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   

In Thailand, a court ruled against Harlequin Thailand and David Ames’ chosen partner in crime, Richard Haughton. Following the standard Harlequin operational procedure, the Thailand operation sold ‘off the plan’ and then built little for ‘investors’. And what they did build, they mortgaged without telling. What a mess!

Has Harlequin properly delivered one completed project in all its existence?

“Two more Britons were awarded the title deeds of their condominiums in Thailand today as judges ruled on a scam by the property company Harlequin, run locally by former video store owner from the British Midlands…

…Cheques were paid in the name Harlequin and TPME – but the company which actually owned the property was called Headland Holdings, and run by a Thai woman and two of Haughton’s subordinates Nicholas Pearce and Paul Salisbury.”

… from Andrew Drummond Brit’s win against dodgy property developers in Thailand

32 Comments

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

32 responses to “Harlequin house of cards continues to fall

  1. It would have been ok, if........

    If , Fatshit and fatty Walton left Harlequin alone investors would not have a problem. They want to liquidate in order to sell your investment for pennies to one of those corrupt Masonic brothers,

  2. Never Too Old

    U mad bro?

    If Fatchett didn’t “stir the pot”, please can you enlighten us & let us know how Harlequin would ever hope to realize the returns of the 6000+ victims?

    Here are the facts:

    – ONE (1) person has taken title in Buccament Bay (1/6000)

    – By their own admission, HARLEQUIN don’t have money to pay for building

    – Harlequin are under investigation by the SFO

    – Ames’ son is serving time for the EXACT SAME BUSINESS MODEL

    – Harlequin have not accounted for the $400m taken from its victims. This is a problem compounded by the revelations Ames has been busy in Thailand & Dubai with investors’ money

    – Harlequin’s cash flow problems happened BEFORE RL got involved. I know because I talked to Harlequin directly about it

    – Harlequin are resting their hopes of finance on winning a court case & working with a hotel management company. I see no budgets / forecasts or run-rates

    – Harlequin’s liquidation has NEVER been on the (public) agenda of RL. AS a victim myself, I’ve only ever seen proactive work from them (not to liquidate the company).

    I would really like to know where your “logic” that RL want to liquidate the company comes from.

  3. Little blue book

    To sell it off to a Freemason, cheap.

  4. Time for closure.

    Shut it down then we all can move on, only Ames thinks he can raise the dead. His flunkies are just holding out for a couple more pay cheques.

  5. A spy in the camp

    One would imagine even the toxic toad knows his days are numbered….. panic in the Harlequin offices.😉

  6. BFP, if only you would keep the CLICO ponzi scheme alive and in the face of your readers with the same dedication as you do with Harlequin, it would be much appreciated by those poor souls.

  7. What it worth it?

    Imagine: Ames family in ruins, all his assets frozen, publicly humiliated and vilified.

    I total failure.

  8. BBaywatch

    The level of ignorance about HP and its background amongst investors is staggering given the amount of information that can be found online with a little effort. Right from the beginning it has always been style over substance and as a company they were regarded as suspect by the tourism and hotel business from the earliest days. However, the big bonuses handed out to the sales people and I’m afraid to say naivety and greed was a toxic combination for inexperienced investors.

    Much of the glitz was created with multiple CGI images, multiple companies were used to create this work and I do wonder if, like most of the other HP suppliers, there relationships ended up in litigation? One leading UK marketing and development company had to threaten legal action to recover costs associated with the Thai adventure I believe. Of the other marketing companies here is one of my favourite quotes

    “All of the CGIs were modelled and created from the client’s verbal brief as no architectural plans yet existed. The architects then reverse engineered the buildings once the client’s vision had been established.
    It was no conincidence that Harlequin prospered as a result of our involvement. Not only were the clients enthusiastic about our work, but it also provided a stimulus to the sales force as they were able to benefit from effective marketing support.” – sounds like a marriage made in hell between bs-hitters of the highest order! Explains a lot when you think about it – no need for architects, planning or surveys of things like flood plains – build it and they will come!! Really ROTFLMAO on that one.

    http://www.endeavourlondon.co.uk/what-we-do/case-studies/harlequin-resorts-projects

  9. I don’t know what Barbados Government doesn’t compulsory acquire their properties and auction them off. The one in Hastings is truly and eyesore.

  10. BBaywatch

    http://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/news/2356234/fca-finds-poor-pension-transfer-advice-writes-to-sipp-ceos-over-firm-failings

    Another rap on the knuckles for sellers of SIPP’s – see also

    http://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/feature/2355204/whats-behind-the-spike-in-sipp-advice-claims

    which specifically refers to Harlequin as being a major part of the problem. SIPP investors believing that they will be covered by insurance come what may need a wake up call. With one very high profile loss adjuster already declining a claim it may well be that the FSCS will have to pick up the tab and their level of compensation may fall short of the investors losses.

  11. BBaywatch

    http://is.gd/VV6ZQ2

    Another rap on the knuckles for sellers of SIPP’s – see also

    http://is.gd/e1wDbT

    which specifically refers to Harlequin as being a major part of the problem. SIPP investors believing that they will be covered by insurance come what may need a wake up call. With one very high profile loss adjuster already declining a claim it may well be that the FSCS will have to pick up the tab and their level of compensation may fall short of the investors losses.

  12. cynical Tailormade customer

    Just wondering, Tailormade were going to start ‘helping clients’ with their compensation claims via a separate company. Is this ‘harlequin property claims? ‘, they are based in Burton on trent, Staffordshire, quite close to Tailormade in Warrington?

  13. anon

    The Punch and Judy show continues on the other open thread, but as this one accurately states – the house of cards is falling. More bad advice reported –
    http://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/news/2354405/fos-uncovers-more-bad-harlequin-advice

    which leads to a warning by the head of the FSCS

    http://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/news/2354047/fscs-chief-concerned-by-15-rise-in-poor-pension-advice-claims

  14. Harlequin claims

    http://harlequinpropertyclaims.co.uk/
    Looks like they are part of a company called Magenta Claims Limited. There is some interesting reading on their website. I expect to see more of these companies springing up a bit like PPI and Personal Injury claims firms. There’s profit to be made out of other people’s misery.

    ‘ incorporated on 24 May 2011 and located in Manchester. The company’s status is listed as “Live” and it currently has one director – Christopher Hartwell . Its founding director was Mrs Pamela Webber. Magenta Claims Limited does not have any subsidiaries.

    Mr Christopher Hartwell is British and was born in 1964. The first directorship we have on file for him was in 1991 at C H Freight Forwarding Limited. His newest directorship is with Newman Legal Ltd where he hold the position of “Director”. The company was established 30 Dec 2013. So far, Christopher has held 15 directorships, 3 of which are currently active, and 12 are no longer active.’

    source duedil

  15. Kettle calling the pot

    They wont stand a change against Harlequin, at least they regulated!!!

  16. BBaywatch

    I see that Dr Gonsalves has taken over the chair of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, saying “I must emphasise that financial stability will remain paramount and will continue to be addressed using the strategy for strengthening the resilience of the financial sector, which was approved by the monetary council,” he said at the ceremony at Buccament Bay Resort.

    A curious venue for staging such a ceremony, what signals does it give out when you make such pronouncements on the premises of a company being investigated by the Police and the Serious Fraud Office, one of whose managers is now serving a prison sentence for fraud?

  17. james hand

    One word for MR Ames Bye Bye son Bye Bye

  18. BBaywatch

    Further evidence that investment in Harlequin is unsound – and apparently worthless

    http://www.ftadviser.com/2014/07/08/opinion/blogs/fos-decision-on-harlequin-must-be-tip-of-iceberg-cHAyySXUfj3zkcqhvptF2O/article-0.html

    NB – “While the ombudsman emphasised that the “current correspondence” from Harlequin is “fairly positive in tone, the investment cannot be currently redeemed. As it cannot be redeemed, the ombudsman has ordered Harris Knights to take ownership of the Harlequin investment and compensate the couple in full.

    It appears the ombudsman came to that conclusion as it is difficult to determine the losses in this asset due to its fluctuating value and therefore there would be difficulty in calculating the appropriate level of compensation.”

  19. A little push

    Thank’s for that post – its now on the edge of the abyss, just one more nudge and its gone.

  20. BBaywatch

    A little push – you may well be right but I’ve a feeling that events in SVG may well yet decide the final outcome. De Comrade likes his shiny resort to show off in when hosting various government meetings – that’s where DA has been recently too. Whatever happens you can bet that the investors won’t be the ones to benefit though!

  21. Time will tell

    Election must be held before Dec 2015

  22. BBaywatch

    Indeed it must, although the Opposition are pressing for a much sooner date, citing the need to end corruption in government. I doubt it will be before at least one aircraft has landed at Argyle though, so that flagship government project can be lauded as a success. Referring to the other thread – is this why there has been the announcement that Harlequin Air will be flying?

  23. Perplexed

    After an aircraft has been “mothballed” so to speak for so long are
    there any air-worthy re-certification requirements in the Caribbean?
    Just reading the Trip-Advisor reviews of lack of attention to detail
    by HD I doubt that I would step foot aboard any airplane associated
    with Harlequin.

  24. BBaywatch

    Fortunately airworthiness certificates can’t be manipulated like TA reviews or awards so the aircraft itself will be reliable. What is interesting is the failure of Harlequin to get an operators licence, hence the use of Caribbean Helicopters as a ‘flag of convenience’. This will of course mean that although Harlequin might still own the aircraft (and haven’t sold it to Caribbean Helicopters) they are still going to have to pay CH as operators. Hardly the most profitable operation and less efficient than the service originally supplied by SVG Air Alliance. Further proof that if you throw (other people’s) money at anything you can give the appearance of success and then crow about it – but that’s the Harlequin story (or Storey) in a nutshell.

  25. Dave's rent a pilot airways

    It’s hardly Harlequin air – more like rent a pilot?

  26. Anonymous Coward from Brierley Hill

    The unredacted due diligence overview from RL has been found https://filetea.me/t1s4sIyXPTES42w4x10Ob73mQ

    Harlequin were going to build over 1900 units at Buccament! And some maniacs paid stage payments for Merricks, the Marquis and even Brazil!!!

  27. Anonymous Coward from Brierley Hill
  28. Crudge

    I do not think the Brierley Hill cowards are really that anonymous.

    They are fairly vocal in my opinion.

  29. One pissed off bloke

    So , are these real or just another load of crap to cause panic among us ?
    Where did this stuff come from and who has had it all this time and kept it hidden ?

    Stinks like rotten fish this.

  30. Thanks again Kim.

    I have traced the file back to a Kim Fry.

  31. You couldn’t trace your finger up your own arse. Why this obsession with Kim is moronic to say the least!