5 Comments

  1. Stephen
    May 24, 2020 @ 10:35 am

    The issue with issuing “legal proceedings in the matter of…” or “… commenced litigation against various parties …” or “…under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office”, is that focus is often on the activities of the fund and rarely on the architects of the scam, who very often close up shop and move on to the next gig. The other actors in the scam rarely get a mention of their role in the facilitation and enabling of the scam either wittingly or unwittingly.

    Even this article regarding Trafalgar, although it makes links with “other” rogues, such as Nunn & McCreesh – who in this instance have didly squat to do with TMAF to my knowledge – it fails to mention Custom House Global that created the perfect environment for TMAF and another fund that I have direct experience with, The Symphony Fund. It also fails to mention the MFSA that permitted TMAF & Symphony (to name just two I know of) to be set up on a platform in their jurisdiction and turned a blind eye to what it was doing.

    In August 2010, Custom House Global – since acquired by Apex Group Ltd in August 2018 – announced the establishment of its Nascent Fund SICAV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=18omXpLXN8Szuyc4zPe303WnbmEZUSQy2 which describes itself as “…umbrella fund platform that will provide an efficient and cost-effective first-stage solution for managers wishing to start their own new fund …” and in the Sep 23rd edition of HFMweek – the single top source of industry news and insights for the global hedge fund community – Dermot Butler, Chairman of Custom House said: “We recently introduced the Nascent Fund, a Maltese-based umbrella fund with segregated cells, designed to enable start-up managers to enter the market …” he went on to say: “Start-ups often fail because they cannot raise seed capital which seems to be a bigger problem today than it has been for some time.”

    Basically, this umbrella fund could be (and was) exploited by scammers to start up their own fund to receive UK defined benefit transfers for their own enrichment. It seems seed capital from UK pension transfers was not such a big problem after all! Both TMAF and Symphony were such start ups on this platform. What is not known is how many others were exploiting this platform?

    The article fails to mention the architect(s) of the TMAF scam. I personally don’t know who the architect for TMAF was, I have my suspicion.

    However, in the case of the Symphony Fund I do know the mechanics. John Ferguson, director of Lillywhite International and also a Director of Square Mile International Financial wrote an email in August 2015 describing the scam, admitting Lillywhite provided a “hub” – basically coordinated – between introducers wishing to raise subscriptions to their own funds, unregulated finanical advisory firms – such as Square Mile – the Life Assurance companies – providing uselss life bond wrappers inside the offshore pension scheme – and the QROPS. The introducers would provide the mechanics for initiating pension transfers from UK trustees/administrators to the receiving scheme while the unregulated advisers would present a one-size-fits-all investment recommendation, masquerading as “independent financial advice”

    That damning email, in his own words, can be seen here: https://pension-life.com/not-so-square-mile-and-far-from-lilly-white/

    So we can easily conclude Mr. Ferguson was the architect – oops, coordinator – of the [mis-]advised pension transfer I was caught up in in 2015. The introducers in my case were Nunn & McCreesh’s Aspinal Chase company, a Gibraltar based comapny https://drive.google.com/open?id=14ukJdl0pu1wWbtoS8v828BiCZEgQaHJe and as per Ferguson’s clear description, a proportion (75%) of my pension went into Nunn & McCreesh’s fund – Blackmore Global.

    The other 25% went into The Symphony Fund, which just coincidently happened to be Ferguson’s fund (as Director of the now dissolved ATSG) https://international-adviser.com/symphony-capital-partners-launches/

    Symphony, a Nascent fund start-up was a feeder fund into Brandywine Asset Management Fund https://brandywine.com/ and was licensed by Malta as a professional fund only and its documentation (that I was never given) unequivocally excluded promotion to UK retail investors https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pJ_jqLmh6GSm0pEwDh8Ff8lWGaoKS89m which is stated on it sfront page and under section 3. Square Mile knew this, so did the receiving trustee (Integrated Capabilities Malta Ltd). Yet the trustee “turned a blind eye” to it. The Maltese regulator – MFSA – did nothing either.

    I reported the unregulated Square Mile to the FCA for unlawfully advising UCIS’s to retail investors but they did nothing, as is often reported over and over and over. I guess they had their own shit to deal with https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50401780

    All this shit and inaction, while under the stewardship of the man that has now been appointed Governor of the Bank of England! You just could not make this up!

    I made a complaint to Action Fraud – same result. I told Ferguson I was making a complaint to Action Fraud and this was his reply in an email to me in Nov 2016: https://pension-life.com/action-fraud-nobody-no-authority-john-ferguson-square-mile-financial-services/

    In Jan 2017 I made a complaint to the MFSA and shortly after The Symphony Fund was shut down and Square Mile’s lawyer tried to silence me with a £6000 payoff! I told them where to shove it! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42776709

    It is almost certain that TMAF has a very similar story of actors involved in the scam – architect, unregulated advisers, introducers, receiving QROP, Life Assurance Company etc – and in my opinion the architect should be first against the wall, followed by the introducers then the QROP’s that facilitated the scams and in this case Custom House Global that made the perfect environment just waiting to be exploited by scammers and enabled both TMAF and Symphony and Lord knows how many others I don’t know of!

    BTW, all this and I have not yet mentioned the role played by the UK ceding pension providers that some, if not all, failed to observe the Pensions Regulator’s Scorpion Campaign of 2013 and did no Due Diligence and failed to warn members they might be caught in a scam before they transferred the money! Another long story – which in my case gave me a successful route to compensation via a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman – a free service that doesn’t require the services from blood sucking lawyers!

    However in the case of TMAF, the architect will no doubt get off scott free and is probably onto another gig already, just like Ferguson is …

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  2. D Morris
    May 28, 2020 @ 2:46 am

    The low life behind TMAF (and previously Store First Capita Oak ) is James Hadley who was the fund manager and unbeknown to us the financial advisor working for a company called Global Partners (later Toubillon – who have since denied he worked for them at the time of the advice given) who advised us in a signed Global partners headed letter that it was a good investment for my husbands small pension. Not having an independent financial advisor at the time we were introduced to Global Partners by a rep of Sanderson Clarke (lead generators) who came to talk to us about transferring his pension. It wasn’t until about 18months later we discovered that the fund manager was none other than the same James Hadley who had given the advice in the first place.

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  3. Stephen
    May 31, 2020 @ 5:26 pm

    @D Morris Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

    I knew Hadley was involved in TMAF as fund manager because he is named as one of the principals of Victory Asset Management in the TMAF shareholders report of 2016.

    I also knew Hadley was involved in Capita Oak/Henley pension scam involving Store First as I have a copy of the Insolvency Document detailing his involvement.

    What I didn’t know was who did the lead generation and who gave the “advice” in the TMAF scam. Thanks for filling that gap in my knowledge.

    What I am still searching for is evidence of the involvement of Nunn & McCreesh in TMAF, who Angie alleges (in her facebook group on Blackmore) were peddling TMAF at the same time they were promoting their own unregulated fund – Blackmore Global – which makes no sense to me since they would naturally want to maximise pension transfers into their own fund. However a constant irritation is Angie often makes 2+2=5 without any evidence to support it. Oh well, I will keep searching …

    I am not convinced there is a hard link, just circumstantial …

    But thanks again – great info.

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  4. Chris
    June 16, 2020 @ 9:40 am

    Stephen please contact me, I am a victim of this scam and I need to speak with you for advice.

    Reply

  5. Craig
    September 19, 2020 @ 4:10 pm

    I am a victim of this scam please help

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