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David MarchantEditor at OffshoreAlert
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Lying to investors evidently no big deal at Jon Ainge's 'IPS Invest'

December 22, 2016 by David Marchant 1 Comment
After OffshoreAlert recorded salesman Simon Nock lying in an attempt to sell a fraudulent investment product on September 22nd, it would have been reasonable to expect his employer, British firm I P S Invest Limited, to fire him, especially after we published the recording on our YouTube channel. After all, the potential financial liabilities of keeping a proven liar on the payroll when selling dodgy investment products would appear to be significant.

To recap the lie: Nock claimed in a sales pitch that he delivered by telephone to me - posing as a prospective investor for a 'low risk, high return' investment scheme known as Privilege Wealth - that British giant Barclays Bank was the scheme's "largest" United Kingdom-based investor, stating that the bank must have thoroughly checked out the Privilege Wealth scheme prior to investing. Barclays, meanwhile, said it had made no investment in the scheme and the person I dealt with at the bank had clearly never even heard of it.

Fast forward three months and Nock still identifies himself as "Investment Manager at IPS Invest" in his LinkedIn profile and the firm still identifies him as "IPS Investment Consultant" on its website.

So what gives?

The answer seems to be that Nock is not a rogue employee and that dishing out false information to the public is par for the course for the company as a whole.

Take the company's owner, 47-year-old Jon Ainge, for example. In his LinkedIn profile, on his firm's website and his personal website, Ainge tells a number of apparent whoppers, including that he was "Head Soccer Coach" in "Major League Soccer" in the "United States" from "June 1988 - October 1992", something that's literally impossible given that MLS was not formed until 1993 and didn't begin play until 1996. Indeed, an MLS spokesperson confirmed to me that: "We have no one named Jon Ainge as ever having played or served as a head coach in the history of the league, dating back to 1996. Our complete records include all players and head coaches who have been a part of Major League Soccer …".

Ainge also claims to have had a "successful" career as a "professional" soccer player. But he doesn't identify the club(s) or the league(s), making his claim impossible to independently verify. When I asked Ainge for specifics, he didn't respond to my emails, in which I also asked why Simon Nock was still employed by I P S Invest given his misconduct.

In promotional material, Ainge modestly holds himself out as "a leading 21st century entrepreneur" who has "an extensive reputation for business success". This might come as a surprise to creditors of I P S Invest's predecessor firm, International Property Success Limited, which went into liquidation in 2014 with zero assets and unsecured claims totaling £221,160. With that firm failing, Ainge simply set up a new company - I P S Invest - to do the same thing from the same premises with the same telephone numbers and the same equipment but without the liabilities. Not that visitors to I P S Invest's website would know this, however. According to the site, the firm has been "a lucrative property investment company" since 2005 even though it was actually formed as recently as 2013.

Other British companies that didn't work out for Ainge include Go2NJoy Limited, which was formed on February 12th, 2009 and dissolved via compulsory strike-off on September 28th, 2010; International Holiday Bookings Limited, formed on March 11th, 2010, dissolved via compulsory strike-off on November 1st, 2011; and Global Property Secrets Limited, formed on May 10th, 2011, dissolved via compulsory strike off on January 8th, 2013. He was a director of them all.

None of the above bodes well for I P S Invest's clients, who are being pitched a variety of seemingly dubious investment products on the firm's website, including those offered by Privilege Wealth. As is common with investment scams, visitors to the site are told all or most of their capital and/or returns will be "secured" or "insured". The only true guarantee, however, is that such security and insurance will turn out to be worthless.

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