Archives for Legal Action

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.

Court Requests Lawyers to Submit List of Deposition Questions

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Court Number 1 in Denia has given lawyers acting for claimants 30 days to submit a list of questions they wish Mr. Baron David de Rothschild responds to.

The Court order implies that Mr. Baron David de Rothschild will be heard at a French Court, and not in Spain, as was initially petitioned.

Whichever way, Mr. Baron David de Rothschild will be formally indicted in a criminal case as soon as the Denia Court processes an international ‘letter rogatory’, through the Paris-based ‘liason Judge’ Javier GĂłmez BermĂşdez (on photo) -a well-known Spanish former National Audience Court Magistrate-, in charge of providing a channel of communication to French Courts.

State Prosecutor In Favour of Mr. David de Rothschild being Deposed in France

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The State Prosecutor whose opinion was sought by the Denia Court on the matter of Mr. Baron de Rothschild Summons has confirmed, in a short writ, that the deposition of the banker may take place in France -via the designated national Court-.

If this is the case, the acting lawyers will be given a date to submit a list of deposition questions, with a translation into French.

It is also possible for lawyers acting for claimants to attend the interrogation.

Baron David de Rothschild to be Summoned in France

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David de Rothschild, Chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings and NM Rothschild & Sons, is due to be summoned in France to appear before a Denia Court.

The Court resolved to proceed with serving formal notice of legal action in the neighbouring country as a result of the State Prosecutor’s decision to not oppose the petition for summons, as requested by lawyers acting for a number of undisclosed claimants.

The presiding Judge has requested that lawyers acting for claimants identify the current address for Mr. Rothschild.

The news coincides with the the hefty $11,5 million fine imposed to Rothschild Bank AG by the U.S. Justice Department, for helping Americans conceal assets offshore.

An Estepona Court accepts a criminal complaint against 2 directors of SG Hambros Gibraltar

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A Court in Estepona has upheld a criminal complaint against Claudia Rolf-Urnieta, former MD of ABN AMRO N.V. Girbraltar, her husband Sergio Urnieta (who acted for the bank) and Emma Perez, from SG Hambros, for fraud.

The case relates to an Equity Release contract offered by unregulated ABN AMRO N.V. Gibraltar to the owners of a quiet rural hotel, based in Almogia.

When the ABN AMRO Gibraltar branch was wound up, its business was transferred to SG Hambros Gibraltar, together with the loan and investment book. However, whilst the latter has admitted to “taking over some loans”, they strongly deny being in charge of the investment portfolio (yet they keep sending regular updates!).

The loan was invested, by orders of Mrs. Claudia Rolf Urnieta, with a company not regulated to operate in Spain.

Additionally, at the behest of Mrs. Rolf-Urnieta, an offshore company would be set up to conceal the identity of the ultimate beneficiaries of the Almogia-based couple.

The above modus operandi was found to be acceptable to ABN AMRO Gibraltar lawyers, one of which was Mrs. Rolf-Urnieta’s husband, Sergio Urnieta.

Emma Perez denies any involvement with past events relating to ABN AMRO but will not disclose the whereabouts of the investment.

Claimants are due to appear on the 8th of June to ratify the criminal complaint.

The case has been widely covered by Spanish press:

Diario Sur 

La Opinion de Malaga

Europa Sur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marbella Court Stops Landsbanki Foreclosure

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A Marbella Court has ordered a stay of foreclosure proceedings following a ‘null and void’ petition submitted by lawyers acting for the defendant.

The application to the Court is based on fundamental breaches of civil procedure laws, namely failure to identify the correct sum that Landsbanki is demanding from the borrower.

Landsbanki has so far only foreclosed on company-owned property, that we are aware of.

Should the Court set aside the foreclosure procedure, Landsbanki would have to pursue the debt via a laborious ordinary case where parties get equal opportunities, as opposed to foreclosure proceedings.

Landsbanki has 5 days to challenge this decision.

 

 

Legal Action Against Landsbanki Luxembourg, Lex Life Luxembourg S.A. and Offshore Money Managers

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LETTER TO LANDSBANKI CUSTOMERS ARE SENT BY FIRM LAWBIRD LEGAL SERVICES

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are due to soon file proceedings against Landsbanki Luxembourg S.A., Lex Life Luxembourg S.A. (and/or its successor) and Offshore Money Managers.

The main reason for the delay in filing has been due to our firm considering, in the light of the content of writs submitted by  Landsbanki Luxembourg, that a claim for misleading advertising should include also excerpts of the cases where Landsbanki lawyers admit –in at least there occasions- that the main reason why this product was offered to the public was as means to -legally- reduce or mitigate Spanish Inheritance Tax.

These crucial undertakings by Landsbanki lawyers indicate that the bank willfully engaged in marketing and selling a bogus tax planning scheme, as confirmed by the Spanish Tax Office in 2013. More so, Landsbanki lawyers confirmed that a brochure explaining the inheritance tax planning was give out to all clients and that this was therefore one of the main reasons, if the principal, for property owners to acquire an Equity Release.

The case is therefore aimed at establishing whether the advertising was truthful or not and where not, from the point of view of an average reader, if the content would have been explicit enough to persuade readers to acquire the Equity Release Scheme. This signals a departure from classic the case argument aimed at establishing misselling of financial investments took place and rather concentrates on the tax mitigation perpective.

It is only through this strategy that we will be able to request that art. 1,306 of the Civil Code is applied to these cases, the only real option to avoid having to repay the draw down if there is a successful outcome.

Article 1,306. If the deed which constitutes the unlawful cause should not constitute a crime or misdemeanour, the following rules shall be observed:

  1. Where both contracting parties are at fault, none of them may recover what he has given pursuant to the contract, or claim the performance of what the other should have offered.
  2. Where only one contracting party is at fault, he may not recover what he has given pursuant to the contract, or demand the performance of what he should have been offered. The other, who was a stranger to the unlawful cause, may claim what he has given, without the obligation to perform what he should have offered.

Along with Landsbanki and the successor of Lex Life, we have decided to issue proceedings against OMM (Offshore Money Managers), a pseudo-IFA who was nonetheless prolific in their advertising efforts to bring customers and banks together.

Finally, the firm Cuatrecasas –no longer acting for Landsbanki or Lex Life- has confirmed in writing that they never contributed or cooperated in providing any tax planning advice, contrary to what Lex-Life advertising stated; this statement automatically renders the advertising untruthful.

With respect to potential foreclosure action by Landsbanki, we will request that the bank is served with an injunction preventing them from enforcing the mortgage loan rights they hold.

Best regards

 

Day in Court Against Nordea

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The Malaga Mercantile Court yesterday held a hearing on ocassion of a misleading advertising case against Nordea Bank Luxembourg S.A. and its Swiss branch.

An overweight Jesper Hertz, for the defendants, lied to the Court shamelessly. He confirmed that the bank had never offered any tax or fiscal advertising, information or otherwise to clients and that all they did was offer investment advice. Jesper’s dishonest intervention depicted a scenario of deceipt and will be remembered as the worst example of the hypocrisy and underhandedness of today’s bankers.

Nordea’s legal advisor questioned the quality of “advertising” of the promotional literature, stating that it made it clear that such information was not advice, but a mere guidance.

They also referred to the date on the main booklet (2008), arguing that it would have been impossible for claimants to have relied on it.

Finally, they dismissed the information provided to customers as mere investment guidance, arguing that it was the loss of such investments that had prompted the Nordea’s clients to sue the bank, and nothing else.

Claimants were able to prove that Nordea extensive tax advertising was misleading, confusing and inaccurate with the aid of 2 Tax Office binding rulings, the expert witness opinion brought in by the claimants (Carlos Jimenez Dengra) and an abscence of any proof to the contrary by Nordea, save for half-hearted attempts to discredit the evidence brought in by the victim’s legal team.

With respect to the booklet date, it was held in Court that previous brochures (2005 and 2006) had inspired the 2008 booklet for identical paragraphs appear on both sets of promotional advertising. It was also held that no where in the advertising did Nordea Bank discuss the product as being an investment proposition but rather, a tax planning tool for the inheritors.

The case is ready for sentencing.

 

 

 

Jyske/Landsbanki Lawyers Helped Former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato Evade Taxes

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Lawyers acting for Jyske and Landsbanki banks, Plazas Abogados in Sotogrande, helped former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Rodrigo Rato evade Spanish taxes.

Operating out of their Sotogrande offices, Mr. Domingo Plazas set up a Spanish/Gibraltarian opaque corporate structure to conceal the ultimate beneficiaries. Until a few days ago, Rato’s company was domiciled in the offices of Plazas Abogados, in Sotogrande.

The choice of law firm could not be a coincidence: both Jyske and Landsbanki orchestrated a tax evasion scheme, the Equity Release Scheme, that was sold to hundreds of pensioners by falsely attributing it Inheritance Tax benefits.

The Spanish Tax Office ruled in 2013 that such scheme was illegal.

More reading:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rodrigo-rato-humiliation-for-eximf-chief-held-as-part-of-tax-fraud-probe-10186160.html

http://www.euronews.com/2015/04/17/spain-s-former-imf-chief-rodrigo-rato-arrested-over-fraud-claims/

 

 

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