Blackmore Global under investigation by Isle of Man regulators

Blackmore logo 2019

Blackmore Global, the sister investment scheme to the UK minibond that collapsed with £46 million of potential losses, is being investigated for potentially running an illegal collective investment scheme.

Blackmore Global was established a few years before Blackmore Bonds. It is, on the surface, an unregulated investment scheme consisting of a closed-ended company registered in the Isle of Man.

The BBC revealed in 2018 that a number of UK pension investors had been missold in transferring their pension funds into Blackmore Global, an inherently high risk unregulated investment. The linked article has been suppressed by Google - along with its BBC source - due to legal action by Blackmore.

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“Dishonest” and “manifestly incompetent” Roger Allanson struck off as solicitor after investment scheme collapse

Roger Allanson, owner of the eponymous Allansons LLP unregulated litigation funding investment scheme, has been struck off as a solicitor and ordered to pay the Tribunal's costs of £103,868.

The allegations against Allanson were:

  • That the marketing material used to solicit investment into the scheme was misleading.
  • That the monies invested were "misused", with either 24% or 4% of each investment retained by Allansons, and a total of £347,000 of payments made either to introducers or Allanson himself that breached the solicitors' Code of Conduct.
  • That Allanson failed to monitor the mortgage overpayment claims that underpinned the investment scheme.
  • That Allanson sent "inappropriate" emails to an investor who was querying the status of his investment.
  • That Allanson failed to maintain adequate accounting records and client account reconciliations.
  • That Allanson failed to maintain client ledgers for the over 4,000 clients whose cases against their mortgage lenders underpinned the investment scheme.
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FCA warned by police about Blackmore 45 times before bond collapse

Blackmore logo 2019

A Freedom of Information request made by The Telegraph has revealed that the City of London police warned the Financial Conduct Authority 45 times over the activities of Blackmore Bond starting in 2018.

According to a freedom of information (FOI) request submitted by The Telegraph, the City of London Police, which is the national police lead for fraud, first alerted the FCA to events at mini-bond provider Blackmore in 2018, 18 months before it eventually failed.

It subsequently highlighted problems at the company 44 times prior to its demise in April 2020. The majority of those warnings occurred in February and March of that year.

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London Capital and Finance bondholders to be bailed out by new £120m taxpayer scheme

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Nearly four months after the original announcement, the Treasury has finally announced that any London Capital and Finance investors who have not been refunded via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will be bailed out almost in full by the taxpayer, up to a £68,000 cap. Around 8,800 people are expected to be eligible.

In a sop to fans of moral hazard, the new scheme will refund up to 80% of the original investment, minus any interest payments or dividends from the administration. Having faced near total losses for over two years, it is unlikely investors under the cap will be too upset by a 20% haircut. A smaller number of investors who invested significantly more than the cap could be facing very large losses: we are meant to assume that they were too rich for us to empathise with, but there could easily be first-time investors of middling or modest means who invested pension lump sums or inheritances.

The FCA will also make "ex gratia" payments to some investors who contacted it before the collapse, some of whom were told by FCA call centre staff that their investments in LCF were covered by the FSCS. More with-it call centre staff who attempted to protect investors and raise concerns were slapped down by FCA management.

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Fortress Legal / FLF Litigation goes dark, Companies House moves to strike off

FLF Litigation Services (formerly known as Fortress Legal, Litigate Aid and Robert Dodds Watches), whose bonds were reviewed here in August 2019, has been issued with a strike-off notice by Companies House for failing to file accounts for December 2019 on time.

Unless the strike-off notice is cancelled, e.g. due to an objection from a creditor, in June FLF Litigation Services Limited will be dissolved and all its assets will pass to the Government.

Worryingly for investors, FLF Litigation Services' failure to file accounts (a criminal offence) appears to be part of a general pulling down of the shutters.

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Serious Fraud Office raids Buy2letcars, alleges “fraudulent scheme”

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The Serious Fraud Office announced last week that it is investigating "suspected fraud in relation to the activities of the Raedex Consortium, including the companies Buy2Let Cars, PayGo Cars, Raedex trading as Wheels4Sure and Rent2Own Cars".

One individual has been arrested and another interviewed. Two residential properties were searched.

The identity of the individual arrested, and why the SFO suspects fraud may have occurred, is yet to be revealed.

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Basset & Gold update: 100% losses forecast but general public to bail out investors, administrators confirm

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The administrators of Basset & Gold, the collapsed unregulated investment scheme promoted by West Ham FC, have released their latest update.

Basset & Gold's funnelled investor funds into payday lender Uncle Buck, via an intermediary shell company, River Bloom UK Services (aka RBUK).

The bad news for investors is that the administrators predict total losses, regardless of how much is recovered from Uncle Buck, due to another River Bloom company, registered in Cyprus, outranking Basset & Gold investors.

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We review Osmai FX – forex Ponzi scam claiming 41% per year returns

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Osmai FX claims to provide a "reliable alternative investment opportunity" that generates returns from Forex trading.

In a video and performance table on their website, the scheme claims to have generated 42% annual returns since 2016. It also claims to offer "medium to long-term growth with minimal risk" and "slow and steady returns".

Continue reading for a review of Osmai FX's forex investment.

When will the Government put LCF investors and levy-payers out of their misery?

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The interminable saga of London Capital and Finance returned to the newspapers this week when John Glen, secretary to the Treasury, provided an update to the Sunday Telegraph on the announcement that the Treasury would set up an ad-hoc compensation scheme to compensate LCF investors who have so far missed out.

The update, three months after the compensation scheme was announced at the cig-end of 2020, is that there is no update at all.

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Buy2letcars goes into administration

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In another blow for Buy2letcars investors, the Financial Conduct Authority revealed yesterday that the whole scheme has gone into administration, less than a month after the FCA effectively stopped the scheme from taking in new investor money.

All three of Buy2letcars' constituent companies: Buy 2 Let Cars Ltd, Rent 2 Own Cars Ltd, and the holding company Raedex Consortium, went into administration on Tuesday 15 March, with RSM Restructuring Advisory appointed as the administrators.

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