David Ames: Stupid? Crooked? …or smart like a fox?
Would you trust your money to a man so foolish that he paid tens of millions of dollars to a building contractor without signing a written contract?
Would you trust your financial future to a man who ‘managed’ investors’ money by holding million-dollar promotional events while not bothering to ask how toilets at the resort could flush if they weren’t hooked up to any sewerage lines? Would you trust a man who was such an idiot that he failed to monitor expenditures vs. observed results on a 100 million dollar project?
An Irish court has just awarded Harlequin Property a rather shameful victory – for in order to achieve victory in the civil lawsuit, Harlequin had to show and admit how much of a trusting idiot is their glorious leader, Dave Ames.
“Harlequin said between 2008 and June 2010 £8.5million was diverted from £34million paid to the contractor to develop the first phase of its flagship resort Buccament Bay, in St Vincent.
The court heard during a 31-day trial there was no written contract and money was diverted into personal accounts of Mr O’Halloran to fund lavish purchases, including a wedding, private jet, a racecourse in St Lucia, a car franchise business and renovations to a rented property on the Sandy Lane estate in Barbados.
Harlequin said during construction shells of the buildings went up but they were not connected to essential infrastructure like sewage, water and power leading to the resort opening late and on a smaller scale.”
“(Judge) McGovern said it was “extraordinary” there was no written contract for such a large development and that turned out to be a “very poor” decision by Mr Ames…”
… from the Basildon News article Harlequin Property wins civil fraud case against former resort builder
Dave Ames establishing a defense against Ponzi charges?
According to the Basildon News, Harlequin and Ames took about 6,000 deposits from investors for off plan resort accommodation at six planned resorts, but built just 300.
Couple those figures with a total failure to account for missing millions of dollars, and you have what is commonly called a ‘Ponzi Scheme’, named after the patron saint of fraudsters: Charles Ponzi. Wikipedia explains ponzi this way…
“A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.”
That’s Harlequin Properties alright.
But what if David Ames had a plan to conduct a Ponzi scheme to take tens of millions from investors – but wanted to make it seem he was incompetent, not a crook? Wouldn’t what happened with Padraig O’Halloran take care of any allegations of criminal intent? You can hear the defense claim coming: “Ames had no criminal intent. He was an idiot. A good salesman, but a lousy business man who was in over his head and overly trusting of people around him.”
Yes, that might work in a court.
David Ames: Stupid? Too trusting? A victim …. or smart like a fox with millions tucked away all over the world?
Charles Ponzi would be so proud!