The collapse of a fraudulent litigation funding group known
as Buttonwood Legal Capital, Argentum Litigation and Centaur Litigation illustrates
that you can't rely on anyone but yourself to protect your interests.
Investors were swindled out of £97 million by Briton Brendan
Terrill, New Zealander Christopher Keats and others using an array of companies
that were domiciled in various countries, including Australia, British Virgin
Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
Investors would no doubt have been impressed by the involvement
of several well-known individuals and companies who were identified in various
documents as providing services to the group. These included retired London
High Court Judge 'The Rt. Hon. Sir' David Keene, auditing firms BDO and Ernst
and Young, insurance broker AON, banker Standard Chartered Bank, law firms such
as Bristows and Carey Olsen, and 'professional' directors and corporate service
providers such as John Wetherall, Peter Rioda, and Andrew Pollard, the latter
two of whom help to manage the Sanne Group, which claims to be "one of the
leading independent fiduciary services companies operating in Europe, Asia and
the Middle East".
Assuming they're all honest, why couldn't they spot a fraud
that took OffshoreAlert seconds
"It's baffling," said OffshoreAlert's owner and
editor, David Marchant. "This group was littered with red flags, including
the offer of double-digit annual returns 'guaranteed' by insurers that, in some
cases, did not even exist, yet it still managed to take in tens of millions of
pounds from investors and had no shortage of well-known companies providing
services to it."
OffshoreAlert exposed the fraud on February 18th, quickly
leading to its collapse all around the world. Six days after our article, the
Channel Islands Securities Exchange de-listed one of the group's investment
funds, and, within three weeks, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong
Kong had raided the offices of both the group and its independent
administrator, The Hong Kong Trust Company. By June, three of the group's
investment funds in the Cayman Islands had applied for liquidation.
Marchant will discuss OffshoreAlert's investigation into the
Buttonwood/Argentum/Centaur Group and show attendees how to identify investment
frauds at The 3rd Annual OffshoreAlert Conference Europe, which will be held at
The Bloomsbury Hotel in London on November 10-11, 2014.
The theme of the conference is "Financial Intelligence
and Investigations", with an emphasis on offshore finance. There will
be 18 sessions for providers, clients and investigators of financial products
and services. All with a view to helping them reduce their risk of becoming a
victim of fraud and, if that has already happened, providing a road-map to
To register or to learn more about The 3rd Annual OffshoreAlert
Conference Europe, please visit www.OffshoreAlertConference.com or call +1 (305) 372-6296.