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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.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Our Latest Exchange with Collins & Bone

Liam Collins and David Bone have both been in touch with us about this blog. They want us to take it down. We want the blog to clarify and open up the situation regarding investments with Collins & Bone. Here are some exerpts from what we sent to them this morning:

Dear Liam and David—

1. Just for the record: no promissory note (PN) or 'five-year plan' has been delivered to either of our email addresses. Any other investors who 'understand the situation' and are working with you will now have an opportunity to say so on the Blog.

2. Re-read carefully: the Collins & Bone Investors' Blog contains absolutely no defamation of character; it is a first attempt to clarify what appears to be a web of murky and dubious business affairs. Questions are asked in the blog, but no accusations are made. We merely invite everyone involved to help clear up the mess. The blog will be updated as further items of accurate information come in. 

3. Diggs Lettings: it was only Liam's mention of this company that alerted us to its existence. On the 8th November 2011, he wrote us an email, from which we quote as follows:

"The other areas of our family business include Castle & Gateshouse and formerly Diggs lettings but this is now going into administration. Not an issue though as there are no investors in this so this is simply because we are finding lettings to be a huge drain on the resources at present."

This in itself is a rather strange admission from Collins & Bone, whose whole business has been based on the idea that student lettings are profitable and we quote from the Collins & Bone Investors' June 2011 Newsletter:

"The outlook for student and buy-to-let property.

"In the past decade this market has emerged from a niche, to a highly in-demand investment class as investors look to build wealth in a market now underserved ... According to Knight, Frank, student rentals have recorded growth of 5% over the last six years, compared to only 0.6% growth in commercial property. Now is a great time to start investing in this market."

4. Regarding Castle & Gatehouse, we quote from your newsletter to all investors of 18th March 2011:

"Your capital is safe and both David and I have our own homes as collateral to protect your assets as well as 27 other assets and the trading inside our sister company (Castle & Gatehouse) also acts as security with future contracts worth in excess of £3m at present."

"... our own homes ...": Do we surmise correctly that Liam's flat in Shelton Street, Covent Garden is an ex-Council property which was bought as a bargain by his family and is now worth a considerable amount?

5. In trying to explain where the investors' money has gone, you refer to "Queens council advise." Please note that Her Majesty does not have a Council, but there are Queen's Counsels. (She also has prisons of course, where guilty parties may be detained at her pleasure.)

In answer to the question, 'Where has the money gone,' Liam tells us in his email of 16th November:

"It has gone on salaries on overheads which we kept to long in the business, huge set up costs for all of the legal fees to set up 2 funds, one syndicate product, one collateral product, Queens council advise, top FSA advice to make sure what we are doing at all times it legal. Website costs, online maintenance, IT, business infrastructure, marketing, exhibitions, lead generation, Google advertising, PR and many other business costs."

However, please note that this is NOT what we invested in! We invested in a simple idea to buy cheap houses for cash, renovate them to a high standard and rent them out to students. Read that again.

7. If Liam is going to write to anyone at all, shouldn't he be sure to avoid useless bluster, to condense his thoughts and to have his writing checked by a responsible, more literate person? Here's one example as to why: in your latest email, of 16th November, your point 5, paragraph 2, we quote:

"So to conclude. if this blog is not changed with all the points I have made taken into consideration I will continue to take legal action against us and our solicitor says we have an excellent case."

We can hardly disagree with that!

So, as far as we are concerned, the case is quite simple. Pay us back without further delay or admit you can't run a business, go bankrupt, stop dreaming up high-flying schemes and get yourselves useful paid work. Liam should give up those mad ideas about bobsleighing. He could well injure his head, and that certainly would not improve his literary, commercial or intellectual skills.

With all best wishes for a speedy repayment of your debt to us!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

One Student's Experience With Diggs Letting - An Associated Company

The following  two questions were found on Yahoo Questions (the first from 6 months ago, the second from the same person 7 months ago) which can be seen at the link to the right. It is counter to all the propaganda we heard about Collins & Bone setting up and letting immaculate student housing. The money seems to have been spent on dreams and fantasies!

"Has anyone been with Diggs Letting Agency and had any bad experiences?

"I am in a student house with two other friends. And all we have had is bad experiences with them. We're sick of them. I would like to know if anyone has had any bad experiences too? Please help!

" 6 months ago

"Additional Details

"When we moved in in September last year, the sofa was broken and my bed frame too. The landlord was there to see it, and said he will get it sorted. As there are three of us living here, the sofa that was broken was only a two seat sofa. So there was only one chair! It took them 5 months to replace them. 

"We've had letters from central recoveries to send debt collectors round to take anything that will recover the cost of the gas and electric bill, that Diggs were supposed to pay since January. We have sent them emails and rang them about this and maintenance problems that still needs doing. 

"Cracks in the ceiling, walls. My wall has caved in, and the maintenance only glued a vent to the wall without filling it in; so now the hole has got bigger. My bedroom walls are soaked on the inside, and paint is dripping off; this is because it rained lightly for a day or two. I told them these problems, but they have not done anything about it."

"My letting agency isn't paying the British gas bill. What should I do?

"I'm a uni student. And from Christmas we have been getting letters from British gas, saying we haven't been paying our bills. Although it is our letting agency's responsibility to pay all bills. We told them in January, and they said they have sorted it and ignore any other letters we get. So we did.

"Until just recently our Internet and tv was cut off. We found out they haven't been paying that either! So we got paranoid, and decided to open the British gas letters that we had been getting. We were shocked to see they were final demands! Even though we gave one of the agency's staff a couple of the bills to take with her to sort out, it clearly hasn't because this morning we got a letter saying that they are going to take legal action.

"Debt collectors will come round if it is not paid!! We've told them so many times, but they haven't sorted it! There's three of us living here, and we always pay our rent in full. We're tired of chasing them about it. It's a lot of money, What should we do?"

Monday, 14 November 2011


We are in the position of finding that a (to us) significant part of our capital seems to have suddenly evaporated, together with the income it erratically generated. We understand that we are not alone in this and that many other people are similarly affected. 

We have received a welter of words from Liam Collins and David Bone this month about their business affairs and financial insolvency, but so far we have been unable to get any clarity at all as to what the facts actually are. For one thing, Liam Collins’s written English is so full of spelling mistakes, bad grammar, appalling punctuation and mind-numbing cliché that it is very hard to get any idea of what he is trying to convey.  

From what we can gather from their ramblings, Collins and Bone seem to be totally preoccupied with themselves and their apparent predicament; they expect to be freely funded for just about anything they decide to do, regardless of the misery and anxiety they may be causing others by their false promises and endless, wriggling arguments.


We are extremely puzzled by some of the 'facts' we have so far been able to extract from Liam Collins and David Bone. When pressed, they admitted that their debts amount to "about" £2,000,0000 (two million pounds). They say they have only 150 investors! Or was that 120 investors? There are other upset and angry people who have invested in Collins and Bone. Are you one of them? Please get in touch so we can exchange facts and suggestions. Some obvious questions are:-

1. Where has that £2 million gone?
2. Why are Collins & Bone so anxious to avoid bankruptcy? (Certainly not because they care about us, their investors!)

3. What is the status of Castle and Gatehouse, one of the companies that Liam described to us as offering further  security for invested capital and which he claimed to be one of their 'family businesses'?

4. When we invested, we understood that the loans were to be guaranteed against actual properties bought with cash, but now we are told that both Liam Collins' and David Bone's homes, and also all the student rentals they 'own,' are fully mortgaged. Were we sold an investment through misrepresentation? This is what we shall be looking at.


On the 4th November, Liam Collins promised he would send us a copy of their ‘Five-Year Plan’ without delay. The plan is supposed to explain how he and David Bone intend to recoup their losses and repay our capital. So far, we have not received it. Has it even been drafted? Have any investors received it? Liam Collins claimed that 80% of investors had signed up to this Plan - but how could they, if such a Plan doesn't exist?