Caribbean Ponzi Scheme ‘Investment Opportunity’ Settled In Court
The scandal involving the Harlequin property investment ponzi scheme since 2013, has now come to a resolution.
About the Case
The investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and Essex Police uncovered that the ponzi scheme had taken £400m of mainly pension investors’ money, to develop Caribbean villas that were never built.
Harlequin was being sued by ex-accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy for £400m in respect of ‘using’ them to fund their build projects. Wilkins Kennedy worked on behalf of Harlequin, giving financial and investment advice over a four-year period, with their main focus on the ‘Buccament Bay’ resort in St Vincent, Grenadines.
In return of this claim, Harlequin took Wilkins Kennedy to court claiming compensation for the firm breaching its fiduciary duty and contract, related to the construction of the hotel resort in the Caribbean and in turn causing their investors a loss.
The court ruled that the whole Harlequin scheme was a ‘Ponzi scheme’, which means investors were conned into paying sums of money for what they thought was a deposit for the purchase of a property at Buccament Bay. In reality, investors’ money was used to cover company expenses and an extravagant lifestyle, using funds from later investors to pay out early investors, creating the impression of success.
The judge awarded the £9.15m win to Harlequin on the condition that the whole balance was paid to a ring-fenced escrow account to protect the assets, from which investors who had lost money in the whole process will benefit first and foremost with the intention of paying them back.
David Ames, the founder of Harlequin, stated that they had lived with failings of Wilkins and Kennedy for years and that it had been living the nightmare. He also went on to say that now the case was over, Harlequin could now go back to focusing on rebuilding their business along with their reputation
This is a great outcome for the original investors in the scheme. We at TimeshareCompensation.co.uk are interested in hearing from any of you that would like to share your story. So if you have a timeshare tale of your own to tell, do get in touch with our friendly team of timeshare experts!
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