Attention British Property Victims – Harlequin Class Action

Unite and Fight Plea

A flying sporran notification

September 6 2012

Lawyers in the United Kingdom representing victims of Harlequin – a company which has been building, or rather barely building properties around the world – are preparing a class action against the company.

David Ames (left)

While most of the victims are in Britain, many are also in Thailand and bought properties from Harlequin which were then turned over to TPME Co. Ltd., then run by Richard Haughton, former President of the Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club.

So far the British media has not touched this story. Harlequin appear to have amassed over £200 million (and they take their profit out of the first payments which are made).

Scores of victims have attempted to tell their story on the internet but almost all have been warned off by the libel law firm of Carter Ruck (known to the magazine ‘Private Eye’of course as ‘Çarter F*ck’.

It would appear that Harlequin do not want complainants getting together, hence the use of divide and rule tactics. But if you have lucked out in any of those projects down in Pattaya, such as Emerald Palace, which was Haughton’s final project, but started as Harlequin, you should contact  here below:

Email, or call 0844 504 9793 (if you are calling from within the UK).

This message is for people who invested in properties in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic and of course Thailand

Richard Haughton meanwhile remains at Lake Villas in Pattaya and is still desperately trying to get residents to pay maintenance fees etc to him.

Harlequin boss David Ames whose projects were promoted in Pattaya by the Pattaya People Media Group has now taken citizenship of St. Vincent in the Grenadines.


Hundreds of people were persuaded to invest in Harlequin projects which were even promoted as a place to put pensions. The potential fallout is quite tremendous.

Glossy brochures were widely distributed in an aggressive sales plan but for several of the projects planning permission had not been obtained. Several projects in Thailand were also not built and will not be.

In Thailand investors were moved from one project to another and Haughton, formerly boss of Harlequin (Thailand) finally put everything into the Emerald Palace condo in Pattaya and hawked the deeds to the Kasikorn Bank.

Thai victims appear to be stuck in a quagmire of inaction, legal wheeler dealing, and apathy.  The Pattaya Consumer Affairs Department, which promised buyers would get their homes or their money, has, not entirely unexpectedly,  enabled them to get their homes or their money.

Thailand’s housing market for foreigners is thus being treated with increasing cynicism – not least because even the honest developers have no interest in policing those who are pulling the market down.

Story in the Basildon Echo, Essex. Will be an interesting case if they fight it. But these law suits are designed to shut people up while they bleed money trying to defend themselves.

The website, being sued here, was an excellent source of documents, and emails on the activities of David Ames and Harlequin. However they made the mistake perhaps of making themselves vulnerable by allowing personal attacks on Ames himself. This will all come unstuck one day. The question is whether Ames will get away with it. He is after all a citizen of St. Vincent and apparently a close mate of the Prime Minister. There are certainly enough people in Thailand who have been swindled after buying through Harlequin to knock a big whole in Ames ‘claim of integrity.

Not the heading ‘We’ll finish resort’ – That’s about the Merrick’s Resort in Barbados due to be completed four years ago – and they have not yet finalised planning permissions!  And by the way of course where is the money coming from for all these legal actions…. from investors!

Crossing the line

Beware the Penquin

Thai Property Scandal

8 thoughts on “Attention British Property Victims – Harlequin Class Action

  1. Seems like it should be a big story…fleet streets finest all scare off by the lawyers? Thought maybe even the consumer affairs people at the bbc might be interested if this is as cut and dried as it appears…And there's always the property obsessed daily mail!

  2. You are right. It is not exactly cut and dried. Not legally. Buyers are finding they should have read the small print on their contracts. They are locked in to deals which allow Harlequin to counter sue them in several situations. However I am in contact with people all over the Carribean and Thailand on this including major figures who quit Harlequin and whom I guess are talking to 'serious institutions'(Even been intyerview by the local TV there). These people left because they they saw what Harlequin was doing. Carter-Ruck has not made a move on this site. This I believe is because I have stuck to the facts and not carried some of the wilder allegations. But you never know. Whenever the name Carter-Ruck is mentioned Fleet Street editors seem to go into melt down. I had a grudging respect for this company. Less so now.

  3. While i do not understand what Haughton has done with all these funds he has supposedly pilfered from everyone (as he appears very low on money these days) there can be no smoke without fire.
    Thailand has very strong libel laws. And the fact that articles about him keep appearing apparently unchallenged must make even the doubters begin to think there may in fact be something to all this and the smoke starts to appear to becoming from a real fire.
    Haughton has only yesterday started his strong arm tactics at lake villas by removing a water meter from one of the bungalows and placing a notice on its window about non payment of (disputed) maintenance fees, even though the owner has paid the separately supplied water bill given by harlequin.
    His current ploy is telling all those who dispute his fees that he is so short of cash that if they do not pay up that he will cut off all the communal facilities. this threat would not only affect those who do not agree with his extortion but those who have given in and paid up. He has a strangle hold on the village with the water supply to everyone being supplied by pumps he controls with threats of not paying the main communal electric bill, which would stop everyone water supply. also even on the bungalows which have there own government supplied electric he has managed to ensure the supplies are in the names of his team not the owners themselves giving him the ability to control that supply also.
    in some cases he may be in right as some owners have not paid there electric or water bills for years claiming they want it knocked off money said to be owed to them by haughton. i can see why these owners would withhold maintenance but by withholding utility fees they are giving him ammo to cut off these basic supplies.
    He has stated he is planning on quitting lake villas in January of next year giving over the maintenance contract to a team yet to be agreed by the toothless LVOA. yet his offer as expected has conditions and hidden parts. he states all monies owed to him by owners, even those disputed must be paid to him in full 1st with the new contractor taking on this debt to him. not likely to happen as much of these unpaid amounts are disputed due to rental gaurentee he offered when he built and sold the village.
    then he states he must retain rights as rental agent, he must retain his strangle hold on village electric and water supply. and he retains ownership and control of all the communal land. if this is quitting lake villas then i'm a monkeys uncle. he has issued a questionnaire to all owners telling them they must agree to his conditions and choose an option from a list of methods he finds acceptable. failure to choose will be taken as a no vote.
    vote or no vote he does own the communal land and has the ability to cause trouble for everyone.
    something must be done about him or he will do his best to cause as much hardship as he can to the owners and residents in his attempts to extort the funds.
    If he really believes he is in the right why does he not just take legal action to recover the funds. or perhaps he is concerned that once in the legal framework too much could be aired

  4. From what I hear owner's of Emerald Place have also been given notice to pay maintenance fees or electricity and water will be cut off..

  5. Strange Haughton cannot own the land and he must have a Thai partner who owns at least 51% of shares within the company. If i was involved which i am not (most foreign companies are not set up correctly) so i would be involving the tax authority's .Has this company paid the correct tax's on all these property sales.
    Thai officials take a different line if they think they have been defrauded by falang, involve the tax authorities' this would be my line

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