Friday, 6 November 2015

Is this real evidence of the sort of fraud that ECf platforms get up to?

CrowdProperty pitched on the ECf platform Bank to the Future back in 2014. This platform has since been forced to go off shore as no one here would issue it with an FCA licence. Its founder Simon Dixon has been known to us as a conman for the last 4 years. He was elected to the board of the UKCFA, the 'body' established by Julia Groves which is supposed to be the representative body for the industry. Enough said.

So the platform claimed to have raised £171k for the company, the company agreed that this is what was raised and as it was over the £150k target, the pitch completed.

We suspected at the time that something wasnt quite right when the pitch suddenly received an investment of £100k on its last day - without which it would have failed. However it has taken till now, a year and half later, to confirm our suspicions.

CrowdProperty's first accounts were filed a few days ago and the shareholders paid in capital total is only £114k of which £10k seems to be prior to the pitch. It never crossed its target line

So what has happened to the rest of the £67k. We suspect that it never existed - it was 'pledged' and then withdrawn just to ensure the pitch got over its target and could complete. If so, then this must have been pledged by people who had a vested interest in it completing and who knew it could be withdrawn before shares were issued. Meanwhile the real investors, who had really invested real money were none the wiser.

This appears to us to be the first instance of what we suspect is a not uncommon ploy used by the ECF platforms to essentially con people. It is difficult to trace and to verify which is perfect if you trying it on. So beware.

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