Tag Archives: Lawbird

OVP_spanish property scam_Sunday LifeMore than 1,000 buyers from the UK and Ireland lost £45m after Birmingham- based Ocean View Properties (OVP) was formally dissolved in 2009. OVP was the exclusive agent for the Manilva Gardens luxury holiday complex in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. It was behind successful overseas property enterprises, but ran into difficulties as UK agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret. A claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in February 2011 in a bid to recover deposits paid by investors to OVP. It has more than 50 Northern Irish investors among 120 claimants for £9.2m. A second class action complaint for £2m, brought by 30 British and Irish investors, was filed in 2013. Many Northern Irish investors remortgaged homes to finance their dream luxury buys. One local investor was Armagh ex-teacher Ollie Reel, who now works for a firm helping investors to recover their lost money. Mr Reel and his three brothers sank thousands of pounds into the deal, but have managed to get some of it back.

“It started in 2006 and through a few good friends, mainly in GAA circles, they invested in Spain and I was persuaded at that time it could be good for me as well and I couldn’t lose out,” he told an Irish radio station. “The economy was booming and everyone was going mad buying property, like everyone else I got caught up in the euphoria of it all. “If only I had known what was ahead of me, I would never have considered it. “The investment I was involved in was in Estepona in Spain and there was about 100 of us on both sides of the border, I suppose we lost a combined €12m.

“These apartments were all fully furnished, they were very good at advertising it, they flew groups of us down to Spain and we stood on the actual site and we were all taken in by owning a new property in Spain.” He added: “The company went bust and it was down to the fact that the developer who was building our property hadn’t even got a building licence.” Mr Reel explained that after going through Spanish lawyers, he eventually was able to recover around half of his £145,000 deposit through a group called the Claims Bureau. He now works as a consultant for the group. The Madrid High Court probe has been beset by delays and setbacks. An investigating judge was replaced after he was found to have family ties to Mr Miranda Miret. In the latest twist, the developer is accused of submitting forged documents in the criminal action.

A spokesman for Marbella- based legal firm Lawbird said: “By using these documents, supposedly signed by the secretary of Ocean View in Spain, the developer tried to prove that they had formally notified the estate agent that it was not possible to continue selling apartments as no licences were in place and they didn’t own the land where the development was to be built.” Final witness statements for OVP are to be given on Wednesday. Following these submissions, the judge will decide if the case should proceed to trial. Mr Miranda Miret and others accused have all strongly denied any wrongdoing. Former Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry and BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts, who starred on I’m a Celebrity, were among those duped into marketing luxury off-plan apartments for the firm, though neither benefited in any way, or had any knowledge of the alleged irregularities.

Original print (PDF ~ 4Mb)

Story by Katie Morley | The Telegraph

Barry Gill, a British expat who has retired in Spain, claims to have lost more than £1m as a result of failed investments and a “scam” equity release scheme he undertook following advice from a firm which was not regulated to give financial advice.

Mr Gill alleges 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 Mr Gill among a number of other OIB 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

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 José Carlos Villanueva | eldiario.es

El abogado Antonio Flores, responsable de Lawbird, durante la rueda de prensa que ha ofrecido este jueves en Marbella sobre la inversión en Luxemburgo de la alcaldesa / JCV

El responsable de la firma Lawbird, que destapó la inversión de Ángeles Muñoz en Luxemburgo, anima a la regidora a dar explicaciones públicas en lugar de denunciarle ante el Colegio de Abogados.

Antonio Flores sostiene que la operación de “ingeniería financiera” supondría el ahorro del 34% en el impuesto de sucesiones.

“Atribuimos a la alcaldesa la compra de un producto destinado a evadir impuestos”. Así de claro y contundente se ha mostrado este jueves el abogado Antonio Flores, responsable del bufete Lawbird, al corroborar la inversión de 3,1 millones de euros en una entidad bancaria de Luxemburgo en 2010 que llevó a cabo la sociedad Crasel Panorámica S.L.,  propiedad al cincuenta por ciento de la regidora marbellí, Ángeles Muñoz (PP).

Flores, que ha comparecido en rueda de prensa durante más de una hora, ha apuntado, como novedad, que el producto financiero suscrito con el banco luxemburgués Nordea Bank SA podría suponer para la alcaldesa y demás beneficiarios “un ahorro del 34%  sobre el impuesto de sucesiones”.

La sociedad de la alcaldesa contrató un crédito hipotecario de 3,1 millones sobre su mansión, tasada en 4,7 millones de euros en 2010. Se trata de un inmueble que nunca había tenido carga alguna desde que fue adquirido en 2003 por la alcaldesa y su marido, a través de una sociedad gibraltareña.

“Nosotros no acusamos, sino que atribuimos a la alcaldesa la compra de un producto para no pagar impuestos”. Al tratarse del impuesto de sucesiones, el jurista ha aclarado que “no se defrauda  hasta que uno fallece”. Así pues, sostiene que “la evasión de impuestos en grado de tentativa no es delito, otra cosa es la cuestión política en la que no entramos”, en alusión al escándalo generado en Marbella tras conocerse la operación de Luxemburgo.

Por si quedaba alguna duda sobre si la sociedad de la alcaldesa, ella o su marido tienen alguna cuenta bancaria en Luxemburgo Flores ha confirmado que “la tienen que tener, porque va asociada al producto que se ha contratado y allí se depositan los 3,1 millones de euros”. No obstante, ha concretado que “en torno al diez por ciento, unos 200.000 euros” del monto total, habrían sido entregados a los subscritores de la inversión.

Basándose en la publicidad que ofertaba Nordea Bank SA, denunciada ante la Agencia Tributaria española, el abogado ha descrito el proceder de la sociedad de Muñoz: “Crasel Panorámica contrata ese producto para reducir el valor de la vivienda, y para invertir el capital en Luxemburgo, como el banco lo tiene previsto”. Según los folletos que Flores ha mostrado “todo se ofertaba para reducir el impuesto de sucesiones en España”, ha insistido.

Así pues, una vez que la alcaldesa ha negado ser víctima del banco luxemburgués, al contrario que los clientes de Flores, el letrado ha dicho que no tiene “nada” de qué retractarse. Todo después de que la primera edil marbellí le instara a hacerlo a través de un requerimiento notarial.

Muñoz emprendió dichas acciones a raíz de las declaraciones que el letrado hizo a eldiario.es el pasado 2 de marzo en las que destapó la operación financiera de Crasel Panorámica S.L. en el citado paraíso fiscal. Previamente, Flores había informado de ello en la página web de los afectados por prácticas irregulares de Nordea Bank, representados por su bufete.

“No tengo por qué rectificar, cuando la propia alcaldesa declaró a eldiario.es que ella tiene un seguro de vida precisamente para poder hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”. De hecho, Muñoz insistió el pasado 2 de marzo, cuando este medio recabó su versión, en que “desgraciadamente, en Andalucía, mientras sigan gobernando los socialistas tendremos que tener un seguro de vida para hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”.

Al ser preguntado por la denuncia que ha interpuesto la regidora contra él, ante el Colegio de Abogados de Málaga, Flores ha respondido que “es una manera sucia de empañar la imagen de un abogado”. Argumenta que Ángeles Muñoz no ha acudido a los tribunales “porque una querella causa revuelo y hay que sacar muchos papeles”. Además, ha animado a la también presidenta de la FAMP a dar explicaciones públicamente en lugar de denunciarle.

Flores plantea dudas sobre el origen del patrimonio de la alcaldesa

Antonio Flores, que ha calificado de “operación de ingeniería financiera” la actuación llevada a cabo por la sociedad de la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, sostiene que la situación de la munícipe del PP “no es aceptable para un cargo público”. Sobre todo-ha añadido- “cuando su vivienda particular (la mansión) tiene por el sur un préstamo hipotecario con Luxemburgo y al norte una sociedad gibraltareña”, en alusión a  la offshore Crasel Limited, mercantil a la que el matrimonio compró los 90.000 euros del capital social que tenía en Crasel Panorámica S.L.

Al hilo del argumento de la regidora sobre que ella tiene régimen de separación de bienes con su cónyuge, a Flores le sorprende que Ángeles Muñoz “tenga un patrimonio de cerca de 3,5 millones de euros, la mayoría del cual no está gravado con ninguna hipoteca, con los ingresos que ha podido declarar”.

A Muñoz “no se le conoce una actividad profesional o mercantil para tener ese patrimonio tan abultado. Tiene un sueldo relativamente alto pero no puede cubrir ciertos desembolsos que ha hecho”, esgrime el responsable de Lawbird.

En su declaración municipal de bienes, hecha en  junio de 2011, la regidora declaró 7.500 euros brutos mensuales como primera edil. Entre 2007 y 2011 cobró 55.742 euros brutos anuales como parlamentaria andaluza por Málaga.

“Si ocurre como dice la alcaldesa, que recibe trasvases de patrimonio de su marido, ella ha tenido que declararlo en el impuesto de donaciones, puesto que ambos están vivos, la realidad es que no se ha hecho así”, denuncia Flores.

Flores ha recordado, tal y como informó eldiario.es, que Muñoz adquirió la finca en la que se halla su mansión “a través de la compra venta de participaciones de una sociedad de Gibraltar”. En este punto sostiene lo siguiente: “sospechamos que se realizó por el valor del capital social, que fueron 90.000 euros”.

Si las obras de la mansión se hicieron una vez comprado el terreno “el sueldo de la alcaldesa no daba como para poder cubrir un desembolso de cerca de 2 millones de euros”, ha concluido el letrado.

Story by J. C. A. | Marbella 24 Horas

El abogado Antonio Flores, esta mañana en rueda de prensa.

El abogado Antonio Flores, que destapó las operaciones en Luxemburgo de Ángeles Muñoz, ha puesto esta mañana a la alcaldesa de Marbella contra las cuerdas a nivel político. En una larga rueda de prensa ha dicho que la regidora “compró un producto para no pagar impuestos”, que le podría suponer un ahorro del 34% en el impuesto de sucesiones. También la ha acusado de tener “incompleta” su declaración de bienes como cargo público y de “faltar a la verdad”.

Antonio Flores Vila, del bufete Lawbird Legal Services SL de Marbella, fue quien destapó, a través de las investigaciones que realizaba para una asociación de afectados por Nordea Bank S.A., las operaciones de la alcaldesa de Marbella en Luxembugo, que salieron a la luz pública a través de “Eldiario.es”.
Esta mañana, en una rueda de prensa de casi una hora, ha puesto contra las cuerdas a nivel político a la alcaldesa de Marbella. El letrado ha asegurado que Ángeles Muñoz “compró un producto para no pagar impuestos porque así lo refleja la publicidad de este banco”.
“No la acusamos de defraudar al fisco, algo que no se haría hasta que hubiese un fallecimiento y la evasión de impuestos en grado de tentativa no es un delito”, dijo, y añadió que la parcela en la que debe ofrecer explicaciones es en la “política”.
Flores sostiene que esta situación “no es aceptable para un cargo público”, sobre todo cuando su vivienda particular tiene “por el norte un préstamo hipotecario en un paraíso fiscal (Luxemburgo) y por el sur una sociedad gibraltareña, que es otro paraíso fiscal”.
El abogado ha centrado su rueda de prensa en explicar tres aspectos fundamentales. Por un lado, el producto que ha adquirido la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, por otro que su declaración de bienes está incompleta y “no refleja la realidad”, y como último en defenderse de la denuncia que ha hecho el Ayuntamiento ante el Colegio de Abogados.
Respecto al primer asunto, ha considerado necesaria esta rueda de prensa para “desmentir” las afirmaciones de la alcaldesa sobre sus operaciones en Luxemburgo. “No son verdaderas, las explica de una forma sesgada y nadie termina de aclarar qué sucede”, ha dicho.
Según ha explicado, Nordea Bank S.A. es una entidad de Luxemburgo, que tiene una oficina de representación en Marbella y que se dedica a la planificación fiscal internacional. “Su objetivo es ayudar a la gente, de forma más o menos legal, a que tenga que pagar menos impuestos”, ha dicho.
“En España ofrecen un producto que, según dicen ellos en su publicidad, era para evitar legalmente el impuesto de sucesiones y de patrimonio, aunque esto no es cierto”, dijo.
Explicó que su bufete había planteado un pleito contra esta entidad por “publicidad engañosa” porque induce a la gente a pensar que “puede defraudar al fisco”.
Desde la asociación de afectados por Nordea Bank, según ha dicho, se solicitó a la Agencia Tributaria información sobre este producto y la respuesta fue que “utilizarlo para no pagar impuestos suponía una infracción tributaria”.
Antonio Flores ha explicado en qué consiste el producto contratado por la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, como han hecho otros clientes de este banco. Ha relatado que consta de tres elementos: “una vivienda en España sin cargas, una hipoteca que te da el banco y una póliza de seguros de vida que está asociada a una cartera de inversiones”.
El letrado ha señalado que es “falso” que la póliza de seguros sea obligatoria porque hay una hipoteca, ya que existe “una prima única que se pagó al comienzo” y que en el caso de la regidora fue de 3,1 millones de euros. “Ese dinero, quizá un poco menos por los gastos, se queda en Luxemburgo”, sostuvo.
Según sostuvo, el banco anuncia que este producto funciona por dos motivos. “Porque dicen que la casa ya no vale 4,7 millones porque tiene una carga de 3,1 millones, y que en Luxemburgo se puede heredar ese dinero sin pagar impuestos, pero ambas afirmaciones son falsas”.
“Un préstamo hipotecario no sirve para reducir impuestos, si es para comprar la vivienda sí, pero no para sacar una hipoteca y guardarla en Luxemburgo y hablar de que tiene una carga”, explicó.
Por tanto, el letrado considera que no debe hacer ninguna rectificación, como le ha solicitado la alcaldesa, y recordó que la propia regidora confirmó en “Eldiario.es” el motivo de su inversión cuando dijo, textualmente, que “yo tengo un seguro de vida precisamente para poder hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones. Desgraciadamente en Andalucía mientras sigan gobernando los socialistas tendremos que tener un seguro de vida para hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”.
“Es un producto que la sociedad Crasel Panorámica, de la que la alcaldesa tiene el 50%, contrata para reducir el valor de la vivienda, invertir el capital en Luxemburgo y, según la publicidad, reducir el impuesto”, concluyó.
Declaración de bienes
En la segunda parte de su rueda de prensa, sostuvo que la declaración de bienes de la alcaldesa como cargo público está “incompleta” y añadió que “no es cierto que todo esté declarado en ella”.
Flores señaló que, utilizando las notas simples de las viviendas que están a nombre de Ángeles Muñoz o de sociedades de las que es copropietaria, aparecen ocho fincas registrales, cuatro a su nombre y el resto al de las empresas en las que participa al 50%.
En su declaración de bienes “no figura la póliza de seguros, ni el crédito hipotecario, y faltan algunos bienes como una vivienda en Monachil (Granada) y otra en La Quinta Hills”.
Consideró que este documento, que se puede consultar en la web del Ayuntamiento, está “sesgado, no sé si de forma malintencionada, pero no es veraz”.
“Esto es algo que tiene que divulgar ella, pero como considera que nosotros la injuriamos, hemos decidido relacionar lo que ella declara con la verdad”, dijo.
“No somos políticos, ella decidirá si pone al día esta declaración o la completa”, señaló, y añadió que, además, es de “muy difícil interpretación”.
“Pone que tiene participaciones por valor de 44.000 euros en una sociedad que tiene detrás una mansión de 4,7 millones, entonces se la compramos, no refleja la realidad”, sostuvo.
Flores fue más allá y dijo que a la alcaldesa “no se le conoce una actividad mercantil”, por lo que “llama la atención que tenga un patrimonio tan abultado”.Además, considera que, si lo relaciona con el de su marido, al existir separación de bienes, “si hubiese recibido trasvases del patrimonio de su cónyuge tendría que declararlo en el impuesto de donaciones, y no es así”.

“Tiene un sueldo relativamente alto, pero no puede cubrir ciertos desembolsos que ha hecho, esto debería aclararlo, no es aceptable que diga que es su vida privada cuando además utiliza los servicios jurídicos del Ayuntamiento para denunciarnos”, dijo.
Denuncia Colegio de Abogados
Los servicios jurídicos del Ayuntamiento han denunciado a Antonio Flores ante el Colegio de Abogados de Málaga por “injurias o calumnias” sobre las inversiones de la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo. Flores considera que “hemos tropezado con este asunto, lo hemos remitido a un medio de comunicación y a partir de ahí ha surgido todo”.
“El Colegio no tiene competencia contra nosotros porque es una cuestión entre dos partes privadas, la alcaldesa no es clienta y no tenemos relación jurídica, por tanto no hay contenido deontológico”, declaró.
Preguntado sobre por qué la alcaldesa no ha acudido a los tribunales, ha dicho que una querella “causa revuelo y hay que sacar muchos papeles”, por lo que han optado por una “manera sucia de empañar la imagen de un abogado”.
The Olive Press

Mayor of Marbella sues top lawyer over alleged undeclared assetsTHE mayor of Marbella is suing a well known lawyer over claims that she improperly declared her investments abroad.

Maria Angeles is suing Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, after he spoke to the press regarding her alleged failure to declare that she and her expat husband Lars Broberg took out a €3.1 million equity release mortgage with Swiss bank Nordea in 2010.

Muñoz has accused the brief of ‘professional misconduct’, claiming he was the main source in recent media reports concerning her allegedly undeclared assets.

As well as investments in Luxembourg, Munoz and Swede Broberg allegedly bought a 98% share in Gibraltarian company Crasel Limited, in 2003.

The town hall has reported the lawyer, who has a column with the Olive Press, to the Law Society, meaning the case will not go to court.

Spokesman for the town hall, Felix Romero claimed Flores ‘went against professional ethics by giving insulting statements to the press, and distributing them across the internet’.

Flores insisted: “I have not been disrespectful towards her. I only said that she had either deliberately not declared her investments, or that she was a victim of the bank, like many others. I never made any indication which.”

Concerns were first raised about Munoz’s foreign dealings by a group established by Antonio Flores, called the Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA), made up of expats who have lost millions of euros through the bank.

The lawyer has filed a complaint with the Tax Office on behalf of ERVA’s members, affected by investments with Nordea Bank.

Mr Flores will give a press conference on Thursday to discuss the allegations made against him.

Story by Mike Lockley | Birmingham Mail

A Birmingham poker ace, who ranks royal love rat James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher among friends, has vanished from his luxury Costa del Sol home amid a major cash probe.

Broker “Sir” Nigel Goldman – he boasts of paying for the peerage – is being sought by Spanish police probing claims that people who entrusted him to invest their cash were left empty-handed and unable to access their funds.

It is not the first time that the playboy, who lived in exclusive Petersham Place, Edgbaston, before moving to Marbella, has been accused of dealing clients a duff hand.

In his own book, titled ‘High Stakes: How I blew £14 million’ he confesses to being banged up twice for fraud.

One review of the autobiography notes: “Goldman seems to show little remorse – and more than a little contempt – for the victims whose money he lived off so handsomely.”

This time, however, Goldman claims he has been duped himself, along with those who are demanding answers.

In a text message, he insisted: “Things started to go wrong just over a year ago. It seems some of my brokers turned out to be running a Ponzi scheme with everyone’s money. Since then I have been playing catch-up.

“I did not set out to be a thief.”

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent 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 €800,000 (£658,000)

One former Birmingham business contact of the gambler, who dealt in gold and coins, said he was not surprised by the fresh controversy.

“He can’t help himself,” shrugged the coins specialist. “He’s a very clever bloke. If he did the right things, he’d make a fortune.”

Goldman, a feature at the world’s biggest poker tournaments, has not been seen for three weeks following complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.

A lawyer acting for investors who say they have lost cash, has publicly stated that he is chasing £2.5 million, and that the sum is rising daily.

Antonio Flores, of Lawbird solicitors, has placed advertisements in Spanish newspapers in an attempt to track down public school-educated Goldman, nicknamed “Naughty Nigel” by the Costa press.

Yet Goldman, son of a Birmingham dentist, seemed to have turned over a new leaf after immersing himself in Marbella’s bustling social circuit just over ten years ago. His gleaming Mercedes and glamorous girlfriend, Suzanne Couling, were part and parcel of the VIP scene and were regularly spotted at Hewitt’s Polo House restaurant – THE place to be in Marbella,

Euro Weekly News

AN expatriate who lost €1million to a ‘thieving bank’ has taken it to court.

Euan Armstrong, 75, says he has lost his life savings after being sold an ‘illegal’ equity release scheme that was supposed to protect his estate from inheritance tax.
Danske bank ‘mortgaged his house’ then invested the cash in its own financial products. Not only did Danske not deliver on the promised €35,000 of annual investment income but they then began charging him tens of thousands in commissions and ‘charges’ – €18,000 the first year, even more the next, up to an average of €55,000 per year – before  trying to re-possess his home near Coin.

That has left Euan, and he says, hundreds of others out of pocket to the tune of possibly hundreds of million of euros.

Armstrong told EuroWeekly that “my €1 million investment was spiraling downward to where by 2010, I’d lost €850,000 of it,” with Danske after him to pay what they had lost. Left destitute, he says, “I had to put my own house up for rental in order to live and eat.” He has since been forced out of retirement and back to work as a yacht captain.

NOT GIVING UP: Euan Armstrong says he is one of hundreds

Giving up the fight against Danske is impossible for Armstrong because, according to him, “I’m only one of hundreds.” In response, he linked up with fellow ‘equity release’ fraud victim Ian Sherdley to form the Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA, www.erva.es) which empowers similar victims to speak out with ERVA’s support. Antonio Flores of Lawbird Legal Services confirms that 500-600 people have fallen prey to illegal mortgages schemes totaling €175 million along the Costa.

Armstrong accuses multiple banks—“They’re all doing it,” he says—of targeting the elderly, retired demographic, those without mortgages, so as “to get their money off them.” In the meantime, Armstrong claims innocent people are dying from corollary effects like alcoholism. He says the stress has brought on an irregular heart beat while his brother John has since passed away. “The banks are waiting for people to die,” he states, explaining that if banks wait it out long enough, they win. Law firms fighting these cases have made little progress because the banks “just don’t answer.” Armstrong sentiments were unequivocal: “They’re thieving, robbing *****.”

Armed with 1,030 pages of evidence on Armstrong’s case, a Malaga court has overturned a previous Danske appeal by declaring the case is indeed criminal, not merely civil. Now Henrik Hjerrild and Morten Runo, two top executives from Danske Bank International S.A.’s Luxembourg office, have been summoned by a Fuengirola court for suspected criminal financial dealings.

What is next for Armstrong? “Wait and hope the bank will cancel the mortgage. Then I’ll sue for damages. The situation has brought financial ruin.”

Story by Peter Nyholm | Business DK

Danske Bank har angiveligt rådgivet kunder til at spare i skat ved at optage gæld i deres spanske hus. På den måde kunne de bl.a. undgå at betale arveafgifter. Pengene skulle bruges til at investere via Danske Banks bankselskab i Luxembourg, men i dag er store dele af kundernes formuer tabt, og derfor skal to af Danske Banks folk nu forklare sig i retten.

Beskyldningerne går på, at banken i processen både har vildledt kunderne og begået bedrageri. Sådan lyder det fra advokat Antonio Flores fra Lawbird Legal Services – et advokatkontor i Malaga, som fører en sag mod Danske Bank på vegne af nogle briter. Hans mål er at få banken til at betale erstatning til kunderne.

Det skal tilføjes, at han er aflønnet efter en no cure, no pay-ordning, så han får en procentdel af erstatningerne, hvis han vinder sagerne. Han har ført kamp med flere andre danske banker, der har ligget i lignende opgør om salg af investeringsprodukter baseret på lån i fast ejendom via Luxembourg eller andre lande, der havde status af skattely.

»Nu har retten bestemt sig for at kalde de her Danske Bank-personer til Spanien for at blive afhørt. Sagen skal klarlægge, om der skal rejses en kriminalsag. Dokumenterne er allerede godkendt. De viser, at Danske Bank begik vildledende markedsføring og bedrageri,« lyder det fra Antonio Flores, som oplyser, at det er rådgiverne Morten Runo Waaben og Henrik Hjerrild Hansen fra Danske Bank Luxembourg, der skal forklare Danske Banks sag i retten. Det skal dog ikke forveksles med, at de er sigtede i sagen.

Et centralt dokument i sagen er såkaldt fact sheet fra 2003 fra Danske Bank. Her redegør banken for de fordele, der er ved et såkaldt Capital Assurance-produkt. Der nævnes fem forskellige punkter, hvorved udenlandske kunder bosat i Spanien opnår en skattefordel ved at gå ind i Danske Banks model.

»Disse dokumenter om skattefordele var ikke sande, de var løgn. Men man kan ikke afvise, at Danske Bank har misforstået disse produkter, men det er fuldstændig klart, at man ikke må bruge dette produkt til at omgå skat, det er ulovligt,« siger advokaten.

KPMG afviser godkendelse

For at gøre sagen endnu mere pikant oplyses det i dokumentet fra Danske Bank, at »The tax benefits of the Capital Assurance have been approved by KPMG«, men nu oplyser Antonio Flores, at han er i besiddelse af et brev fra KPMG, hvori de afviser at have godkendt modellen:

»Skattekontoret siger, at det er ulovligt, og KPMG siger, at de aldrig har godkendt produktet.«

I den konkrete sag oplyser advokaten, at et britisk ægtepar har belånt deres ejendom med en mio. euro.

De penge har Danske Bank så investeret, men det er gået skidt efter krisen, og der er nu kun 300.000 euro tilbage.

Selv om Antonio Flores allerede har tabt sagen ved en civil ret, er målet fortsat, at kunderne skal stilles, som om de aldrig er indgået i aftalen.

Det kan angiveligt blive en dyr omgang for banken, for Antonio Flores påstår, at 100 spanske kunder er i en lignende situation i Danske Bank. Det antal afviser direktør for Danske Bank-koncernens private banking-område, Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, dog:

»Jeg kan ikke forholde mig til det tal, jeg ved simpelthen ikke, hvad han taler om.« Hvor mange er der så?

»Det er ret få. Men jeg ved ikke, hvor han har det tal fra. Det er far out. Det er en ti år gammel sag, som tidligere er tabt i en civil ret. Nogle forsøger at slippe for at betale et lån, fordi de er kommet i klemme. De gør alt, hvad de kan. Jeg synes, at det er tankevækkende, at han kører det her i pressen og ikke i retten.«Men kan du bekræfte, at der er kunder, som har tabt penge på at investere i Luxembourg? 

»Hvis man under krisen tog et lån og investerede, så gav det tab for mange mennesker. Sådan er det jo. Meget af det er kommet tilbage, men det kan man ikke forhindre.«Hvordan forholder du dig til påstanden om, at I har vildledt kunderne og begået bedrageri?

»Jeg er da irriteret over det. Men sådan er det at drive virksomhed. Det kan man ikke undgå at løbe ind i.« Vil du afvise, at det har noget på sig?»Jeg vil afvise fuldstændig, at der er noget som helst på den sag,« I materialet står der, at der er fordele rent skattemæssigt? »Det er for mig at se bare almindelig information om, hvordan sådan noget fungerer.« Men er det ikke en god forretning for banken. Man har lånt en masse penge ud og investeret dem samtidig med?

»Bankvæsen handler jo om at foretage investeringer og yde lån og modtage indlån og betalingsformidling. Det har været en fornuftig forretning, men ikke mere fornuftig end alt muligt andet.«




Danish Bank has allegedly advised clients to save tax by raising debt in their Spanish house . That way they could include avoid paying inheritance taxes. The money was used to invest via Danish Bank banking company in Luxembourg, but today much of customers’ fortunes lost and therefore two of the Danish Bank people now explain himself in court.

The accusation is that the bank in the process both misled customers and committed fraud. So says lawyer Antonio Flores from Lawbird Legal Services – a law firm in Malaga, leading a case against the Danish Bank on behalf of some Britons. His goal is to get the bank to pay compensation to customers.

It should be added that he was paid at a no cure, no pay scheme , so he gets a percentage of the damages if he wins the cases. He led fight with several other Danish banks that have been in similar showdown on the sale of investment products based on mortgages via Luxembourg or other countries that had the status of tax havens.

“Now the court has decided to call these Danish Bank persons to Spain for questioning . The case must clarify whether to bring a criminal . The documents have already been approved. They show that the Danish Bank committed deceptive marketing and fraud , ” says Antonio Flores, who says that it is the advisors Morten Runo Waaben and Henrik Hjerrild Hansen from the Danish Bank Luxembourg to explain Danish Bank case in court . It should not be confused with the fact that they are suspects in the case.

A key document in this case is called a fact sheet from 2003 from the Danish Bank . This explains the bank for the benefits of a so-called Capital Assurance product. There are five different points , whereby foreign customers residing in Spain achieve a tax advantage by going into the Danish Bank model.

“These documents about the tax benefits were not true , they were lying. But one can not deny that the Danish Bank ‘ve got these products, but it is quite clear that one should not use this product to evade taxes , it is illegal , “said the lawyer.

KPMG denies approval

To make matters even more piquant is stated in the document of the Danish Bank that ” The tax benefits of the Capital Assurance havebeen godkendt by KPMG ,” but now says Antonio Flores that he is in possession of a letter from KPMG in which the denies having authorized the model:

” The tax office says it is illegal, and KPMG say they never approved the product . ”

In this particular case, the lawyer says that a British couple have mortgaged their property with a million . euro .

The money has Danish Bank so invested , but it has gone bad after the crisis, and there are now only 300,000 euros return.

Although Antonio Flores already has been unsuccessful in the civil courts , the goal remains that customers must be treated as if they never entered into the Agreement.

It can supposedly be an expensive place for the bank, Antonio Flores claims that 100 Spanish customers are in a similar situation in the Danish Bank . The number of rejects director of the Danish Bank Group’s private banking division , Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, however :

“I can not relate to the numbers I simply do not know what he’s talking about . ” How many are there ?

“It is quite a few . But I do not know where he got that number from . It’s far out . It is a ten year old case that was lost in a civilian court . Some try to avoid paying a loan because they get caught. They are doing everything they can. I think it is significant that he runs it here in the press and not the right . “But can you confirm that there are customers who have lost money investing in Luxembourg?

” If the crisis took a loan and invested , so gave it a loss for many people. How it is. Much of it has come back , but it can not prevent. ” How do you relate to the allegation that I have misled customers and committed fraud?
“I’m as annoyed by it. But this is to run a business . You can not avoid running into the ” Do you deny that it has something to do? ‘I reject completely that there is anything on the matter ,” the material says that there are benefits for tax purposes ? “It is for me to see just general information about how something works. ” But it is not good business for the bank. It has borrowed a lot of money and invested them at the same time ?

” Banking is all about making investments and providing loans and receive deposits and payments . It has been a sound business , but no more sensible than anything else. “