1. Stephen
    November 3, 2018 @ 10:40 am

    Clearly I am going to have a say on this one!

    The scam I got caught in, orchestrated by the gruesome twosome and ably assisted by Tweedledum and Tweedledee – directors of Aspinal Chase and Blackmore Global – was facilitated by Integrated Capabilities Malta Ltd (“ICML”). In my opinion, ICML, and their Isle of Man partner, Optimus Pensions Administration Ltd (“OPAL”) had been unwittingly drawn in by the gruesome twosome to facilitate the scam.

    In 2016, when I discovered I had fallen for the smooth talking David Vilka and fallen for his fraudulent misrepresentations I set about repatriating my pension with the help of a UK regulated IFA.

    Angie is right that the scheme, Optimus Retirement Benefit Scheme No. 1 may have in excess of 1100 members transferred possibly by Square Mile Interational Financials (“SMIF”). The Scheme’s annual report for period ending Dec 2015 – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1p3YAiGdOQBbO32TrIYn_4XMOdhUwPcBZ – shows new entrants to the scheme of 1,187 – almost 100 new members per month! That rate, in my opinion can only be achieved by a very good recruiting firm – Aspinal Chase. The directors of Aspinal Chase are already on record for their cold calling activities in the Capita Oak and Henley pension scams which netted them c.£1m in introduction fees! So they knew how to recruit victims!

    Angie’s earlier blog reporting on Ferguson’s email of August 2015, https://pension-life.com/not-so-square-mile-and-far-from-lilly-white/ implies Ferguson – owner of Lillywhite – they have exclusivity when it came to introducing new members to their QROPS; he says: “nothing can be submitted to our panel of QROPS without being signed off by our IFAs and so EVERY piece of business you receive from these guys is actually via a Lillywhites Adviser.”

    Over a protracted period in 2016 – some 8 months – I was in constant communication with one of the Directors of ICML, Andy Dawson, in the picture above he is bottom row third from the left. Unlike some other trustees like STM for instance or Harbour Pensions – later sold to STM – ICML made an uncharacteristic effort to extricate me from the scam. Andy Dawson not only managed to get me out of the Investors Trust Bond, and redeemed Blackmore Global and Symphony holdings but applied some leverage (exactly what I don’t know) to get Blackmore to waive its 7% early exit penalty. ICML also refunded all their admin charges and persuaded Investors Trust to waive their early exit penalty for the bond and refund their admin charges. The result was I recovered 92% of my pension. The loss was due to the Symphony fund (as it happens Ferguson was global distributor!) which mysteriously dropped 30% in value “overnight”. There were many anomalies with the way Symphony was operated and I made a complaint to the MFSA about it in Feb 2017. Not only was Symphony unlawfully promoted to me with numerous fraudulent misrepresentations, but shortly after my complaint, the fund was shut down and Ferguson’s lawyer made a £6000 offer to silence me from ever speaking about it ever again, to any journalist or authority, including the police in any jurisdiction – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42776709 – of course I declined the pathetic offer. More details of this here: https://write.as/scam-victim/clerical-errors

    However, the upshot of all this is that I am very grateful to Dawson. What I don’t know is what happened to the other victims? Did ICML get them out of the unregulated funds and the Investors Trust Bond or are they all still locked in with the possibility of losing all their money?

    Angie’s last two paragraphs, beginning “Notwithstanding … ” and the implication of her final sentence is somewhat unfair because we don’t have any new information. The “policy” is perhaps a new policy following their experience with me. They may have “learned their lesson” about doing business with reprobates like Vilka and Ferguson. I read the policy that even if you have an adviser, if the fund is unsuitable (like Blackmore for example) they can refuse to trade. This is an improvement in my opinion.

    What we need is more information from ICML. What have they done with all the other victims for example? Have they dropped their relationship with the gruesome twosome? Have they dropped their relationship with Investors Trust? Have they stopped using OPAL?

    We are not up to speed on the current position nor the activities of ICML so it is unfair to judge them on the same circumstances that existed in 2015/16.


    • Angie
      November 3, 2018 @ 10:44 am

      Thank you Stephen. Will email you separately. There is news.


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