Tag Archives: David Ames

Harlequin’s David Ames disobeys court order, fails to give evidence in court. What now for investors?

David Ames - Harlequin's Ponzi King

David Ames – Harlequin’s Ponzi King

TLW Solicitors are here to help on a no-win no-fee basis

contributed by TLW Solicitors

Following recent reports of the Harlequin Properties’ headquarters going up for sale and the company’s chairman David Ames failing to give evidence in court, those who have lost out financially through the scheme are assured that they may still be entitled to compensation.

The Harlequin Property company was set to build 6000 luxury properties in the Caribbean, financed by deposits from UK investors. With only 300 of the properties actually built and the Harlequin Group having gone into liquidation, thousands of investors have been left in debt.

Rip Off Britain

The BBC’s consumer affairs programme Rip Off Britain investigated Harlequin Property for a second time earlier this year, after an initial broadcast in 2010. Although some early investors had been able to claim back their money, the returning of more recent deposits has been ruled out by the company since it entered liquidation.

Around 3000 UK investors are thought to have been involved in the Harlequin investments scheme. Chairman David Ames blamed the problems on the 2008 global recession and claims to have been let down by developers.

Recent evidence suggests the Harlequin case has been flawed from the start, with suggestions that it never owned much of the land it intended to build properties on, and a business model that relied wholly on continued foreign investment. (BFP Editor’s note: It’s called a ‘Ponzi Scheme’. We’ll say it, even if TLW Solicitors won’t.)

Investigations into Harlequin hotels & resorts

Harlequin Property has been subject to an ongoing investigation by the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) since 2013 and two warnings by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).  Continue reading

676 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

David Ames running from the courts: Percival Stewart v Harlequin Properties

David Ames - Harlequin's Ponzi King

David Ames – Harlequin’s Ponzi King

Both Affidavits can’t be true!

Some interesting reading from a recent court case [March 2015] in St Vincent where Dave Ames is no stranger to litigation.

Percival Stewart v Harlequin Properties (Caribbean) Limited et al

In this case  on Page 4 the judge rules on the audacious delays by Ames in filing statements…

“Mr Commissiong deposes that Mr Ames lives in England and travels a lot globally making it difficult for him to be in Saint Vincent to testify. Implicit in Mr Commissiong’s averments is the notion that for those reasons, it was impossible or extremely difficult to contact Mr Ames, receive instructions from him, or arrange for him to sign a witness statement. I make the observation that the CPR permits a party to file and serve a witness summary if he is not able to provide a witness statement, and that a witness does not need to be in the jurisdiction to sign or attest either document.”

(download court document pdf here)

Now this is totally the opposite of what lawyers and Ames claimed last October 2014 (in the group of 33 investors failed case) when the judge was told that the company was NOT run from Essex. (See Judge rules against Harlequin investors in £1.8m court case)

“The case did not centre on whether or not the investors were owed money, a point which deputy judge Nicolas Strauss QC noted ‘does not appear to be in dispute’. Instead it focussed on whether a UK court could wind up Buccament Bay, given that the company was incorporated in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

While the investments were sold through Essex-based Harlequin Management Services (South East), which filed for administration in April 2013, Strauss ruled that Harlequin’s ventures including Buccament Bay were not run with ‘bird’s eye management from Essex’. He agreed that they were largely managed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and therefore this was the correct jurisdiction to apply for a winding up petition.”

The fact that Mr Commissiong’s claim that Ames couldn’t possibly find the time to be in St Vincent for the Stewart case makes a complete nonsense of Ames’ submission to the UK court that the Harlequin business was entirely run from the Caribbean and therefore the UK court’s jurisdiction does not apply.

Quite obviously both Affidavits cannot be true and both evade bringing Harlequin and Ames to account.

1,828 Comments

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

Harlequin selling Headquarters building for £525,000 – Where is the £400million taken from investors?

harlequin headquarters fraud

We’d say it was like selling off the family silverware, except there is no silverware left. Probably never was any.

After slickly removing £400 million from little old ladies and transit pensioners, David Ames and his gang are selling off their headquarters to pay the bills.

The Serious Fraud Office and the Essex Police have had an open file on the bunch since early 2013, but after two years Ames is still walking around with the rotting financial corpses of thousands of victims in his wake.

Two years should be long enough for the police and the SFO to do the job. What’s the delay?

From the Professional Adviser…

Troubled Harlequin puts HQ up for sale

Troubled overseas property investment scheme Harlequin has put its headquarters up for sale.

The warehouse and offices in the Honywood Business Park in Basildon have been listed for sale on property website Rightmove for £525,000. Harlequin owner David Ames would also consider leasing back the first floor offices at a rent of £25,000 per year, according to the advert.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Harlequin owns its Basildon offices and occupies the first floor of Unit 11, with all other space let to third parties.

“Harlequin is attempting to sell in order to discharge its liability and remove its responsibilities as a lessor.”

The move raises further questions over the financial situation of the company, which has received £400m from investors that they are currently unable to access.

Unregulated investment scheme Harlequin worked by taking deposits from mainly UK pension investors to build off-plan properties in the Caribbean, which could then be sold at a profit on completion or used to generate a rental income from holidaymakers. But out of a scheduled 6,000 properties, about 300 have been built.

… read the rest at the Professional Adviser

259 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

With David and Matt Ames as mentors, expect great things from Colonial Capital Group PLC

“That’s quite a team!

With quite a track record: ruined lives, pensions destroyed, homes lost. Suicides. Marriage breakups. Families falling apart as the work of a lifetime vanishes.”

The Ames Gang rides again…

These guys just won’t quit.

Last March saw Harlequin’s Matthew Ames jailed for 40 months for his Forestry for Life fraud that took £1.6million from investors. Ames stole from the rich, from the poor, from widows and pipefitters.

Matt Ames was an equal opportunity swindler who dressed well and talked with such easy confidence that people immediately trusted him. And, hey… didn’t his family develop the acclaimed Harlequin Resorts? Yeah… shouldn’t be any problem with investing in Forestry For Life. Even James Middleton was in the picture! (Oh… you don’t know James? Ah… you might be more familiar with his sister Kate and brother-in-law William: as in “our future King and Queen”.)

One of Matt Ames’ colleagues at Forestry for Life was Kevin Neil – then on the rebound from seeing the High Court shut down his two property firms in the public interest – Agri Ventura PLC and Farm Venture Ltd. Neil was also the main figure in the CleanTech NRG financial collapse.

Three of Kevin Neil's CleanTech victims

Three of Kevin Neil’s CleanTech victims. Despite all Mr. Neil’s current directorships and past failed companies, we couldn’t find a photo of Mr. Neil. Can anyone assist?

The Mirror UK called Neil’s business a “Landbanking scam” and reported…   Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Real Estate, Royal Family

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.

 

 

1,520 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   
Continue reading

32 Comments

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

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

2,679 Comments

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

Harlequin victim thanks BFP – “My prayers are with you…”

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin... but he could have!

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin… but he could have!

Dear BFP

My anonymous ID is one of those referred to in the Harlequin subpoena, but I always used an anonymous proxy.

Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fighting off an overwhelming fear of the consequences of them discovering my identity. Not because of the defamation threat; I see no issues with me proving what I said was true. I just could not stand by and watch the shameful lies, deception, bullying and propaganda being spouted from Ames and his conspirators. They misuse the courts to shut down any public criticism because they cannot continue to defraud people when information is flowing freely.

Too many peoples’ lives have been damaged in the Caribbean and UK. Many lives have been irreconcilably ruined. And the UK authorities just stand by, knowing what is happening, and let it continue to happen.

Barbados Free Press on WordPress has been the only major website which has continuously stood up to threat of litigation and enabled the reporting of the true Harlequin story to appear on internet search results despite Harlequin’s scatter gun litigation attack on the rest of the internet.

BFP and WordPress must have saved hundreds and maybe thousands of people from being ripped off and has given those who want to keep the real facts out there and alive a mainstream social media channel to communicate through.

Many thanks; my prayers are with you, me, and all the other contributors who had good reason to comment anonymously under the fear and threat created by Harlequin.

signed, A Harlequin victim and grateful BFP reader!

BFP Editor Robert replies…

Thanks for your prayers, friend.

And thanks to Matt Mullenweg and the WordPress gang for defending freedom of the press, freedom of speech and giving freedom a home.

Robert

490 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments

Dave Ames and Harlequin Property file legal papers against Barbados Free Press readers

matt-mullenweg-wordpressed

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago we informed our readers that Harlequin had served our webhost WordPress – Automattic Inc with a court subpoena concerning reader comments on Barbados Free Press. Ames and Harlequin want to discover the identities of BFP readers who left anonymous comments on stories about them.

This will be difficult even if WordPress turns over the ip numbers to Harlequin because further steps are required with internet suppliers in other countries. Lots of folks use proxies and protection like ‘Anonymouse.org‘ for surfing too. Nope, we’re not worried at all and we run this here little blog. Have for nine years and the DLP and BLP haven’t found us yet!

WordPress didn’t send copies of the legal papers to us, so we presume they are fighting it out in court with Harlequin and David Ames. WordPress inventor Matt Mullenweg has a reputation as a hell of a scrapper when it comes to defending free speech and he’ll spend millions rather than give into extortion. (Matt is the handsome young chap above, just turned 30. And ladies, not only is he single – his business costs about $400,000 a month to run, but takes in gross revenues of $45 million a year. You do the math. The latest Business Insider issue says Matt is probably worth a billion yankee dollars and he has homes in New York, California and Texas. He was in Barbados a few months ago – I’ll try and find the photos I saw on the web.) 

Today we received more legal papers – unofficially and anonymously – from someone. This batch lists exactly what comments and BFP readers that Ames and Harlequin is after.

We’re not worried because we know that the WordPress business model would collapse overnight if Matt and the boys didn’t defend free speech.

Besides – we believe in Matt and WP crew. They will fight this attack all the way on a purely ideological basis – nevermind anything else.

Meanwhile here are the two batches of documents so far…

Latest – 04447212-Page0-41(1)

Previous – 2014_04_21_19_26_39

109 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights

Harlequin – Dave Ames serves WordPress with court subpoena about Barbados Free Press

UPDATED April 30, 2014: PDF of Court Document Posted Below

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

Harlequin / Ames alleges defamation by commenters?

Dear Barbados Free Press readers,

Here is what we know so far…

Today some anonymous person posted the following as a comment on Barbados Free Press.

IF the posting is for true, then Harlequin, David Ames and Carol Ames served some court papers on Automattic Inc. (otherwise known as WordPress) in San Francisco USA, demanding that WordPress produce the IP numbers and email addresses for persons who posted some comments about Harlequin on Barbados Free Press. According to the court papers, it is not BFP who is being served or sued, but our internet host WordPress.com.

We at BFP have not looked at the comments, but they are listed in the court papers printed below. It looks to us like what was posted as a comment contains errors of the type that come when a paper page is scanned and converted to a Word file.

We expect that WordPress will vigorously defend free speech – because, aside from free speech and human rights, if they don’t defend free speech, their business model collapses.

PDF of Court Document: Harlequin Court Document 2014_04_21

Here is what was originally posted as a comment on BFP…

The following is the Ames application for the IP addresses of those posters Ames feels may have defamed him,

SUBP-002
ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address):
Timothy B. Broderick (97082), Katrina M. Saleen (253706)
Broderick Saleen, 2600 El Camino Real, Ste. 506, Palo Alto, CA 94306
TELEPHONE NO.: (650) 857 9000 FAX NO.: (650) 857 1100
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
ATTORNEY FOR (Name): Dave Ames: Carol Ames• Harlequin FOR COURT USE ONLY  Continue reading

390 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Should financial advisors be penalized for recommending the disastrous Harlequin ‘investments’?

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

TailorMade Independent under the microscope…

“In total around 7,000 investors put £300 million into Harlequin, half of this, £150 million was invested on an advised basis.”

Gareth Fatchett, solicitor at Regulatory Legal, who is representing a number of Harlequin investors, said most of the advice he had reviewed was poor and had been motivated by commission. ‘99% of the advice I’ve seen is terrible, inappropriate, commission-driven stuff,’ he said.

It doesn’t get much worse than this, and we wonder when and if criminal fraud charges will be laid against David Ames and his cohorts. So many lives ruined, so many pensions destroyed.

Some new happenings:

FSCS writes to Harlequin promoter TailorMade’s clients

Harlequin investors hit out at TailorMade Group

539 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Matthew David Ames disqualified from being a company director for 13 years – Harlequin founder’s son

Apple Tree Harlequin Ames

Carbon Credits Scam

Name: MATTHEW DAVID AMES
Name: The Investor Club Limited
Date Order Starts: 07/08/2013
Disqualification Length: 13 Years 0 Month(s)
CRO Number: 06674458

Matthew David Ames FraudConduct: Between 15 December 2008 and 2 March 2011 Mr Ames caused The Investor Club Limited (“TIC”) to trade with a want of commercial probity and/or to the detriment of its investors in that: •TIC offered investments in either carbon credit trading or an investment in Teak Tree Saplings and between 26 February 2009 and 2 March 2011 customers paid monies totalling at least £1,166,100 either directly to TIC or to TIC via agents. •No funds were invested onwards by TIC. •TIC paid £205,107 for travel expenses, £273,666 for business expenses and £151,000 was paid to him.

It’s called a Ponzi Scheme…

“£233,536 has been paid to investors by way of commission payments however of the £1,745,260 received into the bank accounts, £1,166,100 was received from investors, and no income was received from any investments.”

TIC’s statement of affairs completed by him for the liquidators disclosed liabilities to investors of £846,494. Forestry For Life Limited Between 16 March 2010 and 2 March 2011 he caused Forestry For Life Limited (“FFL”) to trade with a want of commercial probity and/or to the detriment of its investors in that: FFL offered investments in carbon credit trading on the basis that there would be a 12% annual return on monies invested over the first three years. Continue reading

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Beginning of the end for Harlequin Properties and Dave Ames? Court petitioned to freeze business and personal assets.

UPDATED March 14, 2013: Comments closed and redirected to latest article

Hi folks. After almost 1,500 comments on this story readers are getting a little tired of having to scroll through them all to continue a current discussion. So we’ve closed the comments on this post and redirect you to the most current Harlequin post as of March 14, 2013…

Harlequin Properties stunner! SIPP-Pension investors advised to act immediately

Prior Updates…

URGENT: Barbados Free Press under attack!

Some folks want to discourage discussion about Harlequin

Wednesday, March 13, 2013   1am Bridgetown

Friends, the number of comments on this story is over 1,300 – a new record for Barbados Free Press. Combine those comments with our other news articles about Harlequin and Dave Ames and there are almost 3,000 comments here at BFP.

The Harlequin discussion is carried on primarily by two kinds of people… desperate investors hoping to understand and get their money out somehow, and people who see no wrong by Dave Ames and Harlequin. Some of the second group use different names to post, like Dave Ames’ head of security who got caught trying to infiltrate the discussion without telling his true identity.

Now some people are using techniques to try and block the discussion here at Barbados Free Press. They are inundating us with spam comments trying to sell everything from ice makers to japanese dating sites. Then we have people calling themselves “Yorkiepoo” going for volume to dominate the discussion with garbage comments. This “Yorkiepoo” has to be more than one person because they are here for so many hours. This is way beyond trolling – this must be an organized group trying to stop investors from talking here at BFP.

So who would want to interfere with the Harlequin discussion? (He asked knowingly.)

We’ll do our best to remove asinine and irrelevant comments – but don’t be discouraged. Just talk ya talk and nevermind them others. In response to the attacks, we’ll post this at the top of the blog for a few days so you don’t have to hunt for this very active article. The more they interfere, the more articles we will run and the longer we’ll leave this at the top.

Chickens do come home and we be working on it!

BREAKING UPDATED: Harlequin pays off investors who launched court action!

Saturday March 9, 2013  7:20am Bridgetown

Echo News reports this morning that the Birmingham High Court bid to freeze Harlequin’s and David Ames’ assets was dropped yesterday when a settlement was reached.

Apparently Harlequin paid off six investors represented by Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal, who dropped the court case. Said Fatchett: “Our primary aim was for the return of these investors’ deposits. We now have 20 more investors seeking refunds due to missed completion dates.”

Meanwhile, the H-Hotel construction site in Barbados remains shut down after Harlequin laid off dozens of workers. We haven’t heard anything recently about The Merricks, but we’ll take a drive out of the city on Monday and let folks know.

Echo News: Harlequin Property freezing order bid ends after investors paid out

Here is BFP’s original story first published on March 3, 2013…

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Financial Services Authority also investigating Harlequin and Ames

A high court action will start in Birmingham on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 against Harlequin Property and David Ames. This, according to investigative journalists Russell Myers and Sharon Churcher of the Mail on Sunday.

“Legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors.”

The court could deliver a double blow to Harlequin and Ames: freezing all business and personal assets. Plus Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs pensions regulator will act – just as Barbados Free Press first reported several months ago.

As we say in Bim, de chickens coming home…   Continue reading

1,467 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

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

ALERT: Harlequin fails to pay loan interest

Harlequin Past Due

“Harlequin refused to comment on the investor’s missed payment, saying that the accounts team is looking into it, and that in the meantime the investor may have to make the payment themselves.”

Temporary delay or something more serious?

Here is what IFAonline posted yesterday:

Harlequin Property hits problems with payments
Author: Laura Miller
IFAonline | 15 Feb 2013 | 10:32

Harlequin Property, the unregulated collective investment scheme (UCIS) which invests in Caribbean property, is having problems issuing payments due under the terms of its agreement.

One investor, who did not want to be named, contacted Harlequin earlier this month after the company failed to pay the interest on a loan the investor had taken out in order to invest in a Harlequin property.

Under the terms of its agreement, Harlequin pays the interest on borrowings where the investor has re-mortgaged their home to invest in a Harlequin property. The interest is paid until the completion of the off-plan property the investor has invested in.

Harlequin said it successfully makes payments to investors, but that delays do occur occasionally.

However, in an email from the investor to Harlequin, seen by IFAonline, the investor informs Harlequin it has not made one of the payments. Referring to a telephone call the investor made to Harlequin, the investor said they had been told by Harlequin that “this was due to errors on the part of Harlequin and many people were affected”.

In an email seen by IFAonline to the investor, Katharine Manderfield, network sales director at Harlequin, said Harlequin has “had some issues with bank payments”. She said the payments will be resolved by 28 February. However, she refused to comment on the investor’s missed payment, saying that the accounts team is looking into it, and that in the meantime the investor may have to make the payment themselves.

“A spokesperson for Regulatory Legal, which is acting on behalf on some Harlequin investors, said: “We have received a number of client enquiries where interest payments have not been made.

“This is blamed on a banking error. We cannot see why this could not be remedied with payments being brought up to date in days…”

… read the rest at IFAonline Harlequin Property hits problems with payments

158 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Economy

North Somerset Council Harlequin supporter uses many identities to pump positive vibes about Harlequin, David Ames

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts running secret internet spin group?

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts running secret internet spin group?

They sometimes call themselves “Harlisuccess“. Other times they use the names…

Moneymaker
Anonymous 55
Faceless
Anonymous13
Content Investor
Dr. Goodnews
666
The Happy Investor

Sometimes they pretend to be known BFP commenters and when we catch them at that we change the name they used.

They have but one goal: to leave as many positive comments on the internet as they can at Barbados Free Press and other websites dealing with the Harlequin and David Ames stories. They work tirelessly defending Harlequin and Ames and have posted several hundred comments at all hours of the day and night, making us wonder if there is more than one person leaving these supportive comments.

“You obviously know nothing about construction, so stop talking rubbish and mind your own business.!!!!

Harlequin success in the Caribbean goes from strength to strength Redefining Luxury in the Caribbean .”

Serial commenter “Harlisuccess” posts only good about Harlequin and David Ames

Is “Harlisuccess” a David Ames employee group or one person?

Is “Harlisuccess” a customer pumping up the Harlequin organisation so they can offload their “investment”?

Whoever they are, all the comments left by “Harlisuccess” share one trait: they come from the same internet number belonging to the North-Somerset Council in Woking…

United Kingdom:    Woking Business Customer
netname:        North-Somerset-Council
descr:          BUSINESS CUSTOMER
country:        GB
admin-c:        TWIP1-RIPE
tech-c:         TWIP3-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         AS5462-MNT
source:         RIPE # Filtered

role:           Telewest Broadband IP Network Services
address:        Genesis Business Park
address:        Albert Drive
address:        Woking
address:        Surrey UK
address:        GU21 5RW

“Cheers to ALL those construction workers who are working so very hard to ensure Harlequin achieve success in the Caribbean, Well done for the fantastic achievements in Buccament Bay,H Hotel and Merricks in Barbados and Blu St lucia,”

Harlisuccess pumps the brand on the blogs.

What do you think folks? What are the odds… is this an individual operating for personal reasons, or is “Harlisuccess” a propaganda effort by David Ames and company?

Hey… “Harlisuccess”… can you provide the answer? Are you working for David Ames or just doing your own thing?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Report: David Ames and Harlequin under investigation for dodgy condo project in Thailand

We wondered why the hit-o-meter was going wild from the UK on our Harlequin articles and then we discovered the reason why: a bunch of Brits purchased condo units in Thailand from Ames / Harlequin

and… and…  Guess what?

Money gone, no condo…. that’s what!

One has to wonder just when this house of cards called Harlequin will finally run out of people willing to trade their cash for a promise that never arrives…

Is Thailand’s Attorney-General Moving Against Dodgy Developers?

Emerald Palace Visited By Police – Sensation

A controversial condominium project in Pattaya linked to a British company, which has taken billions of pounds for property projects, which have never been built, in the Caribbean and Thailand, was yesterday (Wednesday) visited by police and Pattaya Consumer Protection Officers.

Emerald Palace on Pratamnak Hill, Pattaya, initiated by David Ames of the British company ‘Harlequin’, could be described to have been raided but that may be stretching things. The visit was long overdue.

The project is a classic study on how foreign property companies in Thailand can rip off unsuspecting clients.

First of all some buyers, mainly British, but also some Russians, a Canadian and other nationalities, were sold units and were never even allocated one.

Secondly all the remaining buyers found that, when they came to occupy their rooms in the project which came in three years late, they had all been mortgaged to Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank. (One buyer found that his allocated unit was in fact occupied by the mistress of a bank official.)

And thirdly the original sellers, the people who took the cash, quietly removed themselves as directors.

And their company, which actually owns the project is not the company with which the buyers were actually dealing.

Emerald Palace was initiated by David Ames of Harlequin U.K. based in Basildon , Essex. Ames is a formerly bankrupt ex-double glazing salesman.

Read the rest of the story at Andrew Drummond’s blog.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Harlequin’s Ames family: Police charge Matthew Ames with £1.2million investment fraud

Kate’s brother – James Middleton, right, at the carbon trade exhibition in London October 2010

Kate’s brother – James Middleton, right, at the carbon trade exhibition in London October 2010

Prince William’s brother-in-law, James Middleton, represented Matt Ames’ Ponzy scheme

Hey… told ya so! The Ames family was all over Kate Middleton’s brother like parasites.

The son of Harlequin’s David Ames has been charged with two counts of fraud. £1.2million is missing from investors’ pockets and Matthew Ames is charged by police.

The moral of the story? If you’re going to steal, steal big. Make it too big to fail, involve politicians up to their necks so you have some insurance – then you’ll not be taken down. Matt should have followed his father’s example and he wouldn’t have had any trouble. Oh well, maybe next scheme!

Now folks, you should visit the Echo-News website to read the story, but with the Harlequin related news we have to print the whole thing here because some of those stories get yanked and then where would we be? If we’re going to comment on this story, we have to keep our sources ya know!

Fraud charges for green firms’ boss

THE BOSS of two “green” finance firms which allegedly took more than £1.2million from investors has been charged with fraud.

Laindon-based Forestry for Life and the Investor Club allegedly took hundreds of thousands of pounds from people who paid into environmental investment schemes involving teak tree plantations and rainforest protection projects.

Matthew Ames, 37, from Goldfinch Lane, Thunderlsey, who ran both businesses from a converted farm barn in Dunton Road, Laindon, has been charged with two counts of fraudulent trading. Continue reading

70 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law