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investment packs

Exclusive Breaking News: The Truth Behind Silverpoint Exposed (Part One)

Hollywood Mirage and Beverley Hills Heights

Over the next few weeks Inside Timeshare will be publishing exclusive information on the complex setup of one of the largest timeshare empires in Europe, we all know it as Silverpoint. Behind it was the late Bob Trotta, who as you will see in each article along with his cronies was very adept at moving his enormous wealth around. Today we start with a little background and introduce the major character in this very elaborate financial game.

In the early 1980s, Bob Trotta founded the company Resort Properties based in Tenerife, the first stage in establishing one of the largest timeshare companies in Europe. He was very much seen as one of the founding fathers of the timeshare industry in Europe and built 4 resorts in Tenerife, selling around 200 Million Pounds worth of timeshare, becoming a millionaire in the process.

Bob Trotta married for a second time to Ragni a Norwegian lady who was a former Timeshare Marketing person living in Tenerife. On leaving Tenerife they relocated to London where they enjoyed Non-Domicile Tax Status.

Ragni and Bob Trotta

Setting up his Global HQ in the UK with offices in the exclusive area of Mayfair, Bob and Ragni certainly enjoyed the high life, living in their multi-million-pound townhouse in Chelsea and driving the very best Aston Martins.

We now introduce into the picture one person who was to become one of the most important and influential people in the Trotta Empire, Kwang Boon Sim.

Kwang was hired with only one purpose in mind, NOT TO PAY ANY TAX. As you will see, he was the mastermind behind the huge and complex web of offshore companies which exist today, using a very clever offshore trust.

The trust which is owned by a bank with Bob Trotta and his wife Ragni being the sole beneficiaries and controllers of the trust until his death in December 2017.

Kwang Sim is well known in the timeshare industry and is affectionately known as “The Chinaman” or “El Chino”. Kwang gives the impression of being a very religious man, with ties to the Mormon Church where he works as a Mormon Bishop. It looks like a script from a James Bond movie, when a “clever American Tycoon” brings in another equally clever man masquerading as a religious leader (Licence to Kill comes to mind), who very quietly and stealthily creates a very complex web of offshore havens with the sole intent on depriving many local economies and countries of their rightful and lawful tax.

It has certainly done the job, over the years Kwang managed to avoid paying any tax and moved 10’s of millions of pounds from one lot of companies through the web of others into tax havens disguised as intercompany loans. The local managers of these companies had no control over the money or what happened to it. It was Kwang who controlled and ran the financial department from his Mayfair HQ with what can only be described as an “Iron Fist”.

Kwang Boon Sim “The Chinaman or El Chino”

In order to avoid the ever-prying eyes of the US tax authorities who have a policy and reputation for worldwide taxation of their citizens, Bob Trotta gave up his US citizenship. He took up Italian citizenship (again this could be the setting for another movie) living like a true Italian mobster in a huge mansion set in the estate of his hotel the Luxurious Castello Del Nero.

Bob and Ragni were living like a king and queen in their estate reputedly worth around 10 million pounds. The estate was set in 700 acres of rolling Tuscan countryside, all within the grounds of their Hotel worth 50 Million Euros. All the while Kwang kept the funds flowing into Panama and the British Virgin Islands

Bob along with his two daughters Jennifer and Erin Trotta spent the long summers in Italy with their respective families. One of the husbands (Jennifer’s) Douglas Campbell was for a while the groups CEO making sure the family fortunes were protected, all under the watchful eye of his mentor “El Chino”

That brings us to the end of this opening chapter and part one of our story, join us again on Monday 10 June for part two, where we find that all was not as cosy with the family as many were led to believe, greed plays its part.

Did you purchase a timeshare from Resort Properties then Silverpoint, did you get involved with the “investment packs” or the later incarnation “company participations” and “Excel Overseas Lodging Participation Programme“?

If you can answer yes, then get in touch with Inside Timeshare through our contact page, we will explain where you legally stand and point you in the right direction to claim back your money and have your contracts declared null and void.

Now is the time to act.

Tenerife Court Rules Silverpoint Responsible for Resort Properties

On 1 August 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance announced a significant victory in Tenerife, this was against Silverpoint. The Court of First Instance in Arona ruled in favour of the CLA client, declaring their contract null & void, again the court used the recent Supreme Court rulings as precedent. (These now number 17)

contract

They upheld the fact that the contract was illegal as it was for more than 50 years, they also found other irregularities in the contract. Consequently the client was awarded over 25,000€ including maintenance fees and legal costs.

The court also ruled that Silverpoint was responsible for contracts issued by Resort Properties, this ruling puts into no doubt the courts see Silverpoint and Resort Properties as one and the same entity.

This has been a point of contention for some time, Silverpoint have always denied they are Resort Properties, that they had bought them out and were not responsible for what Resort Properties did.

The former sales manager David Taylor had consistently denied any link, even being caught on video, (see youtube link). In this video Mr Taylor states to a client that he can not do anything about the purchase made under Resort Properties. He blatantly uses the Data Protection Act as a cover, saying that under this act all records from Resort Properties are unavailable to Silverpoint.

silverpointlogo

The problem with this is the client already knows the people involved from Resort Properties, he had dealt with them before, including Mr Taylor

So how true is Mr Taylor’s claim under the data protection act? Not very.

When Diamond took over from Sunterra, all records of transactions and members became their property, how else could they run the club / resorts. Surely if Silverpoint was a completely new entity, not just a revamped Resort Properties, they would have had access to all members and purchases made under Resort Properties. Obviously they would need to know what has been sold and who the members are.

As the video shows, it was a ploy to make the client pay more money, the investment pitch! This company has been doing this for years, making investment promises and continually reneging on them. These investment packs have been peddled for many years and have been highlighted on many occasions, in total contravention of the rules regarding selling timeshare as an investment. Yet these companies blatantly made a fortune from this, despite being members of the RDO, yet failing to follow the codes of conduct and ethics.

What did the RDO do about this?

Nothing.

rdo-logo

Why did they not do anything as the body set up as a trade association to ensure compliance with regulations?

Simple, Resort Properties / Silverpoint are main contributors of the organisation, it is not there to protect the consumer, it is there to protect its own members. They even state on their website, they do not investigate any complaint about any member of the RDO, you must go directly to the member concerned. What type of trade body is this?

Inside Timeshare has also recently publish news that the said Mr Taylor is now working out of the York office for Monster Rewards, his new title is Senior Client Advisor, supposedly helping people to get out of their timeshare, yet ending up purchasing Monster Credits. After watching the video over and over, my feeling is how could I trust this man?

We have stated before, timeshare itself is a great concept, it is the people involved and how it is sold that is the problem. The RDO and TATOC need to be replaced, preferably by independent bodies, not beholden or financially dependent on the industry.

In the following links are the David Taylor video:

Silverpoints new website;

Summary of Monster companies;

Trade bodies and Associations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oNdi4NT4O8

http://insidetimeshare.com/look-now-giving-timeshare-advice/

http://insidetimeshare.com/monster-credits-associated-companies-summary/

http://insidetimeshare.com/new-member-egtbw/

If you have any information about any company you have dealt with and would like to share this with others, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. If you have any questions about this article or any timeshare matter Inside Timeshare will find the answers for you.

SILVERPOINT COURT VICTORY

Shawbrook Bank Announce Irregularities in Timeshare Loans, Similar Activities in the USA.

For many people their Timeshare or Holiday Ownership was paid for on Finance, these loans were usually arranged on the day of signing the contract by the sales staff. One of these lenders is a bank called Shawbrook Bank, with their head office located in Brentwood Essex. The bank was founded in 2011 and according to their web site works closely with the holiday ownership industry to provide finance for their customers.

 

Unfortunately it was announced recently that the bank had set aside around £9 million to cover any defaults in these loans. This has come about due to the discovery of irregularities in the issuing of these loans.

shawbrook

Shawbrook Bank has admitted that it did not do its due diligence when approving the finance for holiday ownership products. One of its biggest partners is Diamond Resorts, whose aggressive style of selling has resulted in many people being over stretched financially, then being lumbered with a product that they find is unworkable. They are also stuck with management fees that are continually rising, also being unable to get out of their contracts.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/28/shawbrook-banks-shares-plunge-on-9m-hit-from-dodgy-lending/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3663651/Shares-Shawbrook-drop-challenger-bank-reveals-loan-irregularities-cost-9m-finance-chief-quits.html

 

What did Shawbrook miss on its due diligence?

 

Quite simple, finance agreements made out by sales staff on the day of the sale have not had the usual credit checks made. Normally when a loan is applied for there are several checks that are made, we all know this as at some point we have had them. Firstly, does the applicant earn enough to qualify for the loan. Secondly, can the applicant actually afford the repayments, after other payments are taken into consideration, i.e. mortgage, living expenses etc. Lastly does the applicant have a good credit history, in other words have they defaulted on any other finance, be it loans or credit cards, or have they had county court judgements made against them

 

All these are the usual checks, being unable to fulfil any of these criteria would normally prevent the loan from going through.

 

Another aspect is how the applications are filled out, Many people spoken to over the years have said that the application had been filled out by the staff. It later transpired that the purpose of the loan had been made out as “home improvements” nothing to do with the purchase of holiday ownership. In some cases, even the income has been falsified. Unfortunately, for the applicant this could lead them to the possibility of criminal charges, after all they have signed the form.

edwincoe

This is not the first time a bank has hit the news in relation to holiday ownership, Barclays Partner Finance has been the subject to action in the High Court on this matter. Edwin Coe LLP, represented many clients of Resort Properties, who had been sold “investment packs” which were then financed by Barclays Partner Finance. On 16 August 2015, Edwin Coe LLP announced that the High Court had decided in favour of the consumer.

http://www.edwincoe.com/our-expertise/group-action-litigation/resort-properties-barclays-partner-finance/

http://www.edwincoe.com/high-court-decides-in-favour-of-the-consumer/

 

Many of these loans did not have the usual credit checks made, in fact Inside Timeshare is aware of an elderly couple who had been given one of these loans. They had been talked into one of the Resort Properties / Silverpointinvestment packs”, at the time he was 8o years old his wife 76, the loan was for £30,000, yet both are on pensions. When Inside Timeshare spoke with them, the question asked was, had you gone to your bank, do you think they would have provided the loan? Well we all know what the answer to that is. They are now taking legal action.

barclays

Unfortunately this is not just the case for Europe, in the United States the same controversy exists.

 

Roddy Boyd of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation has been highlighting this, on 27 April 2016, he published an article on a Credit Union which has been supplying loans for Diamond Resorts clients. Quorum Federal Credit Union has been in operation for 82 years, as with all credit unions they are member based.

quorum

http://sirf-online.org/2016/04/27/the-enabler-and-the-lifeline-diamond-resorts-and-quorum-fcu/

 

Quorum, has been supplying loans for the holiday ownership industry for years, Diamond Resorts are their largest portfolio. Diamond tend to send the riskier applicants to the credit union, these are those in the lower credit ratings, what the Americans call “subprime”. In other words the banks would not touch them with the proverbial barge pole.

 

According to Roddy Boyd the deal provided around $40 million in loans for Diamond and in return these borrowers became members of Quorum. Sounds like a win win for both, (not the consumer).

 

At least Shawbrook Bank have admitted that it has seen a problem in this area, setting aside a substantial amount to cover any future problems. In the end a loan for a holiday product which will on average be around £10,000 or more, is a huge commitment, not one that should be signed and approved on the day. Especially by the sales staff who have a vested interest in getting the “deal”.

 

Inside Timeshare would like to thank Irene Parker of the The Street for supplying the link to Roddy Boyd´s article. Do read it in full yourself as we have only just touched the surface, also read the following link, again it makes interesting reading.

 

http://sirf-online.org/2016/03/07/27464/

 

If you have any questions relating to this article or any others published contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to find the answer for you.