Category Archives: Offshore Investments

Newly revealed report details Harlequin Resorts due diligence disaster

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

If you can’t see fraud and Ponzi schemes here… you aren’t looking!

According to a due diligence chart posted online, Harlequin Resorts’ The Merricks development in Barbados did not file financial accounts for seven years between 2006 and 2013.

During that same period The Merricks took in £47,946,581 in payments from victims ‘investors’ but only spent £7,971,246 for land and construction costs.

That leaves £39,975,335 outstanding, or… a better way would put it: that leaves £39,975,335 MISSING.

How many Ministers of Government received ‘campaign donations’ from Harlequin during this period? How did our government protect investors and Barbados’ reputation during this period?

Why did the Barbados government allow this to happen? Seven years without required filings and Barbados politicians were content to line up for photographs with Harlequin’s David Ames? What the heck were they thinking?

Or… were our politicians simply delivering the service that they had been paid to deliver? With no Integrity Legislation and no Freedom of Information laws, Bajans will likely never be able to prove who the villains are.

The Harlequin Resorts chart is nothing more or less than a confirmation that Harlequin was and is nothing more or less than a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

More and more the questions are shifting from Harlequin to the UK and Barbados authorities charged with maintaining the law…

The question has become: Why have the authorities not acted to arrest and charge David Ames and his co-conspirators?

Comments are open!

You can download the due diligence report at Barbados Free Press here, or download it from FileTea.

 

 

1,242 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Harlequin house of cards continues to fall

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

David Ames – Harlequin CEO and Ponzi Scheme King!

Where does one start when considering the sad tale of ‘investors’ who trusted their life savings with the predators working to sell never-to-be-constructed resort units for Harlequin?

These predators (called ‘financial advisors’) received 9 percent of the sale price off the top – and that came from the client’s 30 percent deposit! The clients were not told that about a third of their deposit was going as a sales commission, because that would have been an instant indication to most folks that something was terribly wrong.

Harlequin bastards. Most of the ‘financial advisors’ were unregulated, uninsured and totally unqualified. The ‘investment vehicles’ were different corporations in different countries – obviously created for the sake of confusion, hiding money and avoiding liabilities. Often Harlequin sold units on land that it did not own.

The scams could only have been pulled off with the cooperation of elected and appointed government officials in the different countries.

Harlequin’s ‘business model’ (I use the term with a rising anger) was totally unsustainable and is proof that the whole Harlequin scheme was an intended scam from the start. Like any Ponzi scheme, Harlequin collapsed because payments to previous investors relied upon finding sufficient new suckers to swindle. Once the cracks start to appear and new investors shy away, these types of frauds unravel very quickly.

And so it was, and is, with Harlequin…

UK Financial Ombudsman Service sides with Harlequin victims

The recent Financial Times Advisor article ‘Financial Ombudsman Service – FOS decision on Harlequin must be tip of iceberg‘ tells the story of the next chapter well. One of the profiting scam artists, Harris Knights, has been ordered to compensate a ripped off couple in full…

“… the ombudsman has ordered Harris Knights to take ownership of the Harlequin investment and compensate the couple in full.”

Thailand Court sides with Harlequin Victims   
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33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Canadian Court upholds Revenue Canada – disallows “Barbados Structure”, penalizes Canadian company’s use of offshore Barbados subsidiary.

canada_barbados_flag

 Marzen Artistic Aluminum Ltd. v. The Queen (2014 TCC 194)

I’m don’t know much about this kind of thing, but it doesn’t sound good for Barbados. According to our Google Alerts, the tax sector is abuzz with this latest Canadian ruling that runs 80 pages. (download the ruling here – PDF)

Comments from the cheap seats?

In a lengthy set of reasons, the Tax Court upheld all but a fraction of the CRA’s reassessment of the taxpayer, such reassessments having disallowed the deduction of approximately $7.1M of fees paid by the Canadian taxpayer to its Barbados subsidiary. The Court also upheld the imposition of a penalty under subsection 247(3) of the Act…

… from Dentons Tax Litigation blog: Marzen: Artistic Barbados tax plan defeated

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Canada, Offshore Investments

Barbados Ministry of Tourism lacks a functional website. Like running a business without hanging up a sign.

Sometimes you just want to scream!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Should we as a sector or in fact a nation, be overly concerned that the Ministry of Tourism has not had a functional website for months?

In this time when both foreign and local investment is absolutely critical to upgrading existing plant and product, what sort of message are we sending when a default statement ‘This site is temporarily unavailable’ is the response that greets potential users of the portal?

For those non-nationals not familiar with how things work on Barbados it could also be the first point of reference and a vital source of information, including contact details for the Minister, Parliamentary and Permanent Secretary together with other heads of department that may facilitate any possible investor’s plans. It should also provide important links to other agencies, both public and private to help facilitate seamless access to enable informed decision making.

Frankly, from a prospective overseas investment perspective you are currently forced to plough through a multitude of websites. And that’s even assuming you actually know the names of the many agencies involved, which is highly unlikely unless you have intimate local knowledge.

If there was ever a legitimate call for a single ‘one-stop-shop’ then this is a prime example.  Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

CL Financial Directors tell Afra Raymond (and you) “Don’t worry. Relax. Have a rum.”

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

The contempt of the elites for the rule of law continues in the CL Financial scandal.

‘We’ the people sometimes forget the primary rules of island life:

  1. In any large scale fraud upon the public, initial Profits are privately owned by the elites who did the fraud. Later Losses are publicly owned.
  2. There will be zero accountability or transparency by the elites charged with “getting to the bottom of things”.
  3. No elite is ever charged with any crime, except if it is really necessary. In that event, the police are given marching orders and not enough time and resources to complete the task. The accused will be found ‘not guilty’ in a fair trial before a carefully selected judge.

“I’m sure there’s some good legal reason why High Court Justice Kaye Goodridge ordered the Barbados Police to put the CLICO criminal charges on hold. Always is some good legal reason for doing what is done.

It’s just that we predicted this months ago. Futures destroyed, pensions gone, lifetimes of work and savings stolen… and nobody will ever pay.

Nothing changes ’bout hey. Nothing. Ever. Changes.”

… from BFP’s Barbados court orders CLICO criminal charges stayed against Terrence Thornhill, Leroy Parris

And like we’ve said at BFP before, it’s a good thing that Prime Minister Thompson died before the public knew of his role in money laundering millions of CLICO dollars for his close friend Leroy Parris.

But still, there are those good citizens who keep pounding away at a corrupt system ruled by corrupt elites…

Afra Raymond is one of those good citizens looking for justice for us all.

See his email exchange showing how the caretaker CL Financial Directors duck, dodge and slide…

Afra Raymond: Compliance of CL Financial Directors with the Integrity in Public Life Act

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Trinidad and Tobago

Psssst… Want to buy Barbados residency status? Got US$2 million?

royal-westmoreland-barbados.jpg

I must have missed the changes to the law last year when the government decided to start openly selling Bajan residency, but we’ve been seeing a lot more rough men with Eastern European / Russian accents lately, haven’t we? Maybe this is something to do with it?

Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

Royal Westmoreland estate introduces special entry permit service to carry out paperwork for NHWIs buying property worth more than US$2million to qualify for the scheme.

There has been such a demand for special entry Barbados property-for-residency permits for wealthy investors that a top development has launched a special service to handle the paperwork for clients.

High-net-worth-individuals are seeking special entry permits that were introduced last year that allow buyers of properties worth US$2million or more to obtain residency status that includes their spouse and children.

The Royal Westmoreland estate, which has just announced another 200 luxury villas and a nine-hole golf course on the adjacent 210 acres of land, plus some larger plots, has seen rising demand for luxury homes from High-Net-Worth Individuals (NHWIs).

Additional planned private jet flights from Heathrow to Barbados by Royal Jet, owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, is adding to the island’s appeal to wealthy investors, says Westmoreland.

A company spokesperson says, “There has been take up of the special entry permit and Royal Westmoreland has been introduced to a new business consultant service to carry out all the paperwork for the clients if they do not have the time themselves.”

… read the rest at OPP-Connect’s Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

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Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments

Secret Harlequin Resort legal documents ‘found on London train’ – here they are!

Harlequin Fraud Office

Dear Barbados Free Press,

We were just coming of a train just outside London and we found a box of documents relating to “Due Diligence” of a company or companies called Harlequin, they appear to be developing resorts in the Caribbean so we feel this is probably a good place to show what we found, especially for anyone out there who might be interested in investing in Harlequin.

There are many files to upload so please bear with us.

This is a 70 page redacted interim intelligence report from Regulatory Legal Solicitors, it makes for pretty grim reading, we did not redact it, the documents are exactly as we found them on the train.

This is an interesting witness statement from Jim Baker contained in the due diligence documents apparently left on the train, by a guy who resembled Simon Terry, but it was dark so we could not be sure.

Seems to be a lot of people suing Dave and Carol Ames in the Courts in the UK, wonder why this was in the Due Diligence, Seems like Jim is saying that Harlequin are worth nothing.

Yours very truly,

Anonymous!

Editor’s Note

Okay, okay… we’re a little behind on things. Might have had a couple of lost nights in the tradition of Dick Van Dyke. (Loved him in Mary Poppins, nevermind the worst phony cockney accent in film history!) The “found on London train” comments and documents were all sent using one of those anonymous proxies, so we really have no way to tell who sent them to us or from what country.

We’ll upload the documents when we can below. We’ll do a few now and get to the rest in the morning right here…

Continue reading

2,689 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Real Estate, Uncategorized