Tag Archives: Harlequin

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

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

Harlequin and Almond disasters show we’re great at spin, excuses and damage control – but not so great at preventing the damage

Almond Resorts

Almond Beach Village a study in how government loses credibility

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

I would like this week to stay on the subject of transparency and communication in the tourism industry and the underlying speculation, misunderstanding and consequential harm that can result by not ensuring these virtues are carried out successfully.

In both major printed newspapers last Sunday was the announcement of an auction, set to take place the following Saturday of many ‘goods and chattels’ of the Almond Beach Village which closed its doors, just two weeks short of a year ago. Yet in another arm of the media just a few weeks ago, under the banner headline ‘Buying back’ we were told that of the four options on the table, ‘Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will sit with his Cabinet to agree to buy back Almond Beach Village and its brand for almost $110 million’.

The article went on, ‘The plan, being piloted by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, calls for a US$10 million refurbishment project, after which the sprawling 400-room facility will be turned over to former staff, who have submitted a plan to operate it’.

The purported logic behind choosing this fourth option was justified by the time the property could be out of service, citing the other three alternatives as ultimately taking too long to implement. Other verbatim quotes include ‘In view of the urgency of this need, it is now proposed that Government seek to immediately acquire Almond Beach Village’ and ‘with a view of reopening in an effort to supplement room stock for 2013 and beyond’.

In the scheme of things, perhaps during the little under three months since these statements were made, so much could have changed. But surely you would in the interests of all those it could effect, least of all the severed staff, explain to the public what is now going on?

The first question would be, that if you were seriously intent on re-opening the hotel in the shortest possible time, why would you be auctioning all or part of  the components that make it operational? Again, it is a classic example of lugubrious communication with not just the industry, but also the taxpayer who clearly would have to pay the bills if the Cabinet’s decision was invoked.

Harlequin Merricks Barbados 1

“Once again, it’s needless damage control when this scenario could have been entirely avoided.”

Harlequin saga known to government for years

And finally, I would like to finish this week on the subject of the Harlequin saga. At first I was going to describe it as the Harlequin debacle, but there has been nothing sudden about this whole sordid affair as the political administration have been aware of it for years.

Millions of Dollars of unpaid bills to contractors, suppliers, salaries  a quoted ‘$80,000’ alone to the NIS and we have not even been told if there are other uncollected obligations, like land tax or VAT. Add to this the loss of possible profits to the private sector, income tax and NIS contributions, corporation tax, compounded by payment of unemployment benefits as a result, exacerbates the situation.

This at a time when legitimate small businesses like ours are owed tens of thousands of dollars in outstanding VAT refunds for over two and a half years.

I really hope Government will learn something from this. It is long overdue that due diligence checks are a prerequisite to granting planning permission and ensuring legally, all ‘investor’ deposits are held in escrow pending an actual title sale.

Once again, it’s needless damage control when this scenario could have been entirely avoided.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Harlequin, Barbados Free Press hit with Court Order

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

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

“By the look of this latest court order BFP presumes that Daniel Dalligan and Harlequin have been caught with their pants down (so to speak) spewing untruths about Mr. Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors.”

BFP receives email from Gareth Ward Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors

If we at Barbados Free Press read the documents correctly – on Monday, March 4, 2013, His Honour Judge Seymour of the Queen’s Bench Division in the High Court of Justice did a court order against Daniel Dalligan and Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited, prohibiting Dalligan and Harlequin from publishing words claiming that Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are not legitimate, licensed lawyers.

Mr. Fatchett sent us a copy of the court order and a copy of his Practising Certificate proving that he is a solicitor in good standing. At the end of this article we publish the court order and Mr. Fatchett’s certificate. It sure looks to us that Mr. Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are legitimate, hard working lawyers.

Mr. Fatchett alerted us to a couple of comments on Barbados Free Press where a person wrote that Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors were not legitimate and had linked to another website where someone had uploaded a little diatribe about Mr. Fatchett. We’re going to take down those comments and any others like that when folks inform us, just like the order say. But don’t forget Mr. Fatchett: this is a part-time do-as-we-can blog so it can take us a day or two to check the email and clear the comments. With over a quarter of a million comments on this blog plus thousands of spam comments every month it takes us some time to sort through things. So doan be too quick on the draw when you fire off those legal bullets, okay? Sit back, have a shot of Mount Gay an give us some time to sober up and check de email.  🙂

Regulatory Legal Solicitors

It looks to us that lawyer Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are representing some disgruntled Harlequin investors and that some persons who support Harlequin started to attack Mr. Fatchett by leaving comments at forums on the web and here at BFP.  Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

David Thompson, David Ames – Quite the pair!

Harlequin Barbados PM Thompson & David Ames – click photo for large

Dear Barbados Free Press

I’d like a simple answer from the DLP to a simple question: How much “political donations” money did Harlequin Properties or David Ames whatever “donate” to the Democratic Labour Party?

Why aren’t Bajans allowed to know this? You know the way things work around here. It had to have happened!

signed,

Klingon Sailor

Dave Ames of Harlequin Property meets Prime Minister of Barbados

On Friday 19th June I had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, where we were discussing the Merricks’ project. He assure me of his full support of his Government and country in ensuring the success of the resort and is assisting us in moving the project forward so that we can start building the resort as soon as possible.

I impressed to him the fact that we are looking to begin building the resort later this year and he confirmed that he will do everything possible to enable us to start work on site. It is our intention to open the resort in stages from 2011.

Members of the Government of Barbados will be attending the launch on 13th and 14th July, which hopefully shows the commitment the Government and the country are giving to Harlequin and the Merricks project.

from the Harlequin Property newsletter website

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption

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?

50 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort hasn’t filed financials in 7 years! Liable to be struck from companies registrar

Harlequin Resort

Nothing filed with Saint Vincent government since 2005

One of the main hotel resorts which received investment from overseas property firm Harlequin Property has not filed accounts for seven years.

Buccament Bay Resort on the Caribbean island of St.Vincent – the flagship investment of the £200m unregulated Harlequin investment scheme – has failed to file any accounts or financial statements with the registrar of companies of the state of Saint Vincent since 2005.

According to documents seen by IFAonline from the deputy registrar of Saint Vincent, the Buccament Bay Resort is now in “default” of its obligations. As a result it is liable to be struck off the island’s companies register.

For more, see IFA Online’s article: No accounts for Harlequin Property resort since 2005

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism