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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.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Who or what is COBOCO? Well, on account of the fact that it is tedious to keep listing all the people and company names relating to their disastrous business dealings, we introduce the name Coboco which lumps together Liam Collins, David Bone Jr and their business partners! Liam Collins generally acts as Coboco's foremost spokesman, salesman and chief apologist.

Liam Collins complains in his latest letter to investors that this Blog has not published a recent letter  (from a Mr Michael Bloom) which amounts to a testimonial fulsomely describing him as having the investors' best interests at heart. Obviously we can't publish something that flies blithely against the documented facts, however well-meaning it may be. We also can't believe that anyone who has seen how Collins has actually behaved towards his investors can take it seriously. 

However, for the possible interest of our readers, here is  our reply to that letter:

"Dear Mr Bloom—

Thank you for your email outlining some of the manoeuvres of Liam Collins and David Bone Jr. We are unable to envisage any effective solution to their mounting debt problems other than bankruptcy, with the accounts being clarified by forensic accountancy. The track record of both partners leaves no doubt but that their personal interests override those of their investors.

However, as Liam Collins wrote, it was a nice gesture of yours to put in a plug for him (but see our final paragraph below) and of course we couldn't put such a thing on our blog without knowing all the background details.

There is now a large body of evidence as to the business behaviour of the partners. You might care to have a look at a recent report from just one of CoBo's investors, which certainly is worth putting on our blog:

"In March 2010, I invested £100,000 in Collins & Bone, £50,000 in my own name and £50,000 in my daughter’s name. This money was part of my redundancy payment because I had lost my job.  I got other jobs, but they were only temporary. I was assured that the money was secure and that I would receive 10% interest monthly.

In March 2011, I asked Liam Collins to secure my investment against a property, so that I would have something to back up the Promissory Notes that we held. He offered to sell me various houses that had already been renovated by Castle & Gatehouse but they were all far too expensive for me, ranging in price from £245K to £350K. I just didn’t have that amount of money. Also, when I checked the value of the houses independently, I found that Castle & Gatehouse were asking much more  for them than their market value. For example, they offered me one house in Salford for £245K and it later sold for £182K.

In April 2011, Liam Collins reassured me that his business was doing well and that he had secured a £20 million deal. When my wife heard about this, she thought it was safe to put the remainder of our savings, a further £50,000 into Collins & Bone. Immediately after she arranged this, I became very doubtful and worried and asked C&B to return the £50,000. They refused to return it.  Liam Collins reiterated that all the money was safe.

In July 2011, all interest payments stopped. I have been in severe financial difficulties ever since. I have not been able to find suitable permanent work, partly because I am nearly at retirement age and I have had to borrow, remortgage my house and ask my children for help to run my household."

In short, it would be a good thing for society if Liam Collins and David Bone were not protected from their responsibilities to their investors and that they were discouraged from further property schemes.


Part of Michael Bloom's reply:

"For my part I can only re-iterate my story. There was a way for Liam Collins to secure more for himself and he told me immediately that that was not his goal (to be honest the finance man said he was very honest but naive/stupid in his attitude and that he would be saddled with problems for years because of it).

I am unclear as to the “rules” for Blogs and obviously my contribution runs very much against the grain of your perception - but are you “supposed” to publish all genuine contributions? Call me if you need some background detail on me, my company etc etc."

And the relevant section of our reply to that:

"Good morning, Michael!

As you will have gathered, we think that only the authorities can sort this case out. Our blog is for all CoBo investors who were left completely in the dark as to what happened to their money and were unable to get any redress.

If CoBo had given us investors clear accounts when they told us that they were insolvent in November 2011, there might have been no need at all for our blog or for Ewart Tempest's related blog. I'm afraid we really can't publish your story without full details of who made the offer to Liam Collins and what that offer actually was. May there not be other reasons, apart from concern for the investors, that caused him to turn down whatever it was?

Blogs are a bit like newspapers in democracies: they are not obliged to publish anything that their editors consider unsuitable, for whatever reason. And then, there remains a very big question mark over the word 'genuine.'

We gather that you made an investment several years ago and have more or less given up any hope of getting it back. We surmise that it was not a huge outlay, as far as you were concerned. Unfortunately, many people are not in such a secure position financially and they trusted CoBo's promises. It is they who are "saddled with problems" at present; CoBo still have a very good income from their rental properties. Yes, CoBo have indeed been stupid and naive, but according to records, also extremely deceitful and dishonest.

Kind regards,


Finally, we point out that CoBo have a blog of their own, on which they can publish whatever they like. They also have an email list of all investors, so they don't really have any trouble putting out their point of view. We think that they will ultimately agree that bankruptcy is the best course for them, thus enabling the rest of us to attend to the many more interesting matters that we have to hand.

1 comment:

  1. Liam Collins was unable to honour a promissory note when I called upon him to do so on 6 March 2009. I had lent CBS £7,500 returnable at 30 days' notice. This shows clearly that Collins and Bone and their various operations were insolvent at that time.

    This strongly suggests to me that any assurances about the security of their investments that Liam Collins gave to investors after that date were, to put it mildly, misleading.

    I do not think that shows that Liam Collins cared two pence for his investors, some of whom have lost a great deal more than I have.

    If I am not mistaken an IVA would allow him to carry on exactly as before, since he would avoid bankruptcy. You will note that the bloggers have identified other remarkably similar-looking schemes perpetrated by others connected with Liam Collins. These schemes seem to pop up like the heads of the Lernaean Hydra.