UPDATED March 14, 2013: Comments closed and redirected to latest article
Hi folks. After almost 1,500 comments on this story readers are getting a little tired of having to scroll through them all to continue a current discussion. So we’ve closed the comments on this post and redirect you to the most current Harlequin post as of March 14, 2013…
URGENT: Barbados Free Press under attack!
Some folks want to discourage discussion about Harlequin
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 1am Bridgetown
Friends, the number of comments on this story is over 1,300 – a new record for Barbados Free Press. Combine those comments with our other news articles about Harlequin and Dave Ames and there are almost 3,000 comments here at BFP.
The Harlequin discussion is carried on primarily by two kinds of people… desperate investors hoping to understand and get their money out somehow, and people who see no wrong by Dave Ames and Harlequin. Some of the second group use different names to post, like Dave Ames’ head of security who got caught trying to infiltrate the discussion without telling his true identity.
Now some people are using techniques to try and block the discussion here at Barbados Free Press. They are inundating us with spam comments trying to sell everything from ice makers to japanese dating sites. Then we have people calling themselves “Yorkiepoo” going for volume to dominate the discussion with garbage comments. This “Yorkiepoo” has to be more than one person because they are here for so many hours. This is way beyond trolling – this must be an organized group trying to stop investors from talking here at BFP.
So who would want to interfere with the Harlequin discussion? (He asked knowingly.)
We’ll do our best to remove asinine and irrelevant comments – but don’t be discouraged. Just talk ya talk and nevermind them others. In response to the attacks, we’ll post this at the top of the blog for a few days so you don’t have to hunt for this very active article. The more they interfere, the more articles we will run and the longer we’ll leave this at the top.
Chickens do come home and we be working on it!
BREAKING UPDATED: Harlequin pays off investors who launched court action!
Saturday March 9, 2013 7:20am Bridgetown
Echo News reports this morning that the Birmingham High Court bid to freeze Harlequin’s and David Ames’ assets was dropped yesterday when a settlement was reached.
Apparently Harlequin paid off six investors represented by Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal, who dropped the court case. Said Fatchett: “Our primary aim was for the return of these investors’ deposits. We now have 20 more investors seeking refunds due to missed completion dates.”
Meanwhile, the H-Hotel construction site in Barbados remains shut down after Harlequin laid off dozens of workers. We haven’t heard anything recently about The Merricks, but we’ll take a drive out of the city on Monday and let folks know.
Here is BFP’s original story first published on March 3, 2013…
Financial Services Authority also investigating Harlequin and Ames
A high court action will start in Birmingham on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 against Harlequin Property and David Ames. This, according to investigative journalists Russell Myers and Sharon Churcher of the Mail on Sunday.
“Legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors.”
The court could deliver a double blow to Harlequin and Ames: freezing all business and personal assets. Plus Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs pensions regulator will act – just as Barbados Free Press first reported several months ago.
As we say in Bim, de chickens coming home…
“Now hundreds of financial advisers, who convinced investors to cash in their pensions, have been given just two days by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to confirm if any of their clients have SIPP investments in the Essex-based firm, and a further three days to provide all details.
SIPPs are a personal pension plan allowing individuals to cash in their pension to invest in schemes such as property abroad.”
from the Mail Online article: Tycoon accused of taking £300m from British investors…
Guilty Carter-Ruck Lawyers share responsibility for Harlequin fraud?
Harlequin’s law firm Carter-Ruck has been instrumental in attacking any worried investors over the last few years – shutting down websites, threatening lawsuits against vocal investors and negotiating payoffs in return for investor silence. It looks to this outsider that the lawyers probably bought another free year for Ames to carry on with his pyramid scheme.
And that brings an interesting thought… How many people ‘invested’ in Harlequin’s disaster over the last year who would not have invested had they been able to discover the truth about Harlequin on some of websites shut down by Carter Ruck? How many investors were taken in the last year because Carter-Ruck was so successful in shutting down news of Harlequin’s troubles and the stories of worried investors? Carter-Ruck did a cover-up job of disgruntled investors and made sure they wouldn’t tell others.
Should the Carter-Ruck lawyers in any way be held accountable for damages and losses caused because of their heavy handed suppression of the truth about Harlequin?
And what about the Caribbean governments that welcomed Harlequin and David Ames with open arms and continued to support the dodgy operations even when it became obvious that the whole thing was a house of cards?
With little regulation and no requirement that Harlequin put deposits in a trust account, Barbados and the other guilty governments were like executioners leading foreign investors up the scaffold. This wasn’t just ‘wilful blindness’, it was out and out betrayal of foreign investors.
How much did Harlequin/Ames give to politicians for ‘campaign donations’? Perhaps the UK court will get to the bottom of that, but I wouldn’t hold my breath because suitcases full of cash are seldom noted in dodgy business records.
Guilty Pension Advisors
The pensions industry jumped on board the Harlequin runaway train, or rather they threw their investors on the tracks in front of the train.
Harlequin sellers were paid 30% commission. For 30% many sales people would betray their own mothers – and some probably did.
Now the Brit authorities are moving to limit further damages to pensions. Better late than never. As one of our readers sent to us…
“Hi guys, have look at today’s issue of IFAonline.
The net is closing on dear old Dave. All of his sources of income have been cut off now – no more IFA business, no more SIPP business and hopefully no one else remortgaging their houses to the hilt.
The UK equivalent of Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford is about to hit the news….”