Serious Fraud Office asked to investigate Harlequin – “3,000 Britons fall victim”

Harlequin Pension Fraud

(click photo for full size)

Mail on Sunday visits Merricks Beach Resort in Barbados “Rubbish-strewn field”

“We have been left completely in the dark and fear we’ve lost everything. they haven’t even started building the resort yet.”

Merricks buyer Mrs. Gupta in the Daily Mail article 3,000 Britons fall victim to £250million fantasy villa fiasco

The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday are publishing a series of investigative news articles about David Ames and the Harlequin Property scandal that saw thousands of people ‘invest’ in what is so obviously a Ponzi pyramid scheme that relies upon finding new ‘investors’ to pay sums promised to earlier ‘investors’.

Journalist Russell Myers and his colleagues Martin Delgado and Sharon Churcher published the first piece in the series on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Online reports from investors here at Barbados Free Press and elsewhere recently revealed that Harlequin is behind in interest payments to some investors who took out mortgages and loans to fund their Harlequin purchases. Harlequin was supposed to pay the interest to the purchasers’ financial institutions as part of the agreement with the ‘investors’ but it looks like the house of cards is getting very shaky indeed.

The role of the governments of Barbados and other Caribbean nations caught up in the Harlequin scandal is also drawing international attention and must reflect badly upon the involved Caribbean governments and nations.

Barbados and the other nations failed to protect foreign investors and as a result the Harlequin fiasco will taint the region’s other resort and retirement projects for many years. Barbados Free Press has been extensively covering this story because we believe our leaders made very poor decisions about Ames and Harlequin in an environment where Barbados lacks Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest standards and Freedom of Information laws. The lack of accountability for elected and appoint public officials likely played a large role in how Barbados politicians welcomed David Ames and his ‘political donations’…

“Our government gave Ames and Harlequin the benefit of our country’s reputation – and when the Harlequin house of cards falls, it will be the reputation of Barbados that is harmed the most.

Something for our ‘leaders’ to think about the next time that some offshore investor property developer arrives bearing gifts – because no doubt Mr. Ames spread some gifts around freely.”

… from the January 26, 2013 BFP story How Harlequin damaged Barbados reputation

133 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

133 responses to “Serious Fraud Office asked to investigate Harlequin – “3,000 Britons fall victim”

  1. 49

    There is a building in London that has never been quite finished where David Ames will be going known as HM Prison Wandsworth. Once the Serious Fraud Office get involved it is only a matter of time. Many people are talking about this in London and it is not a matter of if but when the long arm of the law reaches out Mr Ames. There are people around him that will be pulled in as well who will turn Queen’s Evidence against him to save themselves.

  2. Well Well

    let’s hope a bunch of the caribbean leader’s are also pulled inthat mess for playing fast and loose with the taxpayers future.

  3. BBaywatch

    Reading the Mail piece made me wonder just what was different about the piece written by Graham Norwood and published by The Guardian?

    Although the web was fairly thoroughly cleansed by Carter Ruck they missed this one –

    http://www.newyorkerchic.com/news/6fc5210e6dcf952761b30a9e809b3e5f/

    Now I wonder if The Grauniad will actually get it’s act together and take any action to right the wrong they suffered?

  4. 72

    @36
    Hope you understand now that Ames is a crook!!
    It has taken a very long time for the SFO to get involved (too long). Ames is going to live in St. Vincent with good friend Ralph…
    Paudie the other crook from ICE is living in Ireland.
    Everybody is happy!!

  5. If he owes money to the people in St Vincents it wont be to nice for him,.

  6. 36 will no doubt have some smarmy resonse, as usual.

  7. 72

    36 if you are an investor into Dave Ames’ Ponzi Scheme now you can say good bye to your money… You will never see it again!
    With love from Dave Ames living in paradise at Buccament Bay..

  8. 72

    What he owes in St Vincent is small and Ames will take care of them.
    Do not forget he is under the protection of Ralph!

  9. Adrian Loveridge

    Surely, this is a wake-up call to ‘our’ Government. They cannot deny that they did not know about this company for years. What about due dilligence when approving planning permission? The laws NOW have to be changed so that any future investment projects meet with the Law of the Land where the development takes place and deposits are held locally in escrow until completetion and title deed is handed over to the purchaser.
    Can our policymakers possibility understand the harm that this will do to future foreign investment?

  10. Charles Ponzi

    Maybe we need a straw poll regarding Ames’ new suit. Do you think he’d look best in a black and white stripy number? Or the more classical white one peice with black arrows pointing in jaunty directions? Or perhaps a splash of colour? Something ‘Maritime rescue’ orange (a la Guantanamo bay)?

  11. do they have his size he is only about 5 ft

  12. anonymous212

    groundhog day- ready the following- also google 7CI very similar story about business that went under.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/79346/MP-to-quiz-ministers-over-property-scam

    perhaps all concerned investors should contact their MP

  13. 79

    Maru Deherio I agree the harm for any future investment is going to be so high that smart investors would not even consider that it is worth to invest.I hope that the goverment will realize we must make sure this project is completed even if it has to use what ever funds they have,because it would be a shame for the island of ST Vincent to not finish this project .ST Vincent now has just completed a brand new airport which in turn will bring many tourist to the island and plain and simple more tourist more money .St Vincent is such a beauitfull Island that when you see it you will fall in love so lets
    hope this project can be completed .

  14. D

    There is a saying in Manchester England and that is “Nobody is bullet proof ”
    It dont matter who you hang around with nobodys there 24/7 are they??

  15. BBaywatch

    Anonymous 2.57pm “ST Vincent now has just completed a brand new airport”

    That assertion cannot go unchallenged – the airport is NOT completed, just visit the Facebook page to see the latest photographs and it is absolutely clear that construction still has a long way to go. Dr Ralph Gonsalves has also been reported as saying that it maybe necessary to borrow up to $60USD commercially to complete the airport.

    Borrowing that kind of sum in the commercial banking market is going to be very challenging in the current climate and the impact on the completion of the airport project is obvious.

  16. Charles Ponzi

    @Anonymous-2:57pm, you are sadly mistaken. St Vincent has not just completed a new airport, and neither are they likely to anytime soon. The airport development is also surrounded in controversy, however not as much as BB and Harlequin.

  17. EddieLizzard2

    AnonymousFebruary 24,
    Who told you that the new airport in St Vincent is complete? That’s just not true.
    You say…”I hope that the goverment will realize we must make sure this project is completed even if it has to use what ever funds they have…”,

    SVG is not a rich country. I really don’t think they have that sort of money in their coffers and it would be daft to take on loans. The locals on the other hand might prefer to have their money spent on medical care, schools, infrastructure and telecommunication and of course proper EMPLOYMENT

    When you say ‘this project’ are you including the Harlequin Buccama Bay development ? Financially bailing out a failing resort that has never turned a profit is not the responsibility of the Vincentians.

  18. Ole

    Ponzi, what is the controversy at the airport dvelopment in SVG. We are planning a donation and will welcome the information.

  19. Anon - reasons unknown

    Donating how much, if you don’t mind me asking, Ole? I’d advise you to appoint a solicitor to carry out DD into the project before you donate any money (if we’re talking a large amount). You could of course carry out your own DD, but that would need to go deeper than posting queries on BFP forum!

    You need to know all the financial ins and outs of the construction project, including secured investment, and what’s missing from the total planned expenditure, and how that gap is expected to be filled. You need to know what airline commitments their are secured, what the airport capacity is and forecast use is and what those calculations are based on.

    I know nothing about the airport development other than that Harlequin began using this as an excuse for lack of occupancy at BB a couple of years ago, said they were heavily involved, said the SVG government had promised them the airport blah blah blah. And of course, I know that the completion date has shifted and shifted.

    Careful with your money, I say, and think about why you are donating, and how effective your donation would be.

    I imagine somebody could snap up BB later this year for a bargain price, and run it truly for the benefit of the island (and investors if they still own anything by then, but who knows who owns what at BB!).

  20. Charles Ponzi

    @Ole. The concerns are, where’s the money coming from? Which Governments are involved, and why? What are they getting in return?

    There are many questions that have been asked, but not many answers forthcoming. That’ s not to suggest the airport won’t be beneficial, but what’s the real cost?

  21. BBaywatch

    a small correction to an error on my part –

    “Dr Ralph Gonsalves has also been reported as saying that it maybe necessary to borrow up to $60USD commercially to complete the airport.”

    should have course been $60 MILLION USD

  22. HP are not going to be around long enough to win the court case? or pay back people?

  23. AyeSteady

    It’s a bit vague, several investors not happy, Clyde doesn’t think it”ll ever be finished. House of cards about to fall, that line has been used for a long time now on all these forums. Why include the bit about borrowing money from friends to invest? A poor piece that doesn’t tell me anything new.

    From what I see the airport is making good progress is it not?

  24. This is only the first one of many me thinks… HP will not like it and will make people think or act – then its a good piece?

  25. 241

    How will svg airport progress build 6000 homes in st Lucia, dr and Barbados?

  26. barbadostripadvisor

    Reblogged this on barbados.tripadvisor.

  27. If HP are getting no money coming in could they be insolvent now? = trading illegally?

  28. 36

    So now we have the “great MOS exclusive” Being a journalist now consists of just cutting and pasting articles from i-witness, BFP, IFAonline and any other publication and then taking a few photos. As for Mrs Gupta, borrowed money from friends and family, why? GREED. MOS has a print circulation of aprox 1.8m, online a circulation of aprox 4m. How many comments were made on the web site to this article? ZERO. I would suggest that “fox bites baby” is of more interest to the general public than this very poorly researched article. Lets see if there is a follow up in the MOS next week with some real, new, information, not the same regurgitated stuff

  29. EddieLizzard2

    @36,
    Well, last time I looked on the Daily Mail website there were 119 comments about the Harlequin scam. You’re wrong again 36 and you can’t count!

  30. D

    ahh I can answer that one next week it is going to be BRILLIANT!!!!!
    YOU will have to change your trousers with what I have got to say off record!!! of course🙂
    Hope you get chance to talk to the SFO…………. meeting them later in the week

    Dont worry I will keep you informed I miss our “tet a tet”

  31. 36

    @EL2, I stand corrected. Last night it read zero, now as you say 119. I still stand by my comments about the poor journalistic effort.
    @D I have already met the SFO, 6 weeks ago. It won’t be “off record” they will want to record your conversation.

  32. D

    I know they have been a couple of times!!!!
    I still stand by the statement that I know who you are!!!! hense the trouser coment!
    its nice to see you will be corrected by some not all though eh???

  33. 36

    @D, I’m sorry but you have completely lost me re the trousers comment. Sometimes even I forget who I am so how would you know? Unless I’m having internet conversations with my wife without knowing it.

  34. kenp

    Just a quick comment from St Vincent – I live right next to the new airport being built and drive past it every day. Yes it is taking longer than first proposed, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it WILL be finished. The terminal buildings are up to roof level and the runway has been levelled and compacted over its whole length. Sub-base laying is about to start, from on-site material. I would give it another 9 months or so to completion. Although there was a lot of controversy when it was first proposed, most Vincentians now support it.

  35. @36 you had a refund? yoe defend Halequin, but talk to SFO – very odd

  36. 36

    @fatralph, not odd at all. The SFO asked to interview me. I had no objections as I was quite happy to give MY experiences, which I add are possitive. The MOS have that information also, wonder if they will use it in further “exclusives?”

  37. @36 thanks for the reply.

  38. D

    Nahhh I dont think they want to hear from Harlequin at the moment!!

  39. 36

    As everyone likes to post links on this site, here’s one for you:
    http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/regulation/gareth-fatchett/1020935.article
    The interesting point is in this paragraph:
    “Fatchett has set up an action group on behalf of IFAs who invested their client money in the collapsed Arch Cru fund range. In March, he successfully appealed a ruling by the Financial Ombudsman Service which had ordered an adviser with a client invested in Arch Cru to cover the client’s losses.”
    So any investors who think that Mr Fatchett will represent them in an action against an IFA could be disappointed.

  40. Anon73

    The downfall of Harlequin was always inevitable and only a matter of time. This is because the model simply stood no chance based on, among other things, how the money was being raised to fund everything, how it was being spent, the profit potential of the resorts in the locations selected, the viability of those resorts in the locations selected. Given also that it appears the company was mismanaged, and I base this on lack of audited accounts plus the various court cases including one where it is alleged the contractor somehow managed to divert funds for personal gain, (which should never have been possible if true and also a sign of mismanagement if not true), the business inevitably would come crashing down.

    The evidence of it all is blatant – the resorts have not started. I don’t know what more people need to understand or what facts they need to be presented to realise this has failed spectacularly.

    Many people on this forum and others have been trying to highlight this growing mess for years, but forums and web sites were shut down. People may have had different motives, but the one that was most common was that people did not want to see more investors lose money to this apparent scam. As it is, Harlequin were successful in quashing negative PR and sucked in thousands more who now do indeed face the reality of losing their money. The MOS article makes little difference to the outcome although it is interestingly the first time in a while that mainstream press highlighted what many have known for years, and obviously do so without fear of Carter Ruck.

    It is hard to see how this mess can be turned around so more people have a positive experience like 36, who seems to be a lone voice. The money is simply not there to change this, and to not have even started the resorts just shows how massive the shortfall in required funds is. Greed and naivety certainly were the main reasons people were sucked in, but that does not excuse a company that played with people’s pensions in this way and have in many cases ruined them financially when Harlequin clearly were never set up to deliver on their promises.

  41. Anon73

    For reference, the above is from poster anon73.

  42. 145

    It was fairly inevitable that 36 would appear and try to discredit the MoS in some way. For what it’s worth, I hope that the article is, as has been suggested, the first in a series. A number of issues were conspicuously absent from the article — the failure to file accounts, the proven attempt to manipulate TA, the repeatedly broken deadlines on a number of resorts for starters.

  43. permres

    No mention here in this BFP blog yet of the alleged corruption in St. Lucia, as reported in today’s Advocate, online page 13. Interestingly in this report there is no mention of Merricks, Barbados.

    http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/todayspaper/default.asp

    The Nation report the Mail on Sunday article, but online they do not give their full one. We have to pay for the full online version, or buy the newspaper. The Advocate give a page by page online edition, complete!

  44. I am using Pennone against the IFA, and await details for a class action in SVG

  45. anonymous212

    @36. arch cru is actually very different. Arch cru was a high risk “regulated” investment that was mis-sold in some cases as low/med risk. the main difference was that it was “regulated” . when it all went wrong i think about £56million was put in by the 3/4 main companies as redress and the fscs would pick up the difference. there was no need to go after the advisers ( although the fsa have been reviewing them individually and making fines accordingly). harlequin however is unregulated and thus no fscs in force ( as clearly demonstrated by the FSA alert). if this does go belly up and there are not funds left in the pot then solicitors may certainly decide to go after ifa’s to try and recover some monies for their client. assuming that is that the advisers/firms are still in business.

  46. 138

    Permres, the allegations of corruption are made against SVG, not St Lucia, although that is not to say other islands are any less guilty than SVG in welcoming Ames to their shores. His background, track history and current record would suggest he was, and certainly is not now, a man to stand behind and support.

  47. I am being told a class action is the way forward as the judge has made a ruling in SVG- could anyone care to comment?

  48. homefront

    I understand a celeb was sued for a misleading endorsement in the USA. the celeb lost ..mmmm, interesting

  49. permres

    Many thanks for pointing out my mistake, Anonymous, the article is about SVG, not St. Lucia. But as you say, it is all grist for the mill, and corruption is not just a Caribbean thing!

  50. Rendered Assistance

    The Harlequin staff in Barbados would well advised to bail now and head back to the UK so as to avoid being dragged into the criminal side of things and end up do some temporary jail time at HMP Dodds.

    If they end up spending any time there then they will NEVER be the same again, that much is guaranteed.

  51. Harleconned

    https://twitter.com/Harleconned Follow me on Twitter @Harleconned tweet what I am tweeting!

  52. Dave Amesless

    Oh YES lets all set up account and tell the celebs exactly what we think of them

  53. Bloody well done!!! MOS should be intresting by all accounts!!!

  54. Harleconned

    Pahahaha Harlequin has banned me from tweeting them already! We need to flood twitter with the scam follow me @Harleconned

  55. Well you got to some of them,
    I am going to write to them all and ask how they can back such a project – include some of my replys from HP and even the man himself – loose lips sink ships!!!!!!

  56. 236

    Lets all write to the sponsers?

  57. homefront

    dont forget invest5star and other agents tell em what you think

  58. They wont want thier brands tarnishing – with HP, wait unil the next MOS and then Panorama – they are running on fresh air financialy.

    Mind you we all will be blamed, cos its never shorty’s fault😉

  59. Dave Amesless

    Ralph you have to come to the Manchester meet

  60. I will when and where?

  61. Dave Amesless

    I was thinking Sunday3rd. I am currently contacting media to get as much coverage as we can🙂

  62. 36

    @DA hope you speak to them nicely!

  63. Dave Amesless

    I was thinking of inviting you!! so you could share all your knowledge🙂

  64. New Stuff

    I would be interested in attending a meeting in Manchester this Sunday. I think it is important to have an independent chair person with a reasonable amount of clout. An MP sounds good.

    Where and when on Sunday?

  65. Dave Amesless

    mm right I cannot ask Harlequin I need someone else to do that?
    I think you are right we need a MP any ideas? as we will need to bring them up to speed, also we would need to invite everyone we have ever met who has invested in Harlequin. Do you remember the people you met at BB? at events hosted by your IFA company? any local paper who could/would publicise the event?

  66. @DA I am away until monday -but am keen to meet up? how about Russell from the Mail ?

  67. Dave Amesless

    I have thought about the date and I know we are all really keen to meet but if we want to invite Harlequin then we really need to give them and investors more notice and thought next Saturday 9th or Sunday10th March would be a better date we can publicise it more and get better responses to attendance

  68. New Stuff

    I would have thought the chances of arranging a chair person of some status for a meeting this Sunday is probably remote. Can something be set up for a week on Sunday to make sure you get a good turnout?

    I think that rushing this would end up with 3 or 4 people round a table looking gloomily into the bottom of their pint glasses. Not wishing to pour cold water on the idea because I think it is sound. Too good an idea to waste in a moment of hasty enthusiasm.

  69. New Stuff

    @ Dave Amesless – I think we were writing this at the same time! Great minds etc

  70. Sound like a plan forming!

  71. Dave Amesless

    Right the Marriot Hale Barns (airport) has been booked for Saturday 9th March. Hopefully that will give us long enough to sort everyone out to attend. Hopefully you can all attend.

  72. Harleconned

    Isn’t that where the usual Harlequin meetings are?? What a great idea at least everyone knows where it is.

  73. New Stuff

    If the media are in attendance, particularly broadcast media like BBC Panorama, I think you should make it clear to other attendees that they can specifically avoid being filmed if they so choose. Some people may very well be happy to be interviewed or seen within a general crowd scene but others may be deterred by that prospect. If some individuals want to attend but specifically do not wish to be captured on video or audio then they should be able to opt out and be seated in an appropriate part of the room.

  74. Harleconned

    New Stuff, I totally agree no one should do something that they do not wish to do. This is a meeting for other investors to ask questions and hopefully get answers in a orderly fashion. This is not going to be a kangaroo court where nothing in the end is achieved.

    We need a good chair person not Harlequin to run this meeting. Any suggestions please email me at myname@gmail.com

  75. I will ask Panorama – I have been in very close contact with them.

  76. New Stuff

    I believe all the Radio 4 “You and Yours” staff work out of Media City in Salford so you may find that one of their presenters is willing to chair (why not offer to donate something to Comic Relief in recognition of their time).

  77. Harleconned your mail box is full and getting bounced back!!!

  78. Panorama are intrested….

  79. Harleconned

    Did you email the right email address its harleconned@gmail.com?

  80. I am Paul Walton, I shall not hide my real name, why should I? I have nothing to hide, but lots to tell. I had a meeting with Ames last week and would not agree to his terms.

  81. Anonymous

    What were you asking and what were his terms?

  82. sorry wont reply to Anonymous – I will inform you at the meeting if you come

  83. There is no point to have this meeting and sit round moaning, we need to have an agenda and come up with some options and move quickly – we have one aim and that’s to get our money back one way or the other. I have started the process, we have alternatives in most cases.

  84. Harleconned, I have sent you an email with my contact details on we should meet up or speak – I should be able to get quite a few investors from the area.

  85. 100

    Good luck gents. Paul Walton is correct in the goal being to recover your money as to sit and listen to more empty promises from Ames and co is not a good use of time. You should probably bring your lawyer/s also.

    I hope people are not put off by the Caribbean, it is a beautiful place with diverse and amazing islands, friendly people and culture and a great place to have a home. The antics of Ames and Harlequin are the actions of apparent fraudsters from Essex rather than a Caribbean plan (although governments should have made noise about this when they knew Harlequin was not delivering and diverting investor funds all over the shop) Developments have indeed failed in the region as they have the world over, due to the global financial crash, but they were not calculated, systematic and collossal schemes to take people’s penion funds and pay out massive commissions and leave so little over with which to build, an amount any business person would know would not be enough. It is not cheap to build and own in the Caribbean, so to be left with 10% or so of an already low purchase price, and no finance in place, or planning permission for that matter, was just an absurdity and inevitably would come to this. Harlequin knew it, and took your money anyway, so I do hope you recover as much as you can.

  86. New Stuff

    I agree with waltonpaul. This event needs to be well planned with an agenda and chaired by someone who is independent and robust enough to keep the proceedings on track.

    There is a difficulty around the range of issues that individual investors face. Depending on the vintage of their contract, whether they have only paid the £1000 downpayment, if they are receiving monthly interest, if they are SIPP, which resort, when was/is their completion date scheduled. This might make it difficult creating an agenda that meets the varied needs of all who may wish to take part.

  87. Pingback: Harlequin replies to Mail on Sunday article: “highly defamatory disinformation, seeking legal advice” | Barbados Free Press

  88. New Stuff are you coming along?

  89. I will be inviting quite a number of people from all walks of life to the meeting, not just investors.

  90. Harleconned

    Paul Walton I’m out at the moment so I’m on my phone I will reply back later

  91. @100 good post, I would not be put off the Caribbean.

  92. New Stuff

    I’d be happy to join in but I’m not sure I have much to add to be honest.

  93. Harleconned, call me anytime all the best Paul

  94. New Stuff, you may have options it will be worth coming

  95. Harleconned

    New Stuff, You have to come, you might not have much to add but surely you would want to hear what everyone else has to say?? It’s worth it at the end of the day. As Dave Amesless said there will be a small entrance fee as we are being charged for the room, anything extra after the costs have been recovered for the room could go towards a few things such as BFP as I think they rely on donations to run this? or it could go towards setting up a forum where we can all keep in touch?? If anyone has any other suggestions they are more than welcome.

  96. john Delhirro

    Thank you everyone you have been very helpfull.I was mistaken about the airport ,they are informing me that the airport is to be completed by March 2014.I still believe if St vincent airport can be completed and bucham resort get get there funding straight it can start to turn around or should I say hoping

  97. Whats is the general view of me asking some of the various legal companies along, ones I have been dealing with they can explain form a legal perspective what options and choices you have, rather, than all this crap that had been talked about on here, by people who are too scared to come forward or have an alternative motive and spread mis-information.
    all the best
    Paul

    

  98. Harleconned

    Paul totally agree with you, invite who you like. United we stand!! The more the merrier really.

  99. I will start with contacting them, sure they will come along I shall also ask my journalist contact if they wish to come along…..

    I have set up a gmail account, however I will be vary careful to whom I reply to and what I say.

    walton.notlaw@gmail.com
    Cheers
    Paul

  100. 36

    @waltonpaul, were you GrustGrust? He seems to have disappeared ?

  101. BBaywatch

    @john Delhirro – it does indeed look as if the new airport will be completed around March 2014. kenp who posted recently (and is definitely qualified to know) confirmed that.

    However do bear in mind that completed does not necessarily mean operational and that even if it is, BB will have missed yet another years High Season bookings. Read this thread –

    https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/buccament-bay-resort-staff-member-asks-march-1-2013-a-tipping-point-for-harlequin/

    for a view on just what dire straits that operation is in. I cannot see how any hotel could continue (or indeed be ‘turned around’) and be financially viable when under occupied for that length of time unless funding was being injected from other sources and ………… well, you know the rest.

  102. Regarding the ‘investors’ meeting 9th March at the Marriott hotel Manchester airport, things are moving ‘at a pace’ a new email account is being set up specifically for these type of meetings and an invitation template is underway, various professionals will be on hand to give you advice on your options available to you.

    We are working on more ‘Investor road shows’ possibly the Middland’s area and south…… We will keep you posted

    All the best,

    Paul Walton

  103. Dear Investors & Harlequin,

    As discussed on Barbadosfreepress. The Harlequin Investor meeting in Manchester will be at Manchester Airport Marriott Hale Barns on the Saturday 9th March we have booked the room for the day with several short breaks for everyone to buy refreshments.

    I think some of you will be familiar with this location. If you could attend please let me know. There will be a small admission fee as it is £150 for the room I did negotiate this at a special rate.

    We will be asking Mr Ames to attend so we can get the answers we require. We would ask everyone to send in the questions they would like answering so that the same question is not repeated the email address to send questions and replies to invitation to HarlequininvestorgroupNW@gmail.com would ask you to pass on the details of this email to any third parties you may feel will be interested in attending.

    If you have any other suggestions please email above.
    I will look forward to your response.

    Kind Regards

    HarlequininvestorgroupNW

  104. anonymous22

    new article by jon austin in the echo today and before anyone thinks of bashing this article they may want to looks at the awards that jon austin has received for his investigative journalism. no doubt BFP will publish full article in due course. IT is clear that the SFO are investigating harlequin ( whether they will find any wrongdoings and take further action we will have to wait and see) BUT coupled with the fact that the FSA have asked for all pension providers to give them full details of harlequin holdings within the next 5 days and that fact that the fsa have referred people onto the fraud squad speaks volumes imho.

  105. HarlequininvestorgroupNW@gmail.com

    A update regarding the investors meeting in Manchester on the 9th March 2013

    The interest has been amazing, we are planning other locations throughout the UK
    Two legal firm will be supporting us, they specialise in different areas
    You will be able to ask them questions they have a very good knowledge of the challenges we face
    The even will be covered by the media.
    We are compiling a list of questions for HP
    HP have been invited and we await a reply
    You really should come along and get some facts, the Internet can be very helpful, however they are not always balanced. We will be presenting facts, not opinions…… And its only a couple of pounds to get in!!!

    I shall keep you posted, but I am actually out of the UK until Monday PM so it could be less than normal.

    We are working towards other locations, I will update you very soon

    All the best,

    Paul

  106. New Stuff

    I have written off any chance of seeing a return on this investment. I think that, even if there is any money left in the business, there will be other creditors higher up the food chain who will strip the carcass bare before the investors get a look in.

  107. Anonymous

    New stuff was your investment cash or sipp?
    

  108. Sorry my mistake that last post was me Paul

  109. Dave Amesless

    New stuff, In a way you are in a very poweful situation and that is if you have nothing to lose because you feel it is a write it off, it might well be worth trying to negotiate with you SIPP provider, come to the meeting it has got to be worth it for you

  110. homefront

    fsa sfo uk gov carrib gov acting like stunned slugs,it needs ACTION THIS DAY

  111. @newstuff
    If you wish, I will ask our legal team what options your have? Please email your details to walton.notlaw@gmail.com
    Where invested, date, SIPP or cash
    All the best
    Paul

  112. Regarding the recent article in the MOS, I urge you to contact HarlequininvestorgroupNW@gmail.com and come along to the meeting to find out what your options are, it is important to act quickly – legal representation will be available.

    At the time of writing, I have not had a reply if Mr Ames or his representative will be in attendance.

    We will be posting more details shortly.

    Kind regards,

    Paul

  113. Anonymous

    I don’t know what to believe

  114. Ask for you money back and find out what you get offred back is a good start, then read:
    Please all read and take note:
    All,
    We have had a team working on the technical rules around SIPP.
    We have already sent letters of claim to SIPP providers inviting them to explain why they did such little due diligence on Harlequin investments.
    From our review of the pension transfer advice we have seen :-
    – most SIPPs invested 80%+ of the available fund. Some as high as 100%.
    – all rely on the value of the property to increase to allow the 70% loan at the back end.
    – we see no evidence of any 70% loan to complete.
    – movement of final salary schemes losing very valuable benefits.
    – pension liberation
    – no consideration of what would happen if the member dies. Remember after 2 years HMRC require the estate to transfer the assets out. If not, a 55% tax charge.
    – not one single piece of advice actually tells you that the Harlequin investment is high risk. Most say nothing.
    – it is clear that some advisers have allowed their authorisation to be used to put through any transfer. They will rue that decision.
    – it is clear that some of the biggest IFA firms have been involved. Where was the compliance oversight ?
    – All SIPP contracted with a Caribbean company and paid the money to the UK company. We are waiting an explanation of this with interest.
    We know from the FSA rules most advisers will have £1.5m – £2m of Professional Indemnity Insurance. This will be inadequate. Therefore, the early claims will have the most chance of receiving redress from the professional indemnity insurer.
    All in all, a complete pigs ear. Regulatory Legal Solicitors and Pannone LLP are making precautionary claims for investors with pension based investments.
    The writing is on the wall for IFA’s / SIPP providers. They know, we know and we suspect pension investors know. Time to protect yourself.
    We can turn round pension letters of claim in under 24 hours. Better to act with caution is our strong advice.
    Regulatory Legal Solicitors

  115. Mark Fenty

    This may sound rather insensitive, but in order for there to be any closure in this matter. The British citizens need to cut they losses and move on. This has happened in America on numerous occasions, but you hardly hear the Americans crying in perpetuality.

  116. 8

    Message to Waltonpaul

    Have you had a missed payment? Mine was feb 28 2012 the first one
    After investing for 3 years . Is it a bank error or do I need to wake up?

    Kind regards simon

  117. 8

    Sorry 2013 had missed payment not 2012

    Kind regards simon

  118. 8

    Sorry feb 2013 had a missed payment not 2012 as above

    Kind regards simon

  119. Hello Simon,
    I would take advice for sure if you want to email me
    Walton.notlaw@gmail.com it may be better that way, I can call and explain what I know
    All the best
    Paul

  120. Fatchett does not represent me.

    @Anonymous, the missed payment was that important you cannot even remember the date LOL

  121. @FDNRM
    if you think thats funny you are one sick person

  122. Eddie Lizzard2

    FatChance36 It was a typing error you ninny – something you are more than familiar with. You should go down the pub more often. Your posts read a little better when you’re pished.

  123. Fatchett does not represent me.

    Some of you want to lighten up a bit. Grust Grust I notice how you have jumped to my defence in the past when I have been called a F***ing twat.

  124. 71

    @FDNRM – from what I have read on this thread you are a happy investor, right? So why do you spend so much of your time on here especially when you get so much abuse? I’m wondering what’s in it for you as I would have logged out long ago.

  125. 18

    Does anyone know if there is any truth in the BBC Panorama story?

  126. It is goning to be on 25th March yes.

    Harlequin Investor Meeting Number 2
    We are now taking enquiries for our second Investors meeting on 25th March 2013.
    Central London around 12pm
    Basildon Essex around 5-6pm
    The exact location and times will be confirmed once we know the numbers.
    Please email the locations you prefer and how many wish to attend.

    harlequininvestorgroupnw@gmail.com

  127. Andrew Logan

    Put all my personal pension into this scheme looks pretty bleak thanks Mr ames hope you sleep at night! !!! Got wife and two children depending on your false promises