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On cockroaches and Capital Alternatives

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“It was the generally accepted way for brokerage firms under regulatory heat to stay one step ahead — essentially, closing down and reopening under a different name, thereby starting the process of making money and fighting the regulators all over again. It was like stepping on a cockroach and squashing it, only to find ten new ones scurrying in all directions.”

That’s how Jordan Belfort explains the “Cockroach Theory” in his book “The Wolf of Wall Street”. You may well have seen the film, with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Belfort. It’s a very entertaining film. But, as in Belfort’s book, the victims are invisible. Belfort was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 and ordered to pay US$110.4 million into a victims fund for running a boiler room operation called Oakmont Stratton. The victims lost about US$250 million in total.

I was reminded of the Cockroach Theory this week when I read Khadija Sharife’s extraordinarily detailed report into the world of Capital Alternatives. Her article, titled “Catch and Release”, is published in the Spring issue of World Policy Journal. Sharife makes a “conservative estimate” of US$180 million extracted from retail investors by the Capital Alternatives network.

The scams have been exposed for several years. In early 2012, in an article in Money Observer, Ceri Jones described an investment scam in a hotel share scheme in Slovenia. The scam was run by a company called Room to Invest, whose directors included Renwick Haddow, Richard Henstock and Marcia Hargous. Capital Alternatives sold the investments. When Room to Invest went into liquidation, Capital Alternatives suggested that investors hand over more money and re-invest their money in a farming land scam in Sierra Leone, via a company called Agri Capital (now known as African Land).

Later the scammers would move on to carbon credits. Or oil palm. Or Voice over Internet Protocal, Timber, Diamonds, Gold, Platinum, or Water Bonds. The names of the companies involved kept changing too.

Jones wrote,

The more we dug into the case, the more alarmed we became at the number of companies linked by one or more directors which subsequently were dissolved or frequently had their names changed. Many of these companies are registered at Sophia House, 76-80 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ, which appears to offer short-term office space.

In her article in World Policy Journal, Sharife digs even further. She outlines the network of shell companies and brokers operating under Capital Organization, headed by Renwick Haddow. The article includes a diagram of the companies involved and the people behind them (click on the image to view a larger version, published by World Policy Journal):

Many of the names involved will be familiar to readers of REDD-Monitor from previous posts about the Capital Alternatives network:

Readers with particularly good memories may recognise some of the names in Sharife’s article from before they were pixellated in the comments on REDD-Monitor following the posts about Sterling and Bond. The emails below explain why their names were pixellated.

(More emails from Andrew Nash are available here. In one of his emails to REDD-Monitor, Nash writes, “Capital Alternatives has no connection what so ever with both Sterling and Bond and VOIP Tel.” So it must just be a bizarre coincidence that Nash’s email asking for his name to be removed is almost identical to Haddow’s email written a fortnight earlier.)

From: Alex Walia
Date: 11 November 2014 at 15:19
Subject: Ref Defamatory post on your Web Site
To: reddmonitor@gmail.com, webmaster@redd-monitor.org, abuse@redd-monitor.org, info@redd-monitor.org, legal@redd-monitor.org
Cc: legal@berkeleyassetsinternational.com
 
Dear Sir / Madam,
 
Hope all is well.
 
I am writing to you regarding a new comment that has been posted on your Blog, the link is below:
 
http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/10/22/more-scams-sterling-and-bond-voiptel-international-and-velvet-assets/
 
An individual called Brent London has posted defamatory points regarding me, my company, my relationships and past which are baseless and defamatory. I have highlighted the remarks posted in black and my response in red below to give you a brief explanation:
 
1. “there are some new companies involving UK Airport land this I imagine is going to be used as an airport parking investment – needless to say another scam” Well Berkeley Assets International are just marketing agents for Group First / Park First. I have done our due diligence and did not find any reason for concern. Park First own the entire parking site freehold which has been in operation for the last 16 years. It was previously owned by the AIrlink Group who used to own Glasgow Airport and they still manage the site. Clients get title deeds and have been receiving there rental income as the first site Park First were selling has been sold out.
 
2. “it has already started with Berkeley Assets International (Check out website) www.berleyeassetsinternational.com.” Berkeley Assets International is just a marketing company that puts clients in touch base with Park First. All contracts are sent to Park First, all monies from client are sent to Park First and exchange takes place through their lawyers JWK. Furthermore there are many marketing companies brokers and agents that have been selling this product for the company for over a year, so it has not just started.
 
3. “You will notice that this company has a director called Lex Walia. He is a close acquaintance of Kristan Gander – and they were both sales Directors at Capital Alternatives” I am the director of Berkeley Assets International and I am not hiding myself behind smoke screens as I have nothing to hide unlike other people that have been highlighted in various blogs on your website site. As far as Capital Alternatives yes I worked there as a consultant for just over 1 year and so did Kristin Gander, neither one of us were directors of any sort which you can view from the FCA transcript, it highlights all the directors involved. However I would not link myself to him or anybody else to Capital Alternatives, I was there to do a Job. JUST TO DEMOSTRATE MY CHARACTER I WILL STATE THAT WHEN I BECAME AWARE OF THE MOTIVES OF THE COMPANY AND DIRECTORS I LEFT IMMEDIATELY AND I WORKED WITH A NUMBER OF RELEVANT AUTHORTIES SUCH AS THE FCA, EVEN TO THE POINT I WAS A WITNESS FOR THE FCA IN THE RECENT CASE AGAINST CAPITAL ALTERNATIVES IN THE HIGH COURT.
 
4. “They both have a history of defrauding people” I cannot comment for Kristan Gander however I have made 1 mistake in my life and I put my hands up straight away and told the truth to the various authorities and have payed the price for that. Which has no relevance to this.
 
“AVOID IT IS A SCAM” There are no clear facts or points that demonstrate that this is a scam, even to the point prior to selling these properties I checked with the FCA and they had no warnings against the company or properties that Group First Park First are selling. All the information is available on our website and no where does it high light this is a scam. My clients have visited the Airport Parking Site, Park First Offices and I have some clients that are using their own lawyers to represent them and are repeat purchasers. They are in control unlike a lot of the investments high lighted on your website blogs.
 
If someone can demonstrate to me that selling Store First and Park First is a scam, then I will immediately stop selling these products. I believe this individual Brent London has some sort of vendetta against me as he has posted similar comments on other platforms which we are also liaising with. The comments made by this individual are baseless and defamatory which have had an effect on my business and have caused significant distress to me.
 
I humbly ask that you remove this comment and also advise on details of this user so that my lawyers can take the next steps against this individual.
 
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
 
Regards
 
Alex

 
In May 2014, the Self Storage Association UK issued a warning about Store First Investments. SSA updated the warning in January 2015, stating that since SSA published the warning, “numerous investors in Store First have contacted the SSA UK confirming that their investment was not performing as expected after the second year, and that they had no viable options for re-selling the units.”

From: Renwick Haddow
Date: 15 January 2015 at 15:09
Subject: Removal of posts
To: reddmonitor@gmail.com
 
Dear Chris
 
Please see the post below which no doubt you are aware of.
 
This is both a defamatory and factually incorrect article. I find it quite bizarre why you would allow this kind of rubbish to be posted on your site when you hold yourself out to be ethical etc.
 
I require any reference to me in this post and any post that this attracts to be removed without delay or I will instruct my lawyer who I have copied in to take immediate action again you personally as the person who sanctioned the post and your company.
 
I look forward to confirmation that this has been removed by close of business UK time tomorrow.
 
Regards
Renwick Haddow
 
http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/10/22/more-scams-sterling-and-bond-voiptel-international-and-velvet-assets/

 

Name: Victor Falade
Comment: Re: More scams: Sterling and Bond, Voiptel International and Velvet Assets
 
Post by
roger
(# 47) 12 January 2015 at 11:57 pm
 
My name is Victor Falade. One of your poster’s has mentioned me in his comment. Please remove my name from the post as the information he has provided concerning me is untrue and libellous. I do not and I have never headed IIS International.
 
I am seeking legal advice and will seek damages if this is not removed in a timely manner
 
Thank you.
 
Time: 22 January 2015 at 12:01 pm
Contact Form URL: http://www.redd-monitor.org/contact/
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

 

From: Andrew Nash
Date: 29 January 2015 at 12:52
Subject: Removal
To: reddmonitor@gmail.com
 
Dear Chris
 
Please see the post below.
 
http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/10/22/more-scams-sterling-and-bond-voiptel-international-and-velvet-assets
 
This is both a defamatory and factually incorrect article. I find it difficult to believe, why you would allow this kind of martial to be posted on your site when you hold yourself out to be ethical.
 
I require any reference to me in this post and any post that this attracts to be removed without delay or I will instruct my lawyer who I have copied in to take immediate action against you personally as the person who sanctioned the post and your company.
 
I look forward to confirmation that this has been removed by close of business UK time tomorrow.
 
Regards
 
Andrew Nash

 

Name: Kristan Gander
 
Comment: Hello, I am writing to ask politely to have the posts with my name ( kristan gander ) and Maria Barnard removed. The post report untruths and we are finding them to be very damaging and hurtful. They seem to be very speculative in reporting with absolutely no truths. I do know who started these blogs about me and Maria and it has come from a man called Robin Beryln, he has started a campaign against me and Maria since we reported him to the Dubai police in September 2014. Since then he has been writing untruths on a number of different blog sites. I have reported this to my local police who have ask me to contact my solicitor and in turn they have ask me to write to everyone who controls these blog sites and politely ask them to remove the articles before they take further action. Can you remove the blogs and all names including Kristan Gander and Maria Barnard.
 
Kind regards,
 
Kristan Gander
 
Time: 3 February 2015 at 5:13 pm
Contact Form URL: http://www.redd-monitor.org/contact/
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

 

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42 Comments

  1. The world is not without hope. Sharife and World policy journal, bravo.

  2. Hi Kirstan and all your friends – Seems there are some people YOU cannot silence or charm.
    BRAVO and BRAVO again!!
    What stone are you going to crawl out of next?
    Whichever stone it is Haddow will be hiding beneath it.

  3. Chris
    Your article is yet again full of inaccuracies and defamantion. As for the article by Sharife, that is just a total shambles also littered with untruths and defamation. The only thing I find of interest in your article is an extract from Lex Wallia or Alex Wallia depending what day of the week it was. A man who provided the FCA with evidence when he was in fact actively involved with actually scamming investors out of millions through UK Land International. He is obviously not a credible witness.

    As far of you and the lady who wrote the pathetic article, you have both repeatedly used the word scam. There has never been any indications that any of these projects were scams. In fact the judge makes it clear in the FCA court case that these schemes were in fact real. I can understand why you would both omitted this from your articles as it really wouldn’t have the same ring about it.

    The only cockroaches are you and your colleague. I provided a number of emails to her explaining my side of the story and as a biased reporter only interested in putting a distorted side of the story to make her article hard hitting all my comments were ignored.

    My lawyer will be writing to you both in good time.

    I have never been prosecuted or even charged with any such scam and the only reason why I am involved in the court case with the FCA is through their own incompetence. Capital Alternatives followed FCA guidelines when constructing its products and that is another fact you and your colleague has failed conveniently to mention, although it was a fact made by the judges in the court of appeal case.

    I doubt based on my previous experience with your site whether this article will be published considering many of my posts to you in the past have been blocked as publication would obviously reduce the one sides nature of your threads. You will be pleased to know that I have copied this post and if it is not published on your site I can guarantee you it will be published elsewhere.

  4. Victor Falade tried to sell me carbon credits while he was working at Capital Alternatives. Oliver Keane was the broker there I eventually bought the credits off. After countless phone calls from him, he persuaded me the investments at Carbon Alternatives were genuine.

  5. Mr Haddow is not telling the truth with regard to not being charged with any offence. The FCA have charged him and others in connection with the Capital Carbon Credit scheme, the African Land scheme and other Capital Alternatives schemes (not defined) with contravening s.397 of FSMA 2000.
    S.397 refers to persons who make misleading, false or deceptive statements in connection with the promotion of a Collective Investment Scheme, or who dishonestly conceal any material facts, or who create a false and misleading impression of the value of any investment.
    It would appear that the report by Ms Sharife contains evidence of that having occurred in carbon credits, rice farming and palm oil.
    A person found guilty of the offence is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years, or a fine, or both.
    The charge brought by the FCA has not yet gone to trial.

  6. Court Watcher

    You are obviously not as well informed as you deem your self.

    A charge is a criminal term. This is a civil matter. Yes you are right if we do lose this case then it could be taken further however that is unlikely based on the fact that CAL followed guidelines set out by the FCA.

    I suggest you get back to court and learn a bit more before talking such nonsense again!

  7. Court Watcher: the FCA won the civil case that African Land, CCC and friends were operating a collective scheme that should have been regulated by the FCA. That is the door to identifying the criminal charges. They are terrible but the British government has not created a proper structure to control people like Haddow.

  8. http://www.clydeco.com/uploads/Files/Newsletters/3.FS-Weekly-Update/CC004783_Weekly_FS_update_25.02.141.pdf
    17 February 2014: FCA wins case against Capital Alternatives. The FCA launched legal action in July 2013 in respect of two investment schemes, African Land (also known as Agri Capital) and Reforestation Projects (also known as Capital Carbon Credits). The defendants had structured schemes to try to avoid the need to be regulated by the FCA. However, the High Court agreed with the FCA that the schemes were unauthorised collective investment schemes (UCISs) and could not be lawfully operated by the defendants. The Judge has granted leave to appeal on certain aspects of the judgment so the FCA will have to wait until any appeal hearing and its outcome.

  9. Mr Haddow

    In the Summer of 2013 I was emailing at your caporg email address requesting a meeting regarding my investment in Agri Firma. Hopefully you will recall that I first invested in the Lithuania project via Capital Alternatives BUT was swopped out by Gander at CA into Australian wheat. At first you agreed to the meeting BUT then stopped answering my emails and the meeting never took place. Agri Firma is not part of the FCA case BUT it at present in liquidation. Mr Henstock managing director of Agri Firma told the liquidator of Agri Firma that the company did not have a bank account and he was unaware of any investors, although at one point he was the sole director of both Capital Alternative and Agri Firma. The liquidator and Corporate Agriculture have both confirmed AF never purchased any land in Lithuania or Australia. Corporate Agricultural has said their only dealings were with you and Marcia Hargous when they came to the UK to meet with Agri Firma. I have never received a penny from my investment.I would like meet with you and Mr Henstock (managing director of Agri Firma)to give you the chance to explain where my money disappeared to.

  10. Mr Haddow,
    Operating an unregulated collective investment scheme is indeed a civil matter, however a prosecution brought under S.397 is a criminal matter, broadly similar to being charged by the police with the offence of obtaining money by deception. It carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment which, considering the scale of the alleged deception, would seem to be appropriate.
    As you already know, the documents show that the FCA stated in their submission to the court that they intend to prosecute the defendants on the S.397 charge once the judgement on the CIS charge has been through the full appeals procedure.
    As @John has pointed out you have already lost the case concerning the charge brought by the FCA of unlawfully operating collective investment schemes. Some defendants have appealed that judgement and had an opportunity to present their case. They are now awaiting the decision of the appeal judges, but as it stands today the decision of the court was that you are guilty of the offence.
    The Judge who found you guilty described in his summary how the FCA were not given full details of the schemes but were asked vague and leading questions in letters from solicitors representing Capital Alternatives which, not surprisingly, resulted in the positive response they were seeking from the FCA. The Judge commented that because the FCA were not fully informed and the enquiries were structured to make it look like the schemes complied with the CIS rules, it was his belief that the defendants could not rely on the letters they had obtained from the FCA as a defence. Perhaps the appeal judges will take a different view.
    It appears from the Sharife report that a number of Capital Alternatives insiders have described you as being the leading figure behind the majority of the investments and the true person in charge, despite being a disqualified director and it being a criminal offence to control a company (or companies). I think you have not been honest with a number of the people who were working closely with you. If it is proven that you controlled either Capital Alternatives or any of the other investment companies, investors will have a case for compensation against the people who sold them the investment. The report describes Gander and Falade who have so far evaded prosecution, but there will be others who dealt with individual investors. Perhaps that is why some previous salespeople from Capital Alternatives have been trying to distance themselves from you and co-operated with the reporter and the prosecuting authorities.
    I am sure that a number of people are waiting to see your response to @Claire because, if she is to be believed, you were at the centre of another scam which has not even been mentioned in the Sharife report.

  11. Court Watcher
    Unlike you I have better things to do than spend hours writing dribble.

    My point was that I have not been charged with any thing. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up and talk about the future that fact remains.

    Also as you are obviously biased I am wasting my time convincing you otherwise. So I shall not be wasting and further time debating with you.

    I wish I had as much free time on my hands as you.

  12. Why don’t you meet with all your investors, Haddow? You didn’t respond to to Claire.

  13. Haddow,

    The article published by Kahdija on world policy journal is backed by solid compelling evidence, that’s publicly available.

    I’m not a practitioner of law so, I am not going to to argue with you whether it’s a civil or a criminal case. However, the fact still remains that board members of capital alternatives mislead investors and stole their money with bogus investment schemes.

    As Claire rightly pointed out earlier, investors were repeatedly swapped from one investment scheme to another and till date, no one received any real return. They all lost their initial investment.

    It’s unlawful to make false claims over wheat farms in Australia, when you didn’t own any land. Australian authorities I’ve been in touch with have disclosed that money has been routed around the world from one account to another and there was no asset on the company’s name for the authorities to freeze, when they discovered an ongoing fraud. Agrifirma capital limited (which was just a cover for Capital Alternatives) didn’t file any accounts to the companies house in the UK.

    If you’re innocent and righteous as you claim, why doesn’t Capital alternatives provide a money trail and file accounts? How can you distribute certificates of lease ownership without owning any land?

  14. Martin
    What article are you referring to? The one in Beano?
    Well you would like it to be true but it was a joke from start to finish and contrary to what you say it was based on feedback from ex employees and conpetitors and other biased individuals.

    There were no bogus schemes as you say. The schemes were genuine as the judge pointed out in the High Court.

    According to that article $180m was raised, I have a share in a Cypriot football club, visited Cyprus numerous times and I have Russian connections.

    Well the true figure raised is a fraction of this. I have been to Cyprus only once and I don’t even like football. I could go on but life is too short. Does this sound like a factual article to you or just a load of old rubbish cobbled together to form total rubbish. It is a rhetorical question though Martin as I couldn’t give a toss about your opinion on the subject.

    You are probably as gullable as the half wit who wrote this crap.

  15. Mr Haddow,
    @Claire is an investor in one of your projects and is concerned about her investment. Your response is to say that you are too busy to meet her.
    @Martin is an investor in one of your projects and is concerned about his investment. Your response is to say that you couldn’t give a toss about his opinion.
    You are treating your investors with contempt and are avoiding answering the questions. You have offered nothing that will give reassurance to investors.
    You say that the judge pointed out that the schemes were genuine but that is not true. The only scheme that he accepted actually existed was the rice farm because investors had visited it. He did not comment on whether the african forest carbon, palm oil, wheat, timber, bamboo etc were real. Sharife claims that they are not. If they are real then prove it because the report claims that your local partners are saying they are scams.

  16. Court Watcher: I was an investor with Rooms To Invest. Biggest joke on the planet. I blame myself. At least I did not go any further.

  17. As another victim of Haddow’s nest of deception I wonder if he realises that his feeble protests of innocence would be laughable if there were any humour to be found in the situation. If he is as innocent as he pleads then he needs to meet his investors, open the books (Oh silly me – what books?) of all the companies that he has been involved with, and demonstrate that all the cash that flowed into his maw is still sitting there waiting for his projects to mature.

    We assume it must be as there is no evidence that he actually spent any of it on anything real with the possible exception of the Rice Farm in Sierra Leone in cahoots with his co-defendants. As the FCA case seems to have revealed that the money was taken illegally it needs to be returned to the investors forthwith.

    Then Mr Haddow you can throw yourself onto the world stage with some slight possibility that the more gullible believers in ultimate forgiveness will indulge you. Until then shut up – and we can only hope that our law enforcement agencies will shortly be knocking you up in a dawn raid.

  18. Mr Haddow,
    In your earlier post you misjudged the body language of the appeal judges. They have delivered their verdict. They decided that the judgement given in the High Court was correct i.e that the schemes are, and have always been, collective investment schemes.

    You lost your appeal. Now it remains to be seen whether the FCA brings criminal charges against you and others.

  19. Dear Mr Haddow
    Now the FCA have won their case against you, your schemes and your co defendants you might have time to meet with your investors.
    I understand you are a very busy man so will be happy to meet at your convenience.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Kindest regards

  20. It is most unfair of you to use the word “cockroach” in the same sentence as “Capital Alternatives”. Every self-respecting cockroach will be upset at such a comparison. Please apologize to all cockroaches.

  21. Dear Claire,

    My situation is almost exactly the same as yours – I also transferred from AgriFirma Lithuania to Australia. For me it was a ‘Paris Nguyen’ then ‘Kirsten Gander’ and was transferred from Lithuania to Australia by ‘Ola Moses’ who stated that the former wasn’t performing to expectations (who were the farmers in the Lithuania brochure, and how could this be if it (and they) didn’t exist?).

    I am very glad to have seen your posts as the AgriFirma ‘investments’ don’t seem to be considered as part of these frauds (they could only be fraudulent as I have a ‘certificate’ saying I own land in Australia, which I obviously don’t, seeing as it was never purchased, and I was obviously fed numerous misinformation if not downright lies by these Capital Alternates ‘brokers’.

    Reply to me below from the Australian company MD.

    Many thanks and any further advice or information on how to help get this properly investigated would be more than appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Richard
    —-
    From: Gordon Verrall
    Sent: 20 July 2014 01:42
    To:
    Subject: RE: Australian Land investment via Agri Firma Capital Ltd UK?

    Richard,

    Thank you for your email.

    You are correct in asserting that our company was contracted to manage the farmland for AgriFirma, however no farmland has been purchased (despite the continued efforts of all parties apart from AgriFirma) and hence it appears that your invested funds and those of others have been diverted elsewhere.

    I am aware of the proceedings against AgriFirma and CA, and can advise that our ASIC is also investigating these companies. Unfortunately I can’t see there being a positive outcome for investors or service providers such as ourselves (and AgriFirma certainly owes money for services provided in relation to this project), as the absence of a purchased land asset makes it unlikely funds will be recovered.

    Sorry I don’t have any better news for you

    Kind regards

    Gordon Verrall
    Managing Director
    Corporate Agriculture Australia Pty Ltd
    —-

  22. Hi Richard

    Many thanks.

    I too have confirmation of the theft from Verrall.
    I would like to reply in more detail BUT we know that Haddow and Co. are reading this blog.
    Please send all the info you have to the SFO and the FCA. Its funny in the UK I would get arrested for stealing a Mars bar from Tesco !!!

  23. As someone who was employed in one of this scam companies (unbeknownst to me) for an extremely short period of time I would like to make you aware that ALL the people who are supposedly helping the police to catch these criminals because that is what they are were themselves involved in the scam. All of them were high up with the scam company and had regular meetings with themselves.

    If this people are so good at what they do and are legitimate individuals why not go and work for a large legitimate company that will pay for their skills. Like Goldman Sachs or J P Morgan.

    I can not honestly believe what I am reading about these companies one of which I worked for. I am disgusted that I was working with this sort of people and hope they get what is coming to them. I might not have played any part in what was done. But my worst nightmare would be to work for individuals that defrauded innocent vulnerable people. They to have parents and grandparents,they should pray that what they have done to other doesn’t also happen to theirs. Not that they would probably care as they are so heartless.

  24. Interesting Nick #24. Can you give identify these people and what information you have that the scammers are helping the police??

  25. I guess some of you will already no this but I have seen a email from Citola’s boss that states that they have sold the land in Gibbsland to recover there losses from unpaid bills from capital alternatives this was done before the FCA case so it all fell apart at the beginiing. it also states that the land was never allocated by plot to each investor, indeed they do not even know who you are. which if it was a SIPP made it a illegal by UK Law.
    so sorry to say there are no assets in Australia and we can only hope that there are funds frozen to share.
    I doubt there is as the FCA have allowed these conmen to have £10000 a month to live on(poor things) I bet the people they robbed don’t get any where near that a month

    also to let you know the supreme court appeal was denied so now the FCA are free to finish these durds off.

    good luck to all

  26. I see from Africanland’s website that they say they are considering taking their case to the “court of human rights”
    More expensive delaying tactics – This is like a black comedy ONLY its not very funny for investors!!

  27. I am waiting 6 months for the title deeds to an investment made with Park First at Glasgow airport !!

  28. Ola Moses as many investors will remember was a key broker at Capital Alternatives. His correct name is
    Olawale Owolabi and has been seen in Gravesend. He is a director of Moses Mansions Ltd and although the website gives a London upmarket address the company seems to be dormant. The website also gives a an email address.

  29. Saw this and it made a lot of sense so I thought I would share..

    Take note..

    From the Express Website.

    Unfortunately it is a business model that does not work for micro investors in the long run or in fact at any stage. There simply is no margin to be competitive if you need to be whilst paying investors the promised returns!

    A person buys a car park (piece of commercial land) some distance from the airport say for £5m, breaks it up into spaces which produces fractional lease ownership revenue of say £10m. So the person makes £5m day one (hypothetically speaking) from the investors. Their interest in the future of this car park is now over. Please be assured of this fact.
    The airport parking business is highly competitive and profitable. So should in the unlikely event Park First hit the return targets projected and eat away at the profits of the larger players who are sizeably capitalised. They will simply reduce rates become an easier and cheaper option, therefore reducing investors returns because there is nothing you can do other than reduce the cost of parking to keep your business competitive.
    Airports are expanding, but so are the options of how to arrive at them. I personally use a company that picks me up and takes me home in a nice new E class Merc for less than most parking (obviously distance depending), but each to their own.
    The earnings trends in parking fluctuate dramatically and this will impact investor’s returns. After the management costs and the inflated purchase price investors after year two (after being paid their guarantee, normally other investors money or your own back), you can expect a 3-4% return if you’re lucky at best.
    An expanding sector means more players, more players means more competition. This sector like any is about pricing. If Park First needs to be competitive in the future this can only come from your returns. Over supply means it gets cheaper for the consumer.
    Did anyone see the picture that was going around with the two storage buildings side by side? They both had banners hanging down with the caption ‘cheaper than next door’. I feel the same will happen with parking.
    As for the exit strategy of buying back in 6 years at premium. Well it is 6 years away and a long time to be angry with yourself.
    I hope I’m wrong.
    A

  30. @happy – Thanks for this. Here’s an extract from, Olawale Owolabi’s LinkedIn page. He worked at “CA investment marketing services” from 2010 – 2013 and Moses Mansion Wealth from March 2010 to October 2015:

    Here’s an archived copy of Moses Mansion’s website.

  31. This ongoing saga is a total disgrace. The FCA made bit of a noise about winning the appeal but there have been no updates since.
    All of those involved with CA are guilty in some respect – including the “cooling off” guys. You know who you are!!!
    Airport car parks indeed – and self storage…………etc etc.

  32. So in August 2015 we heard the FCA could “finish these scammers off” BUT all has gone decidedly quiet – Has anyone heard anything. Are the FCA going to prosecute or have they left the “investors” up a creek without a paddle?

  33. Re Parkfirst . I got the title deeds after a year ,the guaranteed rental for 2 years was paid . I am however waiting for the Land Registry deeds after 2 years . I wonder the outcome when you try to sell the space !!

  34. Dear Chris

    I have just read these interesting posts. What I find amazing is that Store First and particularly Park First have not been called outright scams. I can categorically tell you that these parking lots are in poor locations have low uptake and all the deficits are covered by other new investors coming in. When was the last time you drove to Luton (their new one) and Gatwick and seen anything relating to Park First. I have never and I travel extensively: it is not a question of do the plots exist but does this project stack up: it doesn’t. This is 200% going to blow up just like Green Planet, Eco House, North Dakota and I see a new one I got a call from the other day, Our// Space: let me be the first to say this is going down. Maybe not tomorrow but just like Bernie it will eventually. I have lost money in one or two and made money in others. So I am by no means a doom and gloom merchant but these ones are not right. We need a good journalist to follow this one through. I am not into making aligations without proof. I want to see if this is for real. I want to see where the land is situated, is it in a field? I want to see the income statements for the parking lots and for the investors without the contribution from the company and I want to visit the site. Don’t worry I am on the case. It does not make me feel great though when I see that Alex/Lex/Singh/Walia or what ever he is calling himself is selling this. Don’t forget he was one of the key people behind UK LI. That is one I lost money in and his old flannel is just that.

  35. @Nick Pope – Thanks for this. Colbert & Welling LLP is a scam. Here are a few red flags:

    1. Colbert & Welling contacted you out of the blue. While I’m sure they have some story about how they got your details, the reality is likely to be that they found your name on a suckers list.

    2. The website colbert-welling.org was registered on 11 November 2016. This statement from the website is a lie: “Colbert & Welling Law Partners LLP has represented clients in a wide array of complex litigation cases for over thirty years”

    3. The website was registered anonymously.

    4. There is no company called Colbert & Welling LLP listed on OpenCorporates.

    5. The website is cut and pasted. Compare this and this

    6. The phone number on the website is “+1()”.

    7. If you search for “Colbert & Welling” on Google, there’s (almost) nothing there.

    7. Ben Jones, a UK lawyer on justanswer.com, calls Colbert & Welling a scam.

    If you could forward any documents or emails from Colbert & Welling to reddmonitor@gmail.com, that would be great!

  36. You can’t keep a bad man down. Are we about to see the latest version of the classic Capital Alternatives model back in the UK with the hand of disqualified director Renwick Haddow guiding it from his preferred place in the background ?
    See Bar Works Inc, a New York company renting out office space in the USA from its premises at 95 Chamber Street, New York. http://www.barworks.nyc/
    They are keen to rent out parts of properties on leases to ‘investors’ (remember the rice farm, the carbon credit land, the wheat fields and the palm oil land all leased to ‘investors’).
    Bar Works has a separate company that will rent your property from you and pay a guaranteed return – remember the rice farm, the carbon credits land, the…. you get the picture. This is the same model using property so that it looks a lot more respectable. You can read about it here http://www.barworkspartners.com/
    Where is the Haddow link ? When Haddow left the UK he resurfaced in New York promoting a new crowdfunding company called Incrowd Equity LLC. One of the companies listed on the website for investment was Bar Works Inc. Another was Gleason’s Gym Ltd (with company director Robert Munden who many people will know as the director of the disgraced palm oil company Plantation Asset Management Ltd). A third company looking for investment was E2-marketing which was another known Haddow company which sold ‘suckers’ lists. In short – incrowdequity looked to all the world as if it was a marketing outlet for companies with links to Renwick Haddow. The natural conclusion was that perhaps Renwick Haddow was behind incrowdequity in the same way that he was behind Capital Alternatives and the illegal projects.
    Jump forward to today and some of you, like me, will have been receiving “investment opportunities” from different UK-based brokers, Caesar Partners to name just one. I’m assuming that these brokers must have access to the Capital Alternatives investor list.
    We’ve been invited to invest in Pod Works, an exciting new opportunity brought to us by Bar Works. http://www.barworks.nyc/pod-works-from-phone-box-to-work-station/
    Is there any further evidence linking Haddow to Bar Works Inc ? How about this new company, Bar Works Metropolitan Inc, with its office at the same address as Bar Works Inc and with Renwick Haddow mentioned by name as the contact person https://www.company-detail.com/company-bar-works-metropolitan-inc-5010809 or this one https://www.company-detail.com/company-worldwide-fitness-llc-4997256 registered at the same address.
    Why would Renwick Haddow have a fitness company registered at the same address as Bar Works Inc ? Maybe this explains it https://www.fjpinvestment.co.uk/chambers-street-sold-out/
    At least investors now know where they can find Haddow. It will be interesting to see if he turns up to his trial in May. I’m guessing he won’t because he’ll want to stay safe and sound in the USA. Extradition from the US is a lengthy process which can easily be dragged on for years if you have enough money to frustrate the process. It is estimated that Haddow salted away tens of millions from investors so it’s fair to assume he has a lot of it beyond the reach of the FCA for just such an eventuality.

  37. Oh no!, I wish I had come upon this article before my in-laws invested in Bar Works!
    Marksie, you seem to know a lot about Bar Works’s connection to Haddow.

    Would you be able to shed some more light on Bar Works? Is it definitely linked to Haddow? Any advice on how to get out of this investment? They supposedly have a 2 year lock-in, I am afraid by then, they will pack up and my in-laws’ monies will be gone.