I am going to start this article with -The Syndicate of Four. The reason for doing this first, before outlining just how ridicules the MRI property investment plan was, is to demonstrate how it needed all these pieces to be able to come into being. All of these elements had to be in place to produce the Farcical and Disastrous Property Investment Plan, otherwise it could not have been implemented.
The Syndicate of Four; the promoter, contractor, lawyers and financial service all work in harmony together to provide an illusion of easy obtainable international property investments. You will be subjected to overinflated hidden commission payments between the contractor and promoter. Commission payments that swallow away your capital growth into the hands of the promoter rendering your property a dead certain loss investment. You will be denied independent legal advice to protect your interests, badly worded non- completion clauses or none at all to protect the client. The irony here is that you will be paying the lawyer to work for the promoter and the contractor. The spin is 90% false on capital growth, rental returns and the availability of mortgages.
After selling my home with the intention of moving to a warmer climate, I became the victim of a ruthless property market promoter. My story starts as a homeowner with no mortgage and ended up with large portions of that capital in the pockets of multi-millionaires. Now supporting their luxurious life-styles, the victim moves closer and closer to homelessness, unable to get back onto the property market ladder again. On reflection, a better title would be “Homeowner to Homeless.” The story follows the events that took places and provides insight in to many of the unseen pit falls a person will encounter. The projection is of criminal intent by a large corporate body, intent on relieving anyone of their wealth through false property investment purchases that come within their grasp. Under the control of the corporate mind-set, all the elements work in harmony to achieve this goal, each taking a slice from the cake. You are the “mark,” is that not how it is explained in the con artist dictionary of vocabulary.
The property promoter concerned here is MacAnthony Real-estate International. They took me to Spain, when I wanted to go to Cyprus in 2007 promoting property investment when the property market had already crashed late 2005. The spin and spiel, nothing but a pack of lies. My book goes into a detailed account of those events, unbelievable, remarkable. At times humours and at other times other tragic. If you are considering an international property investment, then you really need to read my story.
The summary below is a chapter that has not been inserted into my book Burning Down The Bricks, and assumes that you have read the book. I hope it clearly explains exactly how amateurish MRI were. Not just unprofessional or incompetent, but criminally inclined.
I am going to put the MRI investment plan into a condensed list, remove all that surrounding book scribble obscuring its clarity. It now has an extended title, The Farcical and Disastrous Property Investment Plan, or FDPIP instead of that long mouthful. Hopefully, organised in a way so you can see clearly the nonsense that MRI came up with. Not so much as a sequence of events as they happened, that is dealt within the book, but a record clearly stating the elements which made up the structure of this nonsensical investment farce. It can be seen how irresponsible and incompetent MRI acted. This certainly does not represent any form of professionalism. What it does bring to light is something of more criminal structure, which can and does, act fraudulently.
1. It has been established that the properties were overpriced. By now, I assume you do not have any quibble over this assessment from the facts that have been presented. The first property without a doubt was overpriced by 30,000-40,000 Euros, maybe more. Intended as a personal dwelling place, but also doubled as a rollover investment property, or for gaining rental income to cover two mortgages. It failed drastically to meet this requirement. As the plan was worked through it became evident that it would only produce a huge loss. The other three properties which were not excessively overpriced, but did have the same 25,000 Euros hidden commission. This would have affected their overall value and then the resale capital gain. It is reasonable to assess that there would have been no capital gain, only loss. At a stretch, one may assume to break-even, but that is really stretching the imagination to be able to believe that this was possible.
2. Dividing the available capital to allow the purchase of more than one property by obtaining mortgages is dangerous. A very important element that really does not lend itself to any investment plan. If it is considered at all, the mortgage should be of a very small amount, to top up a little shortfall only, and not the main trust to be able to make any investment plan viable.
3. The rental income from one small two-bedroom apartment, after the second year would bring in just over 12,000 Euros a year, to cover two mortgages of 6,000 Euros each. Anybody who has a similar property abroad would be able to understand that this was nonsense. At best one could expect 3,000 Euros. Again, stretching the imagination to 5,000 Euros in one year, this does not even accumulate half the required amount.
4. To assist with obtaining that 12,000 Euros a year, MRI would use the property to rent out to clients coming for one week or more, at 200 euros per week. That is still only 11,000, and is dependent on being occupied every single week throughout the whole year. For this element to remain dependable, MRI would have to remain in business. The office staff would have to remain fixed to ensure that the property was utilized to its fullest potential. MRIs staff did not last long, constantly changing, this then becomes a very erratic and unstable element. If the property for the high season was put onto the holiday rental market, the weekly income would go up. It still did not reach the required 12,000 Euros to cover two mortgages, but was still very hazardous. So this critical element is completely unreliable. This is not a professional investment plan.
5. A choice of options presented itself for the long-term investments. Instead of mortgages, either of the first two properties could be sold to secure the needed capital for these investments in two year’s time. The dependency that a property would sell at a required point in time, is nonsense. It is already understood, that neither property 1 nor property 2 would return a profit, or break even in such a short period of two years. With the hidden commissions, only a loss would be generated. The MRI salesman’s spin made all this look so easy, as there was no problem attached to reselling, when it was a highly dangerous and fictitious element that stood little or no chance of success. Just another farcical element in a ridiculous plan.
6. Two mortgages to start within one month of each other. Again, the spin that they could be obtained when they could not, a neccessary illusion to make sure the deposits were paid. When it was later revealed it was impossible to achieve, a second plan was conceived. It is then not reasonable to assess, that two mortgages could not be obtained at the same point in time two years in the future.
7. Once it had come to light that two mortgages could not be obtained within one month of each other, but had to be six months apart. To purge an agreement with the contractor to delay the completion date by six months was irresponsible. An agreement that had no signed documentation to support that it had ever taken place, another element of absurd instability. In my book you can see how all this pans out.
8. The need to move money around two accounts to provide the illusion that income was taking place.
9. The use of lawyers who had been presented as independent, but actually had their own interest slanted towards MRI. This denied the client true legal independent advice and protection, which can then be abused to the detriment of the client’s interests. This is shown clearly in my book how this operated to the advantage of MRI.
10. There were three lawyers, dealing with four properties representing one client. This obscured their overall ability to access the viability of the investment plan. This rendered it impossible for any legal service to function with the client’s interest first, but worked for the interests of MRI. By denying the client their entitled independent legal advice, they could sell overpriced properties and issue bad contracts unchallenged. It also permitted for the covering up of over-inflated commission payments from the contractor to the promoter. This allowed dangerous investment plans to be created without any secure advice to the client by MRI.
11. The use of a finance company to obtain mortgages that belonged in a group of companies set up by the same owner is not advised. This is how it was with Capital Finance, owned by Mr MacAnthony. This had the element of potential abuse to the detrimental financial health of the client, in favour of that of the promoting company.
12. There was an offer of a new business set-up, to help create the income for the property investment plan to become a success. A business bound up in the investment figures, which had not already been established before the purchase of the properties to ensure that the required capital flow would be present. A stab in the dark element, even if it was a genuine offer, which it transpired was not, had its instability in unknowns by how much income it could generate. As it was nothing more than a con to ensure the payment of the deposits, criminal conduct is well defined through this element.
13. The MRI property investment plan, was constantly adapted, to take in any change that presented itself within the inspection trips first-day period. It started as a five year two property investment plan, but ended up as a two year four property investment plan. This was no professional salesman. This type of extensive investment, does not take place within a short period of six hours with so little breathing space to evaluate its potential. Three-day inspection trips are lethal for the unknowledgeable.
14. All the investment percentage projections and market stability was falsified. MRI never provided any proof of capital investment’s growth by producing examples. Again not very professional, relying simply from the salesman’s account and the client’s ignorance left it wide open to abuse. MRI covered up that the market had collapsed in 2005, but carried on the same high-potential investment presentations. This translates into premeditated fraudulent behaviour.
15. No official documentation that contained all of MRI’s presentation of an investment plan was ever produced. No documentation with the MRI authorized headings or logos. Nothing signed and dated by the salesman, and supported by a manager to enforce that they had provided a professional service and were confident in their advice. There was no combined meeting with the salesman, manager, lawyer, financial adviser and myself. There was no collective agreement that all the elements would blend cohesively together, and would not provide a dangerous financial crisis for the client. At one point, a scrap piece of paper was produced with a rough draft of how the investment growth should work. This appears is how MRI operated as others have the same scraps of paper, unsigned I might add.
16. The last of the elements that were supposed to help nurture the investment plan into life, the MRI salesman himself. His continual rhetoric, “that he would always be there to sort problems out,” was a hollow component. He was sacked several months later before any of the properties had completed. MRI appeared to have a policy of sacking salespeople after six months of employment. Remove the evidence of foul play, then there is no one to answer for it.
From the above Farcical Disastrous Property Investment Plan, MRI reaped 100,000 Euros, of which only 25,000 have been recovered. The overall loss runs into over 200,000 Euros when everything is taken into consideration. I believe that I should be returned to the original capital wealth of 270,000, which is the amount MRI worked its magical investment figures around in January 2007. If you add on any compensation for all the inflicted damage, illness, loss of income, rent and legal fees that have resulted from this, then that figure is probably far higher.
MRI developed a structure that allowed it to dupe easily the unknowledgeable and those willing to trust it. MRI to date has at no time attempted to put right this error, even after complaints were submitted. It never had any intention of putting this right, such is the way of the criminal mind. That has been clearly demonstrated through the evidence presented within this book. If that is the case, the MRI structure is definitely meant for deceit to a criminal level. This was a deliberate premeditated fraud, entered into willingly by the legal and financial corporate entities that MRI had coursed to work in unison with it.
To date, MRI has not willingly put right its fraudulent malpractice with any of its clients. The only circumstances under which this will happen, is when faced with criminal prosecution and jail sentences.
If you want to understand how all this fits together, then I recommend you read my book. It will also serve you well if you are considering international property investment. Arm yourself with what to expect, it could save you far more than the price of this book.
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