Independent Portfolio Managers goes into liquidation

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

Independent Portfolio Managers, the minibond promoter which was hit by a slew of Ombudsman complaints for its role in the collapse of Secured Energy Bonds and Providence Bonds, has gone into liquidation.

When I last reported on the company in late October I overlooked that a creditor had already petitioned to wind up the company. This petition was heard two weeks ago, and the winding up commenced on 14 November.

Interestingly, the creditor who brought the petition against Independent Portfolio Managers was the administrator of Secured Energy Bonds.

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Essex and London Properties shut down by the High Court for operating a Ponzi scheme

Essex and London Properties Limited, which apparently offered 8% per year for three year bonds and 12% for one year bonds (I have been unable to verify whether this was correct or whether the Financial Times has swapped the two coupons around, which would make more sense), has been liquidated by the High Court.

The Insolvency Service has characterised the company as a Ponzi scheme, on the basis that when the records of its escrow payment providers were analysed, they indicated that new investors' money was being used to pay existing investors' interest payments, instead of interest payments coming from property returns.

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Providence Bonds’ Chris Byrne sings like canary, gets stay of sentencing

Back in September Chris Byrne, an adviser for Jersey-based Lumiere Wealth, who advised unsophisticated investors to invest in the unregulated Providence Bonds opportunity, failing to disclose that Lumiere Wealth was in fact owned by Providence, was convicted of fraud.

Byrne was convicted not just for his misselling of Providence Bonds, but for other frauds including conning a near-blind woman into making a £1 million personal loan to him.

News from Jersey then went silent for a month and a half. Until last week, when the Jersey Post revealed that Byrne's sentencing had been delayed at the last minute, on the grounds that Byrne had been helping the police of neighbouring Guernsey with their inquiries into a related investigation.

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First Alternative Group disappears without trace

First Alternative Group, which offered a "secure" spread-betting investment paying 3 - 6% per month, has disappeared from the Internet.

The registration of was last updated on 11 August 2018 and remains anonymous. Google's cache shows that the website was still operational on 21 August 2018, but it has since been replaced with a blank page and internal pages have been removed.

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RVS Closing Price System disappears with investors’ money

A few months’ ago I reviewed the RVS Closing Price System, which claimed to enable users to generate returns of 225% per annum through share trading.

I concluded that investors should not invest unless they expected to lose all their money.

Others have commented that the RVS Closing Price System appeared to be a reboot of the HSL Smart Market System, to which it showed remarkable similarities, although I didn’t include this in the review as a) I couldn’t 100% verify it and b) it seemed unnecessary.

The anonymous admins of RVS Closing Price System have now apparently done a runner. The website shows a blank page, and an investor has informed me that RVS admins are not responding to calls or emails.

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Independent Portfolio Managers gets last-minute reprieve, status of compensation payments still unknown

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

Four days before it was due to be dissolved over its failure to file annual accounts with Companies House, Independent Portfolio Managers has had the strike-off action against it suspended.

The reason the action has been suspended is not known for certain, but the most likely reason is an objection by a creditor. If IPM had been dissolved, all its assets (if any) would have become property of the UK Government.

As I previously covered, in July and August IPM was ordered by the Financial Ombudsman to compensate three investors in Secured Energy Bonds for its failings in producing Secured Energy Bonds' literature, and for giving a false impression that Secured Energy Bonds were more secure than other unregulated corporate loan notes.

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Munio Capital directors apply to dissolve the company

The directors of Munio Capital, which in 2016 offered five-year unregulated bonds paying 9.8% per annum, have applied to strike the company off the register.

Munio is six months overdue with its accounts and recently survived a compulsory strike-off in July 2018. That strike-off attempt was launched by Companies House due to the company's failure to file a confirmation statement; this latest strike-off has been requested by the directors themselves, specifically director and joint-owner Gary Williamson.

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