Harlequin Property scheme was an investment venture to build over 6000 hotel and rental properties in the Caribbean. An estimated £400m was put in by 6000 investors, the large majority of which came through investors with SIPPS.
It’s been reported that only 300 of the proposed properties were actually built.
Harlequin Property is an example of mis-selling at its worst. Starting with unregulated marketing companies cold calling people offering free pension reviews and often employing high pressure sales tactics such as; downplaying the risks involved or inflating the returns, in order to persuade people to invest.
Not to mention the negligent financial advice some people received which saw them put their pension pots into a totally unsuitable investment scheme.
Many people transferred out of valuable final salary scheme pensions without knowing they were giving up some hard to replace benefits.
Problems with Harlequin began to surface in 2013 with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) looking into business conducted by the Harlequin group between 2010 and 2015.
In 2017 the SFO charged the chairman of the Harlequin Group – David Ames with 3 counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position. The trial is scheduled to begin in September 2020.
A case upheld by the FOS in 2016 against an adviser who had recommended his client invest £48,000 in Harlequin valued the investment at just £1.
In April 2019 it was reported that the FSCS had paid out £125m in compensation claims for around 2,700 complaints relating to Harlequin and expected to receive many more.
These complaints were regarding the suitability of the advice received to invest in Harlequin and not the performance of the investment itself.
If you invested in Harlequin Property as part of your SIPP and would like to check if you may have been mis-sold you can call 0114 2664216 and talk to one of our Team.
Or fill in the enquiry form to arrange a call back at a time that is convenient to you.
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It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.
We will not make or pursue a claim, or advise you to, if we know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that the claim does not have a good arguable basis, and or is fraudulent or frivolous.