Wellesley becomes latest mini-bond firm to fail

Wellesley logo

Wellesley has become the latest minibond issuer to default on investors. Income payments were suspended last week and the company announced on Tuesday that it would attempt to persuade investors to approve a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

According to The Times, investors in property-backed minibonds are facing a write-off of 22% or more, while investors in non-property minibonds face total losses.

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Dolphin Trust accounts in “total mess”, no money left, says administrator

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.”

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Capital Bridge (aka Northbridge) in administration, up to £2.3 million investor losses, 40% commissions paid

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.]

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Basset & Gold: minimal recoveries expected for investors, 20% commissions paid

The administrators of collapsed West Ham sponsor Basset and Gold have released their initial report.

Around 1,800 people, described as "everyday investors" by the administrators, invested nearly £36 million into Basset & Gold after being recruited by "internet based marketing and social media campaigns".

Despite Basset & Gold's literature claiming that investments were "backed by assets, such as property, corporate debentures and other forms of security in order to PROTECT our investments and your capital", virtually all of investors' money was loaned to a payday lender called Uncle Buck.

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Carlauren administrator update: CEO Sean Murray bankrupt

The administrators of Carlauren Group have released their first report.

As previously covered, Carlauren Group holds a total of £21.7 million in properties going by their purchase prices (with one unknown), despite reportedly taking in £76 million from investors.

A £40 million asset freezing order has been placed on Carlauren owner Sean Murray. Murray subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Carlauren's administrators, Duff & Phelps and Quantuma, have been appointed as receivers and are investigating his personal financial affairs.

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Aston Darby Ponzi scheme shut down by Insolvency Service, £26m potential losses

Aston Darby, which offered investment in car parking spaces paying 11% per year, has been shut down by the Insolvency Service after winding up petitions were presented in June. Reviews on Google allege the company defaulted on interest payments as early as 2018.

According to the Insolvency Service, Aston Darby operated as a Ponzi scheme by paying off investors with new investors' money rather than revenue from its car parks.

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Fortitude Capital goes into administration

Fortitude Capital has collapsed into administration. Neil Bennett & Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis have been appointed as administrators.

The administrators were appointed by a secured creditor, which based on Companies House's list of charges is most likely to be Fortitude's Security Trustee, More Group.

I reviewed Fortitude Capital's bonds in September 2018 and noted that, despite Fortitude's owner Ajaz Shah claiming in literature that "The foundation of Fortitude is capital preservation", the bonds were inherently high risk.

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