Archives for September, 2015

Landsbanki Employees to Face Criminal Trial in France

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The Court of Appeal in Paris, in a ground-breaking ruling of the 24th of September, has ordered that a number of employees of the almost defunct Landsbanki face trial for fraud.

The indicted individual (cited below) will now stand formally accused of several counts of fraud, namely:

  1. Fraud consisting on knowingly concealing financial difficulties faced by Landsbanki since 2006 and its near impossibility to meets its obligations towards its customers.
  2. Fraud consisting on cross-financing between banks of the same group, i.e. banks acquiring capital from other group banks, increasing thereby the threat to viability and bankruptcy.
  3. Fraud consisting on making customers believe that not only were they not taking any risk but also, that by mortgaging their properties for amounts significantly higher than they actually needed for liquidity (the part of the loan left to them), they would have nothing to repay until the maturity of the loan as the interest would be covered by the yields on the investment.
  4. Fraud consisting on encouraging customers to buy Icelandic bonds knowing yet concealing the fact that these would, inevitably, lose all its value.
  5. Fraud consisting on abusing the trust of customers who were not advised that the bank would have to subscribe, on their behalf, Landsbanki Kaupthing obligations.

The persons accused of fraud are:

Bjorgolfur GUDMUNSSON (Icelandic), Gunnar THORODDSEN (Icelandic), Torben BJERREGAARD (Danish), and the managers Olle LINDFORS (Swedish),  Morten Juul NIELSEN (Danish), Thomas NIELSEN (Danish), Vincent FAILLY (French) and the sales representatives, Robert ANTHONY (British) and Pascal MARCEROU (French).

The Lies of The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited Uncovered

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The previous post published on ERVA explains that Michael Richardson, founder of the above 2 companies, does not hide the fact his 2007 company -The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited- is the successor of the BVI-based Premier Balanced Distribution Inc.

But now, the Financial Supervision Commission has confirmed that not only did one take over from the other but that they are, in essence, the same firm.

An FSC officer has confirmed, unofficially, the following:

  1. The BVI company’s website was www.thepremiergroup.biz, the same as the 2007 company.
  2. The email address info@thepremiergroup.biz, used by the previous company, is currently in use by the 2007 company.
  3. Until December 2007, the 2007 company used the BVI company’s telephone and fax numbers: +44 (0) 1624 838110 y Fax and 44 (0) 1624 836785.
  4. The 2007 company used the green BVI company logo/branding (above) on its website until…May 2010: that’s 3 years after it was incorporated. This is the logo used in the 2004 promotional literature that CAINS says “has nothing to do with its client”.
  5. The Daily Telegraph, among others, confirmed in 2005 that The Premier Group was based in…the Isle of Man.

For CAINS Advocates though they are two totally separate companies with no connection whatsoever, according to their “independent” report filed with the Bilbao Courts. CAINS says the following in its report:

Nothwithstanding that Cains acts as Isle of Man legal adviser to the The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited, we shall act objectively and our statements shall take into account all circumstances which may prove to be favourable as well as those that may cause harm to any of the parties of the proceedings previously stated.

CAINS is employed by the 2007 The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited and were also the appointed counsel for the BVI company and they therefore should and could have known that their statement is at best inaccurate and misleading and at worst, fraudulent.

This breach constitutes serious professional misconduct and failure to comply with the principles, rules and regulations of the legal profession in the Isle of Man.

The Premier Group Isle of Man Files Response to Equity Release Action

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The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited has formally responded to Court papers filed by Equity Release Victims against this company and SLMB, their lenders.

The main allegations contained in the writ reveal a great deal of anxiety and worry, consistent with a very significant claim value of circa 6 million Euros.

In their defense, The Premier Group has avoided alluding to inheritance tax, lack of regulatory authorization to operate in Spain and financial miselling. Their main argument, aided by a partisan “independent” report drafted by their Isle of Man lawyers, CAINS, is that The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited was incorporated in July 2007 and therefore, could have never had anything to do with the SITIRS (Spanish Inheritance Tax and Income Release Scheme) which, according to their independent lawyers, was devised and promoted by ‘another’ company called “Premier Balanced Distribution Inc”, based in British Virgin Islands, a revelation that logically exonerates them from any responsibility and thus…case closed!

Such is the confidence of The Premier Group’s Spanish counsel that they liberally dub lawyers acting for the claimants as clumsy and inept, considering the magnitude and implications of this gross oversight.

What these lawyers have not realized is that Mr. Michael Richardson (photo), the mastermind of this illicit tax-evasion mechanism, boasts the following on his website:

In 2001 founded the forerunner fund group that became Premier and has been actively engaged in the design and management of many offshore funds.

The extent of this legal bungle is corroborated by yet further admission that they are, in essence, the same company:

The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited (“Premier”) is the successor of a fund group established in 2001 and is responsible for designing, distributing and managing a range of investment funds to investment intermediaries and financial institutions throughout the UK and international markets.

Further evidence that supports that both companies are the same will be produced in Court and, where appropriate, divulged in this website.

As for SLMH, they have not yet filed their defense papers that we are aware of.

Alicante Court to Order Baron De Rothschild’s Interrogation in France

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The Council Act of 29 May 2000 establishing the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union enables prosecutors and courts of EU countries to receive assistance from one another when investigating crimes. This Act supplements the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959.

The Act does not cover International police, extradition and customs collaboration, all of which are regulated by other laws, but measures required by courts and prosecutors in preliminary investigation and in court proceedings.

Denia (Alicante) Court number 1, currently investigating alleged fraud in the marketing and sale of mortgage in Spain, has ordered one of such measures: the interrogation of the de facto owner of The Rothschild Group, Mr. Baron David de Rothschild. To achieve this, lawyers acting for victims of the “Credit Select Series 4” mortgage loan have recently submitted to the Spanish Court a list of questions that Mr. Rothschild should respond to, when summoned by the appropriate French Court.

The deposition questions relate mostly to the extensive advertising employed by Guernsey-based Rothschild Bank International, owned by The Rothschild Group, to market and sell Spanish mortgages as scheme to reduce potential inheritance taxes.

Rothschild lawyers have cynically denied any knowledge of the proceedings and refused to collaborate, in spite of a meeting held with a journalist from El País to discuss their version prior to running the story, or the visit paid by police officers to their Madrid offices to deliver the summons. On this occasion, the officers were fobbed off by dismissive staff with a lame excuse: “he does not work here”.

Mr. Rothschild’s attitude is in contrast with his group’s advertised motto, “Harmony, Integrity, Industry, qualities that are best underpinned by the Denia judge who, so far, seems unperturbed by the stature of the individual.

With Courts resuming their activity this week, there will be a mixture of expectation and hope among the victims of a fraudulently-sold mortgage loan who now need to know, sooner rather than later, what Rothschild’s top man has to say.

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