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Friday, 22 May 2015

Fraudster Daniel Snelling ordered to pay £714,588.28


Daniel Snelling

Many thanks to Mr Gilchrist for bringing this to my attention. Daniel Snelling convicted in July 2013 for fraud and money laundering for running the Nouveau World Wines and Finbow wine investment scams. 

'Last week (15th May 2015) Daniel Snelling was treated to an excursion from his prison cell. He was brought back to Southwark Crown Court to appear in front of the judge, who sentenced him to jail in 2013. The judge's message to Snelling was clear - "Cough up the rest of the loot or get banged up for longer!"'

Court News UK (15th May 2015):
“ SNELLING: FINE WINES CONMAN ORDERED TO PAY BACK £700K 
A crooked businessman who persuaded hundreds of elderly investors to hand over their life savings in a £4.5million fine wine scam has been ordered to repay £714,000.

Daniel Snelling, 40, seduced investors into ploughing thousands of pounds into Australian plonk billed as 'the best money could buy' from Nouveau World Wines. 

Working with his sister Dina Snelling, 37, and their cousin Rebecca McDonald, 44, he promised to sell the wine at huge profits after three years in 'premium' storage.

Daniel Snelling used his ill-gotten gains to enjoy an 'extravagant' lifestyle including renting flash cars and luxury homes and enjoying numerous holidays to Australia.

Dina indulged in cosmetic surgery and received 'travel expenses' for trips to Oz.

Daniel Snelling, jailed for seven and a half years in September 2013, returned to Southwark Crown Court for a confiscation hearing.

Judge Michael Grieve QC said: 'I make a finding by agreement that Mr Snelling's overall benefit arising out of these proceedings under the confiscation order, proceedings following his conviction, is £1,814,248.

'The realisable amount is £714,588.28, of which £100,000 constitutes hidden assets.' Judge Grieve ordered the confiscation amount of £714,588.28 should be paid in compensation to the victims of the fraud.

Snelling must now cough up the cash within six months or face a further three and a half years in jail.....”

The full script of the court report can be found on this link:

http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/newsgallery/?page=5&news_id=40869

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Walter Chase Ltd/ Hudson Chase Consultants: unapproved companies offering Pension Reviews



 Welcome to Walter Chase 

I have had a message from ZT: 'I have been approached by a company called Walter Chase Ltd who have made an offer to swop my 4 cases of mixed wine for 2 cases of Mouton Rothschild 2002.' ZT concludes their message: 'I would appreciate your advice on this as, as you can imagine, I am very cautious.'

ZT is right to be cautious. Despite its impressive looking website Walter Chase Ltd lacks substance and any track record. The company does, however, offer free pension reviews. Walter Chase Ltd does not have approval by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority to offer financial advice.  

The company was founded on 21st  October 2013 with £2 of share capital, has one director 29-year old Matthew Frederick Boatwright and is registered at 4/4a Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2RP – a Regus serviced office. It appears that the company failed to file its last annual return on time and on 24th February 2015 the first Gazette was published giving notice that the company would be struck off. This notice was withdrawn on 24th March 2015 after the return was filed. The company's is due to file its first accounts on 21st July 2015.

The UK pension regulations have recently been liberalised allowing people to withdraw money from their pensions from the age of 55. Walter Chase Ltd is one of a number of new companies that are offering a free pension review: 


 

From the Walter Chase website: 
'Walter Chase is a consultancy company that works in close association with some of the most credible Independent Financial Advisers in the UK.

Our dedicated consultants will help you gather a better understanding of your current pension arrangements and will ensure that they are working towards your retirement goals. Some people believe that knowledge is power, here at Walter Chase we believe the more you know about your pension the easier it is to manage - improving its ability to grow, therefore increasing your chances of a comfortable and prosperous retirement.'

'Walter Chase is an independent consultancy company that has a passion for helping clients reach there (sic) financial goals. 

The mission of Walter Chase is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and excellence. We believe that sensible preparation at the peak of your working life will generate a healthy income for your twilight years and because it is a complicated area it is one that requires the correct help and advice.

Our knowledge and ability to perform accurately, timely, professionally and courteously is what we promise to all of our clients.

Our commitment to great service is what drives our success.

Here at Walter Chase we do not charge you for your initial pension review. You might find that you can really improve the performance of your existing pension, which could make you more comfortable in your golden years.'


'At Walter Chase we work with you to help find the best money and direct product solutions for your circumstances. We listen closely to your needs and objectives in order to find out exactly what 'you' the client need. We then take the time to find the relevant professional service provider or product to help fulfil that need.'

 
 Step 1 – Introductory Consultation 
'Explanation of Account Managers Non Adviser status and non-regulated investments'

Step 2: 'This might include introduction to professional or regulated services.'


The only important piece of information on the Walter Chase website is that neither Walter Chase Ltd nor Matthew Boatwright are approved to give financial advice by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.  

The FCA: 'We must approve an individual before they are able to conduct certain types of business, such as selling or advising on investments like personal or stakeholder pensions, life assurance policies, shares or collective investment schemes.' 

Matthew Boatwright and Walter Chase Ltd rightly point out that pensions are complicated:
 
'and because it is a complicated area it is one that requires the correct help and advice.

Our knowledge and ability to perform accurately, timely, professionally and courteously is what we promise to all of our clients.

Our commitment to great service is what drives our success.'


There is nothing to suggest that either Matthew Boatwright or Walter Chase Ltd have the necessary knowledge or experience to offer reliable financial advice. The message from ZT suggests that a pension review from Walter Chase Ltd is likely to lead to offers to invest pension money in 'alternative assets' such as wine etc.   

Anyone wanting pension advice ought to make sure they deal with someone or a company that has approval to give the relevant financial advice. Check the FCA register here

Matthew Boatwright is a director of three other companies –  M. Boatwright Web Development Ltd (founded 3.4.2012 with £100 share capital, business activity given as Pension Funding), Investment Broker London Ltd (founded 13th December 2013, trading address Chislehurst Business Centre, 1 Bromley Lane, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6LH) and mostly recently Chase and Walter Ltd (incorporated on 1st May 2015; registered address: 4/4a Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2RP)
 
The annual return for Investment Broker London Ltd has been overdue since 10.1.2015 and there is a currently a proposal from Companies House to strike the company off presumably for non-compliance with UK company law. The annual return for M. Boatwright Web Development Ltd has been overdue since 1st May 2015.

Matthew Boatwright
Matthew Boatwright has contacted me about this post, which he believes is baseless:


'With all due respect, I believe that your whole post is based upon baseless opinions,



It clearly states on our website that we put customers in touch with the relevant people to help them, no where does it say that we offer investment or financial advice and it states that we explain our non adviser status quite clearly,


We haven't cold called anyone about their pension or offered anyone a review over the telephone and we do not offer a review we pass the business over to a regulated body.'
 
••

Hudson Chase Global Ltd
This is another recently formed company offering a free pension review. Hudson Chase Global Ltd was founded on 12th December 2014 as Advanced Advisory Services Ltd with share capital of £1. The company name was changed on 21st February 2015 to Hudson Chase Global Ltd. The sole director is 29-year-old John George Dawson (DOB: 10.10.1985). The company trades as Hudson Chase Consultants from 60 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6NP – a serviced office address.

Although neither Hudson Chase Global Ltd nor John George Dawson are approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to give financial advice, their website suggests that they have the knowledge and experience to offer financial advice:  

From the Hudson Chase Consultants' website: 
'Hudson Chase Consultants is a company that’s not owned by any large financial institutions. This means that the only things that influence the investment decisions we make are our own knowledge and experience, and you.

This makes us as cautious with your capital as you are yourself. 

We provide clients with access to a variety of tangible assets that we feel have long-term potential to outperform paper-based assets like stocks, shares, bonds and managed funds.'

Hudson Chase Consultants offers investments in: metal investments, overseas property, oil and fine assets – diamonds, wine and fine watches. 

Remarkably for a company that has only been trading under its current name for just three months, Hudson Chase Consultants claims in its overseas property section: 

'Our network of clients ranges from seasoned investors through to people seeking to purchase overseas property for the very first time.

Part of our strategy is having independent status. This enables us to ‘cherry pick’ by selecting our projects from our chosen business partners such as developers and master agents. We are therefore not tied to any company.

Our Property consultants are highly experienced and professional, offering the very best customer service available. It is for this reason that the majority of our sales still come from referrals, something we are very proud of and which we constantly strive to maintain.'

From the wine section: 
'The question we are asked over and over again is why invest in wine? Wine as an investment vehicle is not a new story but what has changed is the nature and factors currently influencing markets and driving prices higher. However, perhaps even more important is that the timing to enter the market is NOW!
 
'Entering a market at any time has an element of risk. The key to intelligent investment is knowing when to enter and when to exit – this is the added value we can add to your investment decision.' 

See also:

Savers warned to avoid dodgy cold-callers whose 'free pension reviews' could decimate their retirement pots
Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-2634937/Savers-warned-avoid-dodgy-cold-calls-offering-free-pension-reviews.html#ixzz3arVHF4iw

'People have been advised to ignore any text messages and emails of this nature they get, and hang up when they receive a cold-call.

Tracey McDermott, of the FCA, said: 'People should be very wary if they are contacted out of the blue by someone offering a ‘free pension review’.

'Most of the companies offering this ‘service’ are not authorised by us, and we’re concerned that the reviews often end with pension pots placed in higher-risk, unregulated investments.

'If you see or receive offers of "free pension reviews", just ignore them. If you are called out of the blue to discuss your pension, just hang up. Your pension is far too important to be put in the hands of a cold-caller.'

Piece of free advice from investdrinks: I wouldn't deal with any of these companies.

12 COPLEY DENE BROMLEY BR1 2PW

Read more at: http://companycheck.co.uk/company/08018247
12 COPLEY DENE BROMLEY BR1 2PW

Read more at: http://companycheck.co.uk/company/08018

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Financial Conduct Authority on Cold Calls: hang up chances it's a scam


Excellent and unequivocal advice from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Cold Calls: 'the safest thing to do is to hang up'

'If you have been cold colded about an investment opportunity, the chances are it's very risky or a scam.'

Sadly advice that thousands of people who who fallen for investment scams will now wish they had heeded.