Jody Smart (or Bell or Kirby or whatever name she uses now) appeared in the Criminal Court in Denia on 1st October 2019. As one of the group of defendants in the fraud trial – including her former partner Darren Kirby (who didn’t turn up) – she testified about her involvement in the £100 million Continental Wealth Management/Trust (CWM) investment scam.
CWM – of which Jody was shareholder and sole director – collapsed at the end of September 2017.
The event was covered by journalist Joshua Parfitt of The Olive Press newspaper https://issuu.com/theolivepress/docs/online_issue_a/1?e=1186741/73089185 and was a relatively low key affair in the Denia Court Number 3 . Jody’s ex boyfriend Darren failed to show (no surprise there). The only entertainment on offer for anyone watching (and hoping for some sign that justice will be done) was her current beau, Franco Pearson, shouting “fucking scumbag” in the court waiting room.
This particular criminal case involves not just the investment scam itself, but also some previously-unknown anciliary scams involving bogus property transactions and false promises of shares in CWM in exchange for hard cash.
One of the complainants – Mark D – had handed over his final salary Shell pension (worth £415,000) plus a further £140,000 to Jody’s company: CWM. Mark was told he would be given a 5% shareholding in the company and that it was worth £10,000,000. Jody’s then boyfriend, Darren Kirby, had promised Mark the shares in return for £400,000 – and told him the money was going to be used to prop up the ailing company and also be invested in Jody’s fashion business. Mark D – who lost not just his pension but his house – developed severe depression and diabetes which he struggled to manage. After being left penniless by Jody and Darren’s CWM scam, he died alone in August 2019.
In the Denia court, Jody confirmed she was the sole director of Continental Wealth Trust (formerly Continental Wealth Management). The company held no license to provide either insurance or investment advice – and was selling life (death) bonds illegally; provided by rogue companies such as Old Mutual International, SEB and Generali. She stated it had not been possible to close the company because there had been so many debts. This comes as no surprise as Darren had paid £1.3 million to victims as compensation for investment losses, and had also pumped £500,000 into the Jody Bell fashion business. The court was also told that Jody had been paid 12,000 Euros a month by CWM.
In court, Jody denied holding any position in CWM and stated that she had no financial qualifications. But here I start to wonder whether, perhaps, something got lost in translation. In previous interviews, Jody had openly boasted about running CWM and also the sister operation Female Wealth Management. She claimed to have made £13 million out of financial services.
Jody also stated in the Denia Court that she had never had anything to do with the company or the clients (perhaps she was paid 12,000 Euros a month just to look glamorous in reception?). However, in a previous t.v. interview she had stated that her role was “to expand the company and see where we could go forward. Bring the best people on board to work for us“.
In the same interview, Jody had expanded on CWM’s activities: “We offer the whole package for expats. Advising on the investment of funds. We also do a pension release. There is a scheme where we can release your pension from the UK. Obviously, we’ve been very successful with that. Being in the climate that we’re in at the moment, there are a lot of people, unfortunately, who can’t pay their mortgages or their private school fees.
Its like saying “we’re gonna give you money and its not gonna cost you anyfink. Obviously, we can just change your life really”.
She was clearly referring to the Evergreen pension liberation scam in which more than 300 people certainly had their lives changed by losing their pensions and getting 50% loans from Stephen Ward’s Delaware-registered finance company Marazion. CWM did all the cold calling and administration for this scam – from which Ward earned 10% of the overall £10 million worth of pensions transferred into the bogus New Zealand-based QROPS run by Simon Swallow and Kenji Stevens.
Far from not costing the victims “anyfink”, 300 people are now being pursued for repayment of the Marazion loans and have lost the other 50% of their pensions left in Evergreen, which is now being wound up. They also face 55% tax charges on the 50% loans as unauthorised payments.
Jody was apparently (according to the court transcript) asked in court if she knew anything about the CWM business of which she was the sole director. She replied “no” and that Darren told her she could be a director along with him as she spoke Spanish, that he wanted to protect her and that it was going to be good for her.
So this leaves me wondering: was Jody lying in her recorded interviews which she used to promote CWM and her Jody Bell fashion business, or was she lying in court?
After testifying that everything had been Darren’s fault, that he had manipulated her and killed her mum’s chickens, Jody refused to answer any further questions.
So with no further answers from Jody Smart/Bell/Kirby/Pearson, we can only listen to the evidence provided by her in her video interviews. She is portrayed as the director of the CWM wealth management company and is worth an estimated £13m. She has a stunning house in Spain (currently up for sale for 760,000 Euros), a fleet of fast cars, a diamond ring as big as a door knob worth 39,000 Euros, and an impressive limited edition Jimmy Choo collection.
In one video interview, Jody started to describe how she had invested a lot of money in her fashion business and that after only six months the sales were “phenomenal”; that with her hard work and sheer determination……(here she pauses as a waiter brings a bottle of champagne)….
Full of bubbly, Jody goes on to state that she didn’t doubt herself – that her ambition (which came from a burning desire inside her) would help her succeed. Her conclusion was that she just knew she was “gonna reach the stars”.
Of course, victim Mark D had no idea how quickly he was going to “reach the stars”. Furthermore, there are hundreds of other CWM victims who are afraid that they too will meet a similar fate: dying – starving and penniless.
But I have faith in Jody – because she is very enthusiastic about her charitable works. She is on record, in one of her t.v. interviews, as saying:
“We done a lotta charity work. I’m lucky. There aren’t a lotta people as fortunate as what I am.”
Jody’s magnificent house is on the market for 760,000 Euros – and I get a sneaking feeling that she is flogging this pile of real estate full of glamorous furniture in order to help the victims of the CWM scam. In her t.v. interview she stated: “I like to help people. It’s in me.” So, hopefully, the 760,000 Euros will go towards helping some of the people who have been financially ruined by her company.
It is, of course, too late for Mark D. One of the things that killed him was the fact that he couldn’t afford to eat properly – and this is particularly dangerous for people who are suffering from diabetes. But there is hope for others – Jody has set up a facility to feed those who can’t afford to eat because her company scammed them out of their life savings: The Oceana Club near Calpe.
Rather more glamorous than the run of the mill soup kitchen, those who have lost their life savings and are in need of a hot meal will – I feel sure – be warmly welcomed at The Oceana Club. Hopefully Jody’s boyfriend Franco will embrace this charitable initiative just as warmly as he welcomes the CWM victims with a greeting rather more gentlemanly than “fucking scumbag”.