To most people, “Making a Million” or more is an impossible target, so most never try. How about then, a scenario where one happily married couple, after 30 years in successful Corporate positions, with a string of children and grandchildren, decided to ‘give it a go’, built up a portfolio of nearly SIX MILLION DOLLARS – then lose the lot due to becoming ensnared in one of the biggest property ‘rackets’ in the United Kingdom.
How would that have affected you – your whole life; your relationships, your family, or most importantly – your inner spirit?
To most people, the catastrophic size of this failure would have driven them to bankruptcy, divorce, or even contemplating suicide- especially when the reasons were nothing to do with the then current credit crunch, but because of the crooked behaviour of one or more individuals.
This is a true-life story of what happened to a couple who worked hard and successful in their ‘Day Jobs’ for over 30 years, and still took the time out to go for their financial life changing goals – achieved them – lost the lot – but with an unbelievably strong inner strength, fought their way back, and are on the UP again.
Not only that, but this pair have since worked unselfishly for over a Decade, providing help, assistance, and on many occasions, a shoulder to cry on for well over a hundred other families, couples, and individual investors similarly affected. On top of that, as whistle blowers on the whole sorry episode, they were rewarded in 2007 with a High Court Writ for Defamation and Libel being served on both of them for $500,000 each plus damages – at 4.00AM, when a Post Office First Class stamp would have sufficed.
The full story of our fight is too detailed to go into here, and the story is still not done totally yet, but if you ever find yourself in anyway near as dire a situation, you may want to reserve an advanced copy of our book, due out next year – entitled ‘How To Get out of Debt while Still Living in it‘. As a similar victim you will automatically get offered a copy at a 50% discount, and resale rights.
Anyway, for two years, back in 2005, with me approaching 60, we had been slowly building up our investment property portfolio, including a dream retirement penthouse on a new Marina development near to our present home, and a superb large apartment in Bahama Bay in Florida. But then, we were seduced by very clever and expensive advertising, to buy a number of properties that on the face of it should have doubled our fortunes. One of our friends actually bought around $12 Million worth of these properties, and he was only earning around $40,000 or so a year! These properties, most with more than 4 rentable bedrooms, were all sold by the same developer, with Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuations, supposedly fully renovated, and fully tenanted with students, prior to completion, with a Landlord appointed by the developer.
Little did we realise, back then, the significance of that previous sentence. As all these properties needed Local Authority status of Multiple Tenancy, and had a landlord, appointed by the vendor, managing the tenanting of those properties. Unless the property had full Local Authority House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) status, due to the 2004 Housing Act, it would not only have been illegal for a landlord to tenant such a property, but it would also have been illegal for the landlord to sell it to another Landlord. So – any mortgage issued to finance that property, would not be able to legally secure their debt against that property.
All of the law firms we approached for support here (mentioning no names), should have immediately seen, what BDO Stoy Hayward defined, after being instructed to investigate our situation by one major law firm, that “The Investors had all become victims of a particularly vicious and clever fraud.”
In hindsight, even full-page adverts in a very prestigious UK Sunday paper, promoting the above situation, was no guarantee that what is on offer was legal, but with RICS valuers involved, solid UK law firms handing the sales, where was the risk?
Well, the risk was that somehow the valuations were in many cases valued on an inappropriate commercial basis, using anticipated rental incomes and with a local authority status of multiple tenancy, so that valuation could have hardly been the REAL Mortgage Security Value. And, on top of that, the vendor was offering a 15% Gifted Deposit (which we found out later, proven by an SRA investigation in 2010) was dishonestly concealed from the lenders, by the vendor’s selected buyer’s conveyancer – not once, but in at least 452 occasions.
So – why did that dishonest act not invalidate the mortgage offers? And why did nobody pay attention to the SRA’s investigation?
Surely there are laws to stop this sort of thing happening (we thought). But it would seem that only if you have money do you have full protection in law. Thus, began a fruitless search of many large UK law firms, trying to find one that was willing to help us on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. We found several major firms who agreed with us that “a very clever and deliberate fraud ” seemed to be in place. But would they help? No. But what they did tell us was that there would be a better chance if we could identify many similar wronged investors. It seemed then that we were doomed to accept our fate, unless we managed to jump over some quite massive hurdles. Even though we could see right was on our side, the law was not going to help us.
Interestingly, as long ago as early 2006 we met with the major UK Banks and told them what was going on. Just like the US Sub-Prime mortgage mess, did they listen? Did they curtail lending to this particular developer or tighten up their lending regulations… Nope! They just chose to lend, lend, lend – after all that was what made the profits…
We even spoke to our Member of Parliament in 2006. His comment was that the Banks needed less regulation – not more!!!
About the same time as this was happening, we attended a weekend seminar in London on NLP given by our friend Topher Morrison. One of the points on his course was to offer ‘total forgiveness’ to those who had wronged us, and “not be afraid to tell people of our failures”.
Well, little did Topher know what powerful outcomes were going to come out of his weekend session! As a direct consequence, I wrote a powerful article and published it on the Internet (not mentioning the developer, or any other conspirators by name) on what had happened to us titled ‘How to Avoid an Investment Property Scam’, and if you type that title into Google, you will see hundreds of web sites displaying this article, so popular it was. I also wrote a letter to the head of the developer company, explaining that I forgave him for what he had done to us. It was amazing how quickly we got a phone call from the man, not that it got us anywhere at the time.
The outcome of this action was very soon apparent. So many people read my article, recognised the similar situation, and signed up with me. People from all sorts of property developments, not just the one I was involved in, and asked for help.
That was the good bit. The bad bit was that the developer recognised not his name, but his actions, in the article, which is why me and Jane had this High Court Writ slammed on them (at 3.30 AM one morning) alleging Defamation and Libel. And do you know, not many lawyers can fight this sort of battle, and those that can demand tens of thousands to take it on.
This was a worse blow than even bankruptcy, because if we were to lose, we could have been pursued for up to 6 years! And losing a defamation case could happen on a legal technicality! So, without legal backing, we commenced the fight as ‘Litigants in Person’. But by now, we at least had over a hundred other investors supporting us, and we had a number of civil bodies involved, including The Department of Trade and Industry. And the West Yorkshire Police Economic Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the SFO, had begun a criminal investigation into the whole affair. (But for some inexplicable reason, in 2010 the DPP ordered the police/SFO investigation closed, with immediate effect due allegedly to “Lack of evidence)”.
We also got the press and local and national television involved (good old BBC Inside Out, and Panorama. Even Bloomberg’s got involved). We could tell that our determination and actions were becoming successful, as the next stage was a whole series of illegal bugging, recording of our conversations, and even death threats against us!
Without the power of our NLP, constantly watching ‘The Secret’ and visualising the way forward, we could have very easily crumbled, but slowly, and surely, things eventually started to go our way, and some of our obstacles started to seem a lot smaller.
Eleven valuers were arrested, as part of the ongoing criminal investigation, but as the legal battle lines are still being drawn, no more can be said for now. Apart from, of course, the fact that the developer was arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering recently, and all of his 30 or so companies are now in Administration, so the Defamation case is no more!
But how had we fared out of this?
Without the amount of involvement, we had both had, in understanding that most things that went on in our lives could be considerably shaped by the way in which we applied our minds to everyday events, we would probably have lost our sanity a long time ago. This ‘Inner Belief’ drew us closer as a couple. Our exposure to techniques like NLP, and in particular the effect of regularly listening to The Secret on our lives was massive.
Accepting the fact that everything we did or got involved in was our decision, nobody else’s, meant that we got rid of the ‘Blame’ culture, and started to look for ways out of our situation. In doing so, we like to think that we have also greatly helped all of the other investors who have looked to us for help, guidance, by always lending an ear when called.
However, one very noticeable effect that stress and an inability to ‘control’ our lives had on us was that over the three years that this has been going on, the amount of alcohol consumption, and all the wrong ‘comfort’ foods was having a disastrous effect on our weight. Then one day, a colleague, who was also into The Secret like us, suggested that we were letting the effects of one man affect our lives by this binge eating and drinking.
To Jane, this was like a raw challenge. For years, since a major car smash last century, she had had problems keeping her weight down. Imagine what the earlier and earlier first daily Gin and Tonic, were having on her. Now, she applied her mind to this problem, and after a determined period of over 20 weeks, she has brought her weight down by over 70 pounds. The obstacles that Jane had to overcome, to actually reach an even smaller size than she ever dreamt about were tremendous, but once again, her grasp of NLP and using her mind to control her determination, each obstacle was just another stepping stone on her route to a new body.
The problem with all of this is of course, her wardrobe will need a total replacement, which needs a lot of money!!
Once again, now that the Defamation case has gone away – which was a major obstacle even in our minds- which totally inhibited our desire, let alone our ability, to rebuild our fortune again, our determination is back in there with a vengeance, as most people, having gone through what we had done, would have quite easily succumbed to bankruptcy, and just living (or surviving) off some menial day job. (Don’t forget, most couples our age would be looking to a nice comfortable retirement as a reward for so many years in a corporate lifestyle – as we were.)
Slowly, but surely, we are rebuilding our shattered financial lives.
Since 2012, with no capital behind us, we have become very ambitious network marketers, and in that time, thanks to a very hungry team, and 5 hungry leaders (Jane and I included), have built up an impressive collection of a massively undervalued Crypto coin, which was only launched in late 2020. However, the power and open-source structure of the coin’s underlying Blockchain, and the low cost of these coins currently, has resulted in all our team, scooping u as many of these currently undervalued coins as we can.
We intend to be back as millionaires within a few years. The lessons we have learnt have been severe, but the main point you should realise, is that only you have the power to determine what you do with your life. Other people may try to influence you, and indeed place obstacles in your path, but at the end of the day, use your mind, and you will overcome.
We still start out our day with motivational videos and end with gratitude.
We also follow proven systems, because the only professional way to achieve the success we crave for, is for us, and our Team, to follow these proven route maps to success, and not to try and “Reinvent the wheel”.
Obstacles are just stepping stones to success, and as long as you view them as such, you will achieve whatever your Life Goals may be…