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Response from Lee Hales, Prestige Investment Group Limited: “Please remove the information you have posted about on your website”

2016-05-26-111956_1041x1026_scrotA little over a month ago, REDD-Monitor wrote about a company called Prestige Investment Group Limited. The company director, Lee Hales had written to REDD-Monitor explaining that he wanted to speak to people who had been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments.

Hales was offering to buy carbon credits from people who invested in his company. I pointed out that Prestige Investment Group raised an awful lot of red flags.

Last week Hales wrote to REDD-Monitor again:

Name: Lee Hales

Email: info@prestigeinvestmentgrouplimited.com
Website:
 
Comment: Dear Mr Lang
 
Please remove the information you have posted about on your website. The offer i made with reference to carbon credits was a fact. I was not aware about the situation with Invest In Brazil and based on the information you have given i will no longer offer this investment. The products i offer a through a regulated company in the UK and i am quite happy to speak with you about this. I find it strange that you can assume so much on a website without even tlking to the person involved. I do feel that based on what you have said that you have discredited myself with out any facts based on this i have no alternative but to speak with a solicitor. Some of the information you give is correct i would like to point out a couple of errors though if i may. If i am based in birmingham why would i be contacting you from london. My surname is Hales not Hayes it seems to me that you base you observations on a little bit of information and not fact and if you had contacted me as requested we could have discussed the matter. Kind regards Mr Lee Hales

I’ve corrected the spelling of Hales’ surname in the previous post. I’ve removed the bit about the IP address of the previous message being in London. This time the IP address puts Hales in Birmingham.

The information about Invest in Brazil, one of the investments that Prestige Investment Group was offering, that I used in the previous post is all publicly available. It is perhaps surprising that Hales apparently hadn’t carried out even basic due diligence into the “investment” his company was offering.

In the meantime, Hales has redesigned his company’s website. It now provides even less information about the “investments” on offer.

Prestige Investment Group

The website does provide a “cash investor form”, and a “free pension review”.

The words “Providing Secure Financial Investments” have been removed from the website, and the disclaimer explaining that the investment information on the website was only suitable for sophisticated and high net worth investors has been removed.

The website now points out that,

Prestige Investment Group do not give financial advice, and are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, if you are unsure about investments you should seek help from a qualified individual.

Meanwhile in the “Terms and Conditions”, Prestige Investment Group explains that,

An advisory service is where an Introducing Agent or we advise you on the merits of buying or selling unregulated investments.

 

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  1. Proves Mr Hales of the prestigiously named ‘Prestige Investment Group’ is either full of crap or hasn’t got a clue how to do proper due diligence. Either one looks like very bad news for his clients and their money.

    For example, it would only take about 30 mins of internet work to find out about Invest in Brazil Limited, the shady business past of its director Paul Clarke and its dreadful off-plan investments where in my opinion every client has lost all their money, sadly many don’t realise it yet but they soon will.

    But after the article on Redd Mr Hales only now says the investment is not a good one for his clients! Unbelievable.

    So Mr Hales, we know you’re reading this, why not explain exactly what your due diligence process is and how in turn it missed all the massive red flags re Invest in Brazil Limited and its sorry looking Tambaba Resort where the roads haven’t even been put in after 7 years, and only 1 property out of 1000 has been built over the same period. Did you not even look at the shabby construction photos on the company’s website? Did you not even check the finances of the firm (available for free online)? You can’t build a 5 star luxury country club and resort without having access to multiple millions of pounds worth of investment. The firm has less than £5,000 in the bank and a company net worth of also less than £5,000! But according to your due diligence process the investment was worth offering to your clients.

    I still maintain that these unregulated agents, more often than not grandly named, and double more often than not always go on about their diligent ‘due diligence’ process, generally only promote the shittiest UNREGULATED deals (carbon credits, off-plan foreign property, student accommodation, airport car park land, biomass, alternative energy, Gold & Silver and precious metals, Rare Earth metals and so on) to their clients because the shittiest unregulated ones always pay them the most in commissions, in the 15%-30% range. That commission is sliced right off the top of the client’s money. Do you think the clients are told that so much of their investment is being paid out in bumper commissions?

    Contrast this to a proper regulated investment which would pay in the region of 1%-5% and normally nearer 2%. Not a lot of money in 2% unless you have a large client base, plenty of money to be made at 20%+ with a small client base, especially if they’re unsophisticated and how an unregulated agent loves an unsophisticated client.

    The Prestige website also boldly states the firm works with some of the ‘UKs leading wealth managers’, sounds like more bullshit to me unless the firm does deal with companies like and of the calibre of Rothschilds, Citbank, Goldmans, Fidelity etc because they ARE some of the UKs leading wealth managers.

    So Mr Hales, why not list some of these ‘leaders’ your firm deals with? No point weaseling out of it and pleading ‘confidentially’ because it’s not relevant in this situation. In fact, telling us some of the big names your firm deals with would make your firm look very good (even ‘prestigious’) if the names really are UK leaders as you suggest. It would also be a good way to fight back against posts and comments like this.

    It’s also hard to take a financial firm seriously that can’t even write proper English as in “Prestige Investment Group do not give financial advice”. Mr Hales, that should read “Prestige Investment Group DOES not give financial advice”.

    And on that topic, if you don’t give financial advice, what exactly is the point in a client using your firm? We know what’s in it for you, the large risk-free commission (if/when the clients lose you still make lots of money hence risk-free), but what exactly is in it for the client? Wouldn’t a client be better served in cutting out your firm, which seems to be nothing more than a middleman looking to pick up that big risk-free commission, and going to see a regulated financial adviser who can offer advice? The advantage of using a regulated advisor is simple – if you’re mis-sold an investment or the investment turns out to be a non-investment there’s a process to deal with the problem via the Regulator. So if for example your firm had brokered a deal for a client to invest in the Tambaba Resort which has no future, the client wouldn’t have the advantage of being able to contact the Regulator and seek compensation when he realises he’s lost all his money. So there seems to be big disadvantages for any client in using your unregulated firm in my opinion. If you feel a client does have an advantage of using your unregulated firm’s services why not respond to this post with your points?

  2. Looks like the Prestige Investment Group is no more, website now been down for a week or so.

    Doesn’t take much to out these chancers who only have one goal – to skin their clients for very large commissions. In order to do that they’ll only promote the worst unregulated deals possible as they pay the highest commissions in what is basically a carve up of client money. In fact they can’t promote regulated deals because they themselves aren’t regulated. Why and how anyone can deal with an un-regulated investment firm I do not know.

    Moral: Only deal with REGULATED firms and also NEVER invest in something you don’t understand. No excuse for not being prepared these days as all the education anyone needs is freely available on the internet. Yes, it can take time to learn but if investment was easy everyone would be rich. Take short cuts, believe what the chancers say and you’ll only have yourself to blame for your losses.