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, 31 March 2012

240 Great Clowes Street part 1

Since Q1 2011, a number of houses have been pushed/offered up to investors by Liam Collins, Joe Sinagoga & Robert Wakefield. If you were offered a house, please send me the details (date offered, address, price, and the advertising material that was sent to you) so that the property can be checked out.

This article was previously entitled "Dereham Investments Ltd - 240 Great Clowes Street", and has been updated following information provided by Warren Kaye, director of property services at O'Neill Patient Solicitors LLP, and who acts on behalf of Dereham Investments Ltd. It is the story of one such property that was offered to a large PN investor in Q1 2011:

240 Great Clowes Street,
Salford, Manchester, M7 2DY

This property was on sale for 245k GBP with the contact details specified as:

contact number: 0845 556 1257
contact name: Liam Collins

address: eastern villa, station road north, forest hall, newcastle upon tyne, NE12 9AE
The property was described as:

  • Fully decorated to high specification
  • Brand new kitchen with high gloss
  • Bathroom with limestone effect tiles
  • Newly plastered throughout
  • Re-wired
  • New boiler
  • New windows
  • Fully furnished throughout
  • White goods included
  • etc.

i.e. the property was advertised as having been already fully renovated. Fortunately, the investor that this property was offered to (likely one of a number) declined, and it was subsequently sold for 182k GBP on May 11th. That this sale occurred not even 2 months after it was offered to the investor for 245k GBP was suspicious to say the least. So I checked the Land Registry:
Title Number :LA231053
Address of Property :240 Great Clowes Street, Salford (M7 2DY)
Price Stated :£182,000
Registered Owner(s) :DEREHAM INVESTMENTS LIMITED (incorporated in Isle of Man)(UK Regn. No. 45471) of Aston House, 19 Peel Road, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 4LS and care of O'Neill Patient Solicitors LLP (Ref: WK), Chester House, 2 Chester Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 5NT.
Lender(s) :Castle & Gatehouse Limited
Note the lender - Castle & Gatehouse Ltd.

When I checked the Isle of Man equivalent of Companies House ( records for Dereham Investments Ltd, their records confirm Castle & Gatehouse Ltd as the lender and describes the transaction as follows:
Date of charge: 9th May 2011
Description: Legal charge
Amount secured by the Mortgage or Charge: All obligations owed to the Lender by the Borrower contained in a joint venture agreement dated 31st March 2011.
Warren Kaye explained the situation as follows. When Dereham Investments Ltd purchased the property it had most certainly not been renovated, hence the lower purchase price - it reflected the value of the property on the open market at the time of purchase. Castle & Gatehouse Ltd had sourced the property and were responsible for renovating it and finding a buyer for it afterwards. As part of the JV arrangement, Dereham Investments Ltd footed the bill for all the renovations. The charge on the property in Castle & Gatehouse Ltd's favour to the tune of 182k GBP was for their share of the profits in the JV once the property had been renovated and sold. However, Castle & Gatehouse Ltd failed to sell the property within the first 6 months of the JV and so are no longer entitled to any share in the profits when the property is subsequently sold and, as such, the charge is in the process of being removed.

So there is nothing suspicious in this transaction. And I suspect that the other properties that have so far come to light since this blog entry was originally posted will prove to be the same kind of arrangement. Evidently the sales team in Castle & Gatehouse Ltd/Collins & Bone Partnership were resolved to milk the investor base for all they could get.

It does of course leave two questions remaining for the partners to answer:

  • Why would the likes of Liam Collins and "the board" members be trying to sell JV based properties to holders of PNs that the partners were already in default of? Toxic PNs could not be used to offset the purchase, in whole or in part, of such properties as that would constitute preferential payment of PNs. So the only possibility is that they expected investors to do a JV with them, and for the partnership's share of the profits to be offset against the toxic PNs.
  • Why was Liam Collins pushing a property owned by Castle & Gatehouse Ltd, a company that he has for many many months now tried to distance the Collins & Bone Partnership from?
The Editor

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