Pension scams; too little-too late?

PENSIONS196

Angie Brooks -pensions’ Mother Theresa

 

News from the Serious Fraud Office that they are at last on to the gang of financial thugs behind Capita Oak and the network of related frauds, will come as scant comfort to those who have been robbed and are now facing a tax-bill for the robbery.

If ever there was a case of two speed financial regulation, it is this.

Moving in top gear and way ahead of the peloton Ms Angie Brooks and her Pension Life website which has for several years been whistle-blowing on the activities of the scammers.

Moving in the peloton, the various parties to Project Bloom, all chatting between themselves and disregarding Ms Brooks’ alerts.

Now at last the heat is being turned on the SFO, not least by a Government threatening to abolish it. One wonders if this belated consultation on scamming is anything more than a gesture.


Here is what one brave woman is doing

Below a redacted letter issued by Angie Brooks to solicitors protecting the interests of those now under investigation.

(Sirs)

I am afraid a continuation of your refusal to engage with this matter is no longer an option as this is now a criminal case.

The Serious Fraud Office is now seeking statements from victims of Trafalgar MAF because this investment scam is linked to the Store First, Capita Oak, Henley and Westminster pension scams through James Hadley who was the promoter and distributor behind all of them.
STM accepted hundreds of transfers from Hadley’s unlicensed firm Global Partners Limited (which later changed its name to The Pensions Reporter) in the full knowledge that neither Hadley nor his firm were either licensed or qualified to provide pension transfer or investment advice.  Further, STM then accepted investments into Trafalgar MAF in the full knowledge that Hadley was the investment manager of the fund.
Can you now please come to the table and deal with this.  A number of victims feel that STM has been complicit in facilitating financial crime – while at the same time depriving the investors of any information or updates on the fund.  There has been no news for far too long and this is no longer acceptable.
I am meeting another trustee firm (who travelled from Malta to Spain to meet me) to sort out another matter today, and will call you towards the end of the week.  I trust you will put all the investors in the picture regarding this at the AGM tomorrow.  Shares have now been purchased on behalf of the Trafalgar victims so that their right to be kept in the loop is clearly established.
Regards, Angie

Here is what the SFO have finally come up with

The Serious Fraud Office has today announced that it is urging storage pod investment scheme investors in the Capita Oak Pension and Henley Retirement Benefit schemes, self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) “as well as [investors in] other storage pod investment schemes” to get in touch, as it is launching an investigation.

Also included in the investigation are the Westminster Pension Scheme and Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund, which invested in other types of products, the SFO said in a statement on its website.

More than a thousand individual investors are thought to have been affected by the alleged frauds involving these schemes, including those who invested their pension funds, the SFO said in its statement. It said the amounts invested totaled over £120m (US$156m, €139m).

“The SFO encourages members of the public who have invested in these schemes over the period 2011 to 2017 to complete a questionnaire, which is available here,” the SFO statement adds.

scamproof scorpion

The Scorpion campaign that is now used by the scammers in their marketing documents!

We have worked with tPR and have reported schemes to Action Fraud. We have never had any feedback (or indeed acknowledgement) of our work. Our (Pension PlayPen, Henry Tapper and First Actuarial’s) efforts have been as enthusiasts for good pensions.

But we find that what we’ve experienced is amplified many times over abroad. Following the work of Ms Brooks , Christopher Lean, Darren Cooke and the others who have made it their life work to stop the scammers, I cannot but feel a deep revulsion for the way they have been ignored and insulted by the UK authorities.


Justice delayed – but Angie is as strong as ever.

Angie and her team of helpers have every right to feel aggrieved, but they’re not. Instead they are taking the belated help they’re getting and pulling the peloton along.
At last she has the co-operation of the Pensions Regulator (the excellent Lesley Titcomb) and on June 19th, I intend the 300 or so IFAs attending the Great DB debate to give Angie a standing ovation.
She should be a Dame.

Further reading

There are quite a few blogs on here about how the scammers are operating. But if you want to see Angie at work, go to her website
Above , just some of Angies’ images – visually representing the venal forces she fights!
For a wider perspective on why we are not so hot on financial fraud read this excellent paper.
 http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/why-have-no-bankers-gone-to-jail

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in pensions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pension scams; too little-too late?

  1. Scondi says:

    There are previous examples of Gibraltar QROPS trustees allowing funds where there may be a conflict of interest between the owner of the advising company and the owner of the funds’ investment management company – the Strategic Growth Fund and the Valais Investment Funds.

    Like

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