Privilege Wealth administrators file update: no further recoveries but Sioux Indian payday loans have a value

The administrators of "possible Ponzi scheme" Privilege Wealth have filed their latest six-monthly progress report earlier this month.

Since the last update, no further recoveries have been made to date and the total recovered from the scheme remains just under £91,000. Costs of the administration rose to £83,000, with the increase in the period consisting almost entirely of a further £39,000 in legal fees spent on attempting to gain control of Privilege's assets. The administrators have not received any further fees since the last update, as their fees are fixed at 30% of recoveries.

The most eye-catching item in the progress report is that the administrators now have a figure for the potential value of the Rosebud lending loan book, a portfolio of payday loans to members of the Sioux Indian tribe of South Dakota.

Continue reading...


Johnny Mercer appears on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You while suing them for libel

Johnny Mercer MP's appearance on Have I Got News For You didn't reach the heights of car-crash TV and may not even make the end-of-season highlights episode. It may however make it into the textbooks of law students - to my knowledge, no-one who is suing a corporation for libel has ever appeared on a comedy panel show hosted by that corporation immediately after beginning proceedings.

Mercer appears to be so confident in his hand that he's showed it to the BBC before betting has even started.

Normally it would be slightly unfair to overanalyse what people on comedy panel shows say, as they're there to be funny, not 100% accurate. However, it's still worth examining Mercer's stated position on his Crucial Academy job, as this was essentially a preview of a libel action. Held on the defendant's home turf, as opposed to the neutral ground of a court.

It is also worth examining what the BBC said (via David Tennant's autocue) as well. The BBC didn't lose any time before doubling down on their allegation - which Mercer regards as libel - that Mercer's salary can be linked to LCF.

Continue reading...

Investors queue round the block to attend London Capital & Finance creditors’ meeting

London Capital & Finance logo

A lengthy queue formed outside Holborn's City Temple Conference Centre on Wednesday as hundreds of London Capital & Finance victims attended a meeting called by the administrators.

Mike Stubbs, a lawyer for Mishcon de Reya who is working with the administrators, described LCF's record-keeping as "virtually hallucinogenic . . . The whole show was a complete shambles."

The administrators revised the best-case recovery estimation from 20% of the amount invested to 20-25%. This is apparently based on the "strong performance" of Independent Oil and Gas, described by administrators as the "jewel in the crown".

"Turd that wouldn't flush" would seem to be a more fitting description of IOG as far as LCF's interests go. It seems unlikely that leaving IOG as the only asset in LCF that currently has any measurable realisable value (aside from cash in the bank and a whirlybird) was part of any coherent strategy on the part of LCF's former directors.

Continue reading...

Basset & Gold files 2018 accounts; just under £30 million raised from investors

Basset & Gold has filed its accounts for the year ending September 2018.

Basset & Gold is now one of the UK's most visible issuers of unregulated bonds, thanks to its sponsorship of Premier League football team West Ham United.

It currently offers a one-year "Fixed Monthly Income Pensioner Bond" paying 4.24% over the year a 3-year IFISA paying 6.12% per year, and a 5-year IFISA paying 8.15%. All are capital at risk investments that, like any loan to a micro-cap unlisted company, have a risk of up to 100% loss.

According to its accounts, it now owes just under £30 million to investors, up from £13 million in 2017.

Its net assets position is slightly above water at £233,784.

Continue reading...

Johnny Mercer MP blasts coverage of his Surge non-exec role as a conspiracy against him

London Capital & Finance logo

Several weeks after his £350-an-hour non-executive position in Crucial Academy was exposed, which was formerly part of the Surge group of companies which promoted London Capital & Finance, high-flying Johnny Mercer MP has finally broken his silence.

Today the BBC has explicitly connected Mercer's salary to LCF. Previously, while it was a matter of public record that Crucial Academy was part of the Surge group of companies, no one had been brave enough to trace a direct financial link between Mercer and LCF.

Continue reading...

The LCF scandal was preventable. Here are 3 things we can do to stop the next London Capital & Finance

London Capital & Finance logo

A basic principle of law is that anyone who wants to take part in an activity that poses a high risk to the public should be regulated. If you want to own firearms for sport, drive a car, or offer investment securities to the public, you need to register yourself with the authorities. The law does not say you can't do it, but if you are going to do it, you have a duty to show you are doing it responsibly.

But did you know there is a loophole in UK firearms legislation that allows you to own a high powered assault rifle, as long as you put a sticker on it saying "This Is Not An Assault Rifle"? And that even if you start walking around in public waving your not-an-assault-rifle in people's faces, the police will take no action until people start getting hurt?

No there isn't, because that would be utterly ridiculous. Yet this is the situation that UK legislation allows in the offering of unregulated investments to the public.

Continue reading...