Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, last week we published the story of Silverpoint and the news that the court-appointed administrator has completed his review of the liquidations. For Silverpoint and the past management team this was not good news, it now clearly leaves the door open for possible criminal charges to be brought. Unfortunately, we have heard from many readers on the proliferation of cold calls regarding not just Silverpoint but also Azure in Malta.
The nature of these calls is to entice owners into parting with huge sums of cash in order to make a claim against Silverpoint or Azure. As usual, the caller states that they will get the owner out of their contract with a termination and then make a claim, the only problem here is who are they going to sue?
Both these companies along with many others of The Limora Group are in the process of being liquidated, the major law firms involved in current cases are no longer taking on any new cases because of this. It is also a fact that very few cases have ever been through the Maltese Courts against Azure, the main reason for this has been the problem of jurisdiction. This is a problem we have seen with other companies, such as the jurisdictional arguments of Diamond Resorts and Club la Costa.
As we have seen in the past, any news will be used and twisted by the unscrupulous in order to get you to part with your cash, all on the promise of receiving back your full purchase price, from a company that is liquidating. So unless you already have a case in court with a genuine law firm your case will never get to court with any of these callers.
Moving on now to our old friends at Anfi, last week was not a very good one for them, losing at every turn. Not only have they lost in the Court of First Instance, they are also losing every appeal they lodge with the High Court.
In total the courts ordered Anfi to repay clients over 150,000€ in just a few days, this is without all the other payments Anfi will be liable for, such as legal interest and the repayment of clients’ legal costs. Then there are also Anfi’s own legal costs, paying their lawyers, and also the costs of lodging the appeals with the courts.
This does make you wonder what they are playing at, they lose every case in the First Instance, appeal to the High Court, and then lose those appeals, it really does not make any sense whatsoever. Could it be that the management at Anfi are just plain stupid or are they being duped by their own lawyers with dubious appeals?
That is one question we are unable to answer, what we do know is that all of this is a blatant attempt to delay paying clients what is rightfully theirs. In the end, it will not bode well for Anfi and the management team, especially with the Provincial Prosecutors Office making criminal investigations into the movement of funds between accounts, exactly the same as Silverpoint did. As they say, watch this space.
That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments on this or any other article, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
After a rather lengthy process, the court-appointed administrator has now completed his review of the Silverpoint liquidation and the news is not good for the company or for several key personnel. Although the report is welcome it appears that the administrator has not included some key points which the lawyers behind the majority of cases against Silverpoint expected.
As we know a few years ago, the CEO of Silverpoint placed the company into voluntary liquidation, at the time it was already suspected that it was a ploy by the myriad of companies under the umbrella of The Limora Group to consolidate as much finance as possible for the family of the late Bob Trotta.
This now seems to have been officially recognised as the administrator has concluded the liquidation could have been avoided, had it not been for the mismanagement by the company directors and key personnel.
During his investigations, the administrator also uncovered a huge range of financial and management irregularities which he believes directly contributed to the collapse of the company. Because of this, he has classified the liquidation as “culpable”, which actually means it was a negligent bankruptcy.
The administrator also made it very clear that those responsible for the negligent bankruptcy are the former CEO Mark Cushway and the former CFO Diana Aitchinson. This obviously does not look good for either of them, there is obviously the possibility of criminal charges being brought against them, for that we shall have to wait and see.
On the role of Kwang Boon Sim, who we reported on in our six-part series Exclusive Breaking News: The Truth Behind Silverpoint Exposed, which lifts the lid on the dealings of The Limora Group and Kwang Boon Sim.
Although Kwang Boon Sim was not an employee or director of Silverpoint it was recognised that there is sufficient evidence that he played a significant and very influential role in the company. Remember Kwang was the financial guru for the late Bob Trotta, the Limora Group (of which Silverpoint is a part), and the heirs of Bob Trotta. (see links below to the full series).
It was also acknowledged by the administrator the existence of some very “dubious” transactions between Silverpoint and Excel, this point was brought to his attention by the leading law firm investigating Silverpoint on behalf of their clients, Canary Legal Alliance. These lawyers have also formally requested that the liquidation of all the other companies of Limora Group should also be investigated, which they believe will increase the overall asset value of the liquidation process.
Even though this report is welcome and is good news for the clients of CLA, they had hoped the administrator had gone further with his investigation. For instance, the administrator has acknowledged the role played by the legal advisors of Silverpoint in this situation but has not held them accountable.
It was also hoped that the corporate veil would be lifted, this would have shown a very well-orchestrated decapitalisation of Silverpoint through other entities such as Excel, Signalia and Inversiones Oasis among others.
We should also point out that from a previous investigation by Social Security, they clearly identified and highlighted the link between all these companies, so it does seem strange that all this has not formed part of the administrator’s report. But it is not over yet.
The State Attorney will study the report in detail and then will make his comments to place before the presiding judge. Along with the criminal report launched by CLA in 2019 for “allegedly” hiding and removal of funds and assets in order to obstruct payments to clients during enforcement procedures. This is known as “frustration of payments” and is in itself a criminal offence.
Further information on this can be found on the following link.
So the tangled web of deceit surrounding Silverpoint and their associates is finally becoming clear, it is also hoped that it will result in criminal charges, and those who are guilty face the full force of justice. For many of those who have been the victims of Silverpoint, it may be some comfort that justice is finally on its way.
We end today with a warning to our readers, with a lot of the news coming out about Silverpoint, there are some very unscrupulous cold-callers who will use this information in a twisted way to tempt you into signing up for termination and claim. Please be aware that even the major law firms and independent lawyers in this field are no longer taking on new Silverpoint cases, if you receive any calls on this subject please use our contact page and let Inside Timeshare know the details.
Although Inside Timeshare has been off-line for a while we have been keeping tabs on what is happening, especially the questions and comments sent into this publication and our Facebook pages. One theme which keeps on cropping up is Silverpoint and the total misinformation being given out by some of the more dubious cold-calling “claims companies”. These calls are causing a lot of concern among those who have cases in court with genuine law firms, the gist of the calls is to sow doubt into their minds that their lawyers are not doing their job and are just out to “scam” their clients. This cannot be further from the truth as you will see.
During these dubious cold-calls, the “client” is told a series of untruths, for those who have cases pending, which as we do know is not a quick process for a trial date to be set, the inference is that the clients lawyers are not doing anything, that the “cold-calling” company can get it done quicker.
We have been told by our readers the time scale these callers are using is a matter of 6 weeks to get the case into court, the trial conducted, and within a few weeks of the trial, payment will be made.
As we know, this is impossible, not just in Spain but in all countries including the UK, there are legal procedures which need to be conducted first. This is the simplified version for cases in Spain.
The documents first need to be translated into Spanish, then the case has to be prepared by the lawyers. These are not quick and can take a couple of months depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of documents, and of course the workloads of the translators and lawyers.
Then the case is presented to the court, at this point the defending party (timeshare company) is informed by burofax and has around 30 days to submit their case as to why the trial should not be held. Again, the timeshare companies will delay this for as long as possible and the arguments for and against can go on for a long time before the judge decides to accept the case.
Once this is done, then we can move on to the pretrial stage, again this is a formality, it is the last chance for a settlement to be made out of court and for the judge to decide either to issue a sentence or send the case for a full trial. If the case is dealt with at the pretrial stage as we have seen with Anfi, the timeshare company will immediately file an appeal.
Even once the case goes to a full trial which could be at least 6 months from the pretrial, and the timeshare company is found guilty, then they automatically have a right to appeal to the High Court. Again this can take anything from 6 months to 18 months to be heard depending on the court and the caseloads.
The other cause for concern is for those who have had cases won at the full trial stage and at appeal with the court awarding repayment of the purchase price. At this point, the lawyers will place a “provisional order of execution” to ensure that the funds are secured. This is standard for most cases, unfortunately, a spanner has been placed into the works when it comes to Silverpoint.
According to the many cold-callers doubt is being placed on the client’s genuine lawyers with claims that they can get the money paid out within weeks, again a total untruth especially with Silverpoint. The reason nothing can be paid out at present is the process of liquidating the company has not been concluded.
At present no one knows when payment is likely to happen, the reasons are very simple. First, the court-appointed administrator has to identify all creditors, he has to identify all accounts and investigate the movement of funds. Now considering the complexity of the company structure of the Limora Group which is the parent company of Silverpoint, there are so many accounts that the money has been spirited too, it is a full-time job.
As you can see from the company chart below and in PDF format, these companies have varying jurisdictions in some of the tax havens around the world. It is also a fact that the Limora Group also filed for bankruptcy in the Court of Southern New York. (See PDF below).
The movement of assets is also being conducted by the State Prosecutors Office of Tenerife, this is a criminal investigation and crosses many borders and jurisdictions. Again it is a complex investigation so is not likely to be concluded quickly.
Back in June 2019, Inside Timeshare published a six-part article titled Exclusive Breaking News: The Truth Behind Silverpoint Exposed. This series focused on the reasons behind the liquidations of the many companies which are part of the Limora Group, but also highlights the complexities the investigators are having to deal with. Links to the articles are below.
All Inside Timeshare can say to our readers who are concerned about what they are being told by the cold callers and the doubts that are being placed into their minds, is very simple, do not believe them. They are trying to influence you into signing up with them (for a huge fee) and canceling with your lawyers or law firm. This can have dire consequences for your case, once you cancel and your lawyers withdraw the case as they no longer represent you, that is that, it cannot be re-submitted to the court.
As far as the courts are concerned you have withdrawn the case, the defending party walks free and then has the right to demand that you pay their legal costs as they will file that the case was frivolous. You will also not have any claim against your lawyers or law firm for a refund of your legal fees, after all, they were doing what you paid them for, and it is you who withdrew the case.
On this point, Inside Timeshare received some time ago an email from one reader who fell for this and is now in yet another legal battle against the demands by the timeshare company for their legal fees to be paid by the client. They have now lost the money they paid to bring the case, the money paid to the “scam” company, and the new legal fees to fight the case. They have also lost out on ever getting their purchase price back and are still liable for the annual maintenance fees.
Our advice is to always contact your lawyer or law firm directly when being told any information which puts any doubt in your mind.
The Silverpoint case is one of the most complex seen in timeshare and is not going to be concluded in the timescales being given by these companies. Inside Timeshare very much doubts if this case will be concluded this year and until all investigations are concluded even those who have been accepted as “creditors” by the administrator are not likely to receive their awards.
If you have any questions or comments on this article, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
Links to the six-part article on Silverpoint liquidations