MJS Capital assets overstated by £20 million, says administrators

According to the Evening Standard, the administrators of MJS Capital (aka Colarb) believe that CEO Shaun Prince has overstated its assets by £20 million.

Liquidator Asher Miller of David Rubin & Partners has written a report to creditors saying Colarb’s balance sheet cites assets of £39.7 million, of which Prince had said £27.7 million could be realised. However, the report says Prince’s figure appeared to be “overstated by £20 million or more” based on earlier documents signed by Prince and MJS’s two biggest portfolio companies.
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LCF administrators release first six-monthly update

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Smith & Williamson, the administrators of the £230m FCA-authorised Ponzi scheme London Capital & Finance, have released their first six-monthly update to investors.

The administrators are currently envisaging a return of "as low as 25%" to investors. This is predominantly based on expected recoveries from Independent Oil & Gas. All other LCF assets remain of extremely uncertain value.

This is actually an improvement on S&W's initial forecast of 20% as a "best case" figure. But that is little cause for celebration, given that the LCF asset with the best hope of delivering returns for investors - the "jewel in the crown", in S&W's characteristically optimistic language - is its complex interests in Independent Oil and Gas. An AIM listed oil exploration company may well have a better prospect of a return than, say, loans to failing resorts on Cape Verde, but that's not saying much.

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Bad year for celebrity-endorsed unregulated investment continues as Kevin McCloud’s HAB Land collapses

HAB (Happiness, Architecture, Beauty), a company co-founded by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, has told its investors to expect up to 97% losses.

HAB raised a total of £4.3 million in equity shares and unregulated mini-bonds from the public in 2013 and January 2017. A further fundraising in September 2017 aimed to raise up to £50 million; how much this added is unclear.

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We review Fortress Legal Finance – litigation funding bonds paying 7.12 – 11.5% per year

Fortress Legal Finance offers unregulated bonds paying 7.12% per year for a 3 year term and 11.5% per year for a 5 year term.

Funds raised are used to invest in litigation funding.

Investors in Allansons (an unrelated litigation funding scheme that collapsed earlier this year) have reported being cold-called with an offer to invest in Fortress paying 12% "guaranteed" over a 6 month period.

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Hudspiths investors succeed in bid to force it into compulsory liquidation

102 creditors of Hudspiths have succeeded in having the company's voluntary liquidation converted to a compulsory one, in a bid to gain more insight into what the collapsed unregulated scheme did with their money.

Hudspiths was an unregulated forex scheme that launched in 2015 and promised returns of 5% per month, along with 2% per month to be paid to its introducers. The scheme collapsed in 2018 and filed for voluntary liquidation in June.

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Action Fraud call handlers call fraud victims “morons” and file most reports as non-crimes

An undercover investigation by The Times into Action Fraud has revealed

  • most reports are never followed up on
  • managers mocked fraud victims as “morons”, “screwballs” and “psychos”
  • victims were misled into thinking that they were talking to a police officer rather than an outsourced call centre worker, and led to believe their case will be investigated when most reports are never followed up on

Four Action Fraud staff members have been suspended.

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