Comments can be sent to us at

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, 22 August 2012


One of our readers has pointed out the similarities between the Hirst fraud case (see link below*) and Coboco’s activities. The newspapers have drawn attention to the Hirsts’ lavish lifestyle, funded by money from bona fide investors who were promised high interest rates.

CoBo’s investors should note that by the end of 2009:

1]  The CBS group of companies (directors: Mark Black, David Bone Snr, Liam Collins and David Bone Jr) had collapsed with £2 million of debt. This debt was transferred to the Collins & Bone Partnership.

2]  Nearly all CoBo’s houses were in Law of Property Act (LPA) Receivership, due to non-payment of mortgages.

3]  The partners were unable to repay promissory notes (PNs) as they became due in 2009 and were therefore technically insolvent.

However, early in 2010, CoBo campaigned vigorously to draw in new investment on the basis that they were running a hugely successful property company and that investors’ money would be secured against their ‘debt-free assets’ (as far as lenders were concerned, ‘non-existent assets’ would be more accurate!). They were so successful at raising new investment with their slick brochures and promises that houses would be bought for cash, that they were able to pay off the LPA receivers. At that time, too, Liam Collins, David Bone Jr and Mark Black flew off to Las Vegas to  party and congratulate themselves on their ability to persuade bona fide investors to hand over their cash. On their return, they continued to lease luxury cars.

Like John Hirst, Coboco seem to think that once they have been given  money, it is theirs to spend just as they please. They apparently feel no obligation at all to fulfill their side of the contract and engage in real business. They simply want to have the lifestyle and perks of wealthy businessmen without doing the work!


Monday, 13 August 2012


The business style of Coboco, in a nutshell: their habitual mode is to take money and services from bone fide investors, tradespeople and utility companies, without paying anything out. They have found, quite simply, that they can get away with it. In practice, obtaining a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against any member of the group is a totally worthless procedure since it is too expensive for victims to make legal claims for reimbursement through a court. As of this writing, the legal system allows for the existence of a loophole whereby certain slippery individuals can, so far with impunity, relieve honest people of their money, services or supplies. 

Readers will note that the following website bears a startling resemblance to the now-defunct Castle & Gatehouse website and the director is Mark Black: 

It will further be noted that extravagant percentages are offered to investors in joint ventures, which bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Coboco's tried-and-tested pattern of touting for investment—and getting the money— on the basis of unrealistic promises.

Also of interest is that the Zoopla entry for Novocastria Lettings now redirects to 'Adavo Property.' Apparently, they have 84 properties available for rent as of this post. Investors, students and contractors should beware of this setup.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


David Bone Jr has, for the moment, postponed arrest by turning up for his interview with the Public Examiner on 7th August. As expected, CoBo's accounts are in great disorder and it will take many people a lot of time to sort them out. Meanwhile, they have gigs: dancing in the streets as 'Faces of Disco', wearing paper masks depicting various celebrities and collecting money from stunned passers-by. Their audiences are presumably quite unaware of their crooked background and see them as decent, clean-cut young Olympic wannabes. More like Faces of Deceit, isn't it? Are readers of this Blog comfortable with that?

Saturday, 4 August 2012


Don't miss our updated website, which gives a synopsis of the fraud case against Coboco to date. 


Wednesday, 1 August 2012


What d'you know? This has been a long time coming, but, well, we are in a double-dip recession, aren't we? So a lot of important matters will have to trundle along at half cock. The FSA will have to be reminded that people need to be warned about Mark Black and David Bone Senior as well. Let's hope they get that together double quick.