Unregulated Irish pension trustee threatens to foreclose on Dolphin Trust; fallout hits South Korean banks

Unregulated German property scheme Dolphin Trust (now known as German Property Group; for clarity we will continue to use its less unnecessarily generic name) continues to struggle with repayments, according to media reports.

Wealth Options Trustees, an “investment wholesaler” based in Kildare, Ireland, has threatened to foreclose (presumably on behalf of Irish pension investors) in the event of non-payment.

Dolphin Trust’s CEO Charles Smethurst has admitted to “short-term cash-flow difficulties” according to WOT.

Dolphin Trust’s short-term difficulties started in the latter half of 2018, according to unpaid investors who spoke to the BBC last year.

WOT runs small pension schemes for members in Ireland, serving the same function as a SIPP / SSAS provider in the UK. How much it facilitated being invested into Dolphin Trust is not known.

Over in South Korea, Korean banks are facing lawusits from aggrieved investors for facilitating investment into Dolphin Trust via a product called “German Heritage DLS”.

German Heritage DLS is based on funds managed by Singapore’s Banjaran Asset Management that invest in historic site remodeling projects conducted by German Property Group, formerly Dolphin Trust. But the company failed to pay the investments back and keeps extending maturities due to the delay in receiving authority’s approval for the projects.

Shinhan Bank, KEB Hana Bank and Woori Bank are alleged to have sold a total of 473 billion won (£312 million) worth of investment in German Heritage DLS / Dolphin Trust, according to Pulse News.

Dolphin Trust’s unregulated bonds, which pay returns in the region of up to 12% per year, have been extensively sold by unregulated introducers in the UK and have also been used as the underlying investment of pension liberation fraud schemes such as London Quantum. (To clarify: the schemes were fraudulent because they claimed members could legally access their pensions before they were eligible to do so, not because of anything to do with the underlying investments.)

Dolphin Trust paid commission of up to 20% to introducers, according to the BBC.

Last year Dolphin attempted to launch a spin-off in the UK called Grounds Investments. The company withdrew and returned investors’ money in August, citing Dolphin’s negative publicity and the collapse of P2P platform Lendy and FCA-authorised Ponzi scheme London Capital and Finance as its reasons for having second thoughts about raising money in the UK.

5 thoughts on “Unregulated Irish pension trustee threatens to foreclose on Dolphin Trust; fallout hits South Korean banks

  1. Not sure I could see the link between “VOR” and Dolphin. But a fascinating article nonetheless.

  2. VOR is Vordere, the company which acquired the 59m GBP properties mentioned from Dolphin in exchange for shares (which then Dolphin gave to some investors as repayment of their loans)

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