“Dirty” Judge Removed in Madrid, Case Finally Moving Forward, Greater Chance for UK Investors To Recover Money

punta perlaFinally some good news to the defrauded investors in Punta Perla!!! After the “dirty” judge in Madrid was removed, then new judge called and heard both Ricardo Miranda and OVP in the court last month. He will call more people and seems to take the fraud case against Miranda, who never build as much as a sand castle in his whole life, very serious!

At the same time Dominican Watchdog has been contacted by defrauded investors who have won civil suits against Miranda and OVP. They have asked me to publish possible help for UK and Northern Ireland investors to recover parts of their lost investments through The Government Controlled Financial Services Compensation Scheme in UK

Possible Option for some to try to retrieve some of their deposits:

There may be another route that many of you based in UK and Ireland who bought in Punta Perla may be interested in , especially if you borrowed against your home i.e. remortgaged or used pension funds, etc to fund your deposits in the UK or Ireland.

Recently a guy from N.Ireland who bought in Punta perla and couldn’t afford to join any of the ongoing legal cases, as he couldn’t afford to shell out any more money, contacted Ollie and a few others with news of another option which over 40 investors in our group are pursuing at the minute in parallel with our case in Madrid.
He had a UK based Mortgage claims firm look into his case and it turned out that this firm had already represented a lady in a case against her introducers. This lady won a test case against the indemnity insurance of her introducers and because of this victory a precedent has been set for any future claims. Ie any of us who wants to make a claim

Here is part of the email sent from the firm explaining the case to us –

– Simon Green formerly of CAG Europe and now heading our legal action partner, Fountain Templar, has referred us to you and fellow investment victims.
We are now working with Simon to help victims of Ocean View Properties achieve some redress for their Spanish property investment losses.
We can do this now because of a major decision in the High Court where a final appeal was heard and the decision made in favour of the claimant. It involved a couple who were advised to obtain equity release from their home to invest in off plan Spanish property which went into liquidation leaving them with the debt and no way of repaying it. The 3 High Court appeal judges said that it was the improper advice and not its use which transgressed the law. That made in this case, the broker, his brokerage, their professional indemnity insurer and finally, as these parties no longer existed, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme liable to make good some or all of the losses. Unfortunately, the FSCS has a limit to pay compensation of £48,000.
We are now using this precedence to make claims in the UK for offshore investment losses where the funds were obtained through UK brokers and lenders making such borrowing subject to UK financial services laws.
There will be no up-front charge or direct costs to you as we and our legal partners are taking all cases of this kind on a no win no fee basis. That means the least you will get is 70% (with our success fee being 25% plus 5% VAT) of what we achieve in full and final settlement. We do not expect to get all your money back because there are statutory limits however, depending on whether it is the broker, the lender, the FSCS or the FoS deciding against the lender, we should help get a considerable amount back for you.
Please advise if this is of interest and if so how we can contact you by phone and in writing, especially your current address so that we can write to you with claims documentation.
Simon, my colleagues and I are available to talk about this at any time convenient to you.
Thanks and all the best
Kind Regards

Ben Parslow

The Mortgage Claims Bureau
> Direct Line: 01903 868251
> Phone: 0800 068 8402
> Email: ben@theclaimsbureau.co.uk

Just last week they sent a group of 5 representatives over to Ireland to meet over 40 of our group, over a three day period, to let everyone know about this other possible way to try and retrieve some of our money. The 40 plus investors who met them were very impressed by their plans and the whole process seems pretty straight forward.

The main thing for everyone was there are no up front fees , it is a completely no win ,no fee claim. They will only make money from the fee they charge at the end ie 25% plus 5% vat. Seems a big fee on their behalf but if any of us thought we could get 70% of our money back soon without having to pay anything out initially , we’d take their arm and all.
The main guy was called Micheal Coyne who basically said that anyone who was introduced by a broker / brokerage etc and was encouraged to take extra finance to cover their deposit would simply have to send them the details of who introduced them and where they got their finance from either mortgage, pension fund etc. and from this info they would proceed with the claim. Unlike our ongoing cases the claims would be settled between 6 months to a year at most.

This option is also available to any Uk investors in Punta Perla or any other development and it doesn’t matter who the introducer was ie doesn’t have to be OVP.

It was explained to our group that this claim in no way effects our current cases in Madrid and DR.

Micheal Coyne is aware that there is a large group of UK based investors who are Punta Perla investors and has already taken on a number of cases . He basically said that his firm could arrange to meet groups anywhere in the UK if they wanted to hear their plans He emailed us some background info to share with others who might be interested – see below

From the meetings it seems that these guys were fairly confident of success for many people.

Hopefully this option might help some people retrieve something back .

The best thing for anyone who feels they might have a claim is to contact these guys yourselves and then you ll be in a better position to know whether you might have a case.

Good luck

Contact details for Micheal Coyne are – or Ben Pardslow above

Michael Coyne
The Mortgage Claims Bureau Ltd

Direct Line 0203 2901 2747
Mobile 0780 1343627
Email: Michael@TheClaimsBureau.co.uk

Background Information

Can people claim themselves?
The potential loss for some of the brokers and networks is huge, and none of them will be queuing up to give that money back. We already have 8 claims on file where people have tried to do it themselves and failed. Worse still, most of them have negated their own claims by what they have said or written.

So, yes people can do it themselves. But putting in a claim against the wrong company could be the difference between a £50,000 payout and a £150,000 payout.

Most of these (big) companies treat any complaint from the general public with disregard. As a claims management company they realise they have to respond to us. A law firm has even more sway.

The FSCS were ordered in the High Court to pay out on the landmark case and they are not best pleased. It’s essential that FSCS applications have to be accurate and legally correct.

However, some people will want to claim themselves regardless of what anyone tells them.

Eligibility
The key legislation from the recent case was that the woman, whose case started it all – Charmaine Emptage- started with a small repayment mortgage that was switched to a large interest only mortgage for the express reason of investing in an off-plan Spanish Property. The closer we can get to that scenario the better.

Timings
Once we have all the paperwork in we request documents from the lender regarding the sale of the mortgage. The lender has a statutory 40 days to respond. But we can’t go back again unless they fail to deliver the specific documents we have asked for.

It takes about a week to 10 days to compile the claim – longer if we consult a barrister for the more complicated cases.

The company has to send us a final decision on the claim within 8 weeks.

If we have to go to FoS this can take a further 6 months.
The FSCS ‘seek’ to complete their investigations within 6 months. This is the way it used to be with PPI claims, but now they are down to 2 months.

Numbers:
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme was set up as a safety net for individuals claiming against regulated companies in the financial world who have gone bust. They have a big pot of money (far bigger than we could use up) collected from the Government and the banking/insurance industry.

They pay out a maximum of £50,000 per person per firm claimed against. So, up to £100,000 for a couple can be awarded.

We have already come across a couple who joined forces with a friend to buy a Punta Perla property. They arranged their mortgage and he arranged his. Each of them could get a maximum of £50,000 back.

The Financial Ombudsman Service can be asked to adjudicate when a claim is turned down by a company still trading. They have the power to order a company to pay up to £150,000 in compensation. Many OVP claims will be in excess of this so firms may opt to turn down the claim and wait for FoS to order them to pay the lesser amount.

Read More: Dominican Republic like to hide the fact, that foreign investors defrauded for more than a Billion dollars in Punta Cana area real estate

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CORRUPT COURT SCANDAL, Spanish judge handling the case didn’t tell that his own brother is directly linked to potential criminal activities in Punta Perla

Jose Emilio Coronado Ruz

Jose Emilio Coronado Ruz

For over a year we have waited for news about this case, and today it was taking an amazing turn thanks to very good work by the lawyers of the defrauded Irish investors. They have proved that the case was stalled by a probably corrupt judge. Hopefully those behind RICARDO MIRANDA’s worldwide fraud show involving ex president Leonel Fernandez and Prince Albert of Monaco, will finally see the inside of the jail.

HERE ARE THE FACTS and they are all over the Spanish press(see links below)

Letter from the lawyers handling the lawsuit one behalf of Ollie Reel’s investor group:

During our professional work and only recently we have found out that the Judge dealing with our criminal lawsuit in Madrid (Criminal Court number 16) against Ricardo Miranda and others, this is the Judge Mr. Jose Emilio Coronado Ruz is the brother of Ignacio Coronado Ruz who in the past was a partner, Secretary and even President of the board of Management of the Dominican Republic company “Paraíso Tropical S.A.” and who was as well the legal representative of the company “Inversiones C.C.F., S.A.”. The later sold its shares to the company “Punta Perla Caribbean, Golf Marina & Spa, S.A.” represented and operated by Ricardo Miranda Miret, who also transferred for the purchase of the shares the money obtained from your purchase in Malaga with “Estepona Beach”. All this is a business puzzle to commit offences. We have also recently found out that the brother of the Court, Ignacio Coronado Ruz is or was the straw man of one of the owners of “Paraiso Tropical S.A.,”, Andres Leitor and Carlos Sanchez, who are also involved in the famous MALAYA case for corruption in Marbella, and have been involved in legal cases with regards to the sale of shares of Punta Perlato Ricardo Miranda.
Ignacio Coronado Ruz was sued with regards to the inscription of the shares and for
tax fraud in Dominican Republic by Ricardo Miranda and his companies. Pursuant to Spanish Proceedings Law, one of the cases to recuse a Judge is that the Judge dealing with the case is the brother of one of the defendants. It is true that in our case the brother, Ignacio Coronado, hasn’t been sued by us but:1. Within our criminal lawsuit, we have sued the company “PARAISO TROPICAL S.A.” of the Dominican Republic and its legal representatives (we didn’t know who the previous administrators were) and we requested on due course that the Judge investigated the company the current and previous legal representatives of the above mentioned company. Please note that the Judge hasn’t taken any decision or action to carry out this investigation.2. Our criminal lawsuit, for swindle and misappropriation of funds, is not only addresses against Ricardo Miranda and the representatives of OCEAN VIEW, but also against all those who the Court discovered had any implications or against those who we could find out were liable for any criminal/civil offenses, and it is clear that Ignacio Coronado Ruz (brother of the Judge) and others are liable for the above mentioned offenses. Pursuant to Spanish Proceedings Law, any Judge who has any type of family relationship (or any other relationship) with any of the parties must refrain from dealing with such case, and from the very first moment the Judge was aware that he was dealing with a court case regarding his brother he should have refrained from dealing with it. In our case our Judge has been dealing this case for almost two years and he hasn’t mentioned any relationship with Ignacio or has made any attempt to stop dealing with our case. Spanish Proceedings Law also establishes that another reason to recuse a Judge is that the Judge had any personal interest in continue dealing with the court case. In our case even though the Judge has continued investigating our case, in which either directly or indirectly his brother was involved, there is a clear personal interests, and therefore, we have another issue to file the recuse. Therefore, we would like to inform you that once we have obtained evidences from the above mentioned reasons and because of the importance and urgency of our case, we have taken the following legal actions to protect your rights:

1.- We have already formally requested the recuse of the Judge and that a new Judge “ not tainted” is appointed to substitute him and to deal with our case

2.-  We have formally requested the postponement of our case until the Court decides about the recuse and substitution of the Judge.

3.- We have formally extend our criminal lawsuit to the following: Ignacio Coronado Ruz, Andres Leitor, Carlos Sanchez. And to that effect, the above mentioned should be summoned to appear in court as soon as a new Judge has been appointed. As a consequence of our requests, which were made last week, this morning I have received a telephone call from the Criminal Court Number 16 of Madrid confirming that our case is no won hold until the court decides about our recuse and substitution of the Judge. We will receive a notification within the next few days. As you can understand, this issue is very important and therefore we had to act quickly. We have noticed some irregularities and delays in our case from the beginning, but we were unable to take the above mentioned actions until we had evidences that support our request, like we have obtained only recently. If finally the Court decides to recuse and substitute our Judge (this decision will be taken by the High Court of Madrid in approx. 3-4 weeks), then the clients and myself as the lawyer dealing with the case, will have to study possible actions against the

Judge and third parties (actions to be filed at the General Council of Judicial Power) or even criminal actions for corruption (this happens when a Judge is taking decisions or not doing anything even though he knows that this is unfair) and the damages derived.In any case, we will study all the options and decide whatever is best for your interests. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries or comments.

Kind regards, Luis Fernando Gonzalez Ordonez
Abogado/Lawyer – Reg. Nº 6125 I.C.A. Málaga
E-mail: lfgonzalez@lawbird.com

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/01/17/andalucia_malaga/1358445000.html

http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2013/01/17/andalucia/1358452342_005700.html

http://www.diariosur.es/20130117/local/marbellaestepona/centenar-britanicos-recusan-juez-201301171908.html

http://noticias.lainformacion.com/policia-y-justicia/fraude/mas-de-un-centenar-de-britanicos-recusan-al-juez-que-investiga-una-macroestafa-inmobiliaria-en-la-costa-del-sol_nsxSRz9u42F61C8TvjLqy7/

http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/sevilla/20130117/54360965020/mas-de-un-centenar-de-britanicos-recusan-al-juez-que-investiga-una-macroestafa-inmobiliaria-en-la.html

http://www.laopiniondemalaga.es/costa-sol-occidental/2013/01/18/recusan-juez-investiga-gran-estafa-inmobiliaria-costa/561831.html

http://www.europapress.es/andalucia/malaga-00356/noticia-mas-centenar-britanicos-recusan-juez-investiga-macroestafa-inmobiliaria-costa-sol-20130117181951.html

http://www.malagahoy.es/article/provincia/1440629/recusan/juez/investiga/una/estafa/por/vinculos/familiares/con/la/sociedad/sospechosa.html

http://www.que.es/malaga/201301171819-centenar-britanicos-recusan-juez-investiga-epi.html

http://bitacoras.com/anotaciones/mas-de-un-centenar-de-britanicos-recusan-al-juez-que-investiga-una-macroestafa-inmobiliaria-en-la-costa-del-sol/31835386

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1704255/0/

http://noticias.pisos.com/noticias/local/?provid=29

http://www.rojiabogados.es/mas-de-un-centenar-de-britanicos-recusan-al-juez-que-investiga-una-macroestafa-inmobiliaria-en-la-costa-del-sol/

Property tycoon Colin Thomas ordered before Spanish courts

The money is long gone !!

The money is long gone !!

(burtonmail.co.uk) – A subpoena is set to be served for Colin Thomas, of Town Hill, to appear in Madrid as a class action lawsuit against Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret continues to rumble on in an effort to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View Properties (OVP) victims.

The criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in a Madrid court last year and included Mr Thomas and other directors of his firm.

The prosecuting lawyer is seeking more than £6.5 million in damages for 70 claimants.

The firm took deposits worth around £80,000 each from British investors, but much of the cash disappeared as the homes failed to materialise, it is alleged.

Antonio Flores, the Spanish prosecuting lawyer from Marbella-based firm Lawbird, said: “We have requested that Colin Thomas specifically is summoned and quizzed.

“I don’t believe OVP knew anything about what was going on but they will be forced to talk in court.

“This was a scam of huge proportions. It has the potential of becoming one of the biggest property scams, as none of the developments will be built.” Mr Thomas’s company was behind a number of successful enterprises but ran into difficulties when it became involved as an agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

More than a thousand British investors who paid £45 million for off-plan overseas property developments have lost their money after the firm was formally dissolved in 2009 with the appointment of liquidators Grant Thornton.

The Madrid court claims are linked with developments that never materialised at the Estepona Country Club on the Costa del Sol and Punta Perla, in the Dominican Republic.

This comes after the Mail revealed that The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Staffordshire Police would take ‘no further action’ following the collapse of OVP.

Last year, the Mail also revealed that 50- year-old Mr Thomas was banned from being a company director for nine years after an Insolvency Service investigation revealed that he had pocketed almost £14 million despite the firm being insolvent.

The findings also showed that his firm took £23 million from customers for a Spanish development that it did not own, did not have a building licence for and never undertook any construction work on.

Despite efforts by the Mail, neither Mr Thomas nor his advisors were unavailable for comment.

Related article:

Boardroom ban for £43m property flop Colin Thomas

(mirror.co.uk) – Careering downhill at ­breakneck speed – we could very easily say the same of Michele de Havilland’s partner’s property ­business.

For eight years, Ocean View ­Property International told ­investors their money would be refunded if anything went wrong.

But founder Colin Thomas, 50, knew this was untrue and that no proper steps had been taken to safeguard deposits, the Insolvency Service found. It said: “OVPI led people to believe purchasing properties was virtually risk-free.”

Instead, two years ago, it went bust, owing £43million, after taking deposits of £80,000 from more than 1,000 investors, including former Scottish ­international ­footballer Matt Elliott.

The firm banked £23million for a Spanish ­development even though the site had not been purchased and building work never started.

Despite Ocean View being ­insolvent, Thomas trousered £13.8million and paid his partner Michele another £650,000, “although she had no professional qualifications and provided no tangible services”, according to the Insolvency Service. Thomas has been banned from running a company for nine years.

The couple, who live in a £1million house in Yoxall, Staffordshire, are regulars at the local Downhill Soapbox Race, which raises money for charity.

Well, that makes it OK, then……

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Colin Thomas, founding director of Ocean View Properties, is being investigated for fraud and misappropriation of funds over a Costa Del Sol holiday home scheme.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 | , ,

Ex-Aston Villa star Gareth Barry ‘victim’ of alleged holiday property firm crash – Sunday Mercury: “CRIMINAL case has been launched against the boss of a Midland property firm that went bust owing £43 million to investors – including soccer star Gareth Barry.
Colin Thomas, founding director of Ocean View Properties, is being investigated for fraud and misappropriation of funds over a Costa Del Sol holiday home scheme.
His Staffordshire firm marketed properties using images of celebrities including ex-Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry and BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts to sell luxury off-plan apartments, though neither benefitted in any way or had any knowledge of irregularities.
It is understood that midfielder Barry, now playing for Manchester City, also invested in the company, although it is unclear how much he put in.
A source close to the England star said: “The investors are all just chasing their money at the moment.”

Warning against LAS AMERICAS TITLE SERVICES

In connection to the land escrow guarantee to previous investors at Punta Perla. Dominican Watchdog sent several questions to MARCOS JOSE TRONCOSO at Las American Title Service A.K.A. CTRD ESCROW SERVICES INC reg. in Panama.

Now 6 weeks later despite several follow up emails we have not got answers to the important questions below and must now warn all property buyers against using LAS AMERICAS TITLE SERVICES as their operation in our opinion is not safe!

Here is the email of March 20th, 2011 sent to Marcos and Alex Rood including several lawyers:

Dear Marcos,

I have visited your website to collect information, I have also visited the Panamanian company register as you can see below.

I have received the Punta Perla title guarantee from your company for my comments to investors and have the following questions:

1. How come the the document is not Notarized and the reg number of the company not listed on the letterhead?

2. What title are you talking about in your letter? I see no references nor title certificate and registration numbers anywhere!

3. Why is a copy of the valuation of the land not attached to the letter for investors to see?

4. Why is a copy of that extremely valuable title not forwarded to investors together with a land plan?

5. Have you checked that there is no liens or loans on that land? Where is that certification and when was it done?

6. How come that this USD 98,100,000.00 land parcel is held in escrow by a unknown Panamanian offshore company with a maximum authorized capital of USD 10,000* Pls note that Authorized and PAID IN capital is not the SAME!! What is the paid in capital of CTRD Escrow Services INC ?  USD 100 *One Hundred dollars?

7. Please explain to me how Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company and Chicago Title are connected to you and this transaction* expect me to contact them for verification of your answers and activities since their name and reputation is on the line here.

8. How do you plan to indemnify those investors if there is problems with the title and they sue you since CTRD Escrow Services INC have little to no capital according to the extract from the Panamanian register below?

9. Can you please clarify the 80% rule in your guarantee. 80% of the total project? 80% of phase 1 or 80% of the houses of those investors who accept this offer? Does the 80% involve the Marina and the first golf course? If Yes is it then 80% of the marina and 80% of the golf course which has to be finished too?

Sorry if I seems a little harsh in the questions, but we are playing with big numbers here and something don’t add up for me, however I’m sure you have a good explanation and I will be happy to send that off to investors and add it to my website.

No. de Ficha:

617247

No. Documento:

1350663

Nombre de la Sociedad:

CTRD ESCROW SERVICES INC.
Tomo: 0 Folio: 0 Asiento: 0
Fecha de Registro: 23-05-2008 Status: VIGENTE
No. de Escritura: 12210 Fecha de Escritura: 20-05-2008
Notaria:

1

NOTARIA PRIMERA DEL CIRCUITO
Provincia Notaria: PANAMA
Duración: PERPETUA Domicilio: PANAMA
Status de la Prenda: (DEF-DEFINITIVA, PRE-PRELIMINAR)

Datos de 1a. Tasa Única

Boleta: 1266424 Fecha de Pago: 21-05-2008
Agente Residente: MOLINO & MULINO

Datos del Diario

Tomo: 2008 Asiento: 94728

Datos de Microfilmación

Rollo: 0 Imagen: 0
Moneda: DOLARES AMERICANOS.
Monto de Capital: 10,000.00

Capital

EL MONTO DEL CAPITAL SOCIAL AUTORIZADO SERA DE DIEZ MIL DOLARES
DIVIDIDO EN CIEN ACCIONES COMUNES CON UN VALOR NOMINAL DE CIEN DOLARES
CADA UNA.

Representante Legal 

EL PRESIDENTE O EN SU DEFECTO LA PERSONA QUE DESIGNE LA JUNTA DIRECTIVA.
Título del Dignatario Nombre del Dignatario
PRESIDENTE CTRD SERVICES S.A.
TESORERO PASTORA BERMUDEZ DE TRONCOSO
SECRETARIO MARCOS JOSE TRONCOSO

Nombre de los Directores

CTRD SERVICES S.A.
MARCOS JOSE TRONCOSO
PASTORA BERMUDEZ DE TRONCOSO

Nombre de los Suscriptores

LEONEL MARQUEZ
NILO SANTOS

Prince Albert of Monaco never endorsed Punta Perla, according to a letter from his lawyer

Prince Albert of Monaco claims not to know the man he is talking to in this picture!

Prince Albert of Monaco claims not to know the developer Ricardo Miranda, despite he is talking to him at the ground breaking of Punta Perla.... So why was he there with an axe picking the ground and allowing the media to take pictures of him?

Dominican Watchdog is pleased to see that things are falling into perspective and the truth is getting out. From the day we started to write about Punta Perla and Ricardo Miranda they have tried everything to discredit our work and Pittbull-editor Jan Vistisen.

Prince Albert of Monaco was not acting very intelligent when he joined President Leonel Fernandez and Ricardo Miranda at the Punta Perla axe picking event, because his name and picture was later used on previous Punta Perla websites and on Ben Potter’s forum to establish as fact, that Prince Albert of Monaco had given his endorsement to the development.

Originally there was even articles in the local news claiming the Prince was an investor. These articles was removed when Dominican Watchdog first broke our story, but a copy of the text of the original article from DominicanToday can be found here

Now with the lawsuit filed by Ollie Reel and his investor group in Madrid the skeletons are starting to fall out of the closet, and that was about time one can say as Miranda has not dared to meet any of his investors the last 2 years!!

A few days ago Prince Albert of Monaco have through his lawyer in Paris sent a letter to Antonio Flores(the lawyer who filed the lawsuit in Madrid against Ricardo Miranda on behalf of 80 angry investors from Estapona Beach Club and Punta Perla, DR) which states that the “Honorable Prince” never endorsed the Punta Perla development and that the “Honorable Prince” has no connections whats or ever with Ricardo Miranda Miret. With this statement Prince Albert try with the speed of light to distance himself from the hell that are about to break lose in regards to Ricardo Miranda and his never build developments.

You can find a copy of the ORIGINAL letter here

Dominican Watchdog wrote to HRH Prince Albert two years ago to get clarification to this important matter. As the Prince has not come forward earlier with a statement to protect investors, we feel that Albert indeed is partly responsible for the loses of those who have invested in Punta Perla. Prince Albert of Monaco has had two years to make it clear, so why do we first now receive an official letter from his lawyer? That’s not the way a European monarch is supposed to act. It leaves us with a feeling that the Prince was paid to attend the event as earlier proclaimed by people very close to his friends.

The fact that President Leonel Fernandez was attending the ground breaking event doesn’t mean anything. The Dominican President has endorsed projects financed by drug money and called them a “model for investing in his native country”!!!!!!  more about that

Dominican Watchdog is currently investigation how a small lawyer from the Bronx in New York became President of the Dominican Republic and subsequently made a personal fortune which some estimates is over 100 Million Dollars today. Not bad after only 10 years with a salary of USD 300,000 per year…… You can soon follow Dominican Watchdog’s special second year anniversary story about President Leonel here

Place in the sun dreams turned into a nightmare

AS the Mail reveals how Yoxall businessman Colin Thomas faces a police investigation into a suspected £43 million property scam, staff reporter ROB SMYTH and Spanish-based journalist Fergal MacErlean take a detailed look into the allegations.

OCEAN View Properties was founded by buy-to-let tycoon Colin Thomas in 2001.

He is now facing criminal charges in Spain for fraud and misappropriation of funds in relation to alleged irregularities with his overseas property investment company.

He marketed the properties using celebrities while his then friend, convicted conman Sean Woodhall, searched for development opportunities on the Costa del Sol.

Ocean View was behind a number of successful enterprises but ran into difficulties when it became involved as an agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

More than a thousand British investors who paid £45 million for off-plan overseas property developments have lost their money after Ocean View was formally dissolved in 2009 with the appointment of liquidators Grant Thornton.

The purchasers each paid deposits, typically of between £85,000 and £120,000, four years ago for properties in Spain and the Dominican Republic, which were either never built or said to be sub-standard.

Some are alleged to have lost much more.

Two investors sank almost a million pounds each into schemes run by Miranda Miret, one being a 350 luxury apartment build at the Estepona Country Club on the Costa del Sol, the other marketed as a prestigious 6,000-property development, Punta Perla, in the Dominican Republic.

When the sector collapsed amid corruption scandals in the Estepona region, the venture started to fail. Thomas and Woodhall had turned their attention to the Caribbean development of Punta Perla in the Dominican Republic.

Woodhall, 43, went missing after his light aircraft crashed over Brazil in 2008 and, while his body has never been recovered, he has been declared dead.

Nick Wood, partner at Grant Thornton’s Recovery and Reorganisation practice, said: “We are investigating what happened to monies paid by investors. There is a black hole amounting to millions of pounds.

“We are looking to identify any claims which can be instigated to recover monies for creditors.

“Our investigation is focusing on Ocean View’s operations in the UK and overseas jurisdictions including Spain.”

Ocean View, which operated as a franchise throughout the UK, had an office at the historic country mansion of Longdon Hall in Rugeley.

Colin Thomas owns a luxury home at Town Hill in Yoxall, where he lives with his partner, Michelle de Havilland.

Both Thomas and Ms de Havilland are Friday night regulars at The Meynell Ingram Arms in Hoar Cross, where they helped to set up the charity madcap Hoar Cross Downhill Soapbox race.

Thomas and the former directors, or considered de facto directors, of Ocean View, which include David Stewart and Robert Parkes, were named in the criminal claim lodged in a Madrid court on February 4.

Those in charge of running Ocean View and Spanish developer Miranda Miret have previously strongly denied any wrongdoing.

Antonio Flores, the Spanish prosecuting lawyer from Marbella-based firm Lawbird, said: “I don’t believe Ocean View knew nothing about what was going on.

But they will be forced to talk in court.

“This was a scam of huge proportions. It has the potential of becoming one of the biggest property scams, as none of the developments will be built.”

Several celebrities were involved in the marketing of the company, but there are no suggestions of wrongdoing against any of them.

They included Martin Roberts, presenter of the BBC’s Homes Under the Hammer property programme.

He claims the company owes him and his partner around £200,000.

England international footballers Gareth Barry and Alan Smith also bought properties successfully from Ocean View.

Go to source to see pictures: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/Place-in-the-sun-dreams-turned-into-a-nightmare.htm

LEGAL ACTION ON ‘SWINDLERS TO THE STARS’

Finally some action against Ocean View & Ass.

THE Government is poised to take legal action against a company that used TV and sports stars in a suspected £43million overseas property scam.

The Insolvency Service is understood to be about to launch disqualification proceedings against the bosses of Ocean View Properties, exposed by a long-running Sunday Express investigation more than two years ago.

The Staffordshire-based company, whose founders included a convicted fraudster, used the likes of England footballer Gareth Barry and TV property expert Martin Roberts to sell luxury off-plan apartments in Spain.

It took deposits worth about £80,000 each from British investors, but much of the cash disappeared as the homes failed to materialise.

Ocean View was placed into compulsory liquidation at the request of accountants Grant Thornton in 2009, while officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency were also understood to have begun their own probe.

Ocean View was founded by buy-to-let tycoon Colin Thomas in 2001. He marketed the properties using celebrities while his then friend, convicted conman Sean Woodhall, searched for opportunities for development on the Costa del Sol.

hen the sector collapsed amid corruption scandals in the Estepona region, the venture started to fail. Thomas and Woodhall had turned their attention to the Caribbean development of Punta Perla in the Dominican Republic.Woodhall, 43, went missing after his light aircraft crashed over Brazil in 2008 and while his body has never been recovered he has been declared dead. Thomas and his fellow directors have always denied wrongdoing.

In a separate but related development(PUNTA PERLA), a class action lawsuit to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View victims was filed by a Spanish lawyer in Madrid on Friday(This is the lawsuit from Antonio – Lawbirds on behalf of Ollie Reel and almost 100 other investors who had enough!)