Brit pensioners imperiled by financial and property scams

Published:  12 Mar at 6 PM
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Although the FCA is now cracking down on dodgy FAs and property scams in the UK, British pensioners in Thailand are still being cheated out of their savings by unprincipled property agents and unregistered FAs.

Hapless senior citizens who’d planned to retire in a warm, inexpensive country are being ripped off by their own people in Thailand’s favourite expat destinations. Readers will remember the media publicity surrounding the Harlequin Group’s investigation by the British Serious Fraud Squad after the administrators were called in.

Pensioners who invested in Harlequin’s Thailand properties are still struggling to get their cash back after the paid-for properties were mortgaged off to a Thai bank and the money disappeared. Harlequin is still marketing properties on Koh Chang, and the formerly British CEO, David Ames, is now a citizen of a Caribbean island.

Many British retirees in Thailand have fallen victim to the notorious Australian LM Managed Performance Fund. Some have lost almost all their life savings and may be forced to return to the UK to live in pension poverty, regretting for the rest of their lives their belief in the FA lies of protection via non-existent registration with various governments’ financial watchdogs.

LM investments were being mis-sold to unsuspecting expats almost up to the time the administrators were called in, with FAs grabbing at the exorbitant commissions paid. Rough justice being what it is, the commissions were only partly paid, with the remainders due now missing.

In the northern Thailand retirement haven of Chiang Mai, furious LM investors and those with previously mis-sold funds are attempting to locate the president of the local expats’ club, also a financial advisor to many of the victims. Rumours suggest total losses may amount to over two million sterling.

Recent attempts by victims to get together via a Chiang Mai online forum ended when the thread was removed by moderators. It seems there’s nothing more for those affected to do except give up and go home.
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