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This Blog is dedicated to making public some of the business activities and methods of Liam Collins, David Bone Jr and their associates. In the spring of 2010, the present authors invested in Collins & Bone (C&B), who were offering an enticing 8-10% interest on the basis of buying houses for cash, renovating them and letting them out to students. We were assured that our money was secured against houses that they owned, including their own homes and the properties held by their associated company, Castle & Gatehouse (C&G). We have emails and brochures that confirm these details, as do others who invested on this same basis at around the same time. The idea worked for us for over a year, then in November 2011 they told us they were insolvent. They refused our every request for clear accounts, which led us to suspect wrongdoing. We began an investigation and then started this Blog. We found our suspicions confirmed: other investors had lost sometimes quite large amounts to C&B and its predecessor CBS, and all requests for repayment were adamantly refused. These people use and have used so many names that we found it necessary to compress them into CoBo (for Collins & Bone) and Coboco (for the whole bunch of them – there are quite a few!) Note that there is an index in the margin at the right hand side.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Collins and Bone Convicted Of Fraud

After a thorough investigation by the Government, Liam Collins and David Bone were charged with fraud. The partners finally pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court just before the trial was due to begin. On June 7th 2019, they were both sentenced to 21 months in prison. The press release from the Government’s Insolvency Service gives details of the case: 

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Liam Collins (and David Bone Jr) complained to Google about the content of this Blog. They were able to do so because of a recent judgement by the European Court of Human Rights which allows individuals a so-called 'Right To Be Forgotten.' For more about this, see today's article in the Huffington Post: 

And also this one from the Daily Telegraph:

And in the Daily Mail: 

Which headlines today (5th July 2014):

"Conspiracy to erase the truth: For centuries, the wicked have dreamt of wiping their crimes from history. Now - thanks to an idiotic ruling by European judges and Google's connivance - they're doing it in their thousands."

Yes, we think that this is a silly, if not dangerous judgement, given that one of the strongest features of the Internet is the freedom of information and ease of access to it. Certainly the British Government does not think that Collins & Bone, who brazenly cheated people out of sums totalling £4 million, should be forgotten; they still have another 13 years to run of a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking, but have not yet been properly brought to book.

We have written to Google to contest their reasoning, but as they reportedly have rising numbers of cases of this kind to deal with, we'd be surprised if we received a reply.  Perhaps, because of the sheer volume of conceptual traffic that it deals with and its consequent ballooning self-importance, Google will eventually be taken over as a government department, hopefully with a new, less ridiculous name! Furthermore, the European Union, together with its Court of Human Rights, needs to be thoroughly overhauled so that it cannot dominate the whole of Europe with its often eccentric ideas.

To view the original posts about Collins & Bone, use the following link:-

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


The authorities are in the process of investigating the business affairs of Liam Collins and David Bone Jr,  who are both under bankruptcy restriction orders for another 13 years. Here below are the Government's Insolvency Service findings:-

Here is a link to another article on this subject from the Daily Mail's This Is Money: 


Readers, why not send us your comments or a brief account of your own experiences with Collins & Bone?

Friday, 13 June 2014


We at IFS have temporarily removed all older posts on this Blog for updating and reassessment. We ask readers to be patient because it takes time to summarize the large amount of material in this case. In the meantime, any genuine email requests for access to previous posts will be met.

The official investigation into the business activities of those individuals mentioned in our Introduction is proceeding in a thoroughly painstaking manner, so it will be quite a while before results emerge. We trust that our Blog and Website serve successfully to warn anyone with whom these men are in touch of the risks entailed in dealing with them. There is ample evidence that they will relentlessly argue their innocence in the face of innumerable counts of wrongdoing. They obtained large amounts of money on the basis that they would buy houses for cash; they didn't buy the houses but spent the money. We don't know where the investors' money went, but we can only guess that they used it freely for their personal day-to-day expenses and those of their friends and family. 

We have had a good deal of correspondence from CoBo's investors, who are obviously upset and worried at having apparently lost their savings. Here are some of their comments:-

“I cannot help but feel that these boys do not fully appreciate the enormity of what they have done; that they have not acknowledged the level of their negligence or possibly worse, preferring to blame other people and factors, and that they still entertain the preposterous notion that they are talented businessmen with a sound track record and that they would be fantastically rich by now if it were not for some bad luck.”

“Once I had decided to explore this "investment opportunity" I was given the hard sell by Liam, who called my mobile on a regular basis to establish if my money had been transferred to them. Once we were hooked, the level of communication fell away dramatically and can only be considered appalling. Those written statements I did receive from them, were often inaccurate, either in the level of interest due, or even mis-spelling of my surname.”

“Once again IFS make excellent counter arguments using facts, opposed to Liam Collins and Dave Bone Jnr's 'claims'. Thank you for your articulate and accurate Blog posts.”

“The more I read about this situation, the more I think that a charge of serious fraud is distinctly possible. I am always prepared to give people the benefit of doubt, but I am now beginning to think differently.”

“It’s rather silly, to say the least, to insist that a recently published blog is to blame for 4 years of negligent and fraudulent behaviour!”

“Unfortunately I invested  a good deal of my retirement fund which I can not afford to loose.  Liam Collins told me when I first invested that they bought every thing for cash with no debts so I thought that this problem we have now wouldn't happen.”

“Thank you for setting up your site.”

“I applaud your initiative and I am significantly wiser for your efforts.”

"I'm not sure why Liam Collins is unhappy about being made bankrupt. In a county court hearing last year he told the judge he'd be happy if he was made bankrupt, because then he could take up dancing. "Have you seen me on 'Britain's Got Talent?'" Made the judge's day I think. Liam Collins also offered me a promissory note but the judge pointed out that I already have one. Do you think he could pay us back with a bit of busking?" 

"I think every one of us would be willing to admit to our own naivety & mistakes. But none of my mistakes come near owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to 133 people. I invested money to purchase a share in a property to refurbish. Where's my share in a property? Where did the money go?"  
"I am completely speechless at the temerity of these boys asking for emails of support as though they were the innocent victims in this disaster!"

Sunday, 1 June 2014


As reported in our post of 18th May, David Bone Jr is still getting an income or benefit from three former Collins & Bone properties, as illustrated below:

Abbeycroft Gardens
(always described by estate agents as 
an exclusive gated development)

Carnarvon Road

A Flat in Beckford Court

So why have these properties not been repossessed, sold and the proceeds distributed among CoBo's many creditors? Well, it's a fact that the houses have, up to now, been in negative equity; it has always been CoBo's strategy to pay out as little as possible to the mortgage companies, in such a way that the houses have always hovered on the brink of repossession or LPA receivership. CoBo regarded any money, including income from renting such houses, as unquestionably theirs to spend without regard to contracts or commitments.

It is absolutely plain that David Bone Jr and his family should not be benefiting in any way from these properties. Any income from them should be used to reimburse creditors.

Sunday, 18 May 2014


A CBS investor has brought it to our attention that three properties disappeared without trace from CoBo's asset list between 2009 and 2012. They are:

2 Abbeycroft Close, Astley, Tyldesley, Manchester M29 7JT

56 Beckford Court, Tyldesley, Manchester M29 8GF

24 Carnarvon Road, Preston PR1 8PU.

Research has shown that David Bone Jr is benefitting from all three properties in terms of accommodation and rental income.

Abbeycroft Close is a 4-bedroomed house, built in 2004 and acquired by Collins & Bone for £270,000 in October 2007.  Zoopla currently values it at £263,972, so it is just within the bounds of negative equity.  As far as we know, David Bone Jr lives there with his wife and child.

Beckford Court is a 2-bedroomed flat and CoBo used it as a Manchester office for CBS and Collins & Bone. It was purchased in July 2007 for £127,950. Zoopla's current valuation is £111,898. It is estimated to have a rental value of £568 per calendar  month.

Carnarvon Road is a 3-bedroomed terrace house, purchased by CoBo in February 2008 for £110,000. Zoopla values it at £124,668. This property was put in the name of Rachael Stanley, David Bone Jr's wife. Its estimated value as a rental is £773 pcm.

It is clearly unfair, to put it mildly, that David Bone Jr should still have charge of three properties and an income from renting out two of them when some bona fide investors have actually lost their homes or had to sell them because of money lost through CoBo's swindling. We have made sure the authorities know about these properties because it is extremely unlikely that David Bone Jr would inform them about the benefits or income he gets from them. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


For those readers who are as keen as we are to bring Collins to justice, here is some relatively new information about his movements. He has spent a lot of time recently training for athletics events. He hoped to win the 60 metre hurdles at the World Masters Championship in Budapest last month. 

In an interview last year, he said: “My next challenge is to make the Olympic Team for Sochi 2014. Failing that I will try and win the Masters M35 60m Hurdles in Budapest in March.” Collins was not part  of the Winter Olympics team (let us know if you sighted him in Sochi!) and he reached 5th place in the hurdles race in Budapest on 29th March:

He has a lot of psychic baggage to carry around these days, which will clearly impact on his attempts to win in athletics or succeed in any other sphere. He has so far shown no remorse about the devastation and misery caused by his deceit and swindling.

The investigation into Collins and his background of massive fraud is very much ongoing, but we are currently restricted by a confidentiality agreement—which is why this Blog has seemed to be inactive for a while.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Readers may have been wondering what Liam Collins has been up to in the last few months. Here's an edited article from today's Scottish Sun (see text below):

Thursday, February 13, 2014 

A BRAZEN BANKRUPT who ran up debts of a staggering £4.5million is out grasping on the streets — by posing for snaps as movie superhero IRON MAN. 

MULTI-MILLION pound bankrupt Liam Collins poses as movie superhero Iron Man to beg on the streets of Scotland’s biggest city — in a bid to raise cash for his wedding. 

We watched as the failed property mogul charged shoppers £1 a time to have a snap taken with him dressed as screen idol Robert Downey Jnr’s character from the blockbuster films. 

Unsuspecting passers-by happily got next to Collins, 35 — who left a trail of financial misery in his wake after his buy-to-let business went bust, owing millions. 

In some cases, victims left out of pocket by the crash had invested their life-savings. 

When we confronted Collins on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, he said his grasping ploy was a way to pay to get hitched in Hungary to fiancĂ©e Beata Jambor, 28 — who rattled his collection bucket. He said: “I made bad business decisions and now I’m doing this. I only proposed a month ago. 

“We want to get married in Hungary in August. It should be cheap, about £2,000. We’ve had a terrible few years. We’re just trying to rebuild our lives.” 

He went on: “I did street performances for 16 years and should have stuck to it. It makes people happy. It makes a big change from people saying, ‘Where’s my two grand, where’s my three grand?” 

The police have asked us what we are doing but when we tell them we are busking. They are okay with that.” 

Collins reached the semi-finals of telly talent show Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 before losing out to Susan Boyle. But he was investigated along with his cousin and business partner David Bone after their property scheme went belly-up in 2012. Investors were lured into their home renovation business by the promise of good returns from renting the revamped pads to students. 

But the credit crunch sank the scheme and a probe found the pair racked up £4 million debts in three years. Both were slapped with bankruptcy orders for 14 years.

Astonishingly, Collins reckons he and Bone have suffered MORE than their investors. He whined: “We travel round in a 23-year-old clapped-out van and stay in a £15-a-night B&B. They only lost one investment — I lost the lot. I lost a lot of friends. I regret ever going into business. People say we must have money stashed away somewhere — but we spent it on the company, paying high legal fees and high interest rates. 

“We were never fraudsters or criminals and we tried to do the right thing all the time. We made mistakes.” 

Last night one of Collins’ disgusted victims blasted him for not offering his Iron Man takings to debtors. Sally George,  and daughter Jasmine, of North Wales, invested £15,000 after stumbling on his property scheme on the internet. Sally said: “He should be paying at least some of the money he is collecting back to us. Another investor lost £150,000 and it’s ruined his life.” 

Sally — who started a blog to expose Collins — added: “ It’s typical of Liam Collins. He’s very much out for himself and he wants to continue making money that nobody knows about. 

“We’ve heard from over 40 people, many of whom have invested £50,000-£150,000, in some cases their life savings. “Many were too shocked and depressed or even ill to do anything about it. They never intended to pay anybody back from the beginning.” 

Last September, Collins and Bone were handed 14-year bankruptcy restriction orders in court. It was discovered that in the 15 months to April 2011 they pocketed £874,000 of investors’ cash, including £187,500 taken after the Financial Conduct Authority warned them not to. The order means they must disclose their status to a credit provider if they want to borrow more than £500. 

And they are also disqualified from being directors of any company. Collins and pal Richard Edmonds shot to fame on BGT as comedy duo Faces of Disco, who wore celeb masks to perform wacky dance routines. 

Last night a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “No permission has been granted for a street traders licence or a permit for a charitable collection on Buchanan Street today.” 

A link to the article in the Sun:

And by the way,

As nothing has been heard of David Bone Jr (or Sr) for many months, if any of our readers should get a sighting or hear any news of him or of any other member of Coboco, please inform us at once.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


This is an update to our previous post. Mark Black is no longer managing former CoBo properties for the LPA receivers. The receivers and their agent are now aware of Mr Black's involvement in the CoBo financial fiasco and the responsibility that he bears personally for misery and loss caused to bona fide investors and student tenants through dishonest dealing.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


We have been sent details of two properties that formerly belonged to the Collins & Bone partnership and that are now being advertised for rental by Mark Black, viz:

What on earth is going on here?! Don't the Mortgage Company and LPA Receivers realize that Mark Black was inextricably involved in the deceptive schemes of Collins & Bone, in which millions of pounds of investors' money remain unaccounted for? Are the authorities unaware of the fact that Mark Black was responsible for unpaid bills to contractors and utility companies as well as the non-return of students' deposits? Well, we trust that they will take notice of this forthwith and take the necessary action.