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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, 23 February 2012


We have received the following report, which we post here in full:
"I would like to give credit to  the creators of this blog, as it has shown great bravery. Up until then investors were under the impression they had to remain loyal to Collins and Bone because otherwise they would see nothing of their investment back, the line being ‘if anyone pulls the plug, we all go down together’ and we are led to believe we will all get our money back when one day a future hare-brained scheme will come to fruition. It reminds me of Only Fools and Horses with the line “one day we will be millionaires”! The difference being that was a comedy and this is real life incompetence.

"I have thought and known for a long time I will never see my money again and have learned to live with it. The only satisfaction I would have achieved in making them bankrupt is that this whole episode in our lives could be drawn to a close. There are potential criminal charges that could be brought which could achieve satisfaction. One thing is for sure no one will ever see their money back and the reason is very simple. They have attempted to make money in property with other people's money in many different guises for a number of years. Their mistakes have been obvious to many, their incompetence knows no bounds, their optimism is incredible (if only we could bottle it and sell it we could get some money back).  Why should the same people, doing roughly the same thing suddenly make their fortune when all around them there are others doing it differently and making money. What I mean is: I am making money on my portfolio since going it alone after CBS went bust, meanwhile their other companies continue to fail using investors' money.

"I am one of the earlier investors under the scheme where you paid over a sum of money for them to source and renovate a property. The money you paid over attracted interest at 10% until the renovations were complete, and for every bedroom they achieved from the resultant renovation you received a ‘guaranteed’ rent. The problem I had was the money ran out and therefore the renovations were not done and so no tenants. There was a large workforce at the time being paid —no doubt out of my money—although they had no materials to work with to do any work to my properties. Obviously to anyone normal this would imply guaranteed rents would be impossible as without renovations you get no tenants. Not to CBS though: they continued to offer guaranteed rents for a long time after the cash flow problems existed, knowing full well they were unachievable. I pointed this out to them at the time, although they continued for some time after. No doubt future investors' investments were going to pay these guaranteed rents and the workforce’s wages to do nothing. A self-perpetuating spiral of debt was being created, with existing revenues being unable to pay existing expenses. I would occasionally receive a payment for interest or rent which would probably have been when a new investor had been relieved of his or her hard-earned money for a scheme which was doomed at the outset and to any normal person knowingly so.

"Then we had the promissory notes which were being given out randomly, backed against property which already had charges on by others, Mortgage Express being the largest. There was no way all these promissory notes could ever have been honoured. I understand there is somewhere near £4M of debt in total over all the bankrupt companies! I also have declarations of trust secured against properties, along no doubt with many other investors. So, they offered these documents out to everyone with no ability to ever honour them.

"Liam and Davey both come across as very nice people and Davey once said to me, ‘if it was my intention to con you then I would have gone about it a lot differently’ or words to that effect. I believed him then and so the conclusion is possibly pure naive incompetence, which I understand they are admitting now. Having said that, any normal person would have seen all warnings, had a conscience they were potentially ruining peoples lives, realised things were not working and stopped earlier, not taken from one to pay another, not driven around in flash cars, occupied flash offices, listened to what people were telling them and answered telephone calls. If I had the phone ringing all the time and debtors letters arriving by the mailbag from disgruntled investors not to mention poor tenants whose maintenance wasn’t carried out or deposits returned, I think I would have stopped earlier, but then maybe they simply thought “one day we will be millionaires”.

"I could go on and tell you about a lot more. If anyone needs further evidence then contact this Blog. It seems that a prosecution is the only way to stop future people ending up with the stress and potential ruin that we have had to endure. They say they are the biggest losers in all this; I think not, as where has all that money gone?"

1 comment:

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