Legend Lane – investment in unregulated forex, gold, energy drinks and “mystical” mumbo-jumbo

Legend Lane logo

Legend Lane is offering various unregulated investments which include:

  • Legend Lane FX Trading Platform – investment in forex paying fixed interest of 24% for a one year investment
  • Legend Lane Gold Product – investment in gold paying fixed interest of 24% for a one year investment
  • Legend Lane 1314 – investment in property paying fixed interest of 9% per year
  • Silver Sun Living – investment into Senior Housing paying 6-8% returns
  • Investment into a “Film Production Fund” paying 10% per year for 2 years (described on the website as “release summer 2018”)
  • Investment into Loco Energy Drinks paying 9% per year for 2 years
  • Investment into “Black Cat”, an “anonymous, daring, adventurous, prestigious, defining, liberating, dynamic, mystical” investment into something undisclosed paying 30% over one year

Who are Legend Lane?

Legend Lane has two UK registered companies: Legend Lane Limited and Legend Lane Group Limited (previously known as Legend Lane (Glasgow) Limited and still referred to by its old name on the website).

Legend Lane directors

Legend Lane is jointly owned by its directors, Gregory (Greg) Paul Heywood and Christopher (Chris) Glendinning Miller.

At the time of its last filings, both Legend Lane Group Limited and Legend Lane Limited were shell companies holding only £100 and £80 share capital respectively.

Both Greg Heywood and Chris Miller were previously directors of The Step Properties Holdings plc, which ceased operating in 2008 and was dissolved in 2010. A related company owned by Heywood, Heywood Property Investments, collapsed as a consequence owing £3.6 million to HSBC Bank. Only £1.27 million was recovered from the company.

Another former The Step director, Leigh Heywood, is currently CEO (though non-shareholder) of Aston Darby, an unregulated investment into airport car parks.

How safe is the investment?

Legend Lane’s investments are all unregulated capital-at-risk investments and if Legend Lane defaults you risk losing up to 100% of your money.

Most of Legend Lane’s investments (forex, gold, property) consist of fixed interest investments. If Legend Lane fails to make sufficient returns from its underlying activities, there is a risk that it may run out of money to pay investors’ interest and capital.

Legend Lane also offers investment in senior care suites with promises of a fixed return and an “assured buyback” after 15 years. For more details of how these investments work in theory, and the risks involved, see my general guide to investing on hotel rooms (this involves senior living suites rather than hotel rooms, but the investment structure is the same).

For the sake of brevity, I will not analyse every single one of Legend Lane’s offered investments in detail. There are however a number of red flags which immediately jump out.

1) Lack of FCA authorisation

A number of Legend Lane’s activities require authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority, such as its claim to run an FX platform and a film production fund.

Legend Lane’s website also constitutes a clear financial promotion which induces investors to invest in its products.

A search for “Legend Lane” on the FCA register produced no results.

Carrying out regulated activities and issuing financial promotions in the UK without FCA authorisation is a criminal offence.

2) Misleading claims

Legend Lane refers on its website to making £500,000 in charitable contributions “since we began in 2012″. There is no evidence that Legend Lane existed prior to 2016, when its Companies House registration began.

Legend Lane literature refers to the company “formerly trading via two consultancy companies that have amalgamated into Legend Lane Limited”. No details of these companies are provided and Legend Lane Limited’s last accounts (May 2018) show it to be a shell company holding £80 in assets.

Legend Lane did not exist prior to 2016 and there is no evidence that any older trading company has been merged into it whose history Legend Lane can lay claim to.

Legend Lane also displays an Investors In People logo on its website. Investors In People has confirmed that Legend Lane is not accredited by them.

3) Nonsensical investments

Legend Lane’s forex bond (paying 24% in one year) claims that only 10% of investors’ money will be put at risk. If Legend Lane loses 10%, it will give investors the option to withdraw with their remaining 90%.

6. How is my capital protected?
The Legend lane FX Platform offers capital protection ensuring only 10% of the invested amount is ever at risk. Only 5% – 10% of client’s monies are traded at any one time. The remaining balance of 90% remains secured with the liquidity provider. All trading will cease in the event that the client account loses 10%. In this scenario the client will be given the option to exit the investment and receive 90% of their capital back within 14 days.

Why exactly investors would want to give Legend Lane 90% of their money so they can just sit on it I have no idea. If I want to put only 10% of my capital at risk, then I am quite capable of investing 10% and keeping 90% in my own bank account, where I will get more interest, more tax-efficiently than Legend Lane can achieve as a business.

Moreover, in order to generate returns of 24% per annum on the total investment while only trading 10% of investors’ money, Legend Lane effectively has to generate annualised returns of 240% per annum from forex trading, plus costs, on the amount put at risk. (At current cash interest rates, the 90% not at risk can be safely assumed to earn almost nothing.)

If Legend Lane is capable of consistently generating 240% annualised returns, why bother soliciting investment over the Internet when they could keep their method to themselves and be billionaires within a few years?

While it is possible to generate very high returns from forex trading in the short term, in the long term forex trading is a zero sum game, and Legend Lane’s claim to be able to generate 240% per year returns from forex in order to generate 24% per year for investors while only putting 10% of their money at risk is a screaming red flag.

As this is an unregulated investment, investors will have virtually no protection if Legend Lane fails to keep 90% in cash as promised and defaults on its promise to return at least 90% to investors if its forex trading fails.

Its gold bond paying 24% per year makes little more sense. Gold is a highly volatile commodity. Similar to forex, while it is possible to make short-term profits in the gold market, nowhere in Legend Lane’s investment literature does it adequately explain how they expect to make a predictable 24% return in one year from buying and selling gold.

And we will finish with my favourite investment of all, the Black Cat investment paying 30% in one year.

Black Cat investment FAQs
Shut up and take my money!

How does Legend Lane intend to generate this 30%? No idea. According to the literature, “no information is all the information you need”. The Black Cat investment literature contains a load of specious waffle, irrelevant quotes, and a series of FAQs which are all answered “No information”.

Essentially, Legend Lane’s Black Cat is a modern updating of a famous investment from the South Sea bubble of the 18th century, which advertised “a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is“.

Next morning, at nine o’clock, this great man opened an office in Cornhill. Crowds of people beset his door, and when he shut up at three o’clock, he found that no less than one thousand shares had been subscribed for, and the deposits paid. He was thus, in five hours, the winner of 2,000 pounds. He was philosopher enough to be contented with his venture, and set off the same evening for the Continent. He was never heard of again.

– Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841

Between Legend Lane’s illegal financial promotions and regulated activity, implausible returns and nonsensical investments, and its false claim to have Investors in People accreditation, it is clear that investors should not hand over their money unless they are content with the risk that its directors will do exactly the same.

Should I invest with Legend Lane?

This blog does not give financial advice. The following are statements of publicly available facts or widely accepted investment principles, not a personalised recommendation. Investors should consult a regulated independent financial adviser if they are in any doubt.

Notwithstanding the regulatory issues raised above, there is nothing illegal in running an unregulated investment by itself. Even if Legend Lane defaults on its various bonds and investors lose all their money, that, by itself, will not mean it has done anything wrong.

Any investment in a single company is high risk. Any investment offering returns of 24-30% per annum has an extremely high chance of loss.

Do not proceed unless you are prepared for total losses.

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7 thoughts on “Legend Lane – investment in unregulated forex, gold, energy drinks and “mystical” mumbo-jumbo

  1. Talk about Jack of all trades – pun intended – master of none! This has to be the strangest report I have yet read on this site! It beggars belief; even Tweedledee & Tweedledum would not have devised such an investment proposal! I am speechless. Who would even consider this? This one takes the biscuit imho.

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  2. Omg !! I worked for Leigh Heywood for the company mentioned , I signed Legend lane as an agent in September 2017 because Leigh Heywood told me too. I then questioned the fact Greg Heywood had signed the agreement because he was banned from being a director I was told not to worry and 2 month later Chris Miller signed the new agreement. Chris Miller is still involved with Aston Darby and they still use Drake estates bank account through Chris Miller to get the investors to send funds. Chris Miller then sends the money to Leigh Heywood. All transfers and documents were kept !

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  3. Paul sounds like a person that could write an informed and enlightening “article” on this company and these investments. Such an article would probably be outside the scope of this site unfortunately, if I understand this site correctly. The story sounds very intriguing!

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  4. Since this review was posted, Legend Lane has removed the false claim of Investors In People accreditation from its website. It has also changed its investment offering, removing the “mystical” Black Cat investment.

    This review was accurate as at the timestamp at the top of the article and a copy of the relevant pages of the old website has been retained.

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  5. We take all feedback and comments on our company seriously. We are committed to working within a regulatory compliant structure. Each of the products that we offer has been subject to stringent due diligence and would not be offered unless we were able to fully establish the viability of delivering fully on the promise.

    We do not offer a retail Forex platform. However, for high-net worth individuals and sophisticated investors there is available a loan note paying a fixed interest of 2% each month accumulating to 24% each year. We also offer a similar investment into gold along with a range of other opportunities.

    Heywood Property Investments Limited was not related to The Step Properties Holdings plc. Heywood Property Investments Limited owned office space purchased before the financial crisis of 2008 and the figures quoted represent the deficit left owing following a sale into an adverse market.
    All of the investments are high-risk investments and under no circumstances are available to any retail investor. We have in place a robust process to ensure that this is enforced. Because they are never publicly offered and not available to the retail investor, there is no requirement for regulation to be in place. Thus, we are not regulated. In any event it is probable that none of our investments would be suitable for retail investments.

    Our team has been involved with a number of sustainability programs and charities over the years with individual members being trustees. The total amount given by all of those who have had any involvement with Legend Lane does in fact exceed £500,000. We are all very proud of the philanthropic work that has been done.

    It is said that we effectively have to generate an annualised return to 240% per annum from forex trading. It is difficult to understand the logic and reasoning behind this suggestion. We do not generate a return of 240% per annum. However, we do generate a sufficient return to be able to pay 2% each month on the monies invested together with a modest commission to those involved.
    The Black Cat is an opportunity to invest in the creditability of our brand and nothing more. It was conceived following the feedback provided by a number of our investors and offered on an exclusive basis only. It is now solely retained on this foundation.

    In respect of the investment into our forex loan note, we have paid every monthly dividend on time and meticulously honoured every commitment. We accept it is a high-risk investment and also it is a high return. Going forward it is our expectation to continue to so do. It is very difficult to understand exactly what more we could possible do as we take the view that everything that we are expected to do has been done.

    Gregory P Heywood and Christopher G Miller
    Directors Legend Lane Group Limited

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  6. We are committed to working within a regulatory compliant structure.

    Strange choice of words for a company that relies on exemptions in the Financial Services and Markets Act to offer financial products while not being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    We take all feedback and comments on our company seriously.

    I’m glad you take your company seriously, because ain’t nobody else going to.

    We do not offer a retail Forex platform.

    Nobody said you did. You are the only person here talking about retail forex platforms. The statement in the review that you run a forex platform comes directly from your own literature.

    Heywood Property Investments Limited was not related to The Step Properties Holdings plc.

    Apart from the fact tbat Greg Heywood was a director of both, and that Innovation House, the head office of The Step, was owned by Heywood Property Investments Limited. And that companies related to Heywood Property Investments ceasing to trade was part of the chain of events that led Heywood Property Investments to go bust. All this is a matter of public record, as per Companies House and the administrator’s report.

    You are saying that apart from the two companies having the same director, tbe same head office (which HPI owned), and HPI going bust as a direct result of related companies ceasing operations, as disclosed by the administrator, the two companies were not related.

    Do you think we are completely stupid?

    It is said that we effectively have to generate an annualised return to 240% per annum from forex trading. It is difficult to understand the logic and reasoning behind this suggestion.

    It’s not difficult in the slightest.

    Legend Lane’s literature (at the time of this review) stated that 90% of investors’ money is parked with the “liquidity provider” and only 10% used to actually trade forex. If I take £100,000 of someone’s money on a promise of 24% per annum returns and trade forex with it, I need to generate returns of £24,000 in one year on that £100,000 (24%) (after costs) to make good on my promise. If I leave half of it parked in cash (which earns nothing, or close enough), now I have to generate a return of £24,000 on a forex investment of £50,000, which is 48%. The investor is still expecting 24% of £100,000. If I leave 90% of it parked in cash, the return on investment required is 240%.

    The Black Cat is an opportunity to invest in the creditability of our brand and nothing more

    And the credibility of your brand generates consistent external revenue of 30% a year after costs and overheads by…

    In respect of the investment into our forex loan note, we have paid every monthly dividend on time and meticulously honoured every commitment.

    \In the absence of a long history (i.e. not 0-2 years) of paying interest and capital repayments in full, and audited accounts showing the company generates sufficient external revenue to continue doing so, this means literally nothing.

    It is very difficult to understand exactly what more we could possible do as we take the view that everything that we are expected to do has been done.

    I’m afraid I have no constructive suggestions as to how to make your investment offering more credible.

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  7. Stephen , I could write a autobiography about the goings on of Legend lane and Aston Darby. Very hard to make a credible product when lode hill Manchester airport parking site has a 500k option on it and Aston Darby don’t own it and guess what 2 years later and the company secretary is telling the investors that it’s a error on the clients side regarding titles.

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