Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned one of the main distributors of Harlequin Property, which sold dodgy deals on Thailand’s eastern seaboard to pensioners, and fined him £169,500.

Robert Shaw was a director of TailorMade Independent, based in Leicestershire,  when between January 2010 and 2013, 1,660 TailorMade clients invested a total of £112m – with amounts ranging from £5,000 to £440,000 each – mostly from pension funds including some final salary schemes, into SIPPs.*

Some 923 clients – invested in the unregulated overseas property developments in the Caribbean operated by Harlequin, the FCA said, including Shaw himself.

He personally profited out of the deals to the tune of £329,000.

The FCA report is not pretty.

Two other directors of Tailormade, Lloyd Pope and Peter Legerton were also banned by the FCA from senior positions in financial services. Pope was fined £93,800, Legerton would have been fined £84,000, but for financial hardship.

David Ames

Harlequin Property, run by David Ames, a former bankrupted double glazing salesman from Essex , had taken the cash, mainly from people’s pensions to build some 6000 homes in the Caribbean, but only a few hundred were built.

The matter is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Laura Miller of Professional Advisor writes:

 “Investors – who put hundreds of millions of pounds of their pension money into the scheme expecting a ‘guaranteed’ monthly income from rents on Caribbean tourist villas – have in the vast majority of cases been left without the promised income or even access to their capital, after work stopped on the Harlequin resorts and its sales arm entered liquidation.”

Niels Colov (centre) forrmer gangland figure in Copenhagen – who was also President of Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club
and leader of the Foreign Police Assistants in Pattaya

With the help of Niels Colov of the Pattaya People Media who provided television and print publicity; and Richard Haughton, then President of the Pattaya Jomtien Rotary Club, boss of Harlequin (Thailand)  who described himself as a property investment analyst, a number of projects were started in the Pattaya area.

Richard Haughton

Again only a few projects were built – One that was was Emerald Palace condominium in Pattaya.

But when the owners made plans to move in and asked for their title deeds they found they had all been mortgaged to the Kasikorn Bank by Haughton and his cronies, who had started the companies TPME, Thai Property and Media Exhibition Company and Headland Holdings, to handle the properties.

A Bangkok legal firm Limcharoen took control of the company and told the owners they would have to pay off the bank loan if they wanted the deeds.

Many did. But after initial hiccups courts stepped in and ordered the deeds to be handed over to all ten clients handled by our assistant Kanokrat Nimsamooth Booth and her legal team.

The clients will get the property at the price they bought it at.

What was happening in Thailand is explained in this short video.

At the time of the Thai scams we were in touch with BBC Panorama who were investigating the Caribbean side and interested in the Thai follow on.

However the Panorama programme was shelved after allegations that a producer had offered an incentive to a Harlequin employee to give evidence against the company.

*Self Invested Personal Pension

Comment: Action is being taken but the penalties may not impress people who lost their entire pensions which these people put into Harlequin schemes because of the high commissions and of course getting Thai police or indeed the Pattaya Consumer Protection department to investigate frauds against foreigners


  1. The video is very well done – I Wish it would be aired on a special BBC program. Wishes sometimes come true. Hopefully the word will get beyond the street.

    Of course the jobs are all subcontracted down now, with insulating layers of underlings ultimately re-exposed, but once you squish one cockroach – several more pop up by default. The status quo, however, is shifting.

  2. As I watched the video, I found myself thinking exactly the same as D. Farang – could this be shown on UK television to at least help deter some gullible individuals from investing their money in these scams?
    Of course, it would have to be updated a bit – e.g. when the video was made Noyes had simply been charged (as is mentioned). Since then he has, as we all know, been convicted.
    Having said all that, however, one has to wonder why so many people were so gullible as to invest their money in these ventures.
    The chap from Northern Ireland is a former investment adviser, for goodness sake!
    Many of them have Thai partners or wives, so they cannot claim they don't know how things work in Thailand.
    Where was the due diligence that these people should have exercised?

    1. Seems like a pretty accurate article on how things are going in Thailand. I notice Noyes has some children with him in America but not the one that was the child of the under-age girl. He's going to either fudge some paper work or leave her behind as I'm sure the Department of Justice will take an interest if it knows he fathered a child to a 14 year old girl. That is a felony in the USA. With computerized ID cards it is harder to hide these things now in Thailand. I hope he is charged in the US as he'll get a long sentence and US jails are no joke. He'll last about a week if they find he's a pedo.

  3. "Where was the due diligence that these people should have exercised?"

    I too am guilty of failing to do proper due diligence. I was warned about getting too "exuberant" in the stock market by my father – as I was overtrading (when even a blind monkey could make money from about 1995-2007)

    Needless to say – I never took my father's advice, and financially crashed in 2011-12. Listen to those who know. Most of us learn the hard way – me too!

    No – I never told him about my financial crash..he still thinks I'm rich. But I am – just not money-wise.

    Forewarned is Forearmed.

  4. It's a shame Thailand cannot clean up it's act in vetting everybody that comes into the Kingdom. With quality foreigners like this in town (NOT), no wonder Thailand isn't the paradise that is portrayed in the public domain. It drags the country down, and it's reputation of being a criminal haven for deviants.

  5. Gotta love armchair policymakers.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, Britain, Europe and the United States are unable to successfully filter out all the drug mules, arms dealers and jihadis crossing THEIR borders but here's "the guest" – all nice and snug in his slippers and cardigan with a nice cup of cocoa – lamenting on why the Thais fail to vet the millions who arrive in their country every year.

    Do us all a favour; shut up and go back to playing the lotto, eh?

    1. We ordinary mortals prefer to believe that the people in charge of the world – and our money – at least have some semblance of competence. In fact, it seems that we would prefer to believe that there is a well-calculated massive conspiracy of which only the perpetrating insiders know the final end, rather than consider the unacceptable idea that those in charge, the infamous powers-that-be are actually stupid, uninformed and worse — deluded.

    2. We know Marlo – but This is Thailand we are talking about, if you don't (frickin') mind, hahaha – so take your thinly veiled ulterior motive and – consider taking a more subtle approach will ya?

      Sticking it where the sun don't shine ain't subtle.

      Lame apologists for scam artists won't get the job done, so we will. We'll do what we want (sleeves being rolled up).

      Signed, The Opposition

    3. "Do us all a favour; shut up and go back to playing the lotto, eh?"

      You mean by investing with the Thailand expat scam artists Marlo? BTW, how are they to get sh–t-faced with Marlo?

      They're probably pretty "hail-fellow well-met" at that point (with pouting, drama-riddled bar-girl on knee) – flushed as they are with punters stolen money, LOL.

      Lotto Indeed

      Lotto B.S.

  6. These confidence men are really cowardly thieves. They befriend their victim before offering their nefarious schemes where they are the main beneficiary. They prey on the honest but naive person who doesn't see their deviousness. None as blind as the righteous is a true statement. Most honest people project their own nature onto others and therefore place misguided trust in people who are simply devious and duplicitous. Thailand attracts probably the worst bottom feeders, many are gobby Brits with all the patter. When approached by these types I usually tell them save it. I had one at my door recently and before he got 2 sentences out I just shut the door in his face. If somebody ever cold calls I just tell them I do not discuss any business or give out any personal information over the phone. Then hang up. If I actually had any money to invest I'd follow a friend of mine's strategy that is the one most successful investors follow. Only buy blue chip, long standing stocks. Have a little gold and silver and have some property. Why you'd need these oily types to help with this is a mystery to me. There are enough books by experts you can read yourself. Self educate and make your own decisions. It still might go pear shaped but at least you'll only have yourself to blame. Your money is safer under the bed in a shoe box than in the hands of these so called "financial planners" The only thing they are really planning is their own agenda.

    1. So true. The way some financial advisors befriend their marks from schmoozing at expat networking or chamber of commerce events is so callous. They play the long game and don't try to sell their dodgy products until a long time after. They are much more difficult to identify than the ones who cold call, but the end result is the same: Both your money and the IFA are gone.
      What is amazing is that some of their victims still think they are friends, even long after it's obvious they've been taken for a ride, and their life savings.
      And some of the same IFAs are still out there, looking for more marks. Beware, and never take financial advice in, or make investments from, a Thailand based IFA.

    2. Remember the only recorded event where Jesus reportedly got pissed off was when he went into the temple and confronted the money lenders in the temple. Usury has been the root of many wars and crusades to install a system of banking where profit is made by lending money. These 'financial planners' and I use that term loosely, are just opportunists trying to make money with little effort other than bullshit and hope-selling. You can't blame people for wanting to maximize their savings, especially people who have worked hard to make it. Unfortunately it is the unsophisticated guy, the blue collar, hard working type that often becomes the victim. A victim of their own trusting nature.

    1. According to the last drivel sent to me by the Bam Pot, he and Hanks are starting multiple cases against me as well as attempting to black mail me into dropping my cases against them under threat of yet more bad publicity on Google……now that's got me worried…what a couple of buffoons.

    2. The Thai police wouldn't even bother to investigate if these two were taken care of as there would be a long laundry list of suspects. Brian is such a disturbed, damaged and pathetic person, it is much more fitting to watch him slowly go down due to his own deviousness. People like him rarely live to retire happily. Sooner or later he's going to run short of money and will have to scam somebody again. So far he's scammed an old lady and people who are not prepared to use violence against him. Sooner or later he'll cop his whack as some people are very patient when it comes to revenge. If you have a good job and family stay on the straight and narrow, don't stoop to these guy's level. Brian's just a sad joke and Hanks is an old fool. He's proof you can't stay young but you can stay immature.

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