Category Archives: In the Media

Story by Katie Morley | The Telegraph

A Telegraph Money investigation has found pensioners falling prey to rogue ‘advisers’ along the Costa del Sol. Their nightmare serves as a timely warning for people retiring in the UK

Calella in Spain

The Government is warning savers to be on ‘red alert’ for salesmen pushing ‘too good to be true’ investments, which could include shares in foreign property Photo: Alamy

When Malcolm and Fiona Straw handed their life savings to their financial adviser to invest in 2007, they were confident their money was being placed in good hands.

They met Robin Rogers, at one time an authorised UK financial adviser, through their local golf club in Marbella, Spain. A number of Mr Straw’s golfing friends had spoken very highly of him.

Mr Straw, an ex-property developer, and his wife, a former teacher, retired in 2007 having sold a flat for €100,000, and they asked Mr Rogers for help investing the proceeds. They wanted to generate an income to replace the €7,000 yearly rent. They invested another €50,000 in 2012.

Despite his credible appearance, Mr Rogers was working for a firm called Offshore Investment Brokers (OIB), which was not authorised to sell investments. He invested the Straws’ money in two highly risky unregulated funds, which suffered substantial losses. Mr Rogers withheld their statements and misled them into thinking their capital was safe. In fact, the €7,000 they drew each year was eating what remained of their money, and by 2014 nothing was left.

Their unfortunate story serves as a timely warning to savers here and abroad, as sales of inappropriate investments are expected to rocket this year as one of the unintended consequences of the new pension freedoms, which give over-55s unfettered access to their retirement funds.

The Government and other, legitimate advisers are warning savers to be on “red alert” for salesmen pushing “too good to be true” investments, which could include shares in car parks, “carbon credits”, foreign property, fine wines and a range of other assets – loosely categorised as “unregulated” funds.

To gain “regulated” status, both investments and advisers must meet standards laid down by the appropriate regulator, which in Britain is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Malcolm and Fiona Straw’s fund lost 96pc of its value

If money remains within a pension it is almost certainly overseen by a regulated firm, conferring protection for the investor. Once the cash is withdrawn – and an estimated £24bn will be withdrawn over the next year – it is at risk of rogue “advisers” pushing unregulated investments.

Telegraph Money has found evidence of such investments being marketed through cold calling, home visits, golf club social events, “pension review” websites and by salesmen claiming connections to bona fide, regulated financial advisers.

According to the FCA, around 75pc of unregulated investments result in losses for private investors. But the people selling them are well trained to ensure they sound very attractive. Typically they make promises of “guaranteed yields” or high income payments, something many retired people desperately need.

In November last year, Mr Rogers visited the Straws’ family home and reassured them that their savings were worth a healthy £94,000. But then, when one of their income payments came through in chunks instead of a single lump sum, they had misgivings.

Several years previously they had received two warning letters about the balance in one of their investments, as it had suspended payments because of “liquidity issues”. But they said Mr Rogers told them this was a mistake and urged them to destroy the papers.

He also said the staggered payment was a mistake, and that he’d applied for “compensation” for lost interest.

The investment was held within a bond provided by Old Mutual Wealth, a properly authorised, and entirely legitimate, business. It confirmed to Telegraph Money that between September 2007 and December 2014, when the Straws’ money was invested, one of their funds, an unregulated collective property investment called Glanmore, lost more than 96pc of its value. Another, a fund called the Protected Assets Trust, which invested in traded insurance policies, fared much better, but still failed to make any returns in the period.

In December the couple were horrified to receive a “surrender valuation” letter from Old Mutual, the company holding the investments, showing that their fund was worth £15,723 after charges of £4,762 had been deducted.

No longer able to get hold of Mr Rogers, and feeling increasingly desperate, the Straws complained to Stein Group, a subsidiary of a larger regulated firm, Blacktower Financial Management, which acquired OIB in 2012.

They met the director, Stuart Langan, who looked into their affairs and admitted that Mr Rogers had been at fault. But Mr Langan claimed that his firm was not responsible for their losses as Mr Rogers was a subcontractor, rather than an employee.

He claimed to have suspended Mr Rogers, although at the time of going to press he remained listed on Stein Group’s website as a “key member of staff”.

Mr Langan told Telegraph Money: “I have responsibility over Robin Rogers, but I do not have responsibility for him, or for the things he did, prior to working for me. Stein only bought servicing rights of OIB so we are not liable for the Straws’ losses – what it says [about Stein Group acquiring OIB] on our website is a mistake.”

Mr Rogers did not return our emails.

Our investigation unearthed a number of other pensioners who have also suffered major losses as a result of advice given by OIB.

Another British man, Barry Gill, claimed to have lost more than £1m as a result of failed investments and a “scam” equity release scheme he undertook following advice from the firm. He said he had invested £250,000 and that OIB had again split it between Glanmore and the Protected Assets Trust.

Mr Gill (pictured left) alleged that he was advised to take out a £900,000 mortgage on a £1m Spanish villa he owned outright. He said David Driver, OIB’s managing director, had told this would help him reduce his inheritance tax bill. However, it has since emerged that the Spanish government views such arrangements as fraudulent.

Antonio Flores, a lawyer at Lawbird in Spain, who is now representing a number of OIB’s customers who are looking to pursue legal action against it, said: “OIB was operating illegally and was not registered to provide advice. Clients bought into speculative schemes to alleviate inheritance tax but many people have ended up losing their homes.

“There has been a lot of unregulated financial advice going on along the coast here and a lot of British people have lost a lot of money.”

Mr Driver, who arranged the IHT avoidance scheme for Mr Gill and others, returned to Britain in 2012. Today he appears to be back in business running a financial firm called Jorvik Investment Services, based in York, which sells regulated investments to financial advisers.

According to its website, the firm “will only entertain investments that offer the comfort and security that comes from being properly regulated”.

However, according to the register of authorised firms and individuals held by the FCA, neither Mr Driver nor Jorvik is regulated.

Mr Driver declined to comment on the matter.

Have you been the victim of a scam or a rogue adviser, or have you seen anything suspicious? Email: katiedotmorleyattelegraphdotcodotuk

Diario Sur

manilva country clubSegún la sentencia, los inversores habían adquirido seis viviendas y habían abonado anticipos, pero fueron “deficientemente finalizadas”, únicamente obteniendo la licencia de primera ocupación una fase de la promoción, si bien con considerable retraso, “más de cuatro años”. Los condenados son Manilva Costa S.A y la antigua Cajasol.

El Juzgado de Primera Instancia 1 de Estepona (Málaga) ha condenado solidariamente a la antigua Cajasol y a la promotora Manilva Costa S.A., en situación concursal, a devolver 600.000 euros, más los intereses correspondientes, a 11 ciudadanos británicos.

Los inversores habían adquirido seis viviendas en el complejo Jardines de Manilva, desarrollado por la promotora Manilva Costa S.A., y habían abonado anticipos a la misma contra la presentación de un aval general que cubría, según el tenor del documento, hasta 2.500.000 de euros para 258 viviendas, según han precisado desde el despacho Lawbird Legal Services, que ha representado a los perjudicados.

Dichas viviendas fueron “deficientemente finalizadas”, únicamente obteniendo la licencia de primera ocupación una fase de la promoción, si bien con considerable retraso, “más de cuatro años”. Con posterioridad, en septiembre de 2011, la promotora Manilva Costa presentó el que se consideró el cuarto mayor concurso de acreedores de Sevilla, con deudas cifradas en 100 millones de Euros, 30 millones de ellos a Cajasol, actualmente Caixabank.

La entidad bancaria se opuso a la demanda alegando que el aval cubría hasta el tope de 2.500.000 Euros, cifra “sobrepasada ampliamente”, según la defensa letrada de la caja, según han precisado desde el despacho que representó a los afectados en un comunicado.

El juez, por contrario, citando la Ley 57/1968 sobre percibo de cantidades anticipadas en la construcción y venta de viviendas, y jurisprudencia, ha elaborado la sentencia sobre la base de que “no se puede alegar el quantum del aval a los compradores que cumplieron con sus obligaciones”.

Así, en la resolución, que se puede recurrir, se concluye que “a quien ha cumplido debidamente sus obligaciones no se le puede hacer depender su derecho de reintegro por vicisitudes entre la promotora y entidades bancarias cuando además no existe prueba alguna de dicha entidad demandada de los motivos esgrimidos”.

El letrado del despacho Lawbird Legal Services, Luis González Ordoñez, actuando en representación de los demandantes británicos, ha considerado esta resolución “de vital importancia para futuros inversores cuya confianza en las garantías del sistema jurídico español, en demasiadas ocasiones puesto en duda, se ve reforzado con ocasión del dictado de sentencias que protegen a los consumidores”.

Ha apuntado que “aproximadamente 200 inversores pagaron a la promotora, mediante la firma de contrato de compra de vivienda sobre plano, una media de 100.000 euros por apartamento”.

Story by Comando Actualidad | TVE 1

Programa completo en RTVE.es

Decenas de millones de euros con forma de esqueletos de hormigón o boquetes inmensos se desperdigan por toda nuestra geografía. Urbanizaciones desérticas, pistas de esquí en medio de la nada, parques acuáticos sin toboganes ni bañistas, u hospitales que se quedaron en las intenciones y en agujeros presupuestarios. Son postales que forman un paisaje imposible de borrar.

Por toda la Región de Murcia surgen urbanizaciones sin terminar de construir, un paisaje que se repite por casi todo el litoral español. Francisco es uno de los 1.500 vecinos que compraron una de estas ruinas contemporáneas. Un vendedor de melones metido a promotor fue el impulsor de Trampolín Hills. Según uno de los técnicos de urbanismo éste es sólo uno de los ejemplos de empresarios que se aprovecharon de una recalificación prevista para construir ochocientas mil viviendas.

Parque acuático a lo grande en Jaén

Jaén queda lejos de la playa, quizá por eso se consideró necesario un parque acuático a lo grande. Se invirtieron nueve millones de euros en rampas, desniveles, vasos de piscina y restaurantes. Cuando llegó la siguiente corporación municipal paró las obras. Hoy es un secarral parecido, según los vecinos, a la “cantera de los Picapiedra”.

El ocio también era el destino de los diez millones de euros que se invirtieron en Villavieja del Cerro (Valladolid). El presupuesto inicial se dobló porque “encontraron un material nuevo y mejor”, según uno de los responsables de la Diputación. Ahora hay que derribar la pista de esquí sin haberla estrenado: fue construida sobre un monte quemado, algo ilegal.

fortuna golf 1En Madrid se realiza periódicamente una visita guiada por lo que pudo ser y no ha sido, o lo que fue pero duró poco tiempo. Tal es el caso de la estación y las vías de Cercanías que llevaban al Parque Warner. La estación está cerrada 10 años después de su inauguración y la catenaria desmantelada para que no la roben. En el mismo recorrido se ve la costosa cimentación de un rascacielos que nunca se levantó.

Story by  RAFAEL MÉNDEZ | El Pais

A group of retirees is going to court after signing up for a plan to reduce inheritance duty

Julia Hilling (91) and Peter Cosgrove (84). / GARCÍA-SANTOS

 

More than 20 British retirees resident in Spain are taking legal action against the Rothschild financial services group, accusing it of fraudulent advertising for complex financial packages designed to avoid paying inheritance tax on their homes, which they now stand to lose. A court in Denia has since summoned Baron David Rothschild, the chairman of Rothschild bank, to answer questions in relation to its investigation into the alleged fraud.

Between 2005 and 2008 independent financial advisers operating in areas such as the Balearic Islands, Alicante and Malaga, sold pensioners loans that would release equity on their homes and see the cash invested in a fund, allowing them to enjoy inheritance tax benefits. The products were provided by a variety of banks, mainly in Scandinavia, but also by Rothschild.

The investment banking company sold around 130 of these products, which were distributed in Spain through the bank’s Credit Select Series Mortgage loan. Rothschild says that the activity was carried out by its Guernsey-based entity in the Channel Islands, outside the jurisdiction of the UK government or UK regulators.

Peter Cosgrove was warned that 80 percent of the value of his home would be lost if it were left to a friend

Among those who stand to lose their homes are Julia Hilling, aged 91, and Peter Cosgrove, 84, who retired to the Malaga resort towns of Fuengirola and Mijas in the 1980s. Hilling says she signed up to the Credit Select Series Mortgage loan in 2006 on the understanding that it would reduce inheritance tax on her home – in doing so, she was effectively remortgaging her property.

The following year, Cosgrove says he was contacted by a supposed financial advisor who warned him that as he did not have any family to leave his property to, 80 percent of the value of his home would be lost if it were left to a friend. “I thought that was ridiculous,” he says.

The investments proved worthless, due in large part to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis

The solution, says Cosgrove, was to take out a loan with the Rothschild Bank using his home, which cost him €75,000, and to then invest the money from the loan, which would bring him in around €5,000 annually for the next decade. He would be able to pay back the loan with the interest from his investments. In the event that he died before the loan was repaid, there would be no inheritance tax, as the money had been invested outside Spain.

Cosgrove signed, but says he had no idea that what he was actually doing was taking out a €290,000 loan, and putting his house, which had already been paid for, up as collateral. Others who signed similar agreements borrowed as much as €1 million.

“They made Spain out to be like the Soviet Union”

A cartoon from an ad related to Spanish inheritance tax.

One of the law firms representing around 15 people pursuing Rothschild for compensation have pamphlets issued by the bank to sell its Credit Select Series Mortgage loans, which clearly focus on them as a way to avoid paying inheritance tax in Spain. “They made Spain seem like the Soviet Union, with taxes that were all about confiscating your money,” says Salvador Martínez Echevarría of Cremades y Calvo Sotelo, a law firm based in Marbella.

“Too many expats have learned the hard way that Spain’s inheritance tax doesn’t work the same way as their own country’s. This affects anybody who owns a property in Spain, not just residents: the upper limit on inheritances is 81.6 percent. The solution is to reduce the amount of your assets exposed to this […] a mortgage is a very effective way of reducing the total value of your Spanish property exposed to inheritance tax,” reads one Rothschild brochure being used in the lawsuit against the firm.

Cosgrove says that he received €13,200 in advance, but that his investments soon proved worthless, due in large part to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent financial crisis that hit markets around the world. He found himself having to pay a mortgage on a property he thought he already owned. “Three months after I signed, I was told that I owed €3,000 and that I was in default.” A few months after that he stopped paying altogether.

Rothschild was not the only bank selling financial packages to people who did not understand them. Norwegian and Islandic banks were also seeking out Scandinavian retirees along the Spanish coast, warning them about Spain’s inheritance tax, which sets a maximum of 34 percent for property left to family members, but can reach as high as 81.6 percent for the super wealthy who have no family.

Cosgrove and Hilling say that they saw Rothschild’s involvement in the financial packages as a guarantee of their legitimacy. The bank was set up in 1798 by a German Jewish family, and over the centuries has become synonymous with high finance.

So far, none of the 130 people who signed up for the mortgage have had their homes repossessed, while Rothschild says that it is prepared to negotiate a solution. It points out that it only provided the loan, and was not involved in the investment side of the deal, which was carried out by financial intermediaries based in Spain, most of whom were British.

In an emailed response, the investment banking company says: “Rothschild provided a small number of mortgages in Spain acting solely as a lender.” It adds that it advised borrowers to take independent legal advice before going through with the loan: “All the loans were signed in the presence of a notary public to make sure that the signatories understood the contract. Rothschild did not provide advice. Rothschild believes that it met its legal and regulatory obligations at all times.”

The bank points out that it only provided the loan, and was not involved in the investment side of the deal

But one of the international financial advisers involved, Adrian Church, says that Rothschild was behind the loans: “If they say they had nothing to do with it, let’s just say they’re being economical with the truth.”

Antonio Flores, a Malaga-based lawyer representing around a dozen of the people who took out loans through Rothschild has managed to get a court in Denia to investigate Rothschild for fraudulent advertising.

Flores says Rothschild offered a product, the Credit Select Series Mortgage Loan, that was sold to pensioners as a legal means to reduce the value of their otherwise unencumbered homes, for Inheritance Tax mitigation purposes, but that the Tax Agency, on the contrary, has ruled that such scheme constitutes fraud.

“In short, independently of what happened to the investment, Rothschild advertised a loan aimed at reducing inheritance tax, which is a breach of tax law,” says Flores.

Story by LEON WATSON | Mail Online

 

  • Nigel Goldman, 56, went on the run after police in Spain launched probe
  • He is being investigated in Spain and the UK over £2.5 million fraud claims
  • But a newspaper tracked him down to his modest bolthole in Berkshire
  • Now he fears gang bosses are coming to get him at his new home
  • Goldman said: ‘There is a bullet out there with my name on it’

A British poker ace who disappeared from Spain after allegedly stealing more than £2.5 million from investors is living in fear that hitmen are coming to kill him at his bolthole in Berkshire.

 

Playboy Nigel Goldman, who is being investigated by authorities in Spain and the UK, fled his Costa del Sol mansion in November.

 

His whereabouts were then exposed when a newspaper tracked him down to a modest house in the picturesque village of Kintbury, where he lives under the alias Howard del Monte.

 

But the 56-year-old, who counts James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher among his social circle, is now convinced gang bosses want him dead.

 

Scroll down for video

 

 

Fearing for his life: Nigel Goldman, from Birmingham, who is wanted by Spanish police after vanishing from his luxury Costa del Sol mansion amid a major cash probe

Fearing for his life: Nigel Goldman, from Birmingham, who is wanted by Spanish police after vanishing from his luxury Costa del Sol mansion amid a major cash probe

 

 

 

 

Goldman, who drove a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest home in the picturesque village of Kintbury, Berkshire under the alias of Howard del Monte

Goldman, who drove a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest home in the picturesque village of Kintbury, Berkshire under the alias of Howard del Monte.

 

He told The Sunday People: ‘There is a bullet out there with my name on it. A guy came to the door a few days ago but I refused to open it.

 

‘He shouted that I was “a dead man” and from an upstairs window I saw him pull a gun out of his pocket.

 

‘It was terrifying. I know he was sent to murder me. I called the police but he drove off ad high speed before they arrived.’

 

Goldman said he now fears someone will come back to ‘finish me off’.

 

Goldman is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

 

Earlier this year the only trace of Goldman since he vanished in Marbella was a text message to a former employer three weeks ago which read: ‘I did not set out to be a thief.’

 

Spanish police were probing claims that the broker from Edgbaston in Birmingham, left people empty handed and unable to access their bank funds.

Nigel Goldman, who is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing from investors, was found living in a semi-detached house in Berkshire

Nigel Goldman, who is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing from investors, was found living in a semi-detached house in Berkshire

Nigel Goldman, who is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing from investors, was found living in a semi-detached house in Berkshire

 

 

 

 

 

From the Costa del Sol to Berkshire: Nigel Goldman is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing more than 3million euros from investors

From the Costa del Sol to Berkshire: Nigel Goldman is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing more than 3million euros from investors

 

 

 

 

Goldman's lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira

Goldman’s lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira

 

Nigel Goldman speaking after the Marbella Classic Poker 770

 

Police were unable to trace him after they received complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.

 

Ex-pat newspaper The Olive Press, based in Spain, tracked Goldman down using details on his eBay account Bensons Emporium.

 

He uses the site to buy and sell coins, stamps and antiques.

 

It was reported his lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his red Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira.

 

But a neighbour said: ‘Everyone in the village knows he’s Goldman, whatever name he goes under.’

 

Geoff Whitton, originally from Cornwall, is trying to locate €20,000 he says he handed to Goldman.
The 49-year-old writer said: ‘If he’s a legitimate businessman, why hasn’t he contacted me?

 

‘I gave €10,000 in May, 2012, and €10,000 two months later. Goldman made me a profit for two months, then a loss for the same amount.

 

 

Hewitt

Thatcher

Goldman is said to have moved in the same social circles as cad James Hewitt (left) and Sir Mark Thatcher.

‘For the next one-and-a-half years, I was in limbo. He’d say, “Just trust me and you will receive a profit in October 2013″.’

Goldman, who enjoys swigging champagne and smoking expensive cigars, has a history of dishonesty, in his own book, ‘High Stakes: How I Blew £14 million’ published in 2006, he confesses being sent to prison twice for fraud.

 

A review on his book reads: ‘Goldman seems to show little remorse – and more than a little contempt – for the victims whose money he lived off so handsomely.’

 

Despite his past, Goldman is claiming that he, and others, have been duped this time and believes his brokers were running a Ponzi scheme with everyone’s money.

 

 

From the Costa del Sol to this sleepy Berkshire village Kintbury

From the Costa del Sol to this sleepy Berkshire village Kintbury

 

 

 

A Ponzi scheme is an investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or new capital paid by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organisation running the operation.

 

Goldman has admitted in writing to owing as much as £658,000 (€800,000). However a lawyer acting for investors who claim to have lost cash is stating that he is chasing €3 million, a figure rising daily.

 

Flashy Goldman made his name at some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments around the world, winning thousands.

 

Lawyer Antonio Flores, said: ‘So far we have spoken to victims in Almeria, Malaga and Jaen. In our most recent estimate it looks like reaching €3 million.

 

‘The first thing he did right was openly admit to all his wrongdoings and say he paid for it and was a new man.

 

‘That was a success. People could not talk about his past, people actually felt sorry for him. It is large scale, police have not yet issued an arrest warrant, but they are not far from doing that.’

 

Goldman offered investments in a host of commodities including bullion, stocks and shares although he is not a regulated financial advisor due to his criminal convictions.

 

Roger Parks, a neighbour and friend of Goldman said that he even tried to get him to invest, although he chose not to, he said: ‘I have known him for 35 years.

 

‘When he showed me the prospectus for International Financial Investments at his palatial rented home in Elviria a few months ago, I couldn’t stopped laughing.

 

‘By the way, has anyone else noted the initials of his company spell IFI, as if “iffy”?’

 

A spokesman for Action Fraud confirmed complains had been lodged with the organisation about Goldman.

 

If those complaints are upheld, information gathered will be passed to either the Metropolitan Police or Fraud Investigation Bureau.

 

Story by Dan Cooper | Newbury Today

Nigel Goldman

A MAN previously convicted of fraud who owes investment clients a small fortune is living quietly in Kintbury after his champagne lifestyle in Marbella turned sour.

It is claimed he owes millions to creditors in Spain after his high-rolling investment scheme crashed and is now being investigated by Spanish and British police.

But Howard del Monte – formerly known as Nigel Goldman – has claimed in an exclusive interview with the Newbury Weekly News that he never intended for anyone to lose out, and branded some of the more lurid international press reports about him “lies”.

Speaking from his rented cottage in Kintbury, he said he had been hounded by the international press, national reporters and private detectives in recent months and weeks and still fears extradition to Spain.

By his side was loyal partner Suzanne Couling, a former Inkpen resident who met Mr Del Monte during an 11-year sojourn in Spain.

He was a well-known and colourful figure in the Marbella area for many years – where he had rebuilt his life following two prison terms for fraud whilst living in the UK – and persuaded many expats to invest in his investment companies.

Mr del Monte, originally from Birmingham, said this week: “It’s totally untrue that I owe £13 million, or more. The writ in Spain is for 650,000 euros and I very much regret that anyone had to lose money.”

The self-styled poker wizard, who also dealt in gold and coins, said his latest adventures began in 2008 when he won a trading competition on Talk Radio Europe’s previous guise REM, in which he turned 100,000 euros into 2.7 million.

After that, he said, would-be investors beat a path to his door pleading: “Make me rich, too.” Mr del Monte said: “I was approached by many expats, but because of my convictions under the Companies Act of 1948 for offences in the 1980s, the only way client funds could be handled was by trading through an off-shore entity.

“Everyone got good dividends between 2008 and 2012. ”

Speaking from his Kintbury home, Mr del Monte insisted he warned clients that their investments represented a gamble and that there were no guarantees.

The big crash and back to the UK.

When the crash came, it came in spectacular fashion he claimed. He said: “It all went wrong over a 24-hour period – very badly wrong. My portfolio was completely wiped out. I had only taken my eye off the ball for an hour but sometimes that’s all it takes.”

In August last year, said Mr del Monte, the Spanish tax authorities hit him with a bill at the same time as they froze all his accounts, including those of his clients. Despite vowing “never to return” to the UK in his autobiography, High Stakes, in which he also talks of amassing a £14million fortune, Mr del Monte was left with little choice but to come back to his home country.

He said: “I was totally unable to operate. I decided to come back to the UK. I was out of money, selling personal assets to pay clients.”

He claimed he was sympathetic to those clients who had lost out but insisted: “I was always careful to ensure people weren’t investing life savings and that they could afford to trade. But the Spanish press have started a campaign against me.”

Asked if, with hindsight, he would have handled the fallout differently, Mr del Monte said: “The mistake I made was coming back without explaining fully what had happened and why I was leaving. I could have handled that much better.”

He left Spain at the end of last year and was located this month by expat newspaper The Olive Press through his and Ms Couling’s joint ebay account. According to the paper, multiple complaints have been lodged about Nigel Goldman to Action Fraud UK – the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

Marbella-based lawyer Antonio Flores, currently representing a British expat couple who claim that Mr Goldman owes them around 640,000 euros, said he first became aware of Mr Goldman last October. Mr Flores added that although he is only representing one client, he said he is aware of “10 or 12” official complaints that have been made against Mr Goldman to the Marbella National Police since December 2013. He also said he believes Mr Goldman to owe “£2m – £2.5m” in total.

Mr Flores said he believed official paperwork was being compiled by the Spanish police. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told the Newbury Weekly News that they were not aware of any complaints against Mr Goldman and said it would be the responsibility of the Spanish authorities to issue a European Arrest Warrant should they feel it necessary.

Reaction in Kintbury

The story of Mr del Monte residing in Kintbury has been picked up by several national newspapers and has got tongues wagging in the village.

One resident, who did not want to be named, told the Newbury Weekly News he was aware of a new face in the village who was calling himself ‘Howie’. “You can find Howie in the Blue Ball every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights playing poker,” he said, but added that he knew nothing of Mr del Monte’s past.

For the full exclusive interview with Mr del Monte, see today’s Newbury Weekly News.

The Telegraph

British businessman hunted by police Costa del Sol found to be living in rural Berkshire

Nigel Goldman is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud

Nigel Goldman is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud Photo: SWNS

A British businessman who has been on the run from Spanish police for allegedly stealing EUROS 3 million from investors has been found living in a semi-detached house in Berkshire.

Nigel Goldman, 56, who claims to be a close friend of Sir Mark Thatcher and James Hewitt, is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

He vanished earlier this year from Marbella after police received complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.

They were investigating claims the broker, originally from Edgbaston, Birmingham, had left people empty handed and unable to access their bank funds.

Goldman himself claims he, and other investors, were duped by his brokers who were running a Ponzi scheme – a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or new capital paid by new investors, rather than from profit.

But now Goldman, who used to drive a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest semi-detached house in the village of Kintbury, Berkshire, under the alias Howard del Monte.

Ex-pat newspaper The Olive Press, based in Spain, tracked him down using details on his eBay account “Bensons Emporium”. He uses the site to flog and buy coins, stamps and antiques.

When approached at his Berkshire home Goldman refused to comment and his lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira.

But a neighbour said: “Everyone in the village knows he’s Goldman, whatever name he goes under.”

Goldman, a broker originally from Edgbaston, Birmingham, has been accused of leaving investors empty handed and unable to access their bank accounts.

The last known contact anyone had with him was three weeks ago when he sent a text message to a former employer which read “I did not set out to be thief.”

Goldman, who enjoys swigging on champagne and smoking expensive cigars, has a history of dishonesty, in his own book, ‘High Stakes: How I Blew £14 million’ published in 2012, he confesses being sent to prison twice for fraud.

Goldman offered investments in a host of commodities, including bullion, stocks and shares, although is not a regulated financial advisor due to his criminal convictions.

Lawyer Antonio Flores, said: “So far we have spoken to victims in Almeria, Malaga and Jaen.

“In our most recent estimate it looks like reaching 3 million euros.

“The first thing he did right was openly admit to all his wrongdoings and say he paid for it and was a new man.

“That was a success. People could not talk about his past, people actually felt sorry for him.

“It is large scale, police have not yet issued an arrest warrant, but they are not far from doing that.”

A spokesman for Auction fraud confirmed complaints had been lodged with the organisation about Goldman.

If those complaints are upheld, information gathered will be passed to either the Metropolitan Police of Fraud Investigation Bureau.

Story by PAUL DONNELLEY | Mail Online

 

  • Nigel Goldman, 56, investigated by Guardia Civil in Spain and Action Fraud in Britain
  • Texted a friend saying ‘I did not set out to be a thief’
  • Goldman offered investments in a host of commodities including bullion, stocks and shares although he is not a regulated financial advisor
  • In his book, High Stakes: How I Blew £14million, he confesses that he has been jailed twice for fraud
  • Moved in same social circles as James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher

 

A British poker ace who disappeared from his Costa del Sol mansion and was being hunted by police for allegedly stealing more than €3million from investors, has been found living in Berkshire.

 

Playboy Nigel Goldman, 56, who counts James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher among his social circle, is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

 

Earlier this year the only trace of Goldman since he vanished in Marbella, was a text message to a former employer three weeks ago which read: ‘I did not set out to be a thief.’

 

 

Goldman, who drove a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest home in the picturesque village of Kintbury, Berkshire under the alias of Howard del Monte

Goldman, who drove a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest home in the picturesque village of Kintbury, Berkshire under the alias of Howard del Monte

 

 

 

Spanish police were probing claims that the broker from Edgbaston in Birmingham, left people empty handed and unable to access their bank funds.

 

However police were unable to trace him after they received complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.

 

 

 

 

 

But now Goldman, who drove a red Ferrari, has been found living in a modest house in the picturesque village of Kintbury, Berkshire under the alias of Howard del Monte.

 

Ex-pat newspaper The Olive Press, based in Spain, tracked him down using details on his eBay account Bensons Emporium.

 

 

From the Costa del Sol to Berkshire: Nigel Goldman is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing more than 3million euros from investors

From the Costa del Sol to Berkshire: Nigel Goldman is being hunted by police for allegedly stealing more than 3million euros from investors

 

 

 

 

Goldman's lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira

Goldman’s lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira

 

 

 

He uses the site to buy and sell coins, stamps and antiques.

 

When approached at his Berkshire home Goldman refused to comment and his lavish lifestyle seems to have been scaled down with his Ferrari being replaced with a Vauxhall Zafira.

 

But a neighbour said: ‘Everyone in the village knows he’s Goldman, whatever name he goes under.’

 

Geoff Whitton, originally from Cornwall, is trying to locate €20,000 he says he handed to Goldman.
The 49-year-old writer said: ‘If he’s a legitimate businessman, why hasn’t he contacted me?

 

‘I gave €10,000 in May, 2012, and €10,000 two months later. Goldman made me a profit for two months, then a loss for the same amount.

 

 

Hewitt

Thatcher

Goldman is said to have moved in the same social circles as cad James Hewitt (left) and Sir Mark Thatcher

 

 

 

‘For the next one-and-a-half years, I was in limbo. He’d say, “Just trust me and you will receive a profit in October 2013″.’

 

Goldman, who enjoys swigging champagne and smoking expensive cigars, has a history of dishonesty, in his own book, ‘High Stakes: How I Blew £14 million’ published in 2006, he confesses being sent to prison twice for fraud.

 

A review on his book reads: ‘Goldman seems to show little remorse – and more than a little contempt – for the victims whose money he lived off so handsomely.’

 

Despite his past, Goldman is claiming that he, and others, have been duped this time and believes his brokers were running a Ponzi scheme with everyone’s money.

 

A Ponzi scheme is an investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or new capital paid by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organisation running the operation.

 

Goldman has admitted in writing to owing as much as £658,000 (€800,000). However a lawyer acting for investors who claim to have lost cash is stating that he is chasing €3 million, a figure rising daily.

 

Flashy Goldman made his name at some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments around the world, winning thousands.

 

Lawyer Antonio Flores, said: ‘So far we have spoken to victims in Almeria, Malaga and Jaen.

 

‘In our most recent estimate it looks like reaching €3 million.

 

‘The first thing he did right was openly admit to all his wrongdoings and say he paid for it and was a new man.

 

‘That was a success. People could not talk about his past, people actually felt sorry for him.

 

‘It is large scale, police have not yet issued an arrest warrant, but they are not far from doing that.’

 

Goldman offered investments in a host of commodities including bullion, stocks and shares although he is not a regulated financial advisor due to his criminal convictions.

 

 

From the Costa del Sol to this sleepy Berkshire village Kintbury

From the Costa del Sol to this sleepy Berkshire village Kintbury

 

 

 

Roger Parks, a neighbour and friend of Goldman said that he even tried to get him to invest, although he chose not to, he said: ‘I have known him for 35 years.

 

‘When he showed me the prospectus for International Financial Investments at his palatial rented home in Elviria a few months ago, I couldn’t stopped laughing.

 

‘By the way, has anyone else noted the initials of his company spell IFI, as if ‘iffy’?’

 

A spokesman for Auction fraud confirmed complains had been lodged with the organisation about Goldman.

 

If those complaints are upheld, information gathered will be passed to either the Metropolitan Police or Fraud Investigation Bureau.

 

 

 

El Confidencial

“La casa rosada” de la alcaldesa de Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, sigue en punto de mira mientras se dirime en Sevilla el expediente de su supuesta legalidad. Desde que la Vicepresidencia y Consejería de Administración Local y Relaciones Institucionales pasara a manos de IU, el expediente está siendo “examinado con lupa”. Y se exige documentación “imprescindible para su legalización”. Esta vez es el mismo número dos de la Junta de Andalucía, Diego Valderas, el que en un informe al que ha tenido acceso El Confidencial comunica que “la Junta no tiene en su haber la información que ha requerido a los dos municipios, entre los que se encuentra la casa de la regidora marbellí, para resolver el expediente del contencioso del deslinde”. .En el documento, firmado por el aliado de Gobierno de Susana Díaz, se advierte a la alcaldesa que “los municipios no pueden mover los lindes a su antojo”, tal como hizo ella sometiendo el cambio de su vivienda a través de un pleno en el que aprobaba el deslinde con los votos del PP.

Pinche para ver el documento.

Pinche para ver el documento

Los concejales de IU de Marbella se reúnen mañana en Sevilla con representantes de la Consejería de Administración Local para tratar este expediente, que según Enrique Monterroso “es un robo al territorio de Marbella”. El edil pertenece a la comisión de investigación sobre el deslinde con el municipio vecino de Benahavís y los posibles beneficios que la modificación ha supuesto para empresas promotoras del marido y otros familiares de la alcaldesa, Ángeles Muñoz. Informe nulo En el informe que firma Diego Valderas se puntualiza “que el procedimiento se halla en situación de parálisis dado que, pese a que se han hecho reiterados requerimientos al respecto los ayuntamientos afectados no han facilitado la comunicación mínimamente detallada para que el órgano instructor pueda proceder”. Monterroso dice que ha habido suficiente tiempo para que esta documentación se haya facilitado desde el 2009, pero que a ninguno de los dos municipios de Marbella y Benahavís regentados por el PP “les ha interesado”. El vicepresidente de la Junta de Andalucía, Diego Valderas. (EFE)El vicepresidente de la Junta de Andalucía, Diego Valderas. (EFE) Para culminar el expediente, la Junta matiza que “sin la colaboración de los dos Ayuntamientos implicados no se podrá concluir”, “con la transcendencia que tiene para cualquier Ayuntamiento el hecho de contar con la delimitación precisa de su término municipal para el ejercicio válido de sus competencias en general”. Distintos políticos y juristas ya se han pronunciado al respecto. Uno de ellos, el abogado Antonio Flores, declara a este diario que “el enjuague privado que han hecho los dos municipios del PP donde tiene las propiedades el marido de la alcaldesa, Lars Broben, no es válido”. En este sentido asegura que “la ‘casa rosada’ hoy por hoy sigue siendo ilegal, a pesar de que ella se encargue de ir transmitiendo lo contrario. Hasta que la Junta se pronuncie con el cierre del expediente, la casa de Benahavís de la alcaldesa sigue siendo ilegal”.

Story by Juan José Fernández | Interviu

una-mansion-de-cinco-millones-por-90.000-euros_detalle_articuloÁngeles Muñoz, alcaldesa de Marbella, no incluyó en su declaración de bienes el valor real de su casa, que estuvo adscrita a una firma en Gibraltar, y sobre la que tiene suscrita una hipoteca en Luxemburgo. La oposición le critica que opere en paraísos fiscales; ella niega que haya cometido ilegalidad ni que tenga intención de defraudar al fisco. 

 

Se levanta en un fondo de saco de la urbanización Vega del Colorado, entre Marbella y Benahavís. Al frente no tiene ningún vecino que interfiera las vistas. El jardín desemboca en un barranco verde, cuyo borde se eleva sobre la autopista AP7, lo suficientemente alejada como para que el eco del tráfico no turbe la paz del césped y las palmeras. Por delante, la extensión de lujosos chalés y clubes de golf de Nueva Andalucía, Puerto Banús y, al fondo, el mar. En el paseo que lleva a la entrada principal, una pequeña rotonda y un asta blanca en la que ondea una bandera de España de buen tamaño. Es la casa, en fin, de una mujer tan española como lo pueda ser Ángeles Muñoz Uriol, alcaldesa de Marbella.

2013-03-31-Interviu-Lawbird-Angeles-Munoz-Luxemburgo

 

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