Invaro

Financial services group Invaro was formed from the ashes of the Imperial Consolidated Group and appeared to be a carbon copy, led by Bill Godley and former English policeman Gary Lyons. As we did with Imperial Consolidated before it, OffshoreAlert exposed Invaro in 2003 and the group went into liquidation the following year, with an estimated net insolvency of £85 million. Godley later pleaded guilty to fraud regarding his involvement with Imperial Consolidated.
Timeline
28

February

2003

Whatever you do, don’t mention the $300 million fraud

OffshoreAlert has obtained details of yet another unregistered securities offering being carried out by former officers of the Imperial Consolidated Group, including ex-British policeman Gary Alexander Lyons. Anglo Canadian Securities Inc., which is based in Canada and the UK, is raising funds for a personal injury litigation product that is virtually identical to one previously offered by Imperial.
31

March

2004

Group with ties to Imperial Consolidated fraudsters forms new UK-based PLC

A financial services group with close ties to fraudulently-operated Imperial Consolidated and offering similar products has formed a new public limited company in the United Kingdom.Wishsprite Plc was incorporated on September 2, 2003 - 25 days after the formation of affiliates Wishsprite Financial Services Ltd., Wishsprite Investment Services Ltd., Wishsprite Legal Services Ltd., Wishsprite Marketing Ltd., and Wishsprite UK Ltd.
10

June

2004

Imperial Consolidated spin-off Invaro to go into liquidation

UK-based financial services firm Invaro Ltd. is insolvent and intends to apply for voluntary liquidation, along with two associated companies, which are believed to be Wishsprite Plc and Medico-Legal Reports Ltd. An announcement about Invaro's demise was made yesterday - only ten weeks after an OffshoreAlert article raised concerns about Invaro's legitimacy and provided evidence of its links to the fraudulently-operated Imperial Consolidated Group.
31

August

2004

UK litigation funding flops try again with new group called Strathmore

Former insiders of two U. K. litigation funding scams that collapsed with combined losses of nearly $500 million are behind a recycled version of the same scheme, OffshoreAlert can reveal. The new business - operating under the brand name 'Strathmore' - encompasses companies in the Bahamas, Canada, the United Kingdom and Africa.
30

April

2005

Insider Talking: April 30, 2005

The biggest creditor in the bankruptcy of Christopher Davy, who was once a senior officer of the tax evasion group The Harris Organization, is none other than the IRS; the dubious liquidation of Imperial Consolidated spin-off Invaro Ltd.; and Canadian Timothy Ryan Babuin receives an eight-year prison sentence for a telemarketing scam against mainly elderly people that ended up causing huge losses for the Bank of Bermuda and Bermuda-based credit card processor First Atlantic Commerce.
05

July

2005

British law firm rakes in fees for helping fraudster with Invaro scheme

A top British law firm helped a serial fraudster client - Bill Godley - set up an investment scheme that wiped out a Japanese pension fund, OffshoreAlert can reveal. Charles Russell solicitors drew up contracts, attended a planning meeting in Portugal, helped with an offshore bank account, and was even asked to help prepare a "due diligence" report to give credibility to the scheme, known as 'Invaro'. The law firm has received more than £2 million ($3.5 million) in legal fees from Godley-related parties, including a Bahamas IBC, said a source.
03

August

2005

Fraud group cleans up in Invaro liquidation

About 80 per cent of all assets realized in the first 12 months of the liquidation of British litigation funding firm Invaro Ltd. have gone to a Canadian shell entity controlled by serial fraudster Bill Godley. That was the statistic that jumped out of the first report to creditors and members by liquidators Tony Murphy, Robert Horton and Henry Shinners, of Smith & Williamson, on July 21, 2005.
05

December

2005

Insider Talking: December 5, 2005

Liechtenstein-based offshore provider Bryan Jeeves and his Jeeves Group of Companies have been named as defendants in more civil lawsuits alleging racketeering that have been filed at federal courts in the United States regarding South Carolina-registered Derivium Capital LLC; Ex-Bahamas resident and former Grenada diplomat Eric Resteiner is unhappy with the way a criminal action against him is proceeding at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, where he is defending 42 counts of fraud and 18 counts of money laundering; and In a move that shames its counterparts in the United Kingdom, Japan and other countries in Europe and the Caribbean, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has reprimanded an investment broker and suspended its major shareholder and managing director for three years for “gross negligence” and “serious misconduct” in selling investment products connected with the Imperial Consolidated Group at a time when the group - which was based in the UK and Grenada- was widely known to be suspect.
04

January

2006

OffshoreAlert Awards: Best and Worst of 2005

It was the usual round of lies, broken promises, incompetence, and losses in 2005 in the murky world that OffshoreAlert forces itself to inhabit to investigate and expose financial crimes. As each year passes, it becomes increasingly obvious to us that illegal, immoral, unethical, and incompetent behavior in business are the norm, rather than the exception. OffshoreAlert has dumpster-dived through all the trash that we have found during the year, picked out the smelliest items, and used them as the basis for our ‘Best and Worst' awards.
04

January

2006

Pension fund advised to write-off $125 m investment

A Japanese pension fund that invested 80% of its assets in a British litigation funding scam has been advised to write-off its $125 million investment. That was the recommendation of Hori Hiroshi Law Office, which the All Japan Liquor Merchants Association hired to look into the mess and advise how to proceed.
04

February

2006

Insider Talking: February 4, 2006

A U. S.-based professional organization for private investigators has revoked the membership of Cayman Islands-based PI William Claude C. Myles for “professional misconduct” and violations of its code of ethics; What is the going rate for climbing into bed with crooks to ‘throw' a liquidation so the bad guys can continue to profit at the expense of true creditors? Try £1,624 (US$2,870) per day!; A victim of 72-year-old serial fraudster Keem Kalfon, a.k.a. Chaim Kalfon, a.k.a. Chaim Chalfon, has set up a web-site at www.chaimchalfontaxevader.com following the collapse of his latest scheme, known as LifeStyle Master Inc.; Once again proving that there is no hiding place for financial criminals, no matter which country they flee to when looking for a rock to hide under, the U. S. Government recently arranged the deportation from Panama of accused fraudster David Alan Struckman, a co-founder of the Global Prosperity Group; and If Bahamas-based investment scam group Banakor Swisse is indeed behind several menacing telephone calls that have been anonymously made to OffshoreAlert's publisher over several months, as evidence indicates, it would not be the first time that the group has reacted crudely to an investigative journalist writing negatively about its fraudulent activities.
16

February

2006

Godley Group investment broker arrested in Japan

Japanese police today arrested the Tokyo representative of a group headed by former Bahamas resident Bill Godley for allegedly helping to swindle a pension fund out of 80% of its assets. Fabio Takeshi Sunago, 44, was arrested along with Hideo Seki, 49, the former Secretary General of the All Japan Liquor Merchants Association, according to a report by the Kyodo News Agency.
07

June

2006

Insider Talking: June 7, 2006

A British company that is at the heart of a liquidation scam being perpetrated against creditors of failed litigation funding firm Invaro Ltd. has missed a statutory deadline for filing its first accounts and is now subject to penalty fees; Former Panama-based, offshore financial services provider Marc Harris, 41, has lost his appeal against his November 24, 2003 conviction in the United States on multiple tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering charges and May 21, 2004 sentencing to 17 years in prison, a fine of $20.3 million, and restitution of $6.6 million; and An unlicensed Canada-based forex dealer with a checkered past appears to be behind a purported offshore investment provider that was the target of a warning by the Bermuda Monetary Authority earlier this year, OffshoreAlert can disclose.
08

August

2006

Insider Talking: August 8, 2006

Lennox Gibbs is well-paid for his role in dubious penny stock Strategy International Insurance Group Inc.; Law firm Charles Russell and financial advisors Smith & Williamson, continue to be handsomely rewarded for their lmismanagement of the iquidation of Invaro Ltd.; and the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' 'Tax Haven Abuses: The Enablers, The Tools and Secrecy' is not without its humorous side.
05

October

2006

Insider Talking: October 5, 2006

Two corporations formed in Florida by former Nevis-based offshore financial services provider Nigel Scott Grant did not last long; OffshoreAlert has previously reported about the propensity of Bahamas Supreme Court judge Jon Isaacs to issue rulings that are favourable to suspected crooks, particularly those accused of narcotics trafficking; The All Japan Liquor Merchants Co-operative Association filed a civil lawsuit at Tokyo District Court, in Japan on August 17, 2006 against Credit Suisse, Haruo Kusakabe, who was a Vice President, Private Banking of Credit Suisse at the time of the incident at the heart of the action, and investment broker Fabio Takeshi Sunago; The liquidators of offshore stockbroker SEGOES Services Ltd. have obtained a court judgment for US$3.9 million against the firm's principal director, John Kaweske, Jr.; and Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro filed a motion at the U. S. District Court for the District of Southern New York on October 3 requesting that the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio be appointed lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit filed in August against Scottish Re Group Ltd.
22

January

2007

Invaro Latest: UK SFO opens criminal investigation, victims file civil lawsuit in Japan

The Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom has started a criminal investigation into the collapse of British litigation funding firm Invaro Ltd., according to two sources. Invaro went into liquidation in June, 2004 - shortly after being exposed by OffshoreAlert - and is insolvent by approximately $145 million, according to its liquidators, Tony Murphy, Henry Shinners and Robert Horton, of British accounting firm Smith & Williamson.
06

July

2010

Insider Talking: July 6, 2010

Nevis Court of Appeals issues bizarre ruling against Millennium Financial fraud victims and in favor of their alleged tormentor (Ian Scott, who is currently under indictment in California); in a separate action, asset planners in the US allegedly portrayed Nevis as the perfect place to hide money from creditors, according to a client who claimed to have been defrauded by those selling him the plan; The U. K. Serious Fraud Office suffers another reverse as a jury acquits former Imperial Consolidated principals Jared Brook and Lincoln Fraser on one fraud count and is undecided on another; and the SFO hopes to have better luck with recently-filed fraud charges against Terry Lindon and Giles Hutchinson, who were involved in an Imperial Consolidated spin-off known as Invaro.