“After learning that some of his agents were misleading investors, did Ames and Harlequin take steps to alert investors? Now there is a question.”
Some agents and financial advisers selling Harlequin Property pre-March 2009 were telling clients that their investments were protected in a solicitor’s client account. This according to the UK law office representing a group of disgruntled Harlequin investors.
Talking to Barbados Free Press, Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors explained “It is clear that Harlequin identified instances where agents were telling people that a solicitors client account was being used to protect their monies.“
Mr. Fatchett also provided a clue that his law office intends to go after agents who lied to prospective investors, saying, “Many agents think that by using a limited company they can absolve themselves personally of any liability for a statement made either fraudulently or recklessly. It is clear that some agents / financial advisers made statements which were plainly untrue. English law makes provision for limited liability protection to be removed when grossly reckless statements are made.”
Regulatory Legal Solicitors are reviewing advice files for investors who are concerned that they have been misled by agents. Mr. Fatchett is also looking closely at advice given by advisers, financial advisers and pension advisers.
Dave Ames and Harlequin knew agents were misleading prospective investors!
In a March 24, 2009 “Policy Statement” from Harlequin to agents, Dave Ames told his agents to stop the practice, saying “I am aware that some agents have been suggesting to investors that we do ring fence the payments and this has to stop immediately to avoid investors being misled.” and “It is also not true to say that investors’ money is held in a solicitor’s client account.” (PDF of Ames’ statement here)
While it is shocking is that Harlequin’s Dave Ames was apparently aware that some of his agents were misleading investors, the natural question is: What did Ames do after learning of the lies? After learning that some of his agents were misleading investors, did Ames and Harlequin take steps to alert investors? Now there is a question!
No reply from Harlequin or Dave Ames
Barbados Free Press contacted Harlequin’s UK office and asked whether, upon learning that investors had been deceived, Ames and Harlequin informed old and new investors to ensure that they knew the truth. As of press time we have not had a reply. We’ll certainly publish any statement from Mr. Ames or Harlequin as we have done before.
Lawyer Gareth Fatchett had no problem speaking with BFP though, saying “It is clear that Harlequin identified instances where agents were telling people that a solicitors client account was being used to protect their monies.”
Something tells us that Mr. Fatchett is right, that Harlequin agents lied to prospective investors, that Harlequin and Ames knew about it and that the involved agents might be on the hook personally even if they operated under a corporation.
What’s that smell?
Tis the smell of fear, horror and realisation by dozens of Harlequin agents that they might be personally accountable, and that Mr. Fatchett and other lawyers have them squarely in their legal cross-hairs. Victims of the Harlequin pyramid scheme just might have some options that they haven’t considered.
Next in the Harlequin series at BFP…
Gareth Fatchett: Pit bull, lawyer or both?
As lawyers go, Regulatory Legal Solicitors’ Gareth Fatchett is young – but he’s no upstart… and Harlequin victims aren’t his first clients. Is he a champion of the little guy, a predator – or a hardworking lawyer who does the best he can in his special area of legal practice? Barbados Free Press will be looking at Mr. Fatchett’s successes, failures and legal style in a future article.
Do you know something about Mr. Fatchett? Do you have an opinion? Let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact page here at BFP.