Allen Stanford. Harlequin, run by David Ames, 60, of Brock Hill,
    Wickford, vehemently denies “a myriad of wildly defamatory allegations” posted on Harlecon, which was taken offline in June.It was removed after a complaint to Wilkins Kennedy by Harlequin’s solicitors.
    Both Mr Newman and Mr MacDonald acted as accountantsfor Harlequin until Wilkins Kennedy resigned as its auditor in May 2010.
    A defence filed to the High Court by Wilkins Kennedy claims Mr Newman, a senior manager for the accountants, admitted being involved in Harlecon after Harlequin linked the site to his
    home address. It adds Wilkins Kennedy immediately suspended Mr Newman before he resigned. The documents said Wilkins Kennedy and Mr MacDonald denied any responsibility for the website as it was run from Mr Newman’s home. The defence said: “Wilkins Kennedy had no
    knowledge of any involvement of Mr Newman in Harlecon until receipt of the letter of claim. “Mr Newman admitted involvement in the website, whereupon Wilkins Kennedy suspended him.”
    Harlequin has taken millions of pounds for about 6,000 proposed
    holiday homes. The company has so far built around 300 at Buccament Bay on the island of St Vincent. The defence also said Wilkins
    Kennedy raised concerns with Harlequin about its business. The
    accountancy firm disputes Harlequin’s claims that it resigned after being warned it would be removed due to concerns about the conduct of Mr Newman and Mr MacDonald.
    The defence said: “Mr MacDonald decided that the relationship must be terminated. “In Mr MacDonald’s professional opinion, a number of events
    since about January 2010 had given rise to serious grounds for
    concern about (Harlequin’s) conduct of its business.” Wilkins Kennedy also claimed Harlequin had “failed to make timely payments as agreed” to the the builder of Buccament Bay,which is involved in separate legal
    action with the firm. Mr Newman’s defence has not yet been released by the court.
    Harlequin says it intends taking separate legal action against
    Wilkins Kennedy for professional negligence in connection with the
    alleged conflicts of interest, but the case has yet to reach court.
    Wilkins Kennedy said it would also defend this action.
    Well time will tell what is going on but will that get any of the units built or just increase the lawyers fees that Ames seems to be spending the investors monies on?

  161. Anon - reasons unknown

    Thanks for that very useful update, Henry. Makes for thoroughly interesting reading and I sincerely hope this action gets to trial where Wilkins Kennedy will expose the full details surrounding their concerns over Harlequin’s business conduct. Hold on to your hat, Ames.

    And thank you very much for posting the link to the Harlequin investor group. I see they already have 124 members, and this is the first I’d heard of that group, so let’s hope the word gets out there to those investors who are worried.

  162. BBaywatch

    Sandy Gear, I’m really glad that you enjoyed your interaction with local people but sadly you are in a minority as only about 30% of guests leave their hotel or resort during their stay. Those staying in AI resorts tend to be even less inclined to leave and the money that they spend is subject to what is usually referred to as the ‘leakage effect’. Up to 70% of spend by tourists does not improve the economy of the local destination in any way whatsoever. This is largely because of the foreign ownership of the assets and importation of goods. Obviously this figure can vary, especially where there is local ownership. It’s a complex subject but try searching tourism Wiki’s or the links below for more information if you want to do your own research.

    http://www.tourismconcern.org.uk/all-inclusive-holidays—excluding-local-people.html

    http://www.uneptie.org (United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics)

    ‘A study of tourism ‘leakage’ in Thailand estimated that 70% of all money spent by tourists ended up leaving Thailand (via foreign-owned tour operators, airlines, hotels, imported drinks and food, etc.). Estimates for other Third World countries range from 80% In The Caribbean to 40% in India.
    Source: Sustainable Living’

    I’m also not in the least surprised that you found local people who are in favour of the BB development (as not even the UK PM and the Lord Mayor of London can agree over the best site for an airport it’s hardly surprising that opinions differ over a hotel!) If you travel to Antigua you will still find local people who think that Allen Stanford was a great guy, however anyone who had anything to do with investment or the financial services set up by Stanford’s companies has lost almost everything and the impact on the island economy has been disastrous – and that includes his foreign investors of course.

    There has been a considerable amount of research into responsible and sustainable tourism and studies running over many years charting the effect on national economies which is why successful operators and developers can deliver products that actually work and are completed on time. Given the demonstrable lack of experience of Harlequin as developer or operator this has to be considered a very high risk for an investor.

  163. 138

    The plot thickens. An accountant who worked on Harlequin’s account was behind Harlecon? There must be something wrong if the person ended up taking such extreme measures to bring to light the many issues that he did. It will be interesting to see what comes from the court case, and can only think this will be very uncomfortable for Harlequin. How many development companies in the Caribbean have attracted this level and number of critics and questions and websites? I am not aware of any. Surely Harlequin should now move to dispel these very clear questions out in the public domain by explaining just how they are going to build the homes sold given the myriad of problems explained in this thread and others, and where the money is coming from to fund the various losses and other expenses, and just what exactly are the Harlequin successes they talk about?

  164. 36

    Anon and Anonymous: surely you are both missing the point. It was a SPOOF site. If they were so sure of their position why was was Mr Newman forced to resign?

  165. 138

    Fair point 36. That’s why it will be interesting to see what validity there was to the claims made, as possibly the defense of Mr Newman will include proving the claims were valid. We shall soon find out I guess.

  166. anonymous6

    again. why would a reputable firm of accountants or an accountant apparently set up a website to get information out regarding the harlequin model/dealings.. what could they possibly have to gain other than a potential legal wrangle/lawsuit. so one would have to assume that they are acting in the interest of the general public in trying to get relevant information out into the public domain for the general good rather than some underhand motive. hopefully the legal system in the uk will see a more speedy resolution and we will all get to know the full facts sooner rather than later ( as unfortunately the court system in the caribean as previously referred to on this form can be verrrry long and protracted)

  167. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    It would seem that it does NOT bother Ames how many people he fights and falls out with as its NOT his money he uses to sue all and sundry its OURS isnt it? so does anyone know how much he is suing all these people and companies for? and of course how many of them are counter suing and for how much for? I guess that if he did win then that would mean he could actually do what WE have paid HIM to do and thats build our holiday homes?after all that is what he is being PAID very hansomly to do. On the other hand if they all won where is that money coming from???? I would have been sacked by now for not doing my job properly and many of you too, Maybe this Jeremy Newman will turn out to be a hero because of the Harlecon site I always thought you could NOT sack/sue a whistle blower? Perhaps the truth hurts Ames and that is why he does not like the comparisons made I guess the best thing he could do is come clean and tell the truth….IT TAKES AT LEAST TWO YEARS TO BUILD A RESORT so how many is he to build next year. Well one thing is for certain he aint GOD he only took six days to build the world and rested on the seventh perhaps Ames thinks that he can rest six days and build on the seventh, who knows well today is the seventh day Ames so get of your backside and do what your being paid to do or stop taking a wage of us!
    One thing is for certain though and that is They Harlecorupt are not getting another penny out of me!

  168. 36

    Sick of harl********
    If you are an investor then I would suggest that if Harlequin are taking legal action against a SPOOF web site you would be glad. Don’t forget that the “whistle blower” was not sacked/sued but he resigned. It’s the company he worked for that is being sued. Or perhaps you are happy to have your investment trashed by a 3rd party. I’m dam sure I’m not. Or perhaps your just a toll trying to trash the Harlequin name?

  169. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Oh right I see YOU obviously think that Ames and Harequin can just carry on NOT delivering the goods????And that even though he has had his cut the IFAs have had there cut that there is nothing wrong, imagine going into Argos ordering something from the catalogue and them NOT having it in stock and telling YOU maybe they will have some more in a couple of years and they will keep your money in the mean time and do what they want with it!!!! is that okay??? Well it might be okay with you but it sure as hell is NOT okay with me! I am unfortunatley someone who has been suckered by Harlequin and YES I gave them money thinking it was an investment, And good luck to anyone who wants to carry on wasting there money giving it to Ames but I wont be.As for being a Troll they dont need me to trash there name they are doing a mighty fine job of it themselves! Can YOU remember the sort of information that was on the Harlecon site? I actually thought it gave more information than Harlequin give you, why dont YOU read through ALL of your newsletters and then wake up and smell the coffee. As an investor I really wish this would work but as a realist I know it wont.

  170. 36

    I did read the Harlecon site and it was a SPOOF site. Do you understand the meaning of SPOOF? Now you might want to believe everything that was on there, but if it was true then then there would be no reason for the guy to resign. There was stuff on there which was way above anything an accountancy company would know, it was too current and updated daily. Where do think that sort of info was coming from? competitor may be? I don’t know and neither do you. You signed a contract, if you are not happy with it negotiate your way out. You have that option as does everyone. I did with my 2 rivers investment. My advise: stop being emotional and use facts to get out if that’s what you want.

  171. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Can I ask what result you got? I have invested in Two Rivers with a cash lump sum and I want my money back like I gave it to them not over a year or so So I will wait the twelve months grace they have and then they will have to give it back in a lump sum, As you have your money back what is your problem? Harlecon was not the only website out there was it and I doubt it will be the last, My thoughts on how Harlecon was so current is that Harlequin know they are going to fail and if they can blame others they will. I seem to remember they were blaming a previous builder? for being behind the Harlecon site and NOW its a former accountancy firm? who next YOU?
    My guess is the info was coming from inside Harlequin perhaps they treat there staff like they treat us.

  172. 36

    I got the result as per my contract which could be different to your contract. I don’t have a problem apart a level of nervousness regarding my resale prospects on BB. And my experience with staff at Harlequin is that I have been dealing with the same staff for several years. So I guess they treat the staff ok.

  173. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    mmm My problem is I really dont think resale is a nice option as I really dont believe in the product and I cannot pass this problem onto another person:( unless they were a IFA. :) Good Luck I think we are all going to need it

  174. TL2012

    Instead of dwelling on the past failures/successes (depending on your own perspective) we could have a more positive and forward looking approach to judging the companies involved.

    One of the next target dates for Harlequin is the filing of Harlequin Management Services (South East) Ltd annual accounts at Companies House. Their year end is 31 March and so they have had since that date to file the accounts up to 31/03/12. The final deadline for the filing of these accounts is in 8 weeks (31/12/12). Failure to supply accounts by the deadline is considered a serious breach of duties of a company director. Company Law puts the filing of accurate and timely accounts as one of the most important duties of a director and it should be prioritised over other business duties such as running a profitable concern.

    It will be a more positive way to judge the company by tracking its handling of future obligations rather than raking over past performance.

  175. 36

    Agreed. However it is important to have a balanced set of views and that includes positive experiences as well as the views of the doom mongers.

  176. TL2012

    I agree 36 but both positive and negative views should be backed up by evidence.

    So, for example, I would argue that if HMSSE file their accounts by the deadline and if the auditors are able to express their confidence in the strength of the data then this would be a strong indicator of a company that is on top of things and being run well.

    On the other hand, if they don’t manage to file the accounts in time I would argue that this should be a legitimate cause for concern for anyone with an interest in the company.

    Is that fair?

  177. 138

    That is one way of looking at it. However, I don’t think the accounts of HMSSE will really bear any reflection or relation to whether they can fulfill their commitments to investors.

    The experience of investors in Two Rivers, or Marquis or Merricks can only be one of unfulfilled promises as none of the homes at any of these have commenced as yet. I cannot see what positive can be taken from those properties. St Vincent is different of course as that now exists.

  178. Mr Blue

    I can’t believe Mr Brown thinks that BB will be good forSt Vincent. How will an unfinished resort with no clear land title be good? End finance can’t be organised without a clear title, and no lending institution will touch this anyway, so no contract will ever be completed. If they did complete a contract, which “investor” will be chosen? There are more “investors” than buildings. The “investors” invested in BB generally, no one has been allocated a specific property, so how can a contract ever be completed?

    Harlequin will go under. It’s just a matter of time, and when it does no invester will touch the Caribbean for 20 years. BB won’t be of much use to the receivers as it has no real value with out clear land title. It can’t be sold off, and even if it could, would the sale price reimburse the “investors?”

    This will ruin any chance of real investment in St Vincent for many, many years. It would be great if it would work, but it can’t.

  179. 138

    Mr Blue, you make some valid points, but I tihnk ultimately for SVG, the buildings are built and even though no clear title is available for owners or investors, it would really just mean the investors will lose everything. The buildings will still be there and someone must own the land they are on, and presumably when ownership is clarified, the buildings will still be managed as a resort offering employment and revenue to the island. I suspect you are right that investors will quite possibly be done for if title has not been handed over before a collapse of Harlequin. SVG could be negatively impacted if it is seen that the government supported a company that was running a scam, but it has not been proven by any authority that it is a scam.

    I do not agree though that Caribbean investment will be as affected as suggested if Harlequin implodes. Many investors I have met here have looked at Harlequin and given it a big swerve. It did not add up for them and the developer has a poor track record and no prior experience (two areas that an investor should look at) Also, some fairly easy due dilligence can be done on the ground here which exposes this as a very very high risk investment. Most investors in the Caribbean tend to be a little more experienced as the fact is that it is not a cheap place to buy quality. You really do need to spend from US$500k to get genuine high end product and most people spending that amount, and more commonly US$1m and above, ask the right questions and do their research and would not invest in a scheme as proposed by Harlequin. Those investors will not be put off by Harlequin, if indeed it does collapse. There are still good properties for them to buy, the lifestyle remains appealing and there are developments where you can get a return, if that is your motivation for buying. I suspect a collapse of Harlequin will affect the off plan market, but that market is already suffering at the moment. Those investors are still coming to the Caribbean and they are buying (although not in the numbers of pre 2008), and a scandal about investors losing money in Harlequin will be put down to naive investing/being duped by slick IFAs and agents, rather than a problem with the Caribbean property market. That is if Harlequin does collapse, as it has been said for years now that it will and still it continues. We shall see.

  180. 36

    Re TL2012: Yes that is fair regarding the accounts. Another point in this discussion: When the airport opens, end 2013?, what other 5* hotel is available to take the anticipated volume of tourists visiting the island? There would be no point in building an airport with nowhere to accomodate the visitors. Would the government allow BB to collapse?

  181. BBaywatch

    36 – “Another point in this discussion: When the airport opens, end 2013?, what other 5* hotel is available to take the anticipated volume of tourists visiting the island? There would be no point in building an airport with nowhere to accomodate the visitors. Would the government allow BB to collapse?”

    So many assumptions here – where to start? The airport opening in 2013? – hugely optimistic and still no evidence that carriers will service it (which is hardly surprising). 5* BB? – self awarded rating and although Young Island is probably the only other hotel of any kind of superior status on St Vincent there are a number of others in the vicinity (and many very high quality villas on Bequia).

    Perhaps if the airport does finally get built it’s main purpose will be to facilitate onward travel to Bequia and the other islands?

    Would the government allow BB to collapse? Government participation in hotels in the region does not have a good record and uncertain title to the land that it is built on would make for a messy and complicated process.

    I’d go back to a point that I made earlier – if BB is such a desirable resort why is the occupancy level so low and why are they having to offer up to 50% discounts for the high season?

  182. 36

    BBaywatch: “end 2013″ which is a long way off yet. Why do you think major carriers will not service the Island? SV is making a big tourism push in UK papers. 5* rating? You are not up to date with the latest awards then. Best new hotel in the Carribbean which was not self awarded. It will take a lot of high quality villas to take the capacity of a long haul jet.

  183. 13

    The awards are very good and do help with promoting the resort. Many such awards however can be related to how much the resort spends with the awards programs, but either way it is good. In the Caribbean, many hotels do give themselves a star rating, and some operators can often support that rating if it helps sell. However, the best judge of the quality of a product can sometimes be looking at the average daily rate achieved. For example, some hotels that are clearly 3 star promote themselves as a 4 star, but the rate is still a 3 star rate. That usually is because it is a 3 star product. Check the average achieved rate (not the rack rate) to see what the market values the property at, that is a good sign.

  184. 36

    Re the Airport: I suggest pessimists read the latest article “SVGTA at world routes” Perhaps it might be better to keep the downbeat comments until after spring of next year. “747-400′s” and “direct flights from USA, Canada, Europe, Central and South America”. Where are all these visitors going to stay? Also it is worth reading the 5 pager from the Global Travel mag on the same page.

  185. WARNING! !!!WARNING! !!!WARNING! !!!.
    All of you. Perpetrators. of poisonous untruth.directed against Harliquine. Pleases.be aware the same technology that traced the spoof site of harlecon can be used to trace you. So, If you HAVE spread malicious lies in the past, or do so in the future,watch.out! you may think you. are.safe. But.then so did the now. Jobless Mr Newman.Don’t be surprised. when Carter Ruck. come. knocking. on YOUR door.

  186. Anon - reasons unknown

    Harlequin clearly adopting cost cutting measures and saving on fees …

  187. 13

    Another helpful post Mr Brown, thank you. Interestingly, I was told by some investors that those are the sort of messages they received from Harlequin, which if true would be an interesting client relationship building technique. It would be nice to just stick to healthy debates on the pros and cons of the Harlequin model, noone has as yet come up with any well explained comment as to how it is all working well now and will do so in the future. Just because someone has a view as to why a model does not work does not mean they are spreading lies and poison. Someone could simply use this as an opportunity to explain why it does work and why, for example, Merricks, is a good investment.

  188. What next?

    Mr Brown has now morphed into the persona of a pantomime villain complete with black cape and top hat. Boo hiss. He’s behind you!

    I can’t imagine that anyone with a genuine concern for a positive outcome for Harlequin would post stuff like mr brown so I’m guessing he has another agenda.

    He keeps us smiling though

  189. yatiniteasy

    Mr Brown,,,,lies are statements that are untrue..what people have posted about Harlequin are facts…and therefore can not be subject to any legal redress by Harlequin and co. The FACT is, that they have not delivered properties they have SOLD in ST Lucia, St Vincent, Barbados and the Dominican Republic, years beyond the promised delivery dates. Fact is…Harlequin does not own of all the land on which they have planned properties, and sold them. Fact is, Harlequin has not obtained full government planning permission for projects that they have already sold. They have also not been able to or are unwilling to offer proof that these sort of statements made many times by many authors are false.
    Your motive to try to scar people from commenting on this blog is highly questionable, and really seems to be a desperate attempt to stifle any negative comments about Harlequin and their projects.

  190. 120

    Mr brown, are you friend to Ames or Newman? You could be either, the headline of your last post is very familiar.

  191. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    I totally agree with Yatiniteasy some people are just scaremongers, I take my hat off to anyone and everyone who will stand up and be counted its about time we all had some real answers maybe there will be another investor website going up soon!
    I noticed on there latest update that Harlequin have decided that they are no longer going to purchase the land in Brazil so I guess those people who have invested there will soon be getting there refunds, lets hope that there is enough money left in the pot!
    It really is about time Ames admitted that he is no longer going to build anything and gave everyone there money back.

  192. 13

    That is the crux of the matter though – is there money to give back? One can only have comfort that this is a possibility if one knew where the money came from to fund the losses at Buccament Bay, to pay for the Harlequin planes and all other associated costs, to pay the sporting celebrites associated with Harlequin, to pay for Carter Ruck, to pay for the Village Inn and Spa (now Blu), Allamanda and Amarylis (all of this a seemingly bizarre change in plan from what Ames originally was planning for Harlequin, bizarre because there were so many unfulfilled commitments already), to pay for financing of owner purchases, the paying of the guaranteed returns that have been paid according to one investor on this site, to pay for massive stands at the various shows, and the list sadly does go on. If the resorts lose money, and there is no financing in place, then these are very serious and important questions. The lack of commencement of various resort construction would indicate there could be a very serious problem.

  193. Mr Brown

    B baywatch
    re; your comments about HARLEQUIN ” Fudging the issue” on access to the beach at Buccament Bay Resort.
    Read the Trip advisor reports on Paynes Bay, Barbados 28th Oct 2012 and 4th Mar 2012.
    Having read them, perhaps you will understand why some holidaymakers prefer to stay on resort and why some would prefer a beach to be private.
    Anyone reading these reviews will think twice before venturing on to the beach in Paynes Bay.
    To quote from one of your previous posts ” Any one who does not understand why making a caribbean beach private is so offensive, needs to learn a little about local culture……”
    Lets hope that this disgusting behavior, now so prevalent in the “local culture ” of Barbados, can be tackled.
    Has anyone considered the massive effect that these so offensive actions of a drug/rum fuelled section of the population has on tourism?
    The Barbados authorities should make it a priority to remove this brand of “local culture” from its society.
    I know of many who will NEVER return to Barbados because of it .
    If this highly offensive pressure trading was removed from the beaches,there would be no need for anyone to attempt “privatisation” or indeed “to fudge the issue”.
    Rather than spending your time trying to halt the success of Buccament Bay Resort and putting out meaningless statistics,why not spend your tme more productively and run a campaign to clear Caribbean beaches of this menace?

  194. 36

    “I noticed on there latest update that Harlequin have decided that they are no longer going to purchase the land in Brazil” You have a link to this?

  195. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Page 10 of todays Sun newspaper makes for interesting reading Nicholas Levene operated a PONZI SCHEME and was jailed for 13 years ( hope you are reading this Ames) He “stole” fiddled more than £101 million of people, Some of the people involved are Top business brains. which I find reasuring as I have always felt that I was foolish having invested with Harlequin.

  196. BBaywatch

    http://thevincentianonline.com/ames-and-the-all-questions-abound-p598-1.htm

    Interesting and informative piece – and lots of unanswered questions!

  197. 36

    Sick of Harcoroption. Yet again you have thrown out a statement regarding Harlequin without backing it up. Where is the link to your statement regarding Brazil?

  198. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    36 Where have I thrown out a statement without out being able to back it up???? I can assure you EVERYTHING I say can and will be backed up (dont be sooo impatient)

  199. yatiniteasy

    @36 Following is a quote from Mr Ames in their Newsletter dated Sept 2012. I think it answers the question about Harlequin`s new plans for Brazil, don`t you?
    “We are still intending to open a resort in Brazil which is a notoriously difficult country to work in. In order to make things run smoothly we are looking to buy distressed hotels which do not require planning permission, environmental studies etc. which can take up a great deal of time. This will be refurbished so that we can meet our intended opening date of 2014 when the World Cup comes to Brazil.”
    I laso find his closing statement(see below) in that same Newsletter to be particularly interesting and reassuring for investors in Buccament Bay Resort.

    “In the early days of selling property in the Caribbean, some people said that this was all too good to be true and that it wouldn’t happen. I feel that we have proved them wrong as we are now in the process of handing over legal title to the properties at Buccament Bay Resort, which is a significant step and completes the cycle that we promised all those years ago.
    We look forward to a great future for all our investors and I thank you for your continued support.
    Kind regards
    Dave Ames CHAIRMAN, HARLEQUIN HOTELS & RESORTS”

    The above are his words, not mine.

  200. 138

    It was too good to be true, and it has not happened. 6,500 homes sold, only one development started, 300 homes or so almost ready, and not a single one started in other resorts also sold “in the early days” This is a fact – Mr Ames seems to try to say things in the face of undeniable fact, things that suggest they are keeping to their promises, when it could not be more blatantly obvious that they are not and never have.

  201. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Thanks for posting up the links Guys and Girls you are Awesome

  202. 36

    @YATINITEASY. And this is the difference. You have printed the whole document which states that Harlequin is going for a different solution in Brazil, where SICK OF HARLECORUPTION has selected part of the announcement to put Harlequin in the worst light. Very selective indead. Regarding the 2nd part, many of us early investors are currently going through the process of obtaining legal title. Why print the DA statement? is there a problem with that?

  203. 36

    @anonymous: Where the F*** is the relevance in this. I know, he comes from Essex! So Harlequin are running car scams now are they! I got scammed on a Ponzi car deal 20 years ago and so did 20 coppers in Warwickshire. Tell you what I will dig out the old press cuttings and post them on here. You never know perhaps I might make the “Awesome” catagory.

  204. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    “I noticed on there latest update that Harlequin have decided that they are no longer going to purchase the land in Brazil so I guess those people who have invested there will soon be getting there refunds”Where is the bad light!
    Why are there various people trying to pick holes in what everyone else has to say You wouldnt be on a fishing trip would you!

  205. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    36 NO YOU WONT and while we are on the subject I hope as a investor I am NOT paying your wages to be posting on this website instead of building me a mighty fine property!

  206. anonymous

    @36. corruption/ ponzi schemes are two a penny. i am NOT in anyway saying or alleging that harlequin are guilty of this.l JUST wanted to point out that sooner or later most get caught.

  207. yatiniteasy

    @36 You must let us know when you receive your title to your Buccament unit.His statement is “we are now in the process of handing over legal title to the properties at Buccament Bay Resort”….that was in September 2012 .
    Has anyone yet received their legal title? Its now November.

  208. anonymous36

    @36. would add that given harlequin have been operating for some time now and there have been various allegations and previous persons who have said that they have reported then to the authorities / SFO etc and that in FACT that no action has been taken by the authorities/FSA then one would have to assume that this is not a Ponzi or fraudulent scheme. However, due diligence still needs to be carried out as any investment carries a risk and certainly an investment via a sipp into an unregulated unprotected overseas investment would carry more risk that more traditional
    investments ( the FSA have issued warnings with regards to mis-selling of UCIS but not sure if “harlequin” would fall into this category)

  209. Anonymous

    36, I am glad you are getting your title, that will at least give you some comfort to know that you will not lose your money invested. Please do keep us posted if you feel like doing so. The issue though is that there are over 6,000 people who are nowhere near the comfort stage that you are, and I guess Harlecorruption is one of those, and can certainly understand his intense dissatisfaction at the state of affairs. If he owns anywhere other than in the 300 homes built in Bucc Bay, he is indeed in a worrisome situation it would appear, unless Harlequin can dispel the various problems raised about their model. Still hoping they will make a comment somewhere to quell the various rumours.

  210. Mr Blue

    The titles will never come, and the contracts will be ‘delayed’ again for reasons outside of Harlequin’s control. If a contract was completed and an investor paid their 10% then questions would have to be asked about where the money came from, as Harlequin has no income except for investor deposits (if you can call that income).

    Maybe I’ll invest in one of the world leading, environmentally friendly homes at Merricss instead. They’re so environmentally friendly that they don’t even exist. You can’t do better for the environment than that! Give Harlequin ther dues, the kept one promise…… the Merrics site will never feel the environmental impact of the development.

  211. 36

    @SICK OF HARLCORUPTION: with the now childish and puerile comments I see no point in continuing on this thread. Pity you might have learnt something about the current/upcoming court cases. I am an investor but my position is more pragmatic than yours.

  212. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    I am in no doubt that IF you EVER knew anything……….. You would be screeming from the rooftop with your OWN self importance………BYE BYE

  213. Anon - reasons unknown

    This link from an independent advisor set up for advice on alternative, unregulated investments, such as Harlequin. This is a seemingly professional analysis of the Harlequin investment (only to be read by the discerning investor of course, not those easily upset by critical commentary on the Harlequin investment).

    http://davenport-wealth.com/harlequin-property/

    Their conclusion is that the Product is High Risk.

    Incidentally, the alternative views and information provided here on BFP regarding the investment are FAR FAR outweighed by the positive analyses all over the internet published by Harlequin and their agents. It is therefore perfectly acceptable for the apparently negative, factual issues to be discussed here.

  214. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Can anyone remember there IFAs conducting risk assesment forms?
    Im sure I did one and it said I was only happy with a medium level of risk

  215. Lucky Seven

    I hear that a Mr Dominic Brown is looking at Mac’s Pizzas on Bequia with a view to purchase, would that be the same Mr Brown who contributes to this thread? i do hope so.

  216. BBaywatch

    there goes the public right of way on the Belmont Walkway then ;-)

  217. Mr Brown

    Yet more travel industry awards for Buccament Bay Resort.
    The resort has been awarded 2012 FODORS Choice Hotel by Fodors Travel,the worlds leading name in Travel Guides.
    Each year Fodors expert team of writers and editors choose an exclusive list of restaurants and hotels as “The Best of The Best” in the region.Award winners are noted with Fodor’s choice distinction in their Guidebook and Fodors.com.,where more than 6 million unique users plan their trip each month.
    This year,in spite of being a young hotel, Buccament Bay Resort has been honoured with a place amongst “The Best of The Best” from 4000 nominations ( not self nominated )
    Fodors have been producing guidebooks since 1936.
    The luxury all-inclusive Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent and the Greadines has had an amazing year of honours and recognition, receiving 2 World Travel Awards ,including “Leading New Hotel in the Caribbean”.
    The prestigious awards of the WTA Programme,hailed as the OSCARS of the travel industry by the global media,highlight those travel brands that have made the Greatest Contribution to the industry in the past year.
    The resort was also awarded 3 places in Travel Weekly’s Best Hotels in the World”
    It is almost enough to make a proud resort blush.
    REDEFINING LUXURY IN THE CARIBBEAN.
    Need I say more?? AMEN.

  218. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    As a chap named Levene is convicted of running a multi-million Ponzi scheme, Tony looks at the history of Ponzi schemes and how to spot one.

    Earlier this week Nicholas Levene was sent down at Southwark for 13 years for cheating investors out of £32 million. And before you ask, despite the same surname, we are not related.

    But I have met him.

    Because of the coincidence of name, he noticed my byline in a newspaper and phoned me, almost certainly out of curiosity as his then-job did not involve media contact. I had lunch with him a couple of times around a dozen or so years ago. He was then working for an eminent firm of money brokers.

    He paid for these meals – but the bill for the food did not come out of his victims’ pockets, as the occasions pre-dated his fraudulent practices. They were strange occasions. While it was an era where lunchtime alcohol flowed more freely than now, his habit of drinking from a large bottle of scotch, diluted with bottled water, throughout the meal was probably unique.

    And although it was clear from his suit and the solid gold Rolex that he had expensive tastes, he came over as the eminent professional.

    As did Bernie Madoff, the New York based financier whose scheme defrauded American and other investors (including a UK hedge fund or two) of anything – depending on how you count the numbers – between $15 billion and $65 billion. Madoff, now in his early 70s, is now serving a 150-year stretch in a US prison.

    What links the fraudsters?

    What Madoff and Levene – nickname Mr Beano due to his love of the comic – both operated was a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi is a simple form of fraud. You promise a very high – perhaps guaranteed – rate of return which investors cannot find elsewhere.

    You also promise instant or very easy withdrawals so if anyone wants their money back, you simply send them a cheque from new cash coming in. But when the flow of fresh investors stops, for any reason, the scheme quickly unravels.

    Ponzi schemes are centuries old. But they took their name from Charles Ponzi, from Boston in the US, whose scheme operated just after the First World War. He guaranteed huge returns from international postal coupons, which Americans sent to poor relatives in war-torn Europe so they could write letters back to the New World. He told investors that buying them in one country and cashing them in a second could produce 50% or more gains within a month or so.

    He never bought coupons – there would never have been enough anyway to fund the millions he attracted – and merely repaid early withdrawals with the cash coming in.

    Madoff was more subtle. Instead of high and fast returns, he promised lower but steady money. His scheme lasted for decades while the Ponzi postage plan was over in months.

    Levene claimed he had a unique method of spread betting. Like Madoff, he convinced friends who brought in more friends, working on circles of acquaintances. Whatever optimism existed at the start, as losses racked up, the pair became increasingly desperate. Levene was, in fact, a bad spread better who went bankrupt in 2009 after staking £58.5 million and owing £101 million. Madoff, who claimed to play the bond markets, went down for billions.

    Ponzi aimed his scheme at small savers. Levene and Madoff went for the rich, sometimes self-made people who, arguably, should have known better. These victims had the cash to sustain the illusion – and wanted to believe they were among the select elite. In both the Levene and Madoff cases, courts were told of a succession of very wealthy people lining up to offer their money, sometimes even begging the scheme operator to count them in.

    How to spot a Ponzi scheme

    So faced with almost daily assaults from dodgy investment firms, what are the lessons to be learned from the Levene case?

    1. No one can produce extraordinary results to order – or even more than occasionally.

    2. If the investment mechanism is not 100% obvious, steer well clear.

    3. Pay no attention to the past. It’s easy to produce an apparently great track record from previous winners – anyone can claim to be a great racing tipster by looking at yesterday’s results.

    4. There are no secret money making methods. Beware of “confidentiality clauses” preventing you from discussing schemes with others.

    5. The involvement of rich or famous people is meaningless. An investment will not become successful just because footballers or film stars have bought into it. Their skills are on the pitch or in the studio – not in money.

    6. If something looks too good to be true, then it is
    NEED I SAY MORE!!

  219. Anon - reasons unknown

    Hey Mr. Brown … strange that “Fordor” (or even Fordors) aren’t on Wikipedia? I would have thought that the “Worlds leading name in travel guides” would have an entry on Wikipedia (even Harlequin Property have!). Maybe they haven’t heard of Wikipedia?

    Funny that I’d never heard of Fordors (but then I don’t work in the travel industry). I thought Lonely Planet were the World Leaders in travel guides? In fact, Wikipedia agree with me on that one:

    “Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world” (taken from Wikipedia …)

    What’s that I smell again??

  220. 36

    @SICK OF HARLCORUPTION: “NEED I SAY MORE!!” God I hope not. BORING! With such a detailed Knowledge of Ponzi schemes why did you invest?

  221. Anon - reasons unknown

    36, I’m sure Sick of Harlcoruption’s criticism of the investment is as a result of what he’s found out AFTER investing. And that’s where many people find themselves.

    Can I ask you, as I believe you are an investor, and not a Harlequin stooge, if, for example, your mother or grandmother came into some money … maybe £30K on a scratch-card, or inheritance, and they didn’t need to spend that money, but could save it, in a bank, or maybe buy premium bonds, would you advise them to put the money into a deposit on a Harlequin unit? Using your experience, and whatever research you may have carried out before or after investing in Harlequin.

  222. 115

    Anon – reasons unknown, whilst i certainly am in the camp that thinks there is real trouble with the Harlequin model, Fodor’s is a well respected travel guide and an award with them has merit. I have said previously that Bucc Bay is no doubt a good quality resort, certainly at the prices they charge for now. It is not very refined or 5 star in my view, food and beverage way below what a 5 star resort should deliver (rooms are nice etc, but still has many snags before they will deliver genuine 5 star with big rates – to be fair, getting genuine 5 star in Caribbean is tough anyway with very few really able to claim that they are) So, accepting that it is a very nice resort that is winning awards, this still does nothing to answer the questions repeatedly raised about Harlequin in general. Harlecorruption is alleging it is a ponzi scheme, and living in the Caribbean, I hear that all he time when Harlequin’s name is mentioned and in very experienced circles. He is not alone in thinking this. Does anyone from Harlequin wish to dispel all these rumours with a reasoned posting? Ames says he would not stand for trial by media, however he has a very real problem when the entire region where he is operating is rife with rumour about criminal activity. He should try to quell this, it will help with governments, permits, sales and more.

  223. Anon - reasons unknown

    I’m not in any doubt that Buccament Bay is a nice holiday for the price. In my experience, it’s not 5 star (although I’ve never been there, I’m just basing that on my experience elsewhere and on the bad points about food, service and facilities in the glowing, 5 star TA reviews – these, after all, are likely to be genuine points for concern at the resort). But I reiterate, it’s a nice holiday for the price. I wouldn’t criticise anyone for deciding to go there if they want a cheap all-inclusive in the Caribbean.

    What I’m analysing is the feasibility of, and the high risk nature of the investment. That’s why I’m bringing it up under this article on BFP and not elsewhere. I would hope prospective investors would have more points to consider after reading this thread than might be put to them by an IFA still promoting Harlequin.

  224. What next?

    I’m sure that staying at Buccament Bay at the prices quoted does represent good value and people should have a good time. There are enough reviews on Tripadvisor to sift the reality. Most reviewers seem to say that the villas are of a great standard and the staff very friendly and willing (but possibly in need of more training). Food and drink get mostly good reviews but some point to flaws that wouldn’t pass in a 5* IMHO. If your point of reference is the carvery at your local Harvester then you probably would think you’ve landed in heaven. One way to check whether a restaurant or hotel is worth five stars I check out the wine list. I would expect at least one of the following wines from a premier or grand cru chateau:

    1959 or 1961 Burgundy
    1982 or 1985 Bordeaux

    Any establishment offering those wines should be in the five star category. Not sure what the wine list at Buccament Bay looks like though.

  225. 36

    @anon-reasons unknown
    A reasonable question. I think there are several questions to ask. Firstly the element of risk must be assessed in line with personal circumstances. £30k deposit is only a deposit and at some stage the balance must be paid. I know harlequin have advertised financing deals but the finance has not materialised as yet. Yes this is a worry, but life is full of financial opportunities that have gone wrong. Remember the dot com boom, endowment mortgages, pension schemes that are paying out crap returns. The biggest ponzi scheme is surely paying 40 years NI and then getting a poverty line pension. you see all financial investments have a level of risk. Would I have invested in harlequin knowing now what I know? My answer, I really don’t know. Should I have put my money under the mattress instead? I have no idea but it makes life interesting.

  226. 666

    SICK OF TONY. CORRUPTION.you are very. Impatient. Spending time Hob-nobbing with ponzi men taught you nothing about. investment. If you want a quick return on a high risk investment, buy a scratch card.

  227. yatiniteasy

    Fodors shows several properties in St Vincent/Grenadines as being a “Fodor`s Choice ” for 2012 for that geographic area.. Harlequin`s blog makes it sound as if Buccament Bay is the Foders Best choice in the World.

  228. yatiniteasy

    Headline from Harleqquin`s Blog:
    “Buccament Bay Resort honoured as a 2012 Fodor’s Choice hotel!
    NOVEMBER 8, 2012″

  229. Anon - reasons unknown

    36, good points there. Certainly many have been caught up in unforeseen circumstances when it comes to long term investments. And the furore over the UK public sector pensions debacle is scandalous. How on earth did they not see that coming?? But I think they did. Each governing party, and even those not in power. But everyone left it to the next person to deal with as who wanted to admit that what had been promised for maybe 3 generations just wasn’t feasible? Truly shocking that so many people have been let down in the public sector. They are at no advantage now over those who’d elected to work in the public sector. It’s a catastrophic time bomb, and it’s disgraceful that the cowards in charge let it get to this stage before having no option but to address it and punish the middle and working classes in a desperate attempt to dig themselves out of the deficit.

    That brings me back to Harlequin. As reported by Ames, 80% of their investment now comes from SIPPs. Good honest people who want to provide for themselves and enjoy relative comfort after working hard all their lives decide to do something with there reasonable amount saved and invested in poorly performing schemes (in the current dismal economic climate) and are advised by inexperienced friends, contacts, IFAs or unregulated agents to look at Harlequin. Just a simple search and straightforward DD would reveal the following about Harlequin and show that they:

    - have completed (at best estimates) circa 300 units on the only resort they have started, on which construction commenced over 4 years ago
    - are in the “process of transferring title” for units in a resort which has been operational for over a year
    - have not filed accounts in the Caribbean for the last 5 years
    - have filed accounts in the UK late 2 (maybe 3?) years running and on the last two years, the accounts were heavily qualified
    - have not commenced construction on any other resort on which they have been selling units since 2006. I understand show homes have been in the process of being constructed at Merricks for over a year, but critics of Harlequin are questioning why show homes are being constructed on a resort which was reportedly (by Harlequin) sold out years ago
    - are/have been involved in litigation in the UK and Caribbean with a multitude of investors, contractors, solicitors and accountants
    - have not been able to raise funding for investor completion mortgages, on which they have been working hard to secure for years
    - do not readily provide proof of land ownership or details of planning permission for any of the resorts they market

    Given the shocking revelations about government and blue chip pension and investment schemes you outline, and which we’re all now aware of, it seems incredible, even ludicrous, that this scheme is allowed to attract SIPP investment and is unregulated.

    That’s the only message I want to get across.

  230. 36

    @Annon-reasons unknown: I would agree about the SIPP situation. I cannot understand anyone gambling with a pension fund. However at a presentation at Warrington some time ago I sat next to an investor who had paid his deposit with a credit card! I certainly could not sleep easy in that situation.

  231. 2

    What is interesting in much of this is that people would part with their money on projects so far away without local DD, on top of the DD described above. If local DD was done with a lawyer, they would look at things like land title (units were sold on land that had not been purchased yet), planning permissions (there are no full planning permissions in place anywhere other than St Vincent), suitability of the sales agreement (every lawyer I know of who looked at that advised clients against buying, as comingling funds is something that is 100% inadvisable). Lawyers could advise or point you in the direction of people that can comment on suitability of the location to achieve the goal – namely, what are the chances of the hotel making the required profits to pay the forecasted returns, how easy is construction there, do the prices make sense etc etc. For example, the Marquis Estate site is in a very challenging position on the east coast, where no hotels have been built, other than one which has struggled enormously, and is in a much better east coast location. You would have got a moer balanced view together with that of Harlequin/IFA.

    If investors did these pretty much bare minimum investigations, they could then decide if they still will take the risk. These investigations would have revealed that of all the property investments available in the region, Harlequin’s is by far the most risky with the least protection. Other developments have failed also, but nowhere near with the number of people involved as Harlequin. The locations chosen are very challenging, and profits, if any, would be several years after completion of the resort. Some resorts have not started, so profits are miles away.

    My point is that the entire proposition has been totally misrepresented as low risk, and the returns forecasted by agents and IFAs simply not achievable, and those agents and IFAs had to have known that. It would seem investors were not given a realistic picture upon purchase. If they wanted to take a flier with money they could do without, and hope that it comes off, then that is one thing. To actually rely on this investment for retirement revenue is an entirely different proposition.

  232. Harle SUCCESS

    Harlecorruption.
    As has already been said, if you are expecting your deposit back from your investment in the DR in 12 months time, why are you causing trouble?
    Just sit back and wait like any one else who thinks they may have made a mistake would do ( although you haven’t )
    For one who boasts about moving in banking and money brokimg circles and one who lunches and drinks with flash Ponzi practitioners, you should be better informed and more experienced than most investors. Thus, you must have considered this to be a good investment from the outset.
    Maybe you have run short of funds and seeking a refund to bail you out. Just because you have an agreement that says you cannot have a return of your deposit, does not in any way mean Harlequin are corrupt.
    Put up and shut up , before you land yourself in yet more difficulty. Your dream of wearing a solid gold Rolex will have to wait! Show some restraint man!!1
    Investors in Harlequin are not interested in your cry- baby tantrums. Keep your toys in the pram!1

  233. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    “For one who boasts about moving in banking and money brokimg circles and one who lunches and drinks with flash Ponzi practitioners, you should be better informed and more experienced than most investors. Thus, you must have considered this to be a good investment from the outset”
    show and Tell where I do that ??.I think at the end of this farse there will only be a few people wearing the Rolex and they will ALL be conected in some way or other speaking of watches and time……its running out.Cant wait for the next resort to be built how many are going to be ready this year?,next year? its all never never land at the very least dont you think YOU.R boss should appologise????? to everyone. I dont think its going to go down to well when the show is over…. Judges like to see remorse and just to set the record straight I am a investor and wish I had done my DD but hindsight is a wonderful thing isnt it?

  234. TL2012

    HarleSuccess, your post sits uncomfortably with me because it implies that an unhappy investor should sit quietly and not publically raise any concerns they may have simply to avoid making the project go wrong.

    If these projects do turn out to be badly conceived or implemented then it is just immoral to keep this quiet in the hope that new investors will continue to pile in just to make the existing investments safe. Let’s run the scenario that the projects are ultimately shown to be Ponzi… (I know that the jury is out on this and that only circumstantial evidence would currently support that hypothesis. I’m even prepared to acknowledge that other circumstantial evidence may currently point to the projects not being Ponzi. It’s also worth pointing out that Harlequin could prove that these are not Ponzi schemes by publishing the accounts that should, after all, be firmly in the public domain anyway. Why they choose not to publish only leads to threads like this endlessly chewing over speculation and trying to add up the evidence that does exist so that 2+2 could equal any number you choose). So, in the event that we find them to be Ponzi, the last layer of investors get stuffed and the existing ones might just scrape through with some kind of property with some kind of title that enables them to sell it on for some kind of price. If that event happened wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable that your gain had only come about because somebody else is going to live out their retirement in poverty?

    As I said, this line of speculation could be completely wrong. The projects could all be well funded, in safe hands, built over the next few years, run at a handsome profit, with happy holiday makers having a great time. I would absolutley love that to be true. Then surely everyone on this thread should ask Harlequin to publish all their UK and overseas accounts so this can all be put to bed, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, and investors can look forward to a great outcome. That’s a far better way forward than calling everyone to keep quiet in the hope that new investors won’t ask difficult questions before choosing to part with their retirement funds.

  235. 36

    @TL2012: I think it’s the irony of a long winded explanation of a Ponzi scheme, yes we all know how to use Google, then admitting that sick of harlecorruption thinks he is part of one. Ponzi even got a mention on last weeks Downton Abbey! The implication is if Having such knowledge of Ponzi schemes and make an investment then I would be stupid to invest in a scheme which was one. Also by being so negative I would be destroying my own investment. Very odd.

  236. TL2012

    @36

    I’m not sure about the point you’re making. Maybe I’m being a bit dense but can you unpack your last post a bit more for me please.

  237. TL2012

    I think I may follow what you’re saying 36.

    If I was to make an investment and then subsequently come to believe it was a Ponzi scheme then it would be the height of ethical standards to warn others from making the same investment even though it would directly harm my own interests.

    Forgive me if I have misunderstood your post.

  238. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Well TL2012 Thats how I see it thats why I cant resale my units :( unless its to a IFA Preferably the one that sold it to me :) Can you truly live with yourself passing this mess on……IFAs form a queue.

  239. 138

    Harlesuccess, I don’t see why people should sit and wait if Harlequin miss deadline after deadline after deadline and promises keep being broken, to the point where the value of their statements is completely erroded. People who bought in Barbados were told it would be complete 4 years ago. There is a statement made by Ames in late 2009 saying that Merricks and Marquis would be open in late 2010. They have not even started. He must surely have known this was an impossibility, so why should people keep waiting when clearly there are massive problems. Why would he say such a thing?

    Why did he say that the marina is almost finished back in 2010, when it has not even started yet? This is someone I personally would stay away from, and these are undeniable facts, still available to see on youtube. If I were an investor, I would be getting my money out any way I could, and there are ways locally in the Caribbean to do that. I don’t see why any investor who is now just entirely fed up should be criticised for demanding their money and being very upset. I would not say someone like that is causing trouble, I would say he has finally has enough and wants action or his money.

    I can see why an investor in Bucc Bay may be keener to see the boat not rocked as they are close to having something tangible in the form of title, but everyone else is years away. Should investors just sit around for another 6 years? Should Harlequin be given 12 years to build a home they have sold? I personally would not wait, but then others may be happy to.

  240. so lucky not to have invested

    BB may be good value, but I will never go there and fortunately, I will never invest in a Harlequin project….theres way too much smoke for there to be no fire and at some point Ames will be viewing life through a window with bars

  241. 666

    TL 2012
    Why do you twist the words of 36 to suit your own EVIL CONSPIRACY. ? ? ?.Are you and SICK OF…….CORRUPTION one and the same person. ? ? ?

  242. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    TL2012 We should meet up? 666 NO me and TL are NOT the same person but have probably been told the same lies,I have a statement made by a senior Harlequin saying they have full planning permission for DR Two years ago now we have Garant Rowland? saying different!!! . THEY COULD NOT LIE STRAIGHT IN BED!!!! It would do you all good to remember YOU ARE JUDGED BY THE COMPANY YOU KEEP.

  243. 666

    SICK OF TL 2012 corruption
    you are the same person don’t pretend””if you can’t wait, why don’t you get your money back? ??.nobody is stopping you. Who are you to judge people by the company they keep? Talk about the kettle calling the pan black ;;;;

  244. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    One day when this is ALL over YOU will appologise When I say about the company you keep I am talking about people assosiated with Harlequin and Ames IF YOU have a problem thats your problem. I have never pretended to be anything I am what I am which is a pis d off investor and as soon as I can I will get my money back. I do wonder why it is that people come on here to attack fellow investors???? very strange

  245. 36

    @SICK OF HARLCOROPTION: Yes I wonder why people come on here to attack fellow investors. ” I am in no doubt that IF you EVER knew anything……….. You would be screeming from the rooftop with your OWN self importance………BYE BYE” Do those words look familiar? Did you get to the exhibition last week at the Ecell centre and talk to Mr Amesin person.

  246. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Your back then

  247. Anonymous

    With respect, I don’t see what talking to mr Ames would achieve in tersm of getting reliable information. He has a proven track history of missing dates he gives by many years. He is on record making statements which he must have known to have been false, or he was totally out of control of his business. Still, agree if you have doubts you could pin him down and if he cannot answer the various obvious and simple questions, then you are right to want out. If he can show you how he will fund construction, then that would of course help.

  248. anonymous6

    recent interview.

  249. 666

    SICK. …..CORRUPTION
    IT is you who is. upsetting. fellow investors.One. day you Will wish that you had waited. It is you who has a problem. You are the one who attacks. fellow investors with your stupid name and evil innuendo implying that harliquine. are running a ponzi scheme. This is very damaging to your fellow investors in all the resorts. It is you who should apologise. We are all pis..ed off with youSICK CORRUPTION…. .YOU ARE DISGUSTING. As 36 said, why did you not go to excel and ask yourfriend. Dave Ames. for your money back? ???

  250. TL2012

    @666:

    A summary of my previous post is:

    There is currently some circumstantial evidence that these projects are Ponzi. There is currently some circumstantial evidence that these projects are not Ponzi.

    The speculation on this thread is caused because the information needed to make a judgement on the financial state of the projects is not in the public domain.

    The accounts of the both UK and Caribbean Harlequin companies should be submitted to public scrutiny because – Company Law requires it, good corporate governance demands it and good investment relations expect it.

    Can you explain to me “666″ exactly what is evil and conspiratorial about asking a company to fulful its legal obligations?

  251. TL2012

    And also, why do you keep putting random full stops in the middle of your sentences?

  252. yatiniteasy

    @TL2012..I think it is obvious by now that there are many investors out there that feel they have been had, but who are praying that everyone keeps quiet in the hopes that by some miracle, all these projects will be completed, and they will finally get title to their place in the sun.If every year the projected completion dates just get extended for another year or too..and Buccament is hailed as a great success, it seems to be enough to satisfy some investors. Never mind that this first project is still very much a work in progress,and years beyond the contracted delivery dates.
    The question must be asked..why are the projects not being completed?
    Is it due to lack of funds to do so
    Is it a lack of Planning Permissions
    Is it because this company has Zero prior experience in building anything?
    Is it because no local construction companies are willing to work for them?
    Is it because it is a scam, similar to the ones in the Philippines?
    Or….is it all of the above?
    I guess time will tell….and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

  253. yatiniteasy

    “year or two”

  254. TL2012

    Well if there are people wanting to keep things quiet in the hope that a load of schmucks keep on turning up to invest then I can’t imagine how they sleep at night.

  255. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    TL2012 Here Here! Im sorry Im not popular but, I really think its time to tell the truth and shame the devil! I am really considering setting up a alternative site? what do you all think is it a good idea? The ones I have seen all seemed good and at least they have stood up and been counted not just keyboard warriors.

  256. 138

    The latest interview with Mr Ames must surely raise questions with investors. For a start, he says BB opened in July 2011, when it in fact opened in July 2010. In his interview 3 years ago at World Travel Market (which someone has posted higher up this thread), he said that he would have a resort in Puerto Plata in 2010. At the end of 2011 he would be opening Marquis Estate, and soon after would open Merricks. Now in this latest interview he is saying Merricks would be open in 2014.

    With nothing started in the DR, at Merricks (other than show homes) and nothing in St Lucia, one has to wonder how he manages to get these dates so massively wrong. Will he be at WTM next year saying 2015 for Merricks and Marquis? The patience of the investors is incredible. How can he say a resort will be open in 2 years (e.g. Marquis Estate), and then 3 years later, it has not even begun? Either he has no control over his business whatsoever, or he is knowingly spinning yarns.

    There can be no in between.These are statements made by Ames that are on the internet, so they are not an evil conspiracy, but fact for all to see. One has to ask again, how is he going to fund all of this construction, which to date he has clearly not been able to fund? HIding behind lack of planning permission as a reason not only is weak (as a government would bend over backwards to give planning if a company can show it has the funds to proceed and is a development they want), but it raises even more questions, as to how he could take your money, and start spending it, when he does not have planning.

  257. TL2012

    @SOH:

    If you set up an alternative site then I would advise you to moderate it very carefully. Scrutinise every post before publishing it so that you can ensure that it is founded on verifiable fact with some kind of documentary evidence to support it.

    The moment someone starts making statements relating to personal qualities (appearance, intelligence, marital status of parents) then have nothing to do with the post.

    The trail of videos and brochures kicking around the internet provide a wealth of documentary evidence that means that nobody needs to point to anything else.

    It is very easy to take the facts that are out there for all to see and then take a step or two further to make a conjecture which may be true but can’t be proved to be true. For example, if someone makes a post that the last two sets of annual accounts for Harlequin Management Services (South East) Ltd were submitted late and qualified by the auditor then this is a simple statement of fact. If they then go on to say this proves that Harlequin is running a scam then that simply is not acceptable. Someone might reasonably put forward their opinion that late accounts which are qualified casts a shadow over the corporate governance and the competence of the organisation. Someone else may even take the personal inference that this points to a scam and that is up to them to do so, but it is certainly not acceptable to post that as being a true statement. It may be true; it may be false.

  258. 666

    TL2012
    Just because Harlequin have experinced project delays,as have many other developers in the Caribbean,it does not mean a Ponzi scheme is being run Just because Harlequin and HMSSE are late filing their accounts, does not mean that a Ponzi scheme is being run
    The evil conspiracy is the bombardment of lies and unsubstantiated malicious postings appearing day after day on this website
    If you cannot back up what you are saying with undisputable evidence, I suggest you wait untill you can
    (Can you spot the full stops? …)

  259. 247

    666 – what has been said that is unsubstantiated, other than accusations of this being a ponzi scheme? There is much that has been well substantiated which would give any investor more than grave cause for conern.

  260. TL2012

    @666:

    If you read my posts you will see that I made exactly the same point that you have just made. I clearly said that just because the accounts are late does not mean we are justified in claiming that this is a Ponzi scheme. My point is that everyone should be able to see the facts (the accounts are late) and then make whatever they will of that fact. Some, like you presumably, think that filing late accounts is no big deal and are happy to invest in a company that does this. Others may take another view.

    What I think is totally unacceptable is the attempt to silence people who wish to draw to people’s attention reasonable, factual information that would help them form a rounded view on the suitability of the investment for their own portfolio.

    It might also be worth pointing out the distinction between a Ponzi and pyramid scheme. I think some may be using these two terms synonymously. A Ponzi scheme is one where investment returns are paid to investors using income from other investors rather than genuine returns or profit. A pyramid scheme is one in which sums gathered from investors is insufficient to meet the liabilities of the company without a future income stream from later investors. So, hypothetically, if a tailor was selling bespoke suits for £50 when they actually cost £500 for the tailor to make then it is possible for this model work whilst people are falling over themselves to snap up the bargain. The first ten customers pay for the first suit to be made and customer number goes away happy. For customer number two to be satisfied another ten customers need to come along. The problem is easy to see. The liabilities of the tailor are growing faster than the assets. Eventually the model will collapse and the longer it goes on the larger the base of the pyramid (unlucky people who go away empty handed) gets.

    With the limited information available nobody can tell whether these projects are Ponzi, pyramid or perfectly healthy and in great shape. I wouldn’t deter anyone from investing if they felt the rewards and the risks stacked up.

  261. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    “The evil conspiracy is the bombardment of lies and unsubstantiated malicious postings appearing day after day on this website
    If you cannot back up what you are saying with undisputable evidence, I suggest you wait untill you can”
    Maybe Ames should of thought of that before telling investors untruths ie Completion dates!!! and while we are talking about lies I was told two years ago that there was full planning permission on DR.Has anyone from Harlequin ever contacted you as a investor to appologise and let you know that your unit was not going to be ready on your completion date? And I have plenty of evidence and have/will produced this to the relevant authorities.I guess as you were at a meeting in Warrington you bought through Tailormade?

  262. Mr Brown

    TL 2012 et al

    All the derogatory posts on the various forums do not sit comfortably with me.

    How can anyone allege that Harlequin are running a Ponzi scheme,when it is pure speculation?

    Stop suggesting that Harlequin are running such a scheme. To do so without any proof whatsoever is highly unethical and harmful to investors.There are obviously competitors and saboteurs on these forums,looking for any opportunity to spread untruths.

    These posters have said whatever suits their agenda for several years now,under various guises.

    Why object when somebody points out that lies are being told? Why go silent when asked to sustantiate what is being said? Why do people poke their noses into affairs that do not concern them, other than to cause trouble for Harlequin and to inflict stress on those who do have a genuine interest

    It is easy for anyone to say they are concerned about other investors or to say they are worried about the future reputation of the Caribbean as a place to invest. I say there are SINISTER UNDERCURRENTS at work here!!

    You say that Harlequin could put an end to this debate if they were to open their books for all to see As in previous years,you will not be satisfied when the audited accounts of Harleqin and HMSSE are published,that’s for sure1 Yuo will simply twist the contents to put your own evil spin on the figures,as usual.

    If I was Dave Ames,I would not release any figures other than those which I am legally obliged to do.I recall an old response (from my native Yorkshire ) given to outsiders fishimg for information – “Tell ‘em Nowt “. Seems very appropriate here !

    How do you know Dave Ames does not have additional funding to build the resorts from private backers? I did hear,some little time ago,that he has a Middle Eastern source providing £125 millionas an unsecured loan. Maybe it’s true, maybe not.

    Ask yourself,why does Dave Ames put so much personal time and effort into Buccament Bay Reort and the other projects? If he was a crook,as some allege,he would have disappeared or have been arrested long ago.

    There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes which you know nothing about or choose to ignore.Why employ 35-40 people in the Harlequin Design Studios in Barbados,why employ so many in Buccament Bay Resort and in the offices in the UK if he is not 100% committed?

    The transfer of title IS in process.Why should anyone tell YOU when they are in possession of their deeds?

    Now, Why does SickofHarlecorruption talk about selling his investment to an IFA or anyone else for that matter,when he says he will be entitled to ask for his money back in 12 month’s time?

    Is he for real? He is so impatient and inconsistent. I’m beginning to think he is a creation of someone’s imagination.A bit like a cartoon character!He gives the impression that he is hell-bent on self destruction.
    The Harlequin family of investors will be better off without him!

  263. Edward Smith

    What I find funny about most of you guys is that your more than happy to sit on the fence maybe you should hurry down from there before the spikes go too far up your backside. As an investor I have tried to get my money back with many promises and no action. Why not? I hear you ask, from my guess it is because Harlequin do not have the money to give me back. If they have why haven’t they? The truth is they are on their backsides and that’s why they haven’t produced the accounts.

    Instead of ganging up on one concerned investor maybe you should be doing something more constructive with your life. I’m sure if you all met up you wouldn’t be the keyboard warrior you are being.

    666 You think Sickofharlequincorruption is sick??? How sick are you going to be when it all comes out that infact they were telling the truth. You really should watch what your saying to people because I’m afraid that your the one that is going to look like a complete ass when it all goes t!t’s up my son.

    Now lets all play nicely. We all have our own opinions that we’re entitled to if you don’t agree with someone else’s opinion that’s your choice but they are still entitled to it.

  264. TL2012

    I’m not suggesting that Harlequin publish any more than is their legal obligation. To do that much would be a start. When company accounts are filed late in the UK the directors of that company breach Company Law. In a very very few cases a company might file late and not breach the law because they have a legitimate reason. It is difficult in the extreme to show this however.

    HMSSE Ltd have an opportunity to show the world that they are on top of things as their time window for filing their accounts ends in under 7 weeks.

    If you are happy to invest in a company that has the motto “tell em nowt” then all the best to you. I prefer to invest with people who give me regular and accurate updates with properly audited accounts and who give deadlines and then go on to meet them consistently.

    Nobody on the outside of the companies involved can guess what the overseas company accounts will show. They may be in great shape with balance sheets showing that current assets can meet current liabilities. They may not be. The point is we don’t know. How can an investor assess the risk/reward if they don’t know something that should be in the public domain. I’m not asking anyone to publish commercially confidential information – you are right to point out that it is a company’s right to withhold this kind of data. I’m only talking about properly audited company accounts.

  265. yatiniteasy

    Mr Brown…lets review some facts..Nothing has been built in Dominican Republic.
    Nothing has been built at Marquis in St Lucia.
    3 “show” units are nearly completed at Merricks Barbados.
    The resort in Brazil has been cancelled
    The resort at Buccament Bay is less than 50% completed.
    These are not lies and are not fabricated to imply that the Harlequin model is a Ponzi scheme…the above are simply FACTS. Can you say otherwise?

  266. BBaywatch

    A man is judged by the company he keeps?

    http://www.regionalpressawards.org.uk/modules/entries/images/entries-201100295-01369.pdf

    Harlequin is keen on awards – how about this one?

    http://thevincentianonline.com/ames-and-the-all-questions-abound-p598-1.htm

    Benefitting local people?

    - and then there is the misleading advertising and marketing and manipulation of TripAdvisor. Don’t forget that more than 100 positive reviews (might be as high as 200) were removed by TA.

    These are all substantiated facts and deserving of scrutiny. As others have pointed out, this could be avoided if Harlequin acted differently. I am not making any judgement on Harlequin’s business ethics, but as a way of running a business it beggars belief in my opinion.

  267. 138

    Can easily cross check those dates with statements on YouTube from Ames as to completion. Differences at times so massive that either he knew what he was saying to be false, or he had no control over the situation at all and was guessing very optimistically.

  268. TL2012

    @BBaywatch

    Thanks for posting the press cuttings relating to the suspected fraud case of Mr Ames Jr. Do you know where this investigation has reached yet? Has the CPS decided to take this to court?

  269. 36

    Why do posters keep recycling the same information again and again. 269 posts on this thread and the interesting/new information could be counted on one hand. Does anyone have anything NEW to add?

  270. New stuff

    In terms of new things to add, I think that the Echo is publishing something today relating to the case between Harlequin and their former auditors. I’m guessing it will get published on here when it hits the news stands but I think it might have something to do with the defence being filed.

  271. 247

    Can say I saw a Harlequin Air plane on the ground in St Lucia yesterday in the area where planes pick up passengers and drop them off, not that that means anything. Looks in decent shape, is very small.

  272. 666

    Edward Smith
    Everyone knows Harlequin are behind with their projects.Some of us have patience,some have not.
    Just because you are discontent with your investment,it is no reason to try to take other investors down with you into the pit of doom and gloom. I am extremely content with my investments with Harlequin. Yes I am sick-, sick with joy! I can’t wait to party in H Hotel Barbados!
    Why don’t you get on your bike and go down to Basildon.Do not take No for an answer. Are you a man or a mouse?
    Who are you to say Harlequin have no money and that they are on their backside?Who told you this then? If you can’t back this up with evidence,you are telling lies! Don’t expect any sympathy or support from me while you are telling lies.The days are over when telling lies go unchallenged!
    247 – this is one example of unsubstantiated scaremongering.

    P.S. If you do get a bike, get a tandem and take Sickof halecorrution with you,my son.

  273. Anonymous

    Another new piece of information is that Mr Ames has told many people and travel agents that he made his money through selling chairs in the UK, and has a theatrical background. He said he made his money in plastics – just about every plastic chair in the UK was sold by him. Does anyone know if this is true?

  274. anonymous

    the echo has published. have emailed to BFP so should be up on site soon

  275. Edward Smith

    666 – You give sympathy or support?? Yeah right and I’m a monkey’s uncle! So far all I’ve seen you do is spout your verbal diarrhea at unhappy investors.

    The only time you will party in the H Hotel is when everyone finds you out Mr Ames. You see what I don’t understand is why if your not Mr Ames or a Harlequin employee why are you standing by them when all they seem to do is tell Lies (which you seem obsessed about) How can you not see through the bullshit they are spouting like many other investors so it seems?? Are you really that much of a moron? In their last update letter/brochure they had a picture on the back page of luscious vegetation and trees with solar panels which they say are in Barbados?? They were definitely not the Caribbean but more possibly England or France. Think about it! Why would any of us investors feel the need to lie when our money is at stake here.

    Supposedly Harlequin have sold out on all resorts but somehow still managing to sell more properties? How can our investment be going up in price when for
    1, Nothing has been built
    2, The have not got planning permission for some of the resorts
    3, We’re in a global recession

    I am looking forward to reading the Echo tonight when I get home from work. Let’s see how Harlequin wriggle out of this one.

    Now if you can give me a reasonable worth reading explanation I might just be able to understand your support for Harlequin. Until then I suggest you get on your bike down to Harlequin for the answers.

  276. anonymous6

    any investor would be well advised to read the echo report when BFP publish it. makes for some very interesting reading regarding funding and why harlecon website was set up.

  277. New stuff

    Whatever dross comes out at the trial (if it ever gets that far) will all be someone else’s fault. No doubt it will all be part of the evil conspiracy against them.

  278. matt

    TL2012 we need to speak, can we arange ?

  279. TL2012

    @ matt: If you tell me something about what we need to speak about and give me a contact number then it might be possible

  280. matt

    @TL2012 Unhappy investor thinking a web site needs to set up for like minded

  281. anonymous6

    http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/2012/06/16/uk-jurisdiction-granted-in-high-court-ruling/id=0011772

    links attached regarding a previous overseas investment that went horribly wrong. purely for information purposes.NOTHING to do with harlequin i might add and i am not saying that this investment will be the same . however there may be a precedent set in respect of any legal case pursued being allowed to be heard in the courts here in uk rather than the caribbean. ( am not a lawyer so any investor that is looking to take this line of action would need to seek appropriate legal advice.)

  282. 36

    @anonymous: which Echo are we talking about. Basildon Echo has nothing. What stops you putting the link up?

  283. new stuff

    I think it’s only in the print version so someone needs to scan it and upload it.

  284. BBaywatch

    ‘Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm
    Can say I saw a Harlequin Air plane on the ground in St Lucia yesterday in the area where planes pick up passengers and drop them off, not that that means anything. Looks in decent shape, is very small.’

    Now that’s interesting, as there is no evidence that Harlequin have obtained an operating licence yet this can’t have been a commercial flight. Interesting timing as a couple of transparently over the top puff reviews were posted on TripAdvisor too – coincidence?

  285. anonymous6

    @36 it is only in paper form so cannot link. the article in question is regarding harlequin/wilkins kennedy et al court case and just gives an update and outline to the defense filed. i’m sure will be published at some time online soon for all to see.

  286. 36

    Well it looks like BFP are falling over themselves to publish this. @Edward Smith: did you read the Echo on Wednesday night which you were “looking forward to”? Anything interesting to report?

  287. new stuff

    It appears that Harlequin Management Services (South East) Ltd have changed their year end from March to September. This has the knock on effect of delaying the filing of their next accounts until June 30th 2013.

  288. 666

    Edward Smith
    Have you been down to Basildon yet to get your money back? If not, why not ??
    I have been to Basildon on many occaisions I have no worries in doing business with Harlequin. All my questions have been answered to my satisfaction.
    The solar panels you refer to are of the TYPE being installed at Merricks. Nowhere does the wording say these are actually in Barbados. Anyone with half a brain would realise this!
    Did you enjoy reading the Echo last night?
    It is Wilkins Kennedy, not Harlequin, who will need to “wriggle out” of the charges laid before them.Another example of giving a false impression suggesting Harlequin are the defendants, when in fact it is they who have brought the charges.

  289. 247

    666, can you elaborate on what business you have done that has left you so positive about them? Do you not think anyone who bought in a place years ago that has still not yet begun construction, despite being told it would be completed 3 years ago, is entitled to have a very different view to you? What questions were answered to your satisfaction? Did you ask about proof of funding to build out all they have sold, did they satisfy you that the losses they make at the 2 existing resorts are not coming from home owner deposits? If you have satisfactory answers to those questions and the many others asked here, it would put a lot of people more at ease.

  290. Anon - reasons unknown

    Anonymous, you clearly have an agenda and are jealous. Stop asking such technical and specific questions. What is your obsession with the credibility of the investment? What does that matter? Why keep questioning where the deposit money from the 6,000 investors has gone? Why help spread vicious, evil rumour about Harlequin’s incredible success on the internet??? With over £600m taken in deposits, and almost 300 units built, what is your problem? So what if accounts aren’t published, court cases are abound, and former investors are forced to sign Non Disclosures?? Just drive down to Basildon, why don’t you, you jealous fool!

  291. 226

    Hi. David here.

    Very interseting comments by all. All comments seem a little “under nourished” does anyone REALLY have anything constructive to say?

  292. 36

    @ David, well you obviously don’t!

  293. 226

    36………correct, just inquisitive as the blog and comments seem so pointless. there are no answers/ resolutions anywhere? would anyone actually stand up and be named on here?

  294. 666

    Anonymous why should i tell you my business? What a cheek to ask! If you want answers go to Basildon. I am not a go-between. I don’t even know who you are.

  295. 1138

    Homes are sold, but not built. Homes are sold but not built. So goeth the cycle. That is the status, fact, and has been for 6 years, and no one can explain why this represents the success claimed by harlequin, 666, and the rest of the supporters. You would have to be very naive or have cash you don’t mind losing to “invest” in this.

  296. Mr Brown

    Nobody has lost any money!The only thing a few people have lost is patience.
    Why has no-one seeking answers or a refund been down to Basildon as 666 suggests? You will not get answers or a refund by complaining on an internet forum.
    As the building in all resorts gathers momentum over the next 2-3 years,patience will be rewarded.
    The multi- award winning Buccament Bay Resort is a standard that will be repeated,perhaps even bettered if that were possible, in all the other resorts.
    Remember this. With the standard of accomodation generally deteriorating due to lack of investment in many areas, the Caribbaean is crying out for the new build and the new attractions that Harlequin will deliver.
    Earlier this year,the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados mentioned Merricks,amongst others,as being key in regenerating tourism in the island. The DR Government is also looking to Harlequin to regenerate their faltering tourism.
    Patience is a virtue, Everything comes to those who wait.

  297. 36

    Still nothing from the Echo then. Must have been really interesting. Conspiricy theorists will be having a field day soon.

  298. sid

    Does anyone know if there is a collective website or forum where investors can share real information, or is this as good as it gets?

  299. 36

    Hi Sid, this is probably as good as I gets. I tried to share my experiences as an investor and got called “LYING HARLEQUIN SCUM” which shows the level of rhetoric you can expect.

  300. New-comer

    Has anyone talked to the media yet to make public what is really going on at Buc Bay? I’m getting sick of seeing all the positive press the resort is getting – especially seeing all the retired sports stars who are clearly being paid small fortunes to be there at our expense. I have links into the several papers and magazines and would be interested to know how many people would want to contribute their stories to an exposé to show the holidaying public what Harlequin are really like. Please can you let me know if would be interested in taking part. If there is enough interest I am thinking about running it over a period of time across a number of papers, magazines etc. The way I see it, as investors we have all been taken for a ride for some time and think it’s time we ruined their party.

  301. Sid

    Hi 36. I’m puzzled, how can you be Harlequin Scum when I’m guessing that the only link you have to Harlequin is being fleeced by them?

  302. Sid

    Hi new comer. Sounds interesting. Count me in and let me know when you are ready to do this.

  303. 247

    Hi Sid, there is another website for investors, http://www.riskwarning.co.uk
    Investors can exchange stories there but they are similar to what is being said here by a few upset investors. There is more detail regarding contracts and so on, but frankly it does not make Harlequin look any better than is being reported here.

  304. Sid

    Hi Anonymous, thanks for that, I’ll take a look. I’m new to both sites so don’t know how other investors have been getting on but am getting concerned about mine. Do you happen to know if anyone has seen a penny yet, either through rental income or had a refund?

  305. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    I have a contact in the Daily Mail Just remember before we do this though there is no going back!! I am very aware of Harlequins litigatious attitude to people who do take any action against them!

  306. New-comer

    I don’t think anyone can take action against the truth! And I’m also keen to learn why such high profile celebs like Pat Cash and Gary Player would be involved with a business that has such a questionable reputation!

  307. 247

    I have not heard of anyone getting any returns yet other than I think someone on this forum, possibly poster 36, saying they were receiving funds. Other investors have said they have not been having their interest paid for the loan they took out for the deposit, nor the guaranteed returns. Some people have had refunds, but have had them over a period of 12-24 months with large penalties. I guess it depends what contract was signed.

    Harlequin are very litigious and hence printed media has been reluctant to get involved in publishing stories about Harlequin. If you scroll up to a posting by Bbaywatch, you will see a video that was made about overseas property scams, and Dave Ames is featured in it, relating to a risk free development in Thailand that went wrong.

  308. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    Just remember there has been various websites two of which were set up by investors and they are no longer I have been led to believe that Carter Ruck got involved its good to know how your investment is being spent so whichever newspaper runs the story make sure they do there DD. In reply about celebs ££££££££

  309. 36

    @Sid, you you have made the misformed assumption that I am being fleeced by Harlequin. If you take the trouble to read the previous 300+ threads then you might learn something. I was dis satisfied but rather than moan and groan which has the effect of devaluing my investment, I sat down with Harlequin, went through my contracts, obtained a refund with compensation on one resort, and receiving income from another.
    @New-comer: and you really know what is going on a Buc Bay do you? Talk to your links, go on, do it. Get a good journalist involved. See if they will touch your “storey” Put up or sut up.

  310. 247

    Sid – one can assume Pat Cash and Gary Player are paid handsome fees. Not saying it is a scam, but people tend to take the money if it there – Stanford always had a question mark over him, but the players took the money in the big 20 20 match for US$20m. When Stanford went down, they keep the money and their reputations were not sullied – after all, they did not know they were being paid with someone else’s money. Same with Cash and co, they don’t know it is someone else’s, unless someone proves it (even though it does seem self-evident that is what it must be), and it has not been proven it is a scam. What would be interesting to see is the rental agreement from which anyone can be getting their income, unless it is the straight 10% guarantee being paid out without any accompanying financial report on the hotel’s performance.

  311. New-comer

    Thanks for the reply 36. I wasn’t aware of your situation so apologise for jumping to the wrong conclusion…..and my spelling! It does sound odd though that you have not only received a refund but also been compensated when many others seem to get nothing. Is it really as simple as sitting down with them?

  312. 36

    @new-comer: I did not say it was simple, but a contract is a contract, and not all contracts are the same. I cannot understand how any one can come onto this site and just moan. They signed their own contracts. No one forced anyone to sign.

  313. New stuff

    But, 36, what happens when you have signed a contract with a Harlequin company registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but wrote a cheque to Harelquin in the UK. Who do you seek a refund from? The SVG company can say, “sorry, but you never paid us”. And the UK company can say, “sorry, but you have no contract with us”.

  314. Matt

    @36
    I’m just about to start the process of claiming my deposit back based on completion dates being pushed out way beyond what my contract states
    Did your refund include capital appreciation and what fees did they charge you ?

  315. anonymous6

    @36. yes, clients signed the contract but i am sure in many cases it was via their ifa/adviser who told them to simply sign on the dotted line as all the DD etc had been carried out. i doubt that many investors actually referred their contracts to an independent solicitor to review the wording and ramifications of a non-regulated investment, where funds are not held in escrow or in fact can be used for all intents and purposes e.g salaries, commission, advertising etc etc. maybe, just maybe they may be under the impression that as this was recommended in the most part by ifa’s/financial advisors that they are fully protected bt the FSA /FSCS and maybe if they did via a SIPP that again they are protected . unfortunately this is not the case so one needs to hope that harlequin do manage to succeed.

  316. Matt

    All

    For the avoidance of doubt I’m not an anonymous person on this site and will gladly talk to any harlequin personnel to explain my own situation

    For the record I am in dialog which is on going at this moment in time with Harlequin , I feel that if you’ve got an issue you must raise it direct
    Although posting genuine updates is acceptable

  317. yatiniteasy

    So BFP , are comments to this post one of the most received(317) ? Put it back on top if it is so important.

  318. 36

    @new stuff: My advice, go legal,
    @Matt: does your contract say you can claim against capital appreciation and you would be liable for fees?

  319. New-comer

    36, I am glad to hear that you have reached and amicable exit with Harlequin, but it doesn’t seem that I will. I have been trying for a long time to get my money out as it they have fallen so far short of their promises, but am getting no cooperation from them and am being forced into a legal situation – which I find completely unreasonable considering I made my investment in good faith and have been very patient until now. I’m happy to pay handling costs as long as I get the lion share of my investment back and will learn from my experience, but they are trying to hang onto 50%, which is unjustifiable. I’m well within my rights to go public on my own personal experience and will let people draw their own conclusions.

  320. BBaywatch

    I think you all need to read the latest story!

  321. New-comer

    What’s the latest story?

  322. New stuff

    @36

    Thanks for the advice to go legal. What does it say about the way the company treats investors if they have to resort to a legal process to get their deposit returned despite it being clear in the contract that they can claim their deposit back in the event of a delay?

    It doesn’t feel like much of a partnership to me. Take their money and tell em nowt (to use the phrase of a previous poster)

  323. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    Ames needs to remember who pays his wage and that of his family, I dont know the area very well can someone please multimap the directions to the Jobcentre for them all!!

  324. Matt

    The article in the Echo offers not a lot of hope

    I will keep you all updated to the progress of my deposit recovery, I’m hopeful based on discussions I’ve had but time will tell as will I

    Matt

  325. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    Matt I really do wish you luck I have tried for over two very long years and had excuses after excuses. And now “I dream its over” so no one else gets drawn into this!

  326. New stuff

    @ matt

    Can you point us to a copy of the Echo article? I haven’t seen it yet.

  327. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    New Stuff if you go to the first page of BBFP its there

  328. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    Barbados free press

  329. Sid

    Having read the article, I am puzzled as to why all legal action to date has been civil. Surely if Ames has been running his business as is reported he would be facing real legal action, wouldn’t he? Does anyone know if he is being looked at by the law?

  330. Sid

    One more question….does anyone know of anyone who has actually taken delivery of their property? Does anyone know if the 300 units that are complete are actually owned by private investors?

  331. SICK OF HARLECORRUPTION

    Sid that all works two ways think about it all these people he accuses but NEVER goes to the police about? If someone supposedly stole millions of pounds of you where would you go? Harlequin are very clever saying there suing this person and that person they Never say who is counter suing do they?

  332. David Myles

    I would like to offer a glimmer of hope to those who have invested money into these schemes through UK based regulated financial advisers. Although this is an unregulated investment, that simply means that it is NOT covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and may not be covered by recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme. If, however, the adviser actually advised you to invest your money into such a scheme then they have to have done so by taking into account full details of your personal and financial circumstances and, in particular, your attitude to investment risk and your capacity to suffer loss. Whatever your opinion on this as an investment it certainly could not be described as “low risk”. So, if you were advised that this was appropriate for you then you should make a formal complaint to the adviser concerned. Make sure that this is properly constructed and not just cobbled together out of emotion and send it to that business. The key to the complaint is that the investment was not suitable for your tolerance to investment risk and that you could not afford to lose or wait for your money to appear.

    The difficulty is that the agents for Harlequin are un-regulated sales agents who give you the information but leave the buying decision up to you and the regulated advisers are giving you advice on your pension but giving themselves a “get-out” clause by saying that they are simply facilitating the exercise of an investment decision that you made yourself. DO NOT accept this. The Financial Services Authority is taking a very long and hard look at the sale of un-regulated investments and is also looking very hard at the suitability of recommended investments. Go and talk to a properly qualified independent financial adviser, explain the situation to them and ask them to help you with a complaint. They will probably charge but they will do the job for you. You may end up having to sue the previous adviser but that is your first point of call.

  333. Matt

    @36 ive received my resale figures and they do indeed include capital appreciation but with hefty charges
    To be honest if i was refunded my original deposit id be happy, im not sure what will happen from here on in as im still waiting for Harlequin to get back to me
    What i will do is keep you all updated as to my progress via a time line

  334. we received leaflet from KINGSLEY DAVID Solicitors with notaries quote ‘Are you ready for com[letion? Let us make this easy for you.KD are aestablished firm of solicitors based in milton keynes…will assist purchasers of harlequin properties in the Caribbean by introducing them to a carefully selected lawyer in the caribbean to ensure the completion process as smooth & efficient as possible.The due diligence required and execution of legal documentation will be handled by kingsley david to save purchasers time,expense and bother.SIPP or not. Call 0845 313 8992

    anybody like to try them and report back ???

  335. New stuff

    Sandy, why not just find your own good solicitor in SVG instead. Ask around and find someone respected.

    With email and Skype you can conduct the process yourself. I can’t see what a UK middle man would do except forward emails and charge you handsomely for it.

  336. 138

    Agree entirely new stuff. Fly over yourself ideally. Everyone associated with harlequin dealing with investors has been entirely self-serving. Find your own independent lawyer who for once will protect your interests.

  337. agreed, i just wondered if anyone had used them already,or knew anything.

  338. yatiniteasy

    Problem in St vincent is that the Prime Minister is still Attorney at Law Ralph Gonsalves The fear of going up against Mr Ames who is a close friend of the PM, makes it very difficult to find a lawyer in St Vincent to handle your case.

  339. 138

    I have had bad experieces with lawyers in SVG. None I would trust there. Best to contact a respected lawyer from a nearby island like St Lucia where there are more games in town, and work with them.

  340. anonymous

    another article in the “echo” today. no doubt BFP will publish in due course.

  341. Anonymous

    What was article about? BFP?

  342. BBaywatch

    A telling comment included in the piece

    ‘The firm has also been unable to arrange borrowing to develop all its resorts or to provide loans to investors to complete their purchases.’

    From reading the otherwise extravagantly enthusiastic reviews on TripAdvisor it is clear that there is considerable under occupancy at Buccament Bay. Reviewers mention cancelled excursions and trips due to lack of numbers and curiously an inability to get seats at Jack’s restaurant quote’It was difficult to get a table in Jack’s, but we just managed to get one on the Friday night; however, despite apparently being fully booked, the restaurant was 80% empty while we were there.’

    That, coupled with the large discounts being offered over the Christmas period, does suggest that it is highly unlikely that the resort is making an operating profit. Of course they are not the only Caribbean resort offering large discounts, Royal Westmoreland being another example, however Royal Westmoreland do not have a commitment to construct over 5,500 extra units at numerous locations with no finance in place!

    So, if Harlequin are to repay some of their investors (even if this is a small number as they claim) and they are not generating profit from trading and up to one third of the investors money has been paid as sales commission, then there can only be one source for the repayment, other investors money. I think that there might be a word to describe that kind of operation.

  343. 138

    It would seem the FSA are not going to really look into this, it is not a regulated scheme. They have many other things to worry about than some investors losing their money in the Caribbean. I remain amazed that more people are not coming here and stirring up trouble and finding ways to get paid back double time (there are ways, I have seen it done) Your homes will never get built, if that is not clear to investors now, then it never will be. The worst thing people can do in these situations is to do nothing and wait. FYI, Harlequin spent a load of money going to ILTM in Cannes, which is an event for the most luxurious products in the world, very few from the Caribbean go, just hotels like Eden Rock in S Bart’s, selling the US$20k per night Rockstar Villa. What did Harlequin go to sell? Blu. A US$100 per night 2/3 star roadside inn. What a complete waste of money and demonstration of zero knowledge of the industry.

  344. SICK OF HARLCORUPTION

    Anonymous please tell more? how can I get my money back?
    I dont really want to set up a alternative website but who knows?

  345. HARLISUCCESS

    A NewYear message to all the doom mongers.
    The group of people that make up the Harlequin Family is wide-ranging in content— investors,private backers,specialists in construction,design,materials procurement,resort management,travel industry experts,sports facilities design and management,world-class sports instructors,food and beverage procurement and delivery,quality management,personnel training,aircraft consultancy,spa management,health and fitness training,water sports tuition,world class theatre and the arts tuition,legal and financial services…..the list goes on and on.Not forgetting ,of course,the great contributions made by our local brothers and sisters in delivering the 5 Star service.
    A world class team of experts. Experts with a strong determination to succeed in growing the business.Everyone of the above,individually and collectively are far,far too strong to allow themselves to be deflected from the pathway to stunning success,much of it already having been achieved.
    So,green-eyed doom mongers,perhaps now is the time to realise you will never succeed in your ill-fated quest to bring Harlequin down. Why dont you turn your doom mongering to other projects in the Caribbean that are at a standstill,despite in some cases having been promised huge cash injections of public funding.Many of these projects were started before or at the same time as Buccament Bay and to date have not generated a single reservation between them!!
    The great majority of investors are able to observe real exciting progress moving forward,admittedly at a slower pace than envisaged at the outset.
    Taking into account the continuing unparalled world-wide recessin,take a look around you and see the abandoned concrete wastelands,boarded up development sites,hotel closures etc etc and maybe you will begin to appreciate what star performers Harlequin are!
    This is why new and existing investors continue to place their funding into “Redefining Luxury in the Caribbean” Sorry Doom mongers but it really is happening! So shut up and get used to it !
    P.S. Have you seen the fantastic photographs of the festivities over Xmas and New Year at Buccament Bay? WOW!!!!

  346. Anonymous

    I think Harlisuccess should get a job writing scripts for the North Korean TV News – check this one out from 46 seconds onwards – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEUtU3DShUI

    I think the news presenter is reading the above post about how wonderful BB is.

  347. DR Goodnews

    I have been reliably informed that finance for the projects in the DR has now been approved.

  348. Anonymous13

    Terry
    You say you are going to Dominica to start a new business.
    sounds like a rat deserting a sinking ship1

  349. HARLISUCCESS

    Anonymos
    We look forward to viewing your photos of the progress at H Hotel.
    Interesting that you should say a number of workers were on site during your visit.This contradicts the obviously blind observers who said the site was unoccupied.Did it never occur to these buffoons,men might be working out of view? Most people genuinely interested in the real progress being made on this site will have seen the latest official pictures ( January ) and will be impressed with the work going on.I most certainly am!

  350. BBaywatch

    @Hardlysuccess – and the fact that the work is months (years even?) behind schedule and still a very long way from complete, when it should already be generating revenue, is of no consequence?

  351. Anon - reasons unknown

    @Hardlysuccess – and what do you think the chances are now of any men working on any Harlequin site being paid? Still, at least we’re talking only a handful.

    Thousands of investors may lose everything. How many have remortgaged their houses to fund the investment? The bank’s won’t give two stuffs about Harlequin. The security for the mortgage is the investor’s UK home.

  352. Terry

    @anonymous. No not really I have family there and visited many times. There are opportunities with the many cruise ships that visit Roseau and up in Portsmouth with the American medical university.

  353. Terry

    Any investors on here you need to contact these guys
    http://riskwarning.co.uk/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
    They are fully aware of what is going on and have had some success.
    You dont need a St Vincent laywer. It may be a caribbean contract but it was signed in the UK, your deposit was paid into a uk companies account and your interest loan payments have been coming out of the same account.
    Good luck
    Harlisuccess it is nothing to do with doom mongering. Ill keep it simple 2+2=4 no matter how much you or Harequin say 2+2=5
    Regards

  354. Anonymous

    Hardlysuccess – have a read of the Harlequin newsletter in April, only 9 months ago. Phase one of Merricks and Marquis to open from 2013. They have not started either. Financing still not in place. Go back in all their newsletters and statements over the last 7 years about construction dates and completion dates and financing and airlines etc and you will see every single one has been rubbish. They sold H hotel as opening in 2012 originally – I believe the sales pitch was by buying into this existing product, you will get a return much quicker, or words to that effect. Blu was sold on the same basis and a US$700 rate. You can walk over there now and pay US$99 to stay there. You and Harlequin are just total liars and finally an authority is doing something about it.

  355. Mark Amen

    I was told it takes at least eighteen months to build a resort…………….

  356. Anon - reasons unknown

    London built the Olympics in less time than it took Harlequin to build 300 units. But then again, Harlequin are using state of the art, innovative construction methods which they’ve been experimenting with on a couple of chalets at Merricks for the past 3 years. Apace.

  357. Faceless

    The frantic smear campaign is not going to stop Harlequin from building,nor is your attempt to discredit Dave Ames.Much of what you say cannot be substantiated.It is based on assumptions,misrepresentation,guesswork and downright lies.You use the terms “I believe”,”someone told me”,”I heard” etc.etc.It’slike a bunch of old washerwomen engaged in malicious gossip.You are engaged in one big evil conspiracy on the BFP website.A vondictive conspiracy that has been long-running,inept,pointless and going nowhere fast.You troublemakers are all hiding behind faceless identities,contradict each other, even arguing amongst yourselves.What a complete waste of everyone’s time.
    Harlequin will be in business for many,many years.

  358. gagged by you

    I know we are terrible people wanting to know where are money is Dave
    we have to hide because of your gagging orders Dave
    where are our buildings Dave
    where are the company accounts Dave
    And one thing I am certain of is that nobody in there right mind will touch your company with a barge pole. think about it this is not one or two people you have upset thats why you hang around with the guys we pay for Dave

  359. Check-This-Out

    Faceless

    Suggest you change you monicker to Brainless

  360. Hey CTO – What on earth is a monicker?

  361. 138

    Think he meant to leave out the c, should read moniker, but it was still understandable and not worth pulling him up, IMHO.

  362. gagged by you

    mmm I am going away for a couple of weeks and will miss the panorama program can anyone help answer this will I be able to veiw this abroad or will I just have to wait till I return:(

  363. I have taken advice and this may be an alternative option, make a claim against the company that converted your pension to a SIPP, they most likely are ‘in bed with HP’ and paid huge commissions for bad advice, if they converted an final salary pension, its bad advice. This way if HP go bust, you may have a chance to claim on the IFA public liability insurance. Please correct me if I have been misinformed.

  364. Dave Amesless

    Harleconned

    February 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Just remember this http://youtu.be/7B-4Lsrx8IA

    Everyone who is in Manchester or local to Manchester come to the meeting on the 9th at the Marriott Hale Barns Manchester (Airport)

    United we stand….

  365. Twin Rivers

    I’ve a contract for an apartment build at two rivers. At the end of this month the contract is breached based upon the target completion date going beyond the 12 months target completion date. This entitles me to a full refund less expenses…. Would be interested to find out on whether anybody else on this site as opted for refund and how successful they’ve been?

  366. 86

    I also have a contract for the Two rivers resort and it will breached at the end of March. So I am also inerested in whether any refunds have been successful? My deposit was half cash, half loan. They are now 3 months behind covering my loan payment so i assume they have cashflow problems, and therefore doubtiing if they can afford to refund our cash deposit? Will be interested to see the company’s 2012 accounts once they file them!

  367. ATTENTION TO ALL HARLEQUIN CLIENTS!!!

    New information about our action against Harlequin Property.
    We have organised 3 meetings next month in London to help the investors with Harlequin. The QC, a top UK lawyer (with a track record in Civil Fraud) as well as a top insolvency practitioner will be present at the meeting to give individual advice and guidance to each client’s case. The initial meeting is free of charge and if you decide to stay with us the cost will be kept to a minimum. If you can’t attend our meeting we can still represent you.

    Contact us:
    Email: cpcholding@europe.com
    Tel: 0191 386 2487

  368. Matty

    I’ve invested on Las Canas with a completion date of December 2013. After much discussions was told the date would not be met and it would now be 2017. Very difficult to stomach

    I’ve put my unit on the resale list, this was 2 months ago and I’m still waiting

    Unlike most on these forums I’m not anonymous and if you’d like to contact me

    Email is Matty.ryan@btinternet.com

    Matty ryan 07944112940

  369. Matty at least they have told YOU they have not bothered telling ME typical Harlequin Come and meet some other investors
    .http://harlequininvestors.boards.net/index.cgi

  370. Fatchett does not represent me.

    If Edmundo isnt a troll then I dont know what is. LOL

  371. 104

    If you have invested in Harlequin property and have used an independent financial agent, we can start a new case where we can make an independent insurance claim to get back the money you have lost.

    Contact us at CPC Worldwide now for information:

    Tel :0191 386 2487

    Email: cpcholding@europe.com

  372. Loony tunes

    Nooooooooo! some of it is some its just barmy!

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