Here’s another investment fund touted to punters in Thailand by our own breed of financial advisors which appears to have gone belly up. 

Centaur Litigation seems to have mislaid millions – well around US$10 million – and those who will suffer of course are those who invested.

The whole idea of these funds is that you invest in a legal case. Centaur first raised US$90 million in Australia and then went for the expat market around south east Asia – a bit like the LM Managed Investment Funds.  It seems Australia is a good place for financial fraud.

A spokesman for the rather lame Australian Securities and Investment Commission recently admitted to ABC that the laws and power were not in place to adequately deal with fund management scammers.

Cayman Islands based Centaur Litigations is intertwined with Buttonwood Legal Capital, Hong Kong, (which has been raided) and Cayman islands based Argentum Investment Management.

Argentum Management (all the same guys here really) has been delisted from the Channel Islands Securities Exchange ‘on the basis that the Exchange considers that the company is no longer suitable for listing under chapter 7 of the Listing Rules’.  Its non-executive director by the way is a former British Appeals Court judge Sir David Cooke.

Anyway all those who have lost money in this mess won’t be able to appeal to Sir David.

Argentum are doing some distinct distancing themselves here, but finding it a little difficult.

The idea of Centaur Litigations was to invest in legal actions. They offered punters up to 45 per cent return on their investments.  One Bangkok company touting them as well as LM and unbelievably ‘Touchwood’ was Professional Portfolio International.

Centaur said it was investing in a case to sue the Commonwealth in Australia for damages caused by an outbreak equine influenza in 2007.

Punters would have done better putting their money on a horse, which does not have flu, running in the Melbourne Cup.

The boss of Centaur and Buttonwood by the way is Brendan Terrill. His Centaur Litigations also owns Argentum.  Get it. (He’s not an Aussie). Who is he? – well nothing apparently until this story came up.

To catch up on this story you can google these companies in conjunction with the Sydney Morning Herald – but I cannot recommend more highly the site

The site exposed this set up as a ‘Ponzi’ scheme some time ago.

What does this all mean? Well its another reminder of course that a good honest bank robbery is ethically much higher up the scale than men in suits who are there simply to cheat people out of their pensions.

But the bank robbers go to jail. Fund managers retire in the Bahamas etc.


  1. The irony of it all! Get a return of 45% for betting on someone else's misfortune. Classic case of greed. Not much sympathy from yours truly. All the same a good article and somewhat humorous.

  2. As you noted Andrew, Australia certainly is a good place for financial fraud. The LM Investment Victims know all about that now. It's clear that those dodgy developers in Queensland, particularly Surfer's Paradise, have been at it for years and nobody has ever done anything about it. LM only began to target expats when the numbers of Aussie retirees reduced and their First Mortgage Fund began to fail in 2008. Between then and early 2013 when the whole lot went tits up, IFAs around Asia were still pushing LM's Managed Performance Fund to Thailand based expats right up to its' dying days!
    ASIC have proved to be absolutely useless and continued to allow the fund management scams to go on over years. It's becoming obvious that ASIC had even supported the Aussie banksters in their Low Document mortgage scams on older and low income people, targeted with faulty lending products, by exempting the banks from the relevant consumer protection laws.
    Yes Australia certainly is a good place for financial fraud. So is Thailand, and the unlicensed unregulated unscrupulous financial advisors who prey on the unwary expats know that too. When it all goes wrong the scamming fund managers, with their agents the IFAs (who were supposed to advise against all of this) walk away scot free.
    Don't invest in Australia. Don't invest in anything touted by an advisor in Thailand.

  3. After The Event ATE insurance against legal costs if a current case is lost and litigation funding are commonplace in civil cases. The level of risk for the funder or insurer is reflected in the terms offerred. This would not on the surface have appeared to be a particularly exotic fund but as always questions have to be asked of the regulation of the firm and the persons behind it and whether they are carpetbaggers.

    Keep on it Andrew, financial advisers /scumbags are ten a penny in Bangkok and elsewhere in SE Asia but they keep on finding victims.

  4. Litigation funding is commonplace these days and no longer controversial, for the most part. FYI, this sort of thing is not now possbile for cases here in Thailand as parties to litigation are generally not able to assign or transfer their claims to others. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until somebody cooks this scam up and tries it here. Actually, come to think of it, there was a certain former airline pilot who tried to fund his case by collecting cash from all his "friends". I don't think they saw a return of even their principal, unless empty promises have value …

  5. I'm one of the idiots who invested in this scam. Everything I have (duh). 100% capital guarantee is what sucked me in. A fool and his money……..

    I hope losses can be limited to 50%. Wankers. Complete wankers. I hope they go to jail.

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