Introducer turns on Carlauren and approaches “fraud litigation” lawyers as investors allege it took 10% commission

Rancor continues to circle the crumbling Carlauren Group.

Carlauren, reviewed here in April 2018, raised money from investors promising 10% per year returns from investment in care homes. The company run out of money to pay investors in February 2019, and its collapse has meant frail and elderly care home residents being ejected with 24 hours’ notice, and hotel properties left to rot.

On the public Facebook group Sandown Hub, a resident of Sandown noticed that one of its former introducers, One Touch Property Investment (officially One Touch Solution Ltd), was apparently continuing to sell units in its care home.

One Touch clarified that it was no longer selling Carlauren investments. In the ensuing thread, it revealed that it has approached a “fraud litigation solicitor” on behalf of investors to pursue Carlauren over “misrepresentation”.

(The conversation below took place in the public domain, in a public Facebook group, but personal names have been blanked as a courtesy.)

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Angry clients of One Touch queried One Touch’s own role, accusing it of taking 10% of Carlauren investors’ money in commission.

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One Touch did not deny taking 10% in commission, though it did dispute a supposed accusation that it made “millions” (no investor actually mentions “millions” in the thread).

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What One Touch’s company records actually show is: not a lot. The company has consistently used small company exemptions and does not publish its profit and loss account via Companies House, meaning that how much One Touch received for selling Carlauren investments is unknown.

Several investors suggested One Touch should refund to investors the commission it made from selling Carlauren investments. One Touch did not respond to these requests.

Administration update

Three Carlauren entities are already in administration, with Quantuma LLP appointed as administrators: Carlauren Lifestyle Resorts, Carlauren Care and Accordiant. The latter was responsible for the committment to pay returns of 10% per year to investors.

Quantuma recently revealed, in their initial report into Accordiant, that they have applied for the wider Carlauren group into administration. As at September 2019 an initial hearing had been adjourned, and the Administrators are awaiting a hearing date.

In the meantime, director Sean Murray has been required “to give undertakings to the Court that each of the respondent companies’ assets will not be disposed of or dealt with in any way other than the ordinary course of business”.

Carlauren’s directors are opposing their application to put the wider Carlauren Group into administration and have challenged the validity of the current Administration.

Carlauren itself is adopting either an ostrich or “lights are on but nobody’s home” approach to the administration. Carlaurengroup.com now redirects to carlaurenlifestyle.com, which makes no mention of the administration.

10 thoughts on “Introducer turns on Carlauren and approaches “fraud litigation” lawyers as investors allege it took 10% commission

  1. One Touch Property is nothing but a scam. The pods they sell are useless. My brother bought a student pod that had missed payments and worth a fraction what was paid for. Do not invest with these frauds. Thank god he never invested in a retirement home – my heart goes out to all those investors lost their money.

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  2. They only cared about the commissions they were earning. I personally purchased a care unit in March 19 and received only 1 rental payment. They claimed they had due diligence with a Carlauren, they claimed they gave years of experience and they sold the units as risk free

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  3. Dear Max,

    We would like to hear more about your brother’s student property resale. Did he have to sell in a hurry? Was any property refurbishment undertaken before the unit was made available for sale. Property prices can go up or down in value and older student properties will need some redecorating after 5 years – just like any other buy-to-let property.

    We have had a successful track record of selling student property for a profit. This property was purchased for £69,500 and sold two years later for £74,500 https://www.zoopla.co.uk/property/flat-17/primus-place/56-gateway-street/leicester/le2-7nt/31845192.

    Investors can log on Land Registry and download the title deeds for other examples of pod resales https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices title deed numbers MS599095 and MS649045.

    We have won numerous awards for our student property sourcing https://www.onetouchinvestment.co.uk/property-investment-company/awards-and-accreditations/ and our company records, including profit and loss, can be viewed on https://companycheck.co.uk/company/06631427/ONE-TOUCH-SOLUTION-LIMITED/companies-house-data. We do not know the exact details of your situation and whether, or not, you had to sell in a rush. The resales process normally takes two to three months.

    Saverio Lisco thanks for your comment. We had visited Carlauren properties and conducted research into the rental demand before we started working with them. Care homes typically produce a 22% – 30% operating profit as confirmed by our accountants.

    We have been marketing care homes since 2015 and several of our clients have had good experiences such as John Wadham:

    “I invested in two care homes in 2015 and my investment has performed exactly as set out by One Touch Property Investment (10% annual return plus a really generous final settlement) in their original sales documentation. In addition, the service from One Touch has been first-rate – so much so that I have made two further, similar investments that have performed equally well. Totally reliable and trustworthy, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending One Touch Property Investment to other investors.”

    Every investment carries a risk; however, the fundamentals of the care home market are very good due to the supply/ demand imbalance. With the right team, success is very likely. Mr. Sean Murray appears to have misspent the funds. When your property is refurbished, it will also be a good investment. We have been working closely with administrators to bring the properties under their control so that the best outcome can be achieved on each property.

    One Touch Property Investment

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  4. We had visited Carlauren properties and conducted research into the rental demand before we started working with them. Care homes typically produce a 22% – 30% operating profit as confirmed by our accountants.

    Generic market research is not due diligence. Care homes typically do not pay 10% commission to unregulated introducers to source investment from individual investors, so what care homes may or may not typically produce as their operating profit margin is irrelevant to Carlauren.

    We have been marketing care homes since 2015

    Where care homes are promoted to investors with a fixed yield, as Carlauren was (10% per year), this means they are not property investments but investments in a collective investment scheme, as investors’ money is pooled to pay the 10% yield. What regulatory authorisation does One Touch Property hold to promote unregulated collective investment schemes?

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  5. Dear Brev,

    We are regulated by The Property Ombudsman http://www.tpos.co.uk/index.php (Our membership number is D9519) 

    A proud member of The Property Ombudsman; their role is to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between members of the public and estate agents who are members of the TPO Scheme or who have registered with the TPO under the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Approved Estate Agents Redress Scheme.  

    We received legal opinion from the developer’s barrister that the investment was not FCA regulated. Investors could choose to live in the property or manage it themselves. As it is property investment, not a bond or a share within a company. As an estate agent, we are able to introduce the property to potential investors.

    We would gladly share the barrister’s advice with potential customers.

    Saverio Lisco and One Touch are engaging with The Property Ombudsman to review any issues with the services provided by our company. Once they have reviewed the fact, they will provide their findings – which we will openly share on your informative platform.

    If the TPO supports any customer claim, we have professional indemnity insurance with a reputable insurance firm. If one of our investment consultants made statements that did not represent the information provided by the developer, our insurance company is there to provide our customer with the peace of mind.

    One Touch Investment

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  6. We are regulated by The Property Ombudsman http://www.tpos.co.uk/index.php (Our membership number is D9519)

    The Property Ombudsman does not regulate authorisation to promote unauthorised collective investment schemes.

    As it is property investment, not a bond or a share within a company.

    When a limited company asks for your money and promises to pay 10% of your investment back every year in exchange, that’s a bond.

    When a company pools investors’ money to pay fixed returns of 10% per year from a care home business in which they have no day-to-day involvement, that’s an unauthorised collective scheme (FSMA section 235, FCA v Capital Alternatives, FCA v Park First, etc).

    A property investment is when you buy a property and then have to generate your own returns from it – with day to day control over the property, and no pooling of profits with other investors in the property.

    Nobody cares about the inaccurate opinions of a barrister paid by a now collapsed unauthorised collective investment.

    Saverio Lisco and One Touch are engaging with The Property Ombudsman to review any issues with the services provided by our company. Once they have reviewed the fact, they will provide their findings – which we will openly share on your informative platform.

    Feel free. My prediction is that the Property Ombudsman are going to tell them that it’s not their problem as they don’t regulate unauthorised collective investment schemes.

    If Mr Lisco bought the care home suite outright to live in it, with no return of 10% per year promised, that would be another matter.

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  7. Sean Murray has lost control of Carlauren in court today, great news for the 30 investors who paid administrators to get this done, without any help from the agent you sold properties for them at a profit

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  8. Hi Saverio, as you are aware… we recommended the solicitors who represented the investors. We also made the application to bring Carlauren Lifestyle Resorts Ltd into administration, which helped Quantuma obtain control of the entire Carlauren Group. Quantuma’s managing partner said:

    “I would now like to take time to thank you and One Touch for supporting the Applications that we launched in August 2019 to gain control of Carlauren Group Limited and Carlauren International Holdings Ltd (now Casarian Holdings Ltd). As you know, the Applications were bitterly resisted by Sean Murray and the final hearings only took place between 26 and 28 November 2019. The support that you gave to those Applications was noted by the Judge and it assisted with him making the Orders requested over both of the Group holding companies.

    We are now in a position to take control over all of the properties and trading companies and consider the best strategy for the recovery of funds wherever possible.”

    Many thanks

    Kind regards

    Carl Jackson
    Managing Partner
    Quantuma LLP
    http://www.quantuma.com

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  9. I was not aware of this as we have instructed Duff and Phelps to get administration of the Carlauren Group. Quantuma never informed investors, perhaps Mark Hendrick, should come cleaner on who decided to claim victory with

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