The adinistrators of Asset Life plc, which collapsed in August 2019 owing £8 million to bond investors, have released their latest update.
Unfortunately there's not much to report as both of the investments that constitute what is left of Asset Life plc have gone dark on the administrators. Prospects for recoveries from either still look bleak.
When I reviewed the Imperial Investments Ponzi scheme I questioned whether co-founder Scott Wood actually existed. Unlike co-founder and habitual Red Bull drinker Dan Pugh, who fronts all Imperial's Facebook videos, Scott Wood kept in the background, with no public image other than a photo of some baby.
Thanks to reader "CG", I can reveal that Scott Wood does exist and is a convicted cannabis producer.
According to the Financial Times, 13 people are to be sued by the administrators of London Capital & Finance in an attempt to recover £178 million of investors' money.
The administrator of Dolphin Trust (latterly known as German Property Group, and referred to here by its more well-known and less generic name) has revealed that the accounts are in a "total mess". As reported by FT Adviser:
In a letter in August partner Tim Beyer wrote: “Please note that we have found a total mess over here. It will take at least to the end of September before the insolvency court will have issued court orders for all companies of the GPG group.
“And due to the fact that the bookkeeping, the documentation and all other relevant information regarding assets, money, etc. are incomplete, not available in the first place or just a total mess, we probably need at least until the beginning of 2021 before we are in a position to talk about any concrete investment or assets.”
Ponzi scheme Imperial Investments, which promises investors returns of 350% per year, has been listed as a scam firm by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Intercare offers unregulated care home investments paying "assured rental income" of up to 10% per year for investing in care home bedrooms.
Intercare guarantees to buy the bedroom back off the investor after 3, 5, 9, 15 or 20 years; the guaranteed purchase price includes an uplift of an additional 3% per year for the first 5 years, and 2% per year for the subsequent 15.
for a review of Intercare's care room investment.
In October 2018 I reviewed The Capital Bridge's IFISA bonds paying 9% per year. The Capital Bridge, whose full name was initially Capital Bridge Bondco 1 and then First Northbridge (it looks unlikely there'll ever be a sequel) loaned investors' money to Capital Bridging Finance Solutions Limited.
CBFS went into administration in April and The Capital Bridge inevitably followed it into administration in June. [Hat tip to reader Alex Wright who brought the collapse to my attention.]
Acorn Property Bonds (a trading name of RST Group Holdings plc) offers unregulated bonds paying up to 12% per year as follows:
- 8.5% per year for a 3 year investment with income paid out
- 10% per year for a 3 year investment with interest paid at the end of the term
- 10.5% per year for a 5 year investment with income paid out
- 12% per year for a 5 year investment with interest paid at the end of the term
for a review of Acorn's property bonds.
Last November, following up on a Private Eye story, I asked whether the FCA had withdrawn a "scam warning" against the international billion-dollar Ponzi scheme OneCoin, after threats from notorious libel lawyers Carter-Fuck (more vulgarly known as Carter-Ruck).
As a refresher, OneCoin took in £4 billion from investors in exchange for "OneCoins", its made-up cryptocurrency. OneCoins were given an imaginary and ever-increasing value, which investors could cash out to a very limited degree via an exchange. These withdrawals were funded by new investors' money, in the classic Ponzi scheme fashion.
Cafelavista offers returns of 15% per year to investors who invest in its coffee machines.
Investors buy coffee machines for £3,000 each (+ £600 VAT if they are not VAT registered) and then rent back their machine to Cafelavista, which promises to pay a total of £5,700 per machine back to them (in rental income, an annual “ingredient bonus” and a final “balloon payment”) over a six year term, after which Cafelavista promises to take the vending machine back.
This gives an average return of 15% per year, or 9.7% if the investor has to pay £600 VAT on top of their initial purchase.
Continue reading for a review of Cafelavista's coffee machine investment.