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Harlequin Property: The ongoing case of financial mis-selling

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Following recent reports of the Harlequin Properties’ headquarters going up for sale and the company’s chairman David Ames failing to give evidence in court, those who have lost out financially through the scheme are assured that they may still be entitled to compensation.

The Harlequin Property company was set to build 6000 luxury properties in the Caribbean, financed by deposits from UK investors. With only 300 of the properties actually built and the Harlequin Group having gone into liquidation, thousands of investors have been left in debt.

Rip Off Britain

The BBC’s consumer affairs programme Rip Off Britain investigated Harlequin Property for a second time earlier this year, after an initial broadcast in 2010. Although some early investors had been able to claim back their money, the returning of more recent deposits has been ruled out by the company since it entered liquidation.

Around 3000 UK investors are thought to have been involved in the Harlequin investments scheme. Chairman David Ames blamed the problems on the 2008 global recession and claims to have been let down by developers.

Recent evidence suggests the Harlequin case has been flawed from the start, with suggestions that it never owned much of the land it intended to build properties on, and a business model that relied wholly on continued foreign investment.

Investigations into Harlequin hotels & resorts

Harlequin Property has been subject to an ongoing investigation by the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) since 2013 and two warnings by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

A large number of Harlequin Property investments were secured through home re-mortgaging or Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) schemes. We are aware that in many cases, financial advisors recommended policies without proper consideration as to the suitability of the investment for the customer.

Regardless of recent developments for the company, TLW would like to assure investors in Harlequin Property that their financial advisor may still be subject to liability claims for negligent financial advice, even if that advisor is no longer trading. As Peter McKenna, TLW Partner and specialist in Financial Mis-Selling explains:

“In recent years many people have invested in high risk unregulated schemes and lost millions of pounds. These high risk, complex investments even though only suitable for very experienced investors were sold to members of the public who had no real investment experience. They were never informed of the risks and the potential to lose their money, only that the investment would generate good returns.

Our advice is that if an investment seems to good to be true, it usually is, so cautious investors may wish to avoid this sort of scheme.“

If you believe you may have received inadequate advice on a Harlequin Property investment and have subsequently lost out financially, TLW Solicitors are here to help on a no-win no-fee basis.

Fill in our enquiry form, email us at info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or call us free on 0800 169 5925.

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