Harlequin Property to make refunds to disgruntled investors: or so their lawyers say.

Harlequin & David Ames: Ponzi Scheme House of Cards?

Harlequin & David Ames: Ponzi Scheme House of Cards?

“Some investors asked for refunds, but in some cases were told up to a third of their deposit would not be repaid because it has been spent on commissions to sales agents and would be paid back over one to two years.”

“Harlequin is not authorized and regulated by the FSA, meaning there is no Government-backed protection for UK investors.”

What if everybody wanted their money back now?

Man oh man! 30% commissions paid to sales agents? No wonder the ‘investment counselors’ push Harlequin! 30%!!!

Here’s from Echo News and you should go their website to read Resort developer “to pay back cash” but you know we have to print the whole story here in case the Echo News story disappears like before times…

Resort developer “to pay back cash”

4:00pm Friday 14th December 2012 in Local News By Jon Austin

A SOUTH Essex-based Caribbean luxury resort developer hit by delays has confirmed it will pay back some investors.

Harlequin Property, based in Honywood Road, Basildon, says it will return any cash they are entitled to.

Nine investors are involved in court claims filed against Harlequin at the East Caribbean Supreme Court to get back deposits and compensation plus damages for alleged misrepresentation by the firm.

It comes as the Echo can reveal the business has been probed by the UK finance watchdog the Financial Services Authority.

Carter Ruck solicitor Adam Tudor added: “I confirm that Harlequin is disputing a number of claims brought by purchasers in the Caribbean but it is only doing so in relation to those who are seeking more than they are entitled to claim under the terms of their purchase contract.

Harlequin has happily repaid a number of purchasers but is not prepared to pay sums that are not owed.” It said a recent decision of the High Court of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines concluded certain claims were not enforceable and this followed in a number of other cases.

He added: “On the back of this, Harlequin is now repeating the proposals that had previously been made to the purchasers, directly to the solicitors instructed on these cases in the hope that the matters can be concluded amicably. The number of individuals who have sought to cancel their contracts and seek repayment amounts to a tiny proportion of investors.”

In April the Echo revealed Harlequin had sold around 6,000 offplan properties across six Caribbean resorts and one in Brazil, but so far built around 300 at Buccament Bay in St Vincent.

Some investors asked for refunds, but in some cases were told up to a third of their deposit would not be repaid because it has been spent on commissions to sales agents and would be paid back over one to two years.

Around 30 investors have contacted the Echo, most with concerns about delays, but some were happy with their investment.

Harlequin stressed only a “tiny proportion” of investors have asked for money back. The firm has also been unable to arrange borrowing to develop all its resorts or to provide loans to investors to complete their purchases.

Meanwhile, Harlequin confirmed its business has been probed by the UK finance watchdog.

The firm says it fully cooperated with inquiries made by the Financial Services Authority and that the regulator was “satisfied” with information it provided.

Mr Tudor said: “For the record, the only contact that my clients have had with the FSA was in mid 2010. Harlequin liased fully with the FSA, which was satisfied with the information that was provided.”

The FSA, which polices the financial industry, refused to comment on this.

However, details of reviews it “carried out reviews into the activities of Harlequin” were disclosed to the Echo in a Freedom of Information Act response from the regulator.

It refused to say what the reviews centred around, how many were carried out, if they were ongoing, any outcomes or on Carter Ruck’s statement about it being satisfied.

Harlequin is not authorized and regulated by the FSA, meaning there is no Government-backed protection for UK investors.

The watchdog will sometimes look into unregulated investments if it believes they may be carrying out business which should be regulated.

71 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

71 responses to “Harlequin Property to make refunds to disgruntled investors: or so their lawyers say.

  1. BBaywatch

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

    As the text was presumably checked by Harlequin’s lawyers – and not disputed – this is an extraordinary admission. If this is the case and the situation continues then Harlequin are admitting that they cannot complete on their contracts with investors – which would seem to guarantee the refunds must be issued. Where will the money come from???

  2. Hello

    If people are stupid enough to believe that good for them. Ames is only carrying a campaign to get back investors confidence and racket more money… Boutique Hotel BARBADOS, the contractors have left the site, the staff has been paid late, and a contractor has not been paid.. One will understand that Ames need more money and he is just trying to fool potential investors…

  3. Anon - reasons unknown

    Not very factual, I know, and completely irrelevant to the ponzi discussion, but Ames looks like an absolute psycho nutter in that photo. Would you trust him with your savings? If only all the investors could listen to him speak before investing. Can’t remember where I saw it written, but I once read “the only things Ames is missing is a Stetson and a set of spurs”.

  4. 183

    There is relevance there, as the couple of times I met him, it was very clear he knew nothing about the Caribbean or tourism and was blustering his way through conversations. There was no chance I was investing with him.

  5. yatiniteasy

    December 21 St , 345 pm…not one worker on Harlequin Hastings hotel site..are they closed for Xmas, or has the contractor left the scene?

  6. J chalmers

    Why in the world doesn’t someone organise a meeting of all the investors who have nothing to show yet for their money and have David Ames and his accountants give answers and figures and to be accountable.there is strength in numbers and all you’re individual comments don’t get any where.someone take the initiative unite.

  7. BBaywatch

    Intimidation? – it comes in many forms – even Trip Advisor have cravenly given in and deleted the accounts of anyone critical of BB while permitting outrageous PR puffs masquerading as reviews.

  8. Anon - reasons unknown

    The smart investors will have, or will be able to, get their money back from Harlequin, or will be able to sue the agent who recommended the investment to them.

    All that the smart investors need is written correspondence (e.g. emails) from Harlequin, or the agent, promising things that haven’t materialised. e.g. completion dates, capital growth, guaranteed returns, resort income, property resales, return of deposit after contract expiration etc etc.

    For those of you who think that your agent isn’t an IFA so you have no comeback … any agent who describes themselves as an agent (in any way whatsoever) has a duty of care to their client, and in that respect, they have a duty to carry out due diligence on any product they advise you to invest in.

    So. To all the smart investors out there who want a refund. Take the bones of my advice to a DECENT solicitor, and stop fart arsing around.

  9. 138

    Agree with anon-reasons unknown. But on top of claiming from a UK agent/IFA, if the contract has been breached, and the contract is with a Caribbean company, get a local lawyer and claim your money back. A good lawyer will get you your money back if your contract has been breached, such as not meeting the completion date.You need to get on with it though whilst there are still assets to claim against. As for getting answers from Ames, you can try and get together and find him and ask him the real questions, but his track record indicates he will not tell the truth and I suspect that would be time wasted. Interestingly, some investors say they are happy with their investment and so perhaps some people are being treated differently to others?

  10. Anon - reasons unknown

    Anonymous, you are talking about the ‘simple’ situation of suing for breach of contract in the Caribbean since the investor’s contract is with the Caribbean company.

    That is the most seemingly straightforward approach, however, as we have seen, suing in the Caribbean is even slower than suing in the UK, and the case may have to go to the Supreme Court if the amount claimed in damages is disputed by the defence.

    Sue the agent / Harlequin in the UK I say. And even if it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a sure bet before, during and after disclosure in the UK, make sure you have all the UK media invited to the hearing. And let Harlequin know that.

  11. Well Well

    when will corrupt caribbean politicians go to jail for giving foreign thieves free rein in the West Indies?????

  12. St George's Dragon

    Is it true that Harlequin is closing down its operations in Barbados? I hear the office is closing. Does that mean the H Hotel project is stopping?

  13. Anon - reasons unknown

    Where have you heard this Dragon? Hearsay, or evidence? That’s not a loaded question, just wondered if anyone in Barbados has any facts for us. I saw a Harlequin Barbados employee comment on another thread on here recently … maybe they can post.

  14. St George's Dragon

    I heard today from someone who knows an employee of Harlequin who works in the B’dos office that the employee has been told the office is closing. No more information.

  15. Anon - reasons unknown

    OK thanks Dragon. Keep us posted.

  16. BBaywatch

    If this is correct I wonder who they will blame? Unlike Buccament Bay, where they are conducting a nearly hysterical campaign railing against LIAT on TripAdvisor, there are no scapegoats and only themselves to blame if this project fails.

  17. Anon - reasons unknown

    All down to the overwhelmingly ruthless campaign by BFP, a few disgruntled investors and the Basildon Echo.

    No corporate global investment fund could withstand a campaign such as that, with only Carter Ruck to turn to.

  18. yatiniteasy

    Sorry Anon, but Ponzi schemes only last so long…there is no “ruthless campaign” only people reporting facts, and the operators unable to show that postings on BFP and elsewhere are not factual.

  19. Anonymous

    I believe Anon was being tongue in cheek to show what a deck of cards Harlequin really is. It does seem the net is finally closing in. This ponzi scheme has gone on far too long and would be nice to see it called to a halt once and for all.

  20. Anon - reasons unknown

    I think you misunderstood my post. Perhaps irony is not so apparent on your radar.

  21. Anon - reasons unknown

    Posted at the same time, Anonymous. Thank you. Yes, people will be badly hurt, but I’m sick of it continuing. The sooner the better. This must lead to greater responsibility for IFAs and SIPP providers in the UK.

    SIPP investments being unregulated and therefore outside the law is unacceptable.

  22. BBaywatch

    an interesting review and response from the GM on TA -

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147380-d1719145-r148392890-Buccament_Bay_Resort-St_Vincent_St_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

    The review is headlined “Beautiful Resort, terrible front desk and accounting” and recounts the problem that the guest had with billing for their stay. In his response GM Gianluca Cugnetto says ‘Unfortunately, the billing issue was outside of our control because it was due to incorrect information being entered into a booking system by a third party’

    WTF! if they can’t even control a basic piece of business software no wonder the whole operation is a shambles! (oh – and of course it’s never their fault).

  23. Croix Du Femur

    Per St George’s Dragon; As far as I am aware? Many Construction companies worldwide opt to provide staff a vacation as they close off for the Christmas/New Year’s slump when everyone is busy wrapping and feasting. So the local office here shut or limited at this period is not so unusual.

  24. yatiniteasy

    @croix True, by Mon Jan 14th they should be up and running…especially if they still plan for a “late 2013″ opening.Most other construction sites were working from Mon 7th. We will see.

  25. Anonymous4

    The construction site will remain closed for all of January. The office reopened on January 2nd with limited staff, some were put on a temporary unpaid leave for at least January. There is not enough money to pay all salaries. This ship is sinking IMHO…

  26. 241

    Not another white elephant left in the Caribbean. If this ends up being one, govt has to take full responsibility. Harlequin have failed to build any of the other developments they have been selling for years (BB aside, which is nowhere near finished), they should have been told that they have to meet commitments of existing sales made at Merricks, before being given planning permission to do anything else. Our governments have helped perpetuate what appears to be a ponzi scheme. If it were not a ponzi scheme, then the governments should have demanded he demonstrated that it is not by showing proof of funds to satisfy the contracts held with thousands of existing investors, instead of allowing more people to be sucked in and leave the Caribbean looking bad.

  27. Meena Mitra

    Harlequin has taken money from me in 2008. They advertised to give 290%profit. There is no profit forthcoming. Someone would be LUCY if they could get their money back. They claim to pay one third of your deposit to agents, does anyone know whats happening at Merrick?????????

  28. yatiniteasy

    @Meena Mitra..They have almost completed two show villas at Merricks…that after selling over 1000 units going back at least 6 years.They have not yet received full planning permission for the project.The prospects of any progress on that project in the near future look pretty dim at the moment. They have gone off on a tangent now, buying hotels with a view to restoring them to 5 star quality…using your money I`m afraid.

  29. Eddie Lizzard2

    Meena Mitra,
    With respect, did you really believe that your PROFIT would be 290%? That’s just plain daft!

    However, I do sympathise because I thing they lied to you. The truth is that not only did the agent take a hefty commission (30 per cent I am told) but the Ames family also paid themselves a huge chunk of the deposit money too in dividends.

  30. BBaywatch

    http://www.ifaonline.co.uk/ifaonline/news/2244007/harlequin-property-hits-problems-with-payments

    Says it all in the title – further evidence that things are not at all well in the Basildon Bunker.

  31. 87

    Interesting (but not surprising) to see Pat Cash and Liverpool FC distancing themselves. What happened to Gary player, is he still involved?

  32. Anon999

    Is there a central forum where investors can share experiences or is this as good as it gets?

  33. BFP

    Hello Anon999

    There aren’t many ‘forums’ left after Harlequin’s lawyers Carter Ruck slashed and burned their way across the internet in a quest to remove any discussion at all about their client. Barbados Free Press is one of the few left standing.

    We ain’t much… but we’re just about all ya got!

  34. 138

    BFP, well done for keeping going. If Harlequin was above board, then there would be no need for various forums and slashing and burning by Carter Ruck – solid updates and explanations by Harlequin would have saved them huge sums in legal costs, but sadly they have never been forthcoming, just threats of litigation against those who did speak out.

  35. Anon999

    Thanks BFP. That explains the obvious lack of ‘investor stories’ on the web. I can’t believe Harlequin can wield so much power, when I’m sure all people are trying to do is tell the truth about their own experience.

  36. Its not power, its spending our investments on Carter Ruck, it seem the MOS is not scared of them or maybe HP can not pay their massive fees?

  37. Anon999

    I’m sure the MOS have no concerns about printing the truth. They can’t be sued for that, regardless of how good HP’s lawyer is!

  38. They do seem keen, will be very intresting to see nexts weeks follow up, be the phones are going mad in Basildon

  39. Anon999

    I’ve been looking at BB on the web, and whilst it really is a great looking resort I can’t find any pictures that show guests. Are people actually holidaying there as it looks deserted?

  40. New Stuff

    It’s hard to say what the occupancy of BB is like. Equally it is not easy to tell just how many of the guests posting reviews on TA have actually stayed there because they seem so incredibly gushing in their praise and use so many of the same phrases that I can only imagine that they are being bashed out in someone’s bedroom using a script.

    A few reviewers seem genuine and comment very favourably on the dedication of the staff, offer mixed reports about the quality and range of the food. There are quite a few reviews that suggest it is very quiet despite some attractive deals to be had.

  41. New Stuff

    Talking of Trip Advisor, this got posted over the weekend:

    I have invested in two properties with Harlequin, one in stage 1 in Buccament Bay. The cabaña is in constant use and I have yet to see a penny in return. My letters are being ignored and when finally getting short replies being lied too. I have asked my sip providers to intervene and they are being ignored too. Harlequin are not living up to there promises at all!!!! …………… and to all you positive investors in your stage 2 and other site investments WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!! There a bunch of crooks.

  42. Anon - reasons unknown

    ^ hmm. Not a Ponzi then as early investors aren’t being paid at all (using later investors’ money).

    I think Ponzi doesn’t apply to this, but fraud by misrepresentation.

    Mind you, maybe some investors are receiving returns on their investments – like 36? Can’t really work out what his deal is, other than his delight at having received a refund AND transfer of units to another resort. What an amazing deal, no wonder he feels so smug! He moved from frying pan to fire!

    I’m quite sure that no investors are receiving a return of their investments, since none should have transfer of title, and most, I’m sure, would be unable to raise mortgages for the completion (i.e. remaining 70% of their unit).

    Wonder how many £1,000 deposit investors are out there? I feel sorry for them as if/when Harlequin go “pop”, they will owe some bank or other the 30% less £1,000 that Harlequin have spent. The loans were in their names (investor) but Harlequin took the full 30% which was secured on the investor’s UK property.

  43. New Stuff

    @ Anon-RU, I’ve never been convinced that the investments are Ponzi but there is a fair amount of evidence that they are pyramid in their structure. Each new layer of investors must be adding more liability onto the balance sheet than the asset they provide in terms of invested funds. This is especially so if the high figures of agent commissions and HMSSE cut are true.

    If every investor adds more liability than asset then the whole project demands a constant flow of new investors to keep it going and, however long it goes on for, the later investors would always lose. If things dry up now it may not just be the later investors it may be the majority of the 6000 (?) who are waiting to see their units built.

  44. Anon - reasons unknown

    New Stuff – I don’t think it’s Ponzi or Pyramid.

    Ponzi means early investor returns are paid by later investor funds. We’re both agreed that since no investors are receiving returns, it can’t meet Ponzi conditions.

    I can’t see how it is pyramid. In a pyramid scheme, ‘investors’/sale persons get returns on future sales until the system is maxed out and fails.

    I think this is pure fraud. The commissions are just one-off payments to those sales people complicit in the fraud. The only people making true money out of the investment are shareholders i.e. Ames family. They own the investor money though one Harlequin company or other, and regularly pay themselves mighty dividends. Of course, some direct Harlequin employees may be complicit in the fraud, depending on their knowledge and pay and reward structure, but future criminal prosecutions should through light on that.

  45. Anon - reasons unknown

    whoops – couple of typos:

    “… own investor money ‘through’ one Harlequin company or other …”

    ” … future criminal prosecutions should ‘throw’ light on that.”

  46. 58

    The staff know exactly what is going on but for some reason cover for them.
    Their pockets and bank accounts are bulging with our deposits.
    How come no accounts were published what was the authorities doing in SV, How much have they paid themselves since 2006.

  47. 241

    Staff all well paid, as are the celebrity endorsers. Staff and celebs will walk away from this with investor money having paid them nicely but will leave investors with absolutely nothing to show for it. In any situation like this, you go after whoever can pay you something, whoever has money. Perhaps player, cash, Townsend and Lfc could be pusuaded to pay back their fees when this all ends, which is very soon? Worth asking….

    Ponzi scheme? I think ames may have wanted to set one up, but is far too stupid to have ran one. It is clear fraud, never got as sophisticated as Charles ponzi/stanford/madoff managed. Needed new money to build initial investor homes (similar to needing new money to pay early investors, so was an attempted ponzi style scheme) but kept spending it on other random nonsense so could not even create the image of a ponzi. Transparent fraud.

  48. Henry

    To anon
    Could it be said that as new investors monies are or were being used to pay the interest on their loans that a benefit is being received. By definition that would make it a Ponzi scheme.

  49. I has told by a reporter that the SFO have six or seven investigators who have been working on this for months – no wonder they will not comment on it – just getting the ducks inline…… then shoot!

  50. 36

    @Anon-Reasons unknown, for the last time I DID NOT TRANSFER FROM ONE DEVELOPMENT TO ANOTHER. If you are going to quote me at least do it correctly!

  51. E. st. John

    Getting up to speed since news articles appeared last week + following comments etc. Things moving at such a pace now, that my post here is a sideline and just goes over old ground.
    Years ago, I was offered the chance to invest off plan, by a close friend who was / is a HP sales agent, [crossed paths with some others, but not to talk to]. I did not invest. At a glance ~ very high risk so an unequivocal no. Further dd. confirmed ~ very like a scam.

    Maintained an idle curiosity about it all and Googled once or twice, briefly, to see if any progress on the build. Briefly, as there was none, it hadn’t got off the ground. Still hasn’t.

    Comments last week [Mon 25 Feb] Anon – reasons unknown: “…Not a Ponzi then as EARLY investors aren’t being paid at all (using later investors’ money).”…maybe some investors are receiving returns on their investments.” AND”…since no investors are receiving returns, it can’t meet Ponzi conditions…” AND “…The commissions are just one-off payments to those sales people complicit in the fraud. The only people making true money out of the investment are shareholders i.e. Ames family…” AND 58: “The staff know exactly what is going on but for some reason cover for them…”

    The sales agent / friend had originally been invited by an acquaintance or colleague of theirs to become an agent, working on commission. They also bought an off plan property / or properties via the 100% mortgage loan scheme, convinced like many of you that it was a no risk [!] investment.

    As well as selling to members of the public at trade shows / promotional events – it looks like many sales agents start off by selling to personal contacts – getting their colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances on to the ‘gravy train’ plus, of course, they get £££commission on those sales. Then some of those investors also become sales/’referral’ agents and sell to their personal contacts…and some of them may buy / invest in off plan properties for themselves… and so on.

    On the one hand, it suggests that they are genuinely convinced that it is a no risk investment. But on the other, that they haven’t carried out full due diligence – it is a massively high risk investment.
    Then again, some complicit in the scam may still have invested in properties thinking that it had longer legs than at present. Some other HP employees – advisers, IFAs, accountants, consultants, management etc., judging from various sites / comments, seem to have invested in properties as well. Gross conflict of interest aside…

    Long story short – these are some of your EARLY investors. Sales agents get paid £££ sales commission AND their mortgage loan repayments AND (e.g. B’ Bay) % rental returns also (my sales agent / friend is).
    All as promised and proof enough for them that the ‘model’ [aka scam] works. And this keeps them ‘sweet’, productive and oblivious.

    If they heard that BB not in profit or losing money, some people just don’t think to join up the dots – as to where the £% rental return is coming from. Ames / HP just has to tell them B’ Bay at 90% occupancy and keep paying them accordingly.

    Say it is a scam, then it isn’t about being honest, open and straightforward. It’s about misdirection, making people believe untruths. Keeping those complicit in the know and the rest in the dark.
    Unless they were dissatisfied / concerned investors, they have no reason to check these sites and see what is really going on.

    Some HP employees, accountants, management, adviser/investors, IFAs, consultants etc., trolling on your sites obviously do. Their thuggish tactics and attitude towards you is appalling. Speaks volumes about Ames / HP

    The ‘Launch Special’ article on Home page http://invest5star.wordpress.com/ indicates a few of those just above you in the food chain. For now. And considering everything above this and if no big investors, it looks a bit top heavy.

    ‘Testimonials ‘ by these sales/referral agents crudely lays bare what I mean. http://invest5star.wordpress.com/testimonials/

    Pretty grotesque and damning. e.g. “… Barry their [HP] sales consultant…had an answer to every question and detail I required for my own due diligence. [!!!] AND “…The amount of due diligence done was exceptional [??? i.e. by HP!!!], which really gave investors a good deal of comfort…” But best / even worse if you read it all.

    This isn’t proper due diligence, just time spent getting their head around [brainwashed by] the sales pitch + the 100% finance scheme. Doubt they did a background check on David Ames.

    Better to consider impartial and professional advice e.g. COMMENTS: http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/adviser-news/fsa-warns-on-overseas-property-sipp-investments/1064589.article (ifaonline, citywire.co.uk etc)

    As others have already suggested, if any adviser / IFAS SIP provider etc [who effectively got into bed with HP] mis-sold you this product / did not carry out full due diligence, they should be held accountable and you should make a complaint against them to the FSA / FCA. Hopefully you will have recourse to compensation via this route as well.

    Best regards,
    E. st. John

  52. @E.st John.
    very well put…hard to fault the logic..Thanks

  53. Anon999

    Has anyone involved a lawyer yet and if so did it get you anywhere?

  54. @Anon999 yes I have and the claim is in the system it takes time

  55. Anon999

    Thanks Harlequininvestorgroupnw. Have HP acknowledged your claim and given any indication that you could see a positive outcome?

  56. @Anon999 the claim is with the SIPP transfer company, I have taken legal steps against HP too – I await the outcome on both

  57. Anon999

    Thanks for letting me know Harlequininvestorgroupnw and good luck.

  58. Fatchett does not represent me.

    @Paul Walton, will be interesting to see if you claim is settled going down the legal route quicker than the 12 months you were origionally offered.

  59. @FDNRM
    It will be intresting if HP are still going in 6 months!

    If the HP claim is not settled soon, then the SIPP transfer is another option and that will put back in the position I was prior to investing.
    Either way I will get my money back.

  60. Paul

    Hi Interesting to hear your comments on Harlequin, i have invested in buccament bay using an agent through SIPP, the cabana was not done to contract, invested 130k of my pension, now looking to take legal advice. Just had a letter from my agent asking to register my property with the land registry urgently? advice please

  61. 75

    Paul dont do anything until you have taken advice! Be very very careful indeed

  62. New information about our action against Harlequin Property.
    We have organised 3 meetings next month in London to help the investors with the harlequin. The QC, a top UK lawyer (with a proven track record in Civil Fraud) and a top insolvency practitioner will be present at the meetings 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

  63. Davina Nicholas

    We invested at a meeting held by Instant Access, (now in receivership for tax offences) and were highly recommended to use the SIPP route. Thank God we didn’t. Our investment at Las Canas never seemed to materialize so we asked for the deposit back. After many delays they agreed to do this minus the agents commission in twelve monthly installments via standing order. The last payment was in January 2013 and despite having many phone calls, emails and letters, they will not give any straight answers as to when the payment will resume. All this despite us having a signed contract from David Ames agreeing to the repayment.
    Any advice on the next step to get this money back would be appreciated. Has anyone else gone down the same route with Instant Access and Fuel since 2008?

  64. Short Legs

    @ Davina, Harlequin don’t care about contracts – sorry to say
    .How much have you been repaid % wise? legal action is the only way forward.
    They will not call you back or reply to your letters, if they do it will be very unusual.

  65. 93

    Hi, So far we have been paid 58% so we have tried one final letter this morning

  66. Anonymous

    I hope the Ames family suffer as much as I’m suffering now…

  67. Anonymous

    I think that you should all realize that Dave Ames has been taking deposits on The Merricks since 2005 and marketing very successfully by means of ticking all the right boxes, albeit fictitious. Why otherwise would the other 3 local Directors have pulled out of the original Caribbean company set up to market The Merricks and Buccament Bay resorts? They had to live there and face the people despite no deposits going into that account. Unfortunately anyone who deals with Harlequin has to sign a confidentiality agreement.

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