This blog was established to help get to the bottom of how the Collins & Bone Partnership reached the very sad situation it is now in, with its partner Liam James Collins having a bankruptcy hearing on 25th January (postponed)15th March 2012 (ditto), and finally bankrupted on 9th May 2012 (case # NEWC 1517 of 2011 BKT 3472187, Newcastle County Court, The Law Courts, The Quayside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 3LA), and David Bone Jnr declared bankrupt on 31st May (case no 100 of 2012 Wigan County Court). The partnership used the following addresses:

25 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2 H9HW, UK

Eastern Villa, Station Rd. North, Forest Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 9AE (owned by Liam Collin's parents, and now up for sale)

There are 3 specific goals of this blog:

• To find out what happened to the 1m+ GBP monies that C&B raised via PNs in late 2009, 2010 & 2011. I am excluding PNs issued to ex-CBS investors, but that said, this blog will be of interest to ex-CBS investors, and there is information that needs to be obtained from this set of investors wrt when PNs were issued to them, and their duration.

• To determine what, if any, criminal charges should be brought against the partners.

• To warn other investors off doing any business with the partners, their equally inept/unscrupulous extended family members, and supportive cohorts.

When you look at the PNs, there are no specific statements on the documents that specify how the monies were to be used - how you believed they were to be used is based on whatever e-mail/phone call foreplay you had beforehand with Liam Collins. That is why it is so important that the following information is collated for this category of C&B investors on an individual basis:

1) What did you believe you were investing in, and what was your basis for believing this?
2) What investment risks were you informed of?
3) What was your understanding of the purpose to which PN monies could be put?
4) What brochures and documents were you furnished with as prt of your due diligence?
5) What due diligence did you do?
This blog is being operated completely separate to Sally & Jasmine's blog (, although we share the common goal of getting to the bottom of this mess in a professional manner. If you don't want to post anything on the blog in person, you can send an e-mail to me at - information conveyed in any such e-mails will only be posted on the blog on your behalf after any editting/your specific consent.

Ewart (The Editor)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

C&B Used PN Monies As It Felt Fit

The following e-mail dialogue was between Liam and myself between 7th & 10th February 2012, and it is as a direct result of this dialogue that this blog came into being, because it raises the direct question of whether monies invested in PNs were legitimately being used by C&B as a general slush fund, versus the purpose that investors had been led to believe the monies were to be used for - it makes for very worrying reading!

The Collateral brochure that I was sent as part of my due dilligence contained the following statements on pg. 2:

    "Capital invested is used to finance the purchase, renovation and sale
      of student HMOS in established UK student dense locations or operations
      associated with this process. All end sales already pre-agreed to
      eliminate risk."

Liam Collins has been trying to distance himself from the above statement as follows:

     "the collateral brochure which you received had the sentence which
      was a legacy statement from the C&G model and should not have
      been in there. Even if it hadn’t been in there on the phone I would
      have still told you we are going to be using the money to buy
      renovate and sell assets as that was our plan"

However, I know of at least 3 other PN holders spanning a 7 month period who have the exact same statement in their brochure.

So if you took out a PN with C&B in late 2009, 2010 or 2011, and you thought you were investing in the Collateral model with a sub-100k GBP investment, can you please reply to the blog indicating whether:
  • your brochure contained the above statement or not. If it does not, can you please send the brochure to The Editor for analysis, along with an indication when it was sent to you. 
  •  you gave explicit permission, either verbally or in writing, to use your PN monies as they felt fit, or whether you fully expected them to be used as per the Collateral brochure.
Again, if you don't want to post to the blog, you can send to The Editor (, and I will go about posting information for you as you direct.

Now for the e-mail dialogue:

[Liam]: I really do not see how we can ever repay anyone now. We had so many funds set up all which were capable of repaying the debt and all have now been ruined by the blog.

[ewart]: I don't think you can blame the blog for the current situation. C&B was evidently in deep-debt on 4th November 2011 as it was (the request to sign the 5-year plan or else e-mails went out then), and the first blog entry was the 14th. If I were a potential investor in C&G and I saw the blog, it might trigger me to dig deeper and ask far more probing questions, but if I was happy with the answers I got back from C&G, I would still proceed with the investment. The potential investors were evidently not happy with the additional probing that they did.

[Liam]: Yes I can blame the blog entirely we had a £20m deal in Novocastria and now that they are blogging about that for no reason at all that one’s fucked as well. Total insanity and ruined all chances of repayment. If I spend the next year helping my father set up a fund in his name guess what will happen. That fund will also appear on the blog and that too will then come to nothing. C&G has delivered on its promises as has Novocastria and now due to the blog C&G is in liquidation and no doubt now Novo to follow.  Investors are too nervous they do not care about the ultimate truth they see the blog and run a mile.  It is guilty until proven innocent at the moment and investors do not need to give the benefit of the doubt. Getting their blog down is the only thing worth pursuing if we are ever to have a chance.

You have not understood the points made about cash being spent. At any one time the cash was spent to make sure C&B was kept alive. If I had the situation again I would do exactly as we did. There were no other choices that we were aware of.

[ewart]: I'm concerned wrt your comment "If I had the situation again I would do exactly as we did.". In raising the PNs in 2010/2011 and doing what you did with these monies, you were effectively borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, not making Peter aware of this or of the associated risks and, worse, telling Peter that his money was being used to purchase, renovate and sell properties (a near zero risk investment). C&B was dependent on a contract that was by no means in the bag, yet was spending money as if it was. C&B was living well beyond its means, not even able to service the interest on the PNs it took out in 2010/2011 without help from C&G, and only sliding deeper & deeper into debt. You may have made C&B last a couple more years doing what you did, but at the cost of 1m+ GBP of investors monies that wasn't yours to do with as you pleased, almost certain personal bankruptcy ... and another hornets nest of pissed off investors. I just have to bury my head in my hands at how this sequence of events can ever have been allowed to happen.

[Liam]: The intentions were always to use this capital for the purposes stated (i.e. purchasing, renovating, selling houses) however having spoken to all investors why is it that so many of them say to me. “Liam I leant you money  ran interest rate, I did not invest in a property or any product. I realised the risks but I was happy to trust you and it was your business what you did with the cash.”

[ewart]: well you cannot say "all investors" because I for one was never consulted ... nor would I have given approval. How many of the 28 C&B investors who invested in 2010/2011 gave explicit permission for PN monies to be used in any way C&B saw fit?

[Liam]: Incorrect, we had spoken to the old CBS investors and most were very understanding and were aware that we had to trade to make profits in order to repay them. The raring of debt was always to allow us to side step the mortgage market, trade, copy the C&G model and use profits to pay down debt when it matured as well as being able to take a salary. Sadly we could never take a salary, we could never get to trading and our plans did not work.

[ewart]: But I am not talking about the old CBS investors. I am talking about PN holders who invested in 2010/2011. How many of these investors explicitly gave their consent for the monies to be used in any way C&B saw fit?

Don't forget, the ex-CBS investors had nothing to loose, so that they would give you a carte blanche rather than loose all their monies is not surprising.

[Liam]: We had to make some very  tough decisions and I stand by the ones we made.  If it were not for the bloggers we would still have active vehicles now capable of repaying all debts. If it were not for 2 investors out of 130+

[ewart]: ... but to answer the question of the 28 CBS investors in 2010/2011?

[Liam]: Ewart there are two blogs for the purpose of investors being able to speak to one another. I cannot for data protection give you names of others or emails but I suggest that if you wish to enquire about what others think, post something and ask them.  I will not be engaging in any further correspondence with you. You will hear from the receivers in due course.  You are within your rights to put all of these points across to the receivers. If they think there is a case for criminal wrong doing they will pursue it.

[ewart]: I wasn't asking you for names. You made the statement that all investors had given their consent for PN monies to be used as C&B saw fit. I for one hadn't - so I asked how many of the C&B investors in 2010/2011 had. I didn't ask who, and I don't want to know who either.

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