Breaking: Blackmore Bonds collapses into administration

Blackmore logo 2019

After months of delayed and missing payments and failure to file legally-required accounts, Blackmore Bonds is finally to be taken out back and put out of investors’ misery.

Administrators Duff and Phelps have been appointed by a security trustee (presumably Oak Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited), according to IFA trade rag Money Marketing. The news is little surprise as D&P were originally approached by Blackmore investors in January, seeking answers after months of delayed and missing interest payments.

Duff and Phelps are experienced in winding up investment schemes; they are currently raking over the ashes of collapsed care home scheme Carlauren and were also administrators of one of the biggest of the previous wave of investment scheme collapses, the Connaught Income Fund which collapsed in 2012 causing £118m in investor losses.

I reviewed Blackmore’s bonds in December 2017 and concluded that, despite Blackmore’s claiming to offer “Simple, fixed-rate returns with income certainty” and a “Capital Protection Scheme” backed by an obscure American insurer, the bonds were extremely high risk with an inherent possibility of up to 100% loss.

A year in the collapse of an unregulated investment scheme

In March 2019 Blackmore claimed to be “entirely on track” with return on capital employed rates of 54%.

Our business model is entirely on track and current return on capital employed averages 54 per cent. This has been verified by reputable independent surveying professionals. The first bond maturities are due at the end of 2020 and will be paid in full.

However, at around the same time it amended its website to include a warning that if new investments into Blackmore dried up, existing investors might lose some or all of their money.

There can be no guarantee of investor appetite for the Bonds to the extent predicted by the Company or, indeed, at all. In such circumstances investors may lose some or all of their investment.

Only four months later in July 2019 Blackmore defaulted on its first interest payments, although that money was eventually paid. From October onwards payments to investors dried up entirely.

Blackmore’s bonds were promoted by Surge Financial, the same marketing company as London Capital & Finance which collapsed at the beginning of last year. Blackmore paid 20% of investors’ money to Surge as commission. (Money Marketing says 25% but a belated amendment to Blackmore’s website, and its own accounts, suggest 20%.)

When London Capital and Finance collapsed in early 2019, Blackmore briefly replaced LCF on promotional websites linked to the Surge group, which coincided with a spike in traffic to Blackmore’s website.

Blackmore briefly claimed on its website to be the proud sponsor of the Kent Police rugby team, but withdrew that claim in early 2018. Kent Police said in 2018 that they agreed to accept sponsorship from Surge Financial, but withdrew from the sponsorship arrangement after Surge asked them to change the sponsor to Blackmore instead.

Blackmore also runs an offshore investment fund, Blackmore Global, which has been the subject of complaints from investors whose pensions were transferred into the fund. How the fund is performing is unknown as Blackmore Global does not release performance updates to the public (and, as an unregulated private business, has no obligation to).

Administrator Geoff Bouchier says

There has been concern regarding the company’s affairs for several months so it will be a relief for bondholders that independent professionals have now been appointed to the company.

“Relief” is not how I would describe it, but the announcement of the administration will at least begin the process of closure for Blackmore investors.

How do I get my money back from Blackmore?

If you were advised to invest in Blackmore Bonds by an FCA-regulated adviser, or invested via an FCA-regulated SIPP company without regulated advice, you may be able to recover your money by making a formal complaint to the FCA-regulated company.

If the company refuses to provide compensation, the complaint can be taken to the Financial Ombudsman, which can order compensation up to a defined limit. If the company is unable to pay, you would be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000 per person (for defaults after 1 April 2019).

Investors should avoid Claims Management Companies (CMCs) as they are unnecessary (the FOS and FSCS process is slow but straightforward), often have a lower success rate than direct complaints, and charge eye-watering fees.

If the above does not apply the standard procedure is to write off the investment and treat any recovery as a bonus.

If you invested in Blackmore Bonds, you should be on your guard against anyone contacting you and telling you that they can recover your money. It is highly likely that you will be targeted by fraud recovery fraud. If anyone asks you to pay “legal fees” or “liquidation fees” to release your money it is almost certainly a scam.

24 thoughts on “Breaking: Blackmore Bonds collapses into administration

  1. And here we go again! Brev, you and I are gaining in notoriety. Apparently you’re me or I’m you! Did you know that? Nicely stated, once again Brev!

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  2. Quietly forgotten however is the Blackmore Global incarnation of Nunn & McCreesh – the Isle of Man domiciled unregulated collective that hundreds of UK defined benefit pensions were transferred into via QROPS in the IoM – Kreston, Malta and Hong Kong based QROPS, to name just three that I have hard evidence of.

    These victims have no idea their pensions are haemorrhaging money in fees to a useless life bond that wraps their investments inside the QROP wrapper. Then there’s fees to the QROP and fees to Blackmore Global fund itself – not to mention Blackmore Global has no audited accounts to date so no one knows what financial state the fund is in.

    Nunn & McCreesh will no doubt start a new venture and this will all be repeated under a different name …. it’s a never ending cycle … round and round and round …..

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  3. As far as I know Blackmore ISAs are exactly the same as unwrapped Blackmore bonds apart from the tax status. A Blackmore ISA is just an anti-tax shield around a loan to Blackmore Bonds plc, the same loans that non ISA Blackmore investors hold. So in short, they’re bust too.

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  4. It is unclear which report of how Blackmore got into administration is correct. Brev is normally quite accurate but reports the Security Trustee instigated the administration on the basis of the money marketing report .

    However there is a group of bondholders that clubbed together to fund a lawyer to initiate a Wind Up Petition (WUP) in the High Court. My understanding was the Security Trustee would act only when it received 50% of the Bondholders requesting it.

    Other news media reports the administration was the result of the action in the High Court by the group of Bondholders.

    I am inclined to believe the WUP by the bondholders was the mechanism, not Oak, from all the chatter on facebook – there are two groups, one closed and one open. The closed one is run by the bondholder that started the collection to initiate the WUP. The open one is run by Angie Brooks of pension-life.com. Many victims belong to both.

    The open group is uncensored but in my opinion very unproductive, creating much confusion with conflicting reports and opinions centred around 3 key organisations: Oak, and Goji, the latter I believe holds some bondholders via an ISA.

    The 3rd organisation, Northernlight Surety, I believe underwrites the Capital Guarantee Scheme which supposedly will make up the difference between what the bondholders get from administration and their intial investment. There are however, conditions which can (and most likely will) invalidate that insurance, meaning there will be no payout.

    You begin to realise the importance of shielding retail investors from high risk unregulated products when you read the comments on the facebook group. These people had no idea – and still don’t – of the risk they were taking by investing their money in these bonds. Some threw everything they had into these bonds – so had no idea of “asset allocation” either. Their ignorance was clearly used as leverage by Surge Financial – the promoters. Investors were duped by the phrases “asset backed” – which Brev has constantly explained is no security if the asset value doesn’t return what you’ve invested – and the Capital Guarantee Scheme.

    However, I am told that because Blackmore promotional material had section 21 approval, it was permissible to promote them to retail clients. A controversial topic that has created much discussion on this site before. I am no authority in this so cannot comment.

    There is something very wrong with the system in my opinion and people will continue to be victims until it changes.

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  5. On the question of who initiated the administration, I relied on the Money Marketing report for the article, but believe Steve has the right of it. I previously reported on the investors approaching D&P back in January. The Security Trustee probably had some kind of hand in the process, but in my experience of how Security Trustees act, without the action of individual investors, the Security Trustee would have been happy to carry on swallowing Blackmore’s excuses indefinitely.

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  6. I really, really hope that none of the stricken investors get sucked into the Angie Brooks recovery scam mechanism exposed by radio 4’s excellent You and Yours programme recently. An unlicensed ambulance chaser preying on these poor people just to try and get the liquidator of Reigate Town Club off her back.

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  7. @Alf. I am not convinced the Radio 4 report you reference was “accurate”. The problem with it for me, was the jouranlist was relying on information “half-inched” by a disgruntled ex-employee seeking revenge.

    I know (from direct personal experience) that if there is a “settlement” being negotiated between the victim and the – for want of a better word – “facilitator” of a scam, then, in order to ensure the settlement proceeds, Angie will take down blogs if the “facilitator” makes it a condition.

    I know this can and does happen because she took down a blog or two she wrote about my receiving trustee in Malta, because they were not going to cooperate to get my pension back otherwise. So to ensure the blogs didn’t become an obstacle, or an excuse, by the trustee not to cooperate, I asked her to take them down and she did. This type of situation didn’t feature in the programme – perhaps because the truth can be boring and deflate the headline!

    We are not in full possession of the facts and knowing one of the sources of information the reporter used was a disgruntled ex-employee, I can’t help feeling we were fed fake news – which is all too prevalent these days – just to get a headline and we were not given an in depth investigation.

    I think the reporter could have been used but we’ll never know if we aren’t given the documents the reporter claimed to have based her article on.

    So I am not convinced it can be described as “excellent”. I feel the programme must be taken with a pinch of salt.

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  8. @Stephen Totally agree – we are not in full possession of the facts, I’m not sure anybody is where Brooks is concerned. She makes it up as she goes along. However, there was an IFA on the show, a correctly authorised, practicing and verifiable individual, who attested (on air) that Brooks had outlined her scheme to him and then attempted to extort monies from him. On that sole point, I asked myself two questions

    1) Why would he say it if untrue? He’s a UK-regulated IFA with a lot to lose by making any comments that might bring him or his profession into disrepute. Brooks – a purported barrister running an unlicensed claims management firm.

    2) An organisation the size of the BBC will have all manner of checks and balances in place to avoid broadcasting anything they know to be untrue as they are an obvious target for litigation having deep pockets. It is telling that in spite of the squawking from Spain the BBC haven’t retracted any of the piece.

    It would be interesting to understand how much latitude you feel there is in the “pinch of salt” to which you refer. Brooks certainly operates on the maxim of “there is no smoke without fire” so lets wash that down with another silly platitude “if she lives by the sword, she’ll die by the sword.”

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  9. @Alf, I can’t answer your 1 & 2 either. They are good questions but for me they remain still open. Your “answers” don’t follow.

    All I know is there are other, less sinister scenarios that explain the allegations made by the BBC – mine for example – but were not offered as possible explanations to balance the report and nor did the BBC seek to investigate other scenarios. I do know that they have my contact details since I had been in contact with Shari’s co-worker, back in 2017.

    I can’t explain the IFA’s “testimony” but even “reputable” politicians are known to bend the truth. It isn’t unlawful to lie – except under oath – so he really has nothing whatsoever to lose.

    There are some IFA’s that do far worse to bring their profession into disrepute – and again I have direct experience!

    I engaged the services of an IFA to assist me repatriate my pension back in 2016. At the critical moment, after many months, when the money was being transferred back to the UK, to a UK regulated scheme, he just disappeared off the face of the earth. The receiving scheme provider would contact me asking where he was because they couldn’t reach him. I too couldn’t reach him for months. Then I found this:

    https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/14760571.man-from-rickmansworth-charged-with-attempting-to-meet-underage-girl/

    Seriously? What were the chances? I am clearly not the luckiest person in the world. I had to find another IFA to help me complete the transfer. So it is not safe to assume IFA’s are whiter than white. There’s good and bad everywhere and it’s nigh on impossible to spot one from another – that’s life.

    Also, in this day and age of fake news I would not just take it for granted the BBC are whiter than white either when it comes to accurate reporting and avoiding fake news. The BBC are constrained to delivering big headlines for as little cost as they can, just like every other news outlet. That’s how the world turns. They aren’t Saints. They too can get it wrong.

    The BBC are not going to retract any of the piece because they know their legal resources far outweigh those of Angie’s and therefore she could not take them on.

    All I know is, without evidence, the BBC story is no more than hearsay by people and motives I [we] don’t know.

    In the light of no evidence being produced by the BBC, I can only compare the allegations and hearsay with my own experience and the two don’t match exactly, so for me the jury is still out.

    I have an open mind but I want to see hard evidence before I come to any conclusion. So far no one has produced any evidence. The BBC have my email address. I did ask but they didn’t comply.

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  10. What Stephen says has the ring of reality to me. I am not actively involved in recovering money for any investors in failed unregulated investments. However, I have frequently been contacted by people asking me to remove comments from Bond Review, because they have been told by an unregulated investment that if they remove the negative comments they have left, the scheme will let them have their money out.

    Mathematics dictates that only a tiny minority can get their money back this way (if the investment is eventually going to fail), but I’m not here to stop that minority getting their money back, and their comments are their property.

    So it is plausible that it is possible to get money out of an unregulated investment for a small handful of people by putting up critical blogs and then taking them down in return for individual investors’ money. It’s essentially the same thing, only the catalyst for persuading the scheme to return the money is a third party’s article instead of the investor’s own comment.

    This of course generaly only applies to a scheme that is still trading. If it has already collapsed, it is near-certain that nobody is going to be able to recover investors’ money en masse, regardless of their qualifications, the money is gone. The exception is if recourse to the FOS and FSCS is available, in which case investors should do the job themselves, as third-party claims management companies cost a huge amount and have a lower success rate than going direct. Anyone whose finances are not managed by an attorney is capable of making a successful claim to the FOS and FSCS when one is available.

    The other allegations in the BBC piece I can’t comment on.

    Having read Brooks’ own hatchet job on Flying Colours I can see why Guy Myles was very cross. I remember reading that blog at the time it came out and wondering why on earth Brooks had a bee in her bonnet about an unremarkable network of IFAs which judging by her own article hadn’t actually done anything dodgy.

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  11. “Anyone … is capable of making a successful claim to the FOS and FSCS when one is available” … I would also add the Pensions Ombudsman … and yes, I agree.

    I made a successful complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman against my ceding provider for maladministration – long story!

    Basically, any person/organisation in the chain of events that led you to invest in an unsuitable investment, that owed you a duty of care – a legal obligation to act in your best interest – but failed to discharge that duty, can be held accountable for your losses.

    It isn’t impossible but isn’t easy either. It is actually a ridiculously long process. I submitted my complaint to the POS in Sep 2018 and it finally came to a successful conclusion in Feb 2020!

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  12. Stephen, you can rest assured that Angela Brooks is actually far worse than you can ever imagine! She is a bully and not just to staff but even ex clients (us included) when they question her about her non-events that they have paid her to help with! Emails suddenly refer to member fees as ‘donations’ and she thanks clients for helping to get her to where she is by paying said donations? How does that work? Members pay her for a course of action which never happened as she didn’t have a clue what she was doing and she has made some massive errors over the years whilst honing her craft? She tried her utmost to put people off going to the Maltese Arbiter. Ask yourself why? In case your aren’t sure, it was not a money making event for her, as the victims did it all by themselves. She made promises almost 3 years ago that she was meeting with Momentum pensions. It is in writing in a block email sent to many people where she said Momentum had money aside and victims WOULD be compensated. It never happened, instead it looks like some of the money went in her pocket!!! Her membership has opened and closed too many times. She promises a course of action, entices new members telling prospective new members to join quickly before it is closed, said action never happens. She darts from one thing to another, always secretive, many untruths. She is neither regulated or registered. She said she was a barrister. She says she rescues victims quite clearly on her website. She has no interest in supporting victims at all. She is a cruel greedy woman and it is dreadful that she has not yet been brought to task. She bangs on about companies being transparent! She probably doesn’t even know what that means as it is certainly something she doesn’t practice! The wicked witch of the East, had nothing on her.

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  13. To procure money from someone under false pretences is actuality covered under section 2 of the fraud act. A criminal offence. To lie and claim being a ‘Tax Barrister,’ which doesn’t exist as a title anyway, is criminal by intent. The OFT would have issues, as do the police. If you have concerns about her fraudulent behaviour report her to action fraud. There are many that have. This will stop her costing members of schemes even more money by her ineptitude and lies.
    Do what you wish , seriously to suggest that Radio 4 haven’t irrefutable evidence is, frankly bizarre and actually stupid. Unless the person staying such drivel is complicit financially of her Procurement and theft ( technically receiving stolen property ) of Stephen Wards data base, a matter of court record. Brooks can claim all sorts though stating ‘ Ark class action ‘ was her first obvious guide to lack of legal knowledge, no such term nor process exists within U.K. law. Perhaps she saw the film Erin Brokivich? Mind you she didn’t make poorer the already disadvantaged. Deluded and her followers duped and or stupid.

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  14. Alf, The Truth and J-B Colbert tell it as it is. Accusing BBC Radio4 of presenting “fake news” is a truly Trumpian act of misdirection Stephen. If we are all so wrong in our views about Ms Brooks, show us some hard facts rather than use smoke and mirrors.
    Misdirection has been widely used by certain “Trustees” and by Pension Life to remove “pressure” and attention from one and, potentially, to provide income for associates of the other.
    I can only hope that the victims of the primary scam (loss of investments) and those who paid membership fees to PL for zero return receive compensation while all of those involved in taking money for nothing receive the justice and exposure that they so deserve.

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  15. Let´s hope that the Blackmore victims manage to recoup some of their losses, but that they don´t fall victim the second time to the false promises made by Angela Brooks of Pension Lies, sorry Pension Life.

    Before you hand over the 1500 that she charges, ask yourselves many questions:
    1. Where is her office? Is it a genuine UK base or a virtual office?
    2. Her home office in Spain. Is it registered?
    3. Is her business licensed and regulated?
    4. Are the payments made into genuine business bank accounts? Or a wide range of personal accounts across different countries?
    5. Why is there a growing number of people who are opening their eyes to her particular brand of scamming?
    6. Why did she make people sign a NDA?
    7. Who is her “mystery funder”?
    8. Why did she promise CWM victims that she had agreed re-payment terms with Momentum? Why did they never happen (listen to the BBC piece and that answers this)?
    9. Why has none of her legal action come to fruition?
    10. Why has she claimed to use many different legal and PR companies? Even one company who claims never to have heard of her.
    11. Why can people never get a refund? Even those who asked for one?
    12. Why would the BBC make up anything? I have listened to the broadcast and all the research sounds genuine. Very weak to blame it all on one disgruntled employee, I think a better description is whistle-blower.

    Many more questions, but gives you a good idea about her scamming and lies. Check out Facebook Angela Brooks Pension Life Facts.

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  16. That whole Radio 4 show on Angie Brooks was so interesting. There were elements I’d already read, such as her pretending to be a barrister, although I was astonished to hear about the bribes she obtained from Storefirst et al. I’ve had to take a further look into her murky affairs.

    Brooks is operating an unlicensed Claims Management Company (CMC) under the guise of a purported class action. My investigations so far have not uncovered any evidence of being authorised by the FCA, their predecessor the MoJ or indeed the Law Society to conduct claims management and/or litigation. This is illegal and she believes she is beyond the reach of UK authorities being in Spain. The whole operation is ostensibly a recovery scam.

    The scam was cooked up when she and her son fled to Spain from the HMRC appointed liquidators of Reigate Town Club with them being pursued for over £600,000 they misappropriated from the company. There is a very high profile liquidator on the job which not only says a lot about the chicanery Brooks employs but also why she is so desperate to extract monies from her victims and not caring about the means.

    Her model is very simple – 1) make fraudulent misrepresentations of status, expertise and experience to victims of some sort of financial misfortune, 2) extract a fee on the promise of pursuing their cause, 3) publish malicious content on her website and social media to create the appearance of doing something constructive to the lay punter, 4) extort monies by blackmailing those operating or involved with ailing/failed investment schemes. Be under no illusion, this woman is dangerous, devious and cunning.

    The disturbing thing is that she is operating as part of a conspiracy including her sons and various other shills which include regulated individuals, hanging around trying to pick up “victims” as clients.

    Apparently, another of Brooks’ tricks is to make vexatious complaints to professional regulatory bodies in an attempt to cow professionals who will not do her bidding and question her lack of knowledge, experience or influence in front of her victims.

    She makes an awful lot of money for somebody with no credibility and no clue.

    Why haven’t the BBC been forced into a retraction of into court if their claims were false as she has stated? Why hasn’t she published a full rebuttal dealing with all facts in public? It all smells very, very stinky.

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  17. Well said everyone re Brooks, she really is a horror! CBIE – Spot on, so why has she not yet been stopped from operating? Why are more people not wising up to her? How can people listen to a BBC report and still back her?

    She has now started up a new UK company ready for her next game, take a look on companies house UK.! For a long time she used a virtual address for her business, a London address, not illegal, well not as long as you add it to your website and all stationary of course! Did she? Nope!

    She also claimed to have met with the OAFS to discuss the CWM /Momentum scam. Like the Arbiters office would meet with her to discuss private claims that had nothing to do with her! Instead she managed to rope a few more clients in on the back of it!

    And how did she come by all the CWM victims personal email addresses? That was most certainly not an accident as she claims, in writing!

    Hideous woman!

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  18. Yeah, to accuse me of “… a truly Trumpian act of misdirection Stephen”, simply means you do not know me at all and you are making a rash judgement.

    Nor have I said Angie Brooks is innocent of all charges the BBC laid at her door.

    Moreover, to make the assumption the BBC is above “fake news” is also misguided. They are not whiter than white.

    I merely presented a scenario based on my own, real situation, that COULD explain the allegation she removes blogs for money. I was illustrating how a similar scenario could be provide a competely innocent explanation for removing a blog. I didn’t say it was the only scenario or that the programme’s allegations were clearly fake news. Everyone should view any news article with an open mind – which is ALL I WAS DOING. But some people seem to have misinterpreted it.

    I asked Shari Vahl for some evidence of the allegations the programme made and she wouldn’t share it. Now there may be very good reasons – which she wouldn’t tell me – for not sharing it. However, I do know that the source of the evidence was from a disgruntled ex-employee and anyone who has lived in the real world knows just how vindictive ex-employees can be if they have a grievance; their motives can be very selfish and distorting the truth is a real possibility.

    Given an ex-employee with a grievance then the “evidence” given to the BBC could (and probably would be) biased and maybe the BBC were not in full possession of the facts. It is often the case with news reports, that some “evidence” whilst correct, when taken out of context, can present a completely different picture.

    I am NOT saying Angie Brooks is innocent, but to conclude she is guilty when the evidence isn’t shared with us is not how I generally go about things. I challenge and question everything.

    I offered an alternative pov, for people to compare. Nothing else, nothing more sinister than that.

    However people these days refuse to consider any other pov once they have made up their own mind!

    I have hard evidence of my own situation that I put forward; it wasn’t hearsay, it wasn’t some made up scenario it was real and it was what happened to me personally. But I am NOT going to print the evidence here because it contains highly personal data – mine. But at least I am giving a reason why I am not sharing it. Vahl gave no explanation for not sharing the data they had acquired from the ex-employee, didn’t even share the nature of the evidence. I am not saying the BBC doesn’t have “some evidence” but the nature of the evidence and its context is important to ensure the reporting of it is as it happened.

    What I am impressed with is Brev does report facts, with evidence, not just hearsay but then people make “comments” and … well, we’ll say no more on that eh? 😉

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  19. You have your point of view Stephen S based on “hard evidence”. I have my own evidence and point of view both of which are based upon facts too. I too have hard evidence concerning my own case which I will not reveal on a public forum. This evidence points to Ms A Brooks taking money from scam victims and failing to do anything substantial for it.
    You have referred to a “disgruntled ex-employee” giving evidence to the BBC reporter which indicates that you believe Ms Brooks account of stolen data. Do you have proof that this data was stolen or that the data is false? Do you simply believe Ms Brooks account which itself was presented without facts to back it up? If so, that suggests bias and pre-judgement on your part. If you are proposing that the “disgruntled employee” (if such a person does exist) is the only source of evidence, you are incorrect. If you are stating that the evidence is “hearsay” then again you are incorrect. Perhaps you are misguided. Misguidance and misdirection are techniques often employed by primary and secondary scammers.
    You are free to express your opinion and to imply that other people’s views are invalid but that is also the right of every other person able to access this forum and therefore you should not be overly surprised when your opinions are questioned. Perhaps no more should be said about that?

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  20. “This evidence points to Ms A Brooks taking money from scam victims and failing to do anything substantial for it.”

    As it happens, I am in EXACTLY the same situation as you in this regard.

    However, the main thrust of the BBC programme was about the issue of extorting money from those involved in the scam, that she bolgs about, and in return she would remove the blog. That was the allegation I was questioning by offering a more innocent explanation for the removal of blogs, drawn from my own experience.

    I do not know if the data was stolen, nor do I care. Nor do I know if the data is true or false – because I haven’t seen it. Moreover, I never said it was false. I suggested it is often the case with journalists to present valid correct data out of context and from it make a false allegation that is more “newsworthy” than a boring old innocent explanation.

    I do know about the existence of the disgruntled employee, a) she was mentioned on the programme, however not described as “disgruntled” but b) I had brief communication with said employee and that’s how I learned there were “grievances” and felt free to interpret that as “disgruntled”. So maybe the “disgruntled” might be incorrect but I felt a “happy, content” ex-employee would not have taken data to the media and made such an allegation. So I stand by that description.

    I feel you are mixing up the two issues raised in the programme. (1) the main allegation of taking money from scammers to remove blogs and (2) the allegation that she takes money from victims, with false hopes of recovery but delivers nothing for it.

    I concur with (2), as, like you I am ALSO a victim of that very same issue. I have commented on this a few times, the latest here: https://bondreview.co.uk/2020/06/23/fca-permanently-bolts-empty-stable-with-extended-minibond-ad-ban/#comments

    You also said: “If you are stating that the evidence is “hearsay” then again you are incorrect.” However I would wager – a lot – you have ZERO evidence of the main allegation (1). That remains “hearsay” until evidence is presented, and Vahl refused to share it with me when I asked her. I am rarely incorrect. The evidence you have is regarding allegation (2) and I also have such evidence. That wasn’t in doubt.

    I offered a scenario, from my own experience, that could be seen as an innocent explaination for the main allegation presented in the programme, that she was taking down blogs for her own gain. I never said the other issue (2) was false.

    However, evidence of allegation (2) (which I also have and, it seems you too) does not prove allegation (1) and it was allegation (1) I questioned. Note, I was simply “questioning” the allegation, not disputing it, nor saying it was untrue! I just posited another valid scenario and accused the BBC of insufficient research to discover the real truth behind the allegation and possibly guilty of “fake news” – that’s what fake news is.

    I don’t just believe Ms. Brooks account. I never said that either. Nor do I just believe the media account, even if it is the BBC!

    I have no issue with people questioning my opinions. But it is frustrating when people mix up the issues and then accuse me of things I haven’t actually said! I am rarely misguided. In the pension scam space I am pretty much crystal clear! Been there, done that and got all the scars! You just don’t know me.

    Maybe what I shouldn’t be overly surprised about, is people misprepresenting my opinions and then questioning that! It actually happens a lot here, and not just to me!

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