I didn’t have to give evidence in this trial after all

Four precious metals investment scammers have been jailed for a total of 29 years after duping hundreds of customers out of £7.75million in savings and pensions in exchange for ‘worthless barrels of junk’.
Using a misleading website and inaccurate glossy brochure they either cold-called victims with scripted patter or placed adverts offering the opportunity to purchase supposedly lucrative metals vital to 80 per cent of the world’s industry.
Ringleaders Christopher Sabin, 44, of Sevenoaks, Kent, and Tobias Ridpath, 52, from Hastings, East Sussex, were both jailed for nine years.

Prolific salesman Nicholas Start, 35, of Tadley, Hampshire, who pocketed at least £132,000 in commission over a few months, was handed a seven-year sentence.
William Berkeley, 52, of Horsham, West Sussex, joined the scam near its conclusion and was sent to prison for four years.
The group were convicted by a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court of conspiring to defraud investors by making false representations. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will follow to confiscate their profits.

Prosecutor David Durose told jurors Denver Trading – started by Sabin and Ridpath – was run from a short-term £860 per month office in the City.
The court was told Start headed a ‘prolific’ brokerage – London Commodity Markets – and Berkeley took over the Swiss branch of the business after the original director quit, claiming the business ‘stank horribly.’
One typical investor, Cecil McMurray, invested £243,000 and ‘lost a vast amount of money’.
Another client bought 100 kilos of rare metals in September 2012 for £39,000. Two-and-a-half years later that investment was worth £285.

I was booked to do so but then they decided I wasn’t needed. As to why I was booked to give evidence:

Investors were wooed with promises of returns on investments in Rare Earth Metals and Rare Earth Elements, which were vital in engineering and manufacturing.
The court heard father-of-three Sabin and father-of-two Ridpath founded the company in the Seychelles on February 23, 2013 and quickly gave it the trappings of a successful business.

I think that’s slightly wrong, they started in 2012.

I called it almost immediately:

Investing in Rare Earth Metals: Don’t Do It!

As my written evidence pointed out:

He added: ‘There is no resale market for these metals. They were almost useless as an investment.’

Dib Dib Dib I guess.

15 comments on “I didn’t have to give evidence in this trial after all

  1. “I called it straight away” and in public is a claim a lot of us would would like in retrospect to be able to say about things we saw going wrong but, for whatever reason, could do nothing about. So congratulations Tim on having the good fortune in having the knowlege, postion and means to respond and we’ll done, well done indeed on having the integrity and courage to do it.

  2. Still, the government looks set to grab these ill-gotten gains, so at least the money will end up with its rightful owner (Snippanomics 101).

  3. Tim, there is a smile to be raised by Mariana Mazzucato’s Twitter feed this morning. The woman who claims that the state invented everything and so should have a bigger role has come up against immigration bureaucracy – having made an error in her application she’s suggesting that the university should fix her mistake rather than her being bothered with such trifling details

  4. Well done you. These chaps were certainly not alchemists yet there is an element of get-rich-quickery about it that wouldn’t have been out of place when Ben Jonson took up his pen. How ever much people are warned, they’ll still fall for scams. Mankind is stupid and greedy. Our natural states.

  5. Alas, Mr Lud, unlikely. I despair at how few people accept that There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. That if something looks too good to be true, it invariably is. That the higher the proposed gains the higher the risk. Risk being capable of running to infinity. That if it was possible to make the sort of money as easily as you’re being told it is, the people telling you would be keeping very quiet about it indeed & saving it all for themselves.

  6. Ironman – ““I called it straight away” and in public is a claim a lot of us would would like in retrospect to be able to say about things we saw going wrong but, for whatever reason, could do nothing about. So congratulations Tim on having the good fortune in having the knowlege, postion and means to respond and we’ll done, well done indeed on having the integrity and courage to do it.”

    Says Rusty from a position of bitter experience. Given that when someone of us called the Rotherham rapes somewhat late, Rusty accused everyone mentioning it of racism.

    In the end Ironman did not have the integrity or courage to speak honestly. Worse still, he could not tolerate other people of better character being truthful.

  7. I hope the smart-arse that wrote this comment by your original article …

    The 80-90% is good if the price will rise up to 100%!! The writer of the article is not a profesional in business.

    … is reading now.

    Hehehe

  8. If anything was worth holding onto as an investment, why would some bugger make the effort to phone you up and sell it you? It’s common sense isn’t it?

    I once met someone who has spunked over £900k on these boiler room scams and he still wouldn’t listen to anyone. I think it’s probably a form of mental illness.

  9. StevenL – some people cannot admit they were wrong. However next time they will recognise the great opportunity and not fall for a scam. Until they do…

    Have come across dozens of people who invested in what sounded like risky schemes. Usually because in the maintstream of investment they cannot get such good returns.
    And lost millions in some cases.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.