One of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations today revealed it helped a U.S. based investigative financial news service expose what could be one of the world’s biggest-ever frauds in order to protect investors and try to recover assets.
deVere Group confirmed it provided evidence of wrongdoing to Miami-based OffshoreAlert, run and managed by investigative journalist David Marchant, to highlight the alleged shady dealings of Mauritius-based Belvedere Management Group.
OffshoreAlert describes Belvedere as “an essentially criminal enterprise” saying it has evidence of “funds that are blatantly fraudulent, including a current $130 million Ponzi scheme in Cayman” and “Funds that simply disappear or fail in dubious circumstances, including the £400 million Harlequin Property Fund that has been unraveling over the last few years.”
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deVere Group welcomes the investigation into Belvedere Management
A deVere Group spokesperson says: “deVere Group welcomes the investigation into Belvedere Management Group. We’re pleased to support the work being carried out by OffshoreAlert, championing the progress being made by the authorities and agencies investigating this matter, and are happy to continue to provide evidence of wrongdoing when we find it.
“We suspect that this case could turn out to be one of the largest financial scams in history and we will do whatever is necessary to recover value lost by investors worldwide.”
He continues: “deVere, other brokerages, and clients across the world, have been badly let down by the custodians, namely the administrators and fund managers, of these funds.
“We are deeply concerned that alarm bells were not rung before now by those who had an overview of the situation. It has come to light that there were seemingly clear warning flags and that these seem to have been ignored by professional service providers trusted by deVere and other brokerages.
“We urge all those who have any information regarding this case to report it directly to the authorities.
“Additionally, we’re calling on all stakeholders in the financial services industry to work more closely together to ensure that this does not, and cannot, happen again.
“This case must act as a catalyst to drive up client protection and wider industry standards.”
The deVere spokesperson explains the reason for the organization’s interest: “Like many other international brokerages, several years ago deVere was approached by the fund manager of a Belvedere-administered fund to invest in the Strategic Growth Fund.
“At the time, Strategic Growth Fund (SGF) was described as ‘best of breed’. It was outperforming the market in the early years at the time of any client introductions and all due diligence was carried out by deVere, other brokerages and life companies.
“However, from 2011, the Strategic Growth Fund considerably underperformed and clients were advised to withdraw. In early 2013, the deVere CEO issued a memo to all his managers advising them to ask clients to withdraw from the Strategic Growth Fund. A few days later the fund administrator suspended the fund due to, it can be reasonably assumed, the many withdrawals from deVere clients.
“Some of this fund has since been released and some of our clients, fortunately, withdrew before the fund was frozen.
“We are hopeful that the reported police investigation will result in assets being recovered for the benefit of investors.
“From the in excess of a reported 120 or so funds, this is the only Belvedere-administered fund in which deVere clients were invested.
“Although a relatively small number of our clients have been affected by this, even one would have been one too many. We will continue to use our resources and best endeavours to help bring this situation to a satisfactory close for our clients.”
Detailed information can be found in the original OffshoreAlert article.
About deVere Group
deVere Group is one of the world’s largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients. It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world, over 80,000 clients and $10bn under advisement.