Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund Judgement

High Court Rules in Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund Case against James Hadley and associates.

In a recent High Court judgment, Judge Mr. Nicholas Thompsell found that the Cayman-Islands based Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund (TMAF) was involved in an illegal conspiracy to “extract commissions from the investments.” The defendants, who were also behind the 2013 Store First pension investment scam, were found guilty of acting together to establish TMAF and deceive investors.

The claimant, Doran & Minehane, the liquidator of TMAF, argued that the investments were uncommercial transactions, potentially fictitious, or involved undisclosed self-dealing benefiting the conspirators. The investments were designed to exploit and misappropriate pension funds for the defendants’ benefit.

The judge determined a deliberate intention to harm TMAF, stating that the arrangements aimed to generate commissions for the conspirators at the fund’s expense. The accused faced a range of serious accusations, including breach of financial services regulation, fiduciary duties, and involvement in unlawful means conspiracy.

The victims, who suffered significant losses due to these schemes, have our sympathy. The court’s judgment establishes solid principles of liability, which may lead to a faster receipt of claimed monies and reduced legal costs for the defendants.

For the full judgment, click here: High Court Rules in Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund Case against James Hadley and associates.

The FSCS is now accepting claims for compensation of up to £85,000 for victims of the Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund investment scam. James Hadley’s advisory firm – Nationwide Benefit Consultants – (which later changed its name to The Pension Reporter) had been an agent of FCA-regulated Joseph Oliver.

This is a helpful lesson for victims and potential victims of pension and investment scams. The FSCS compensation payments will be funded by levies on the decent, qualified and ethical IFAs who don’t operate scams. Justice and education combined in one bitter pill.

3 thoughts on “Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund Judgement”

  1. Finally! A blog post after 13 months of silence. The silence feels like pension scams are a thing of the past now. Are they? Once upon a time this site was constantly exposing pension scams – Ark, Capita Oak, Henley, Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund (“TMAF”), Blackmore Global (“BG”); parking spaces, reforestation, store pods and strucured notes – you name it there was a scam being started by those who didn’t care about the consequences to the innocent.

    This site doesn’t report any new ones it seems. In fact it doesn’t report on much at all these days. Angie wrote a blog about TMAF back in October 2017 when the lid on the scam was being lifted. (it still records the perpetrator as XXXX XXXX even though this article names the person now he’s been found guilty).
    It makes no sense however, to give a link to a “Professional Adviser” article in relation to the FSCS now accepting claims from victims. The article can only be read if you agree to sign up – which means giving them your personal details – name, address phone numbers etc and that’s just on step 1! Heaven knows what you have to disclose in step 2! The second link (regarding Nationwide Benefit Consultants Ltd.) is the better link. I wish the claimants luck, although I personally think a claim via the Malta Arbiter a better route as there is no £85,000 cap if you win it. You could get up to 70% of your pension back.

    STM didn’t learn its lesson though because in early 2018 they bought Harbour Pensions and with it dozens if not hundreds more victims of Blackmore Global – Nunn & McCreesh’s offshore unregulated collective set up in 2014 and then set about a conveyer belt transfers of UK defined benefit pensions into it via QROPS in Malta. Malta was just one route but became the main route since more than one QROPS registered there was so willing to facilitate what was obviously a pension scam. Malta welcomed them with open arms!

    Only one victim to date has filed and successfully won a claim against STM with the Malta Arbiter (their version of the Ombudsman here) – case reference 024/2021. It is being appealed both by STM and by the victim (even though he won it he is challenging the amount awarded in the court). If the judge rules in favour of STM then the victim’s claim automatically falls away since STM are seeking for the decision to be completely overturned. However, I personally can’t see their pathetic argument winning. STM claim it wasn’t their fault, it was Harbour’s fault and the Arbiter agreed (in some detail I might add) and I don’t see the judge overturning his reasoning. The judge rules in a few weeks (Sep 2023).
    The issue is no one else seems to have made a claim and very soon (if not already) they will have run out of time – there’s a 2 year window to make a claim from the time you first learned of the “matters complained of”. So unless claims are already in the pipeline yet to be ruled on I seriously doubt new claims will be accepted since STM will claim you’re out of time. Dozens if not hundreds of BG victims now face a significantly reduced standard of living in their retirement (as if life isn’t difficult enough right now) because they failed to file a claim with the Malta Arbiter against QROPS in Malta that welcomed pension scammers with open arms!
    All the articles you ever see on pension scams attack the perpetrators of the scams (like this one) but very rarely does the media ever lift the lid on the QROPS (in any jurisdiction) for their part in this sordid episode of the last decade.
    The Malta regulator (MFSA) has a lot to answer for. It allowed QROPS on its watch to facilitate scams on a huge scale and ruin people’s lives and they didn’t and still don’t make any attempts to right that oversight of the past decade. Angie wrote about it over and over again but still no one took any notice.

    Now she doesn’t write much at all. Is it because pension scams are “history” or has she been beaten into submission? Who knows. The website is a good record of the history of the past decade and that’s pretty much where it seems to have been consigned to.

  2. A typo error in my comment. Where it says: “STM claim it wasn’t their fault, it was Harbour’s fault and the Arbiter agreed (in some detail I might add) and I don’t see the judge overturning his reasoning. The judge rules in a few weeks (Sep 2023).”

    I meant to say “… and the Arbiter DISagreed…”

  3. Angie, your August 14th Twitter/X post says: “Many Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund/STM Fidecs victims were police officers. Yet, still the SFO hasn’t sent the perps to jail. Maybe High Court Judges need to be victims.”. From reading the judgement in full (twice), it seems like there are good reasons for the actions happening as they are:

    1. The depth of investigation appears to have been profound and complex, involving parties in various countries who each had to be interviewed.
    2. The fund itself brought this as a civil action. They are looking to recover as much as possible from as many culpable parties as possible. At least one has already declared bankruptcy.
    3. The ruling comments on criminal matters arising. This must be deliberate: findings in the civil case will be referred to in the criminal case (and most likely might decide the scope and direction of a criminal trial). It would be difficult to see how the various defendants can argue against this ruling but on previous form they will appeal. Will an appeal of the civil case delay any criminal case? Probably: the appeal will have to be considered which means an appeals court working through the mountain of evidence. Assuming they find themselves in agreement with the verdict the defendants will ask for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. This will have to be considered. Assuming the leave is denied, the defendants will approach the Supreme Court for leave to appeal to them. The Supreme Court will deny this on the same basis as before (not in the greater public interest).
    4. Any criminal trial will (surely) result in lengthy jail terms. Recovering assets from someone jailed is likely to difficult. One party chose not to attend: that party uses a number of aliases and has a connection to a Panama foundation. Have they already decamped from Blighty to the isthmus?
    5. STM has (or will have) two new owners, with the SIPP business carved out under the ownership of Alan Kentish. It is likely the delays to the sale were directly as a result of the ongoing court action in London, itself delayed because of earlier cases and various appeals.

    Sadly the whole sh*t show is likely to run on for months or possibly years. People will change their names/ reinvent themselves/ use every trick to hide the past. In 2023 it should be a simple job to do some basic due diligence but it isn’t – if anything it’s worse.

    If there is a ‘silver lining’ (and sadly of no comfort those people so badly impacted) it is that standards expected of anyone dealing with other people’s money are much higher now than they were.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top