Tag Archives: Harlequin Resorts

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’s Matthew Ames guilty of ponzi scheme fraud. Will father David Ames be next?

Matthew David Ames FraudDave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

Throw away the key to Matt Ames’ cell…  Wait a minute, let’s use it one more time!

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

Kate’s brother – James Middleton, right, at the 2010 carbon trade exhibition. Matt Ames also oversaw Harlequin’s Buccament Bay

Ruined lives, pensions destroyed, homes lost. Suicides. Marriage breakups. Families falling apart as the work of a lifetime vanishes.

That is the legacy of Harlequin’s Matthew Ames, who was just convicted of fraud for running a ponzi scheme. Ames took £1.2million from the rich, from the poor, from widows and pipefitters. He was an equal opportunity swindler who dressed well, talked with such easy confidence that people immediately trusted him.

His product was topical, sexy in its own way: carbon credits, green investments, Forestry for Life. And didn’t he drive a Lamborghini? Wasn’t he also part of the Harlequin Resorts team? Isn’t his father successful? Just look at the people Matt Ames is seen with: Jack Charlton, and even James Middleton – brother of our future Queen.

“Out of the £1.6m that was invested across both companies, only £250,000 was ever returned to investors.

“The rest went directly into the pocket of Matthew Ames, funding his profligate spending habits.”

Ames used people with “impressive CVs” to promote Forestry for Life and give it a sense of legitimacy.

From Echo News Echo nabs £1 million fraudster

2,293 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Economy, Offshore Investments

BFP Reader warned in 2010: Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort built on a flood plain – Death and disaster predicted 3 years ago!

Buccament Bay Resort Flood Plain Death (click on photo for large)

“Alot of tricks. That Buccament Bay project in SVG is a disaster waiting to happen, it is constructed in a low lying flood plain between two mountains.

I expect to read any day that torential rains have washed the entire project, people and all, into the bloody sea.

Cellate and ICE Group could not build a pig pen for me.”

Barbados Free Press reader Gorillaphant comments July 25, 2010 on BFP’s Buccament Bay Resort: Harlequin alleges fraud, unsafe materials use…

Although BFP hasn’t heard from Harlequin Resorts solicitors, we see that Peter Binose and some other news outlets who published Peter Binose’s letter received some nasty communications indeed.

In for a penny, in for a pound and all that – and let the truth out.

“The greedy developers and government valued money over everything. They gambled with Joselle Small’s life – but it was Joselle, her husband and family who lost.”

Over three years ago on this very website, BFP reader Gorillaphant declared what any fool could see for hisself: Buccament Bay Resort is built on a flood plain between two mountains, so close to the sea and sea level that death and disaster was bound to come.

It was only a matter of when, not if.  Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Harlequin Buccament Bay flood tragedy – Caused by Vincentian Government’s and developer’s greed and stupidity

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort: a tragedy predicted by writer Peter Binose. (photo courtesy I-Witness News, link at bottom of article)

“Several times over the last couple of years water has run through peoples houses in the village, something that had never happened before Harlequin resort was being built, this should have been a warning…”

“The original engineering has been compromised and the government planners are fully aware of such.”

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”

One Man’s Opinion…

by Peter Binose

Buccament Bay Resort was built on a known flood plane and areas that were known as swamp. Flooding of this area has been happening since the very beginning of the valley, which acts like a great funnel draining into the bay itself.

Everyone knew that, certainly the locals and most certainly the planners and government surveyors knew that.

The resort area had the richest soil of the whole island, silt carried there from present day and over millions of years. The farmers that farmed the area were used to seasonal flooding, their crops grown in the ultra fertile soil were the best produce money could buy.

Then along came a series of rich developers and they were driven from their land. Most of the farmers had purchased the land from the government. But that didn’t matter, the prime minister sought to regain the land and to sell it to developers. The farmers initially refused to give up such wonderful agricultural land, fully well knowing they would never find anything like it anywhere else on the island. Prime Minister Gonsalves took to shaming them into parting with their land by telling them they were standing in the way of progress of the island, by progress he meant destroying their farming practices and replacing them with a tourist product.

It was becoming obvious that agriculture was becoming less and less important to the ULP government, who considered tourism their crowning glory as an administration.

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”       Continue reading

1,098 Comments

Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Investors’ Class Action lawsuit against Harlequin shaping up in the United Kingdom

Does Harlequin really have any significant net assets?

TSL Global Consultancy is preparing a class action lawsuit by investors against Harlequin, David Ames and associated companies of which there are many.

“Dozens and dozens” of dissatisfied people who invested in Harlequin projects in the Caribbean and Thailand are contacting TSL, a source close to the company tells Barbados Free Press. It is expected that several hundred investors will sign onto the lawsuit.

Some observers, however, are questioning just how much money and assets still exist under the the Harlequin umbrella in light of the extremely high commissions paid to agents (over 30% according to some sources) and profits already taken by the Ames family and close associates.

Some sources indicate that Harlequin has taken in over £200 million in deposits from trusting investors but only a fraction of this exists now.

According to the now-defunct Harlecon.net website, large areas of indicated development at various Harlequin projects are actually ‘planned’ on land not yet purchased by Harlequin which holds only purchase options on land surrounding smaller plots where some building is taking place.

In March of 2012 BFP ran a story that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office had opened an investigation of Harlequin Resorts. This followed a February report that Harlequin’s auditors had refused to sign off on the accounts, and a recent report that Harlequin had sued its accountants as being responsible for the Harlecon.net website.

Oh dear!

For access to all Barbados Free Press stories on Harlequin, click here

Interested investors can contact the class action lawsuit directly at:

TSL Consultancy

Email: info@tslconsultancy.com

Phone: 0844 504 9793 in the United Kingdom.

29 Comments

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

Echo-news.co.uk takes down major Harlequin investigative report. Why?

Ladies and gentlemen,

One of our readers recently commented on a BFP article about the Harlequin Hotels & Resorts situation and left a link to the Echo Newspaper in the United Kingdom. The July 10, 2012 Echo News article was titled “Wickford man at the centre of storm in the Caribbean property market“, and was a “SPECIAL INVESTIGATION by JON AUSTIN”

If you click on the link above you’ll see that the article is no longer there. This fits right in with our observation last week that Anti-Harlequin websites are disappearing.

Can we say “libel chill” ?

What was wrong with the Echo article? Surely the paper had their legal experts review it before it was published. We saw the article and intended to to a story about it, but alas, we failed to copy it at the time and now it’s gone from online. It was only there for a short time and even Google doesn’t have it in the cache.

So what is to be done?

Aha! We’re asking our readers around the world to forward copies of the article to BFP. 

Someone out there has a copy of the printed dead tree version that they can scan for us. Perhaps someone else made a PDF from the online article. Whatever you have, please send it and BFP we will dissect the article and see if we can determine why it was taken down.

I remember reading in the article that Harlequin hadn’t filed the required financial statements in St. Vincent for the last FOUR YEARS.

This is of vital interest to Bajans due to freedom of the press, and also of interest to those investors who have very legitimate questions about why so few units have been completed throughout the Harlequin projects list, and why the construction is not following the schedules communicated earlier by Mr. David Ames.

If the investigative reporter from the Echo would contact us and tell us what is going on, we’d appreciate that too. Mr. Austin, how about sending us an email at barbadosfreepress (at @) yahoo.com

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments

Fire at Harlequin’s Buccament Bay – report of arson by unpaid employees

Harlequin’s management silent on report of arson

St. Vincent’s I-Witness News is today reporting that a fire at Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort “might have been started by disgruntled employees for non-payment of wages.”

I-Witness News bases its story on unnamed reports and sources, and also says that Harlequin’s management has so far failed to respond to press inquiries. How strange. We thought that the Harlequin management team would be right on this like any professional organisation is these days.

Bucket Brigade and Garden Hoses? Oh My!

Where are the sprinklers and fire hoses?

Just as disturbing as the reports of arson are the photos of staff forming a bucket brigade in their attempts to put out the fire.

Buckets? Garden hoses? Excuse us folks, but isn’t this a 5-star resort where people bring their loved ones to unwind and have a little fun time? One would think that a new resort would have been designed with guest and worker safety in mind and be equipped with the latest alarm, fire sensors and sprinkler systems.

What? Are there no sprinkler systems in the rooms? No fire hoses with sufficient capacity? How many fire points are there in the resort?

Employee emergency fire response at Buccament Bay is a bucket brigade and garden hoses? !!!

My, my oh my!

If this fire is reflective of the building, training and emergency standards put into place by Harlequin, perhaps Barbados authorities had better take another look at what Harlequin is doing on our fair island. Whether the Buccament Bay fire was accidental or deliberate hardly matters if there are no adequate sprinklers, fire hoses or staff emergency training.

Further Reading

I-Witness News: Fire at 5-star Buccament Bay Resort

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Filed under Barbados