in Brazil, UK

Prestige Investment Group Limited: More red flags than a Chinese military parade

2016-04-19-170218_1398x1001_scrotOver the weekend, someone called Lee Hales contacted REDD-Monitor. Hales wants to speak to investors who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. I wouldn’t trust Hales, or his company Prestige Investment Group Limited, as far as I could throw them.

To start with, lets see what Lee Hales has to say for himself. Here’s the message he sent to REDD-Monitor on 17 April 2016. He sent the message shortly before 4 am – which may explain the dodgy grammar:

Name: Lee Hales
Email: info@prestigeinvestmentgrouplimited.com
Website: http://www.prestigeinvestmentgrouplimited.com
 
Comment: Dear Mr Chris Lang
 
I wish to speak with investors who have lost money in carbon credits that have proof of ownership, i have recently setup a investment company in the UK and i am willing to purchase CERs and VERs with 50% of the commission i make from the products i provide if a individual invests. Feel free to have a look at my site www.prestigeinvestmentgrouplimited.com and i will be happy to send you any information before hand. I am also happy to sign a agreement with each investor before hand for there own peace of mind. Just to advise beforw a person invests in any of the products i provide they have to sign a disclaimer and before they invest a KYC is sent to a IFA to ensure the product provided is suitable, if you would like to discuss this with myself feel free to contact me directly on my mobile on 07941657525.
 
Warmest regards
Mr Lee Hales

Hales is offering to buy carbon credits from anyone daft enough to invest in his company, Prestige Investment Group Limited.

Prestige Investment Group Limited

Prestige Investment Group Limited was incorporated in the UK on 22 February 2016. So the company has no track record. Hales is the sole director.

The website was registered on 19 February 2016.

The company’s registered address is in Birmingham:

Vincent Court, Birmingham

No wonder Hales uses the word “prestige” in his company’s name

The company’s website is behind a disclaimer explaining that, “The investment information you will find on this website is only suitable for sophisticated and high net worth investors”. Having subsequently looked up the definition of “sophisticated and high net worth investors” on the FCA website, I now realise that I shouldn’t have clicked the “I agree” button. Oh well.

Here are some of the “investments” advertised on Prestige Investment Group’s website:

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The one year UK property bond offers a 10% return on a minimum investment of £10,000. Investing £20,000 in a “UK city centre development” would be a “Growth Product with a minimum return of 50%”. Sounds to good to be true, doesn’t it?

5 star country club resort in Brazil

Another “investment” offered by Prestige Investment Group is in a “5 star country club resort” in Brazil. While the website doesn’t give the name of the country club resort, the website uses two images to illustrate the investment:

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The aerial view is of the Tambaba Country Club Resort.

The image of the house is a “Sample video render of residential villa”, on the website of CAT Technologies Ltd. The image also appears on the website of a company called Invest in Brazil. The company describes itself as “The UK’s leading Brazilian Property Investment Specialist”. The text on Prestige Investment Group’s website is the same as the description of the project on Invest in Brazil’s website.

One of the directors of Invest in Brazil, Paul Clarke, was previously a director of Amba Sun Invest Limited, and Vision Land Investments Limited. The companies were involved in a failed land investment scheme in Brazil, before they went into liquidation in 2012 and 2013.

There’s a long discussion about the perils of investing in land in Brazil, following a post on The Unique Property Blog titled, “Lose Money in Brazil”.

TM Harris was another company involved in promoting investments in the Tambaba Country Club Resort. REDD-Monitor wrote about TM Harris in May 2013, back when the company was selling carbon credits to retail investors.

Before that, Clive Harris, a director at TM Harris, worked for Brett Jolly’s Green Planet Investment Limited, selling investments in land in Brazil. When the Insolvency Service shut down Green Planet Investments, Company Investigations Supervisor Chris Mayhew said,

“Green Planet Investment was a slick land investment scheme designed to make money only for those with the company and not the 300 investors who were persuaded by false and misleading statements to invest over £14 million into an investment black hole.”

Wanted: Lead generators

Recently, Prestige Investment Group Limited was advertising for “lead generators” in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton, Newcastle, and Edinburgh. £10 per hour. No experience necessary. Work from home. Obviously not a boiler room operation, then:

Lead Generator
 


UPDATE – 26 May 2016: Hales sent a response to this post, available here. I’ve corrected the spelling of Hales’ surname in the first paragraph. I’ve removed the bit about the IP address of the message being in London.
 

Leave a Reply

  1. What I doubt Lee Hales will be telling his potential customers looking to invest in the Tambaba Resort is it’s been marketed now for about 7 years and the roads haven’t even built yet! Plus the whole site is for 1000 properties but only one villa has been built over that 7 year time period.

    Also the expected completion date has been put back time and time again. At first Invest in Brazil Limited promised their investors it would be finished in time for the 2014 World Cup. Right now the site looks like a cross between a desert and a wasteland.

    But then Invest in Brazil will be paying Mr Hales a very large commission for any business he puts their way. Perhaps that’s the only reason he’s so keen to promote it because surely with so many clues around that things are clearly not right why would any legitimate company promote such a dreadful and you have to say very suspect deal to its clients?

    Invest in Brazil also have 2 other ‘developments’ in NE Brazil where they’re selling plots of land. Both are also wastelands, both have also missed their expected completion dates by years, both are also complete wastelands.

    Any comments on the above Mr Hales, we know you’re reading.

  2. I’ve just noticed the tagline of the Prestige Investment Group Limited and then I threw up –

    “Providing Secure Financial Investments”

    This from a firm promoting things like Biomass investments and the Tambaba Resort in NE Brazil.

    I would speculate the only thing ‘secure’ about what Mr Hales promotes are the large cash commissions he receives from the firms whose deals he offers to his (soon to be poor) clients.

  3. I have bought a plot in Tambaba country club, 4.5 years ago, worst decision ever…. I have 7 months of payments to go (should have stopped them years ago when I started to have doubts but was talked out of it, again poor decision making) Now I’m wondering with 7 payments to go should I continue? does anyone who has seen the development think it will EVER be finished?? or should I just keep the last bit of money and save it from the black hole of no return? of course if I do this I will have lost all prior cash I have put in and will not be issued a title so it will be a total waste, but if it’s going to all be a total waste anyway……??

  4. Laura

    Not only should you not pay anymore money (which will be lost) you should contact a new lawyer as soon as possible to sue this company and the lawyer Renata Sa you were probably put in contact with.

    Her legal work is ripe to be investigated because it was supposed to offer protection to her clients but the plots are worthless so every client she has advised has lost all their money. Some protection.

    Forget about the title, that’s just a bit of paper saying you own a worthless plot of scrubland. Nothing has happened on the Tambaba Resort for so long, they haven’t even built the roads yet and the whole site requires millions of pounds worth of investment, without that it’s just a large field of scrubland meaning the plots are worthless.

    The company also has 2 other development sites in NE Brazil, both are scrubland with little money invested (no road system again built), both are multi-year delayed like the Tambaba Resort, both don’t have a chance without millions being invested yet the companies concerned have less than £5k in the bank.

    Your best bet is to head over to the Unique Property website, make a post and see if you can get others to join together in an action group, that would work really well. But you must hurry up, as I feel there’s a very high risk of the company closing down at some stage in the future. Good luck, post here if you need anymore help or advice.

  5. Thank you so much for the advice, Yes I did get put in touch with Renata as well as being referred to the developement by Marie Conolly at ultra chic investments which has since closed down..

    Thanks for the link Chris :-)

  6. I unfortunately invested in Tambaba, looking back I feel so stupid as if I’d looked hard enough I would have found enough red flags to stop me. Can anyone here recommend a good lawyer that can help me try and find a way to get some of my money back?