Friday, March 2, 2012
Dr DS Grieve - Is it Fraud - Yes
Dr DS Grieve - Is it Fraud - Yes
I have just seen this on another site - http://antifraudintl.org/showthread.php?t=43038&page=2
11 January 2011
DS Grieve Bridging Solutions
Welcome back to the world we call reality folks.
I sincerely trust 2011 will be what I have a sneaking suspicion its going to be a cracker of a year.
I also trust you and your loved ones enjoyed the break and heaped the peace and love you so richly deserve upon one another this festive season past.
I didn’t really get much of a break myself having worked until 24 December 2010.
The reason for this mainly being a relatively new matter I’m involved with.
I am assisting a group of investors that have lost their shirts in what can only be described as an investment fraud on a pro bono basis.
Like most of these scams I only become sensitised to the nature and scope of the problem when my attention is drawn to the scheme in an investigation.
It seems that the Barry Tannenbaum type scam is a prolific one and that it has reached epidemic proportions locally and globally due to the nature and structure of the different investment schemes.
People invest money, are paid better than average interest on their investments, invest more and then find they lose everything including their capital and the interest they eventually re-invest.
The operators of these schemes engage in little to no legitimate investment activity. In many instances, operators of these schemes file for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid claims by victim-investors.
To date in the US a multi-disciplinary task team has uncovered cases involving over 310 such operators whose schemes have impacted on over 120 000 victims throughout that country with over US$ 10 billion suffered in losses according to the US Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs .
What strikes me most about the case I’m involved with is the fact that the callousness of the criminals involved is matched only by the remarkable people battling to restore the dignity of the victims.
I have been scrutinising the efforts by Bowman Gilfillan and in particular an attorney called Haroon Laher from transcripts of liquidation proceedings in this particular matter and literally at one stage had to sit back and acknowledge that in this man (Laher) resides the fundamental principles that made the profession great in the first place.
I also have to thank Pauli Simpson and Mercia Fryer at Specialised Services Group (SSG) and Brigadier Casper Jonker (SAPS) for making the time so late in the year to review and escalate the matter.
The current case I am scrutinising involves a certain Dr. DS Grieve and his companies.
An application was made in December 2009 to liquidate a number of Grieve's businesses in what we call a quick and dirty application, which but for a sharp eyed judge, may just have sneaked in.
This application was declined by the court. This was then repeated via CIPRO (a backdoor "voluntary" liquidation) in January 2010.
Bowman Gilfillan in Sandton challenged the voluntary liquidation application and had it converted into a compulsory liquidation. This creates a whole new set of legal rules and changes the playing field significantly for Bowman and the victims. It also changes the situation dramatically for those who applied for the voluntary liquidation.
The companies of Dr DS Grieve , specifically Dr DS Grieve Bridging Solutions a Pty Ltd entity has been made the subject of a Special Inquiry.
Debtors underestimate the seriousness of their situation if fault is found or discovered in the form of fraud, reckless or negligent trading, malfeasance or any other of a host of business "sins".
Retribution can be fast and ruthless against the perpetrators.
Basically David Stephen Grieve offered bridging finance to people during the buying and selling of properties.
Trading on very thin margins David Grieve offered unusually attractive interest rates to investors prepared to put money into the business to grow it.
This doesn’t make sense at all because Grieve could have just as well borrowed that money from the bank at much more favourable rates and instantly increased his margins.
Naturally he did his friends and family (the usual victims) a “favour” by offering them a slice of his “pie”.
The success of his scheme depends largely on his ability to attract new investors so he can use their money to pay the exorbitant interest rates of the “older” investors and when that fails (attracting new investors), so does the scheme.
The question isn’t so much if the scheme will fail but more like when?
In this instance when was when the shortfall reached R 28 million .
The R 28 million question remains, “ where is the money ”?
The fact is, because the business involves the buying and selling of property and providing “bridging” finance in the window period a Bond is approved, funds must by necessity pass through lawyers Trust accounts.
The upshot of this is that the missing millions if this cannot be traced and it cannot, must have as with any asset been misappropriated in some way.
The fact that this is an investment scheme doesn’t alter the principle of theft, which is an asset is misappropriated before it reaches an organisation, while within the organisation or after it leaves the organisation.
Consequently the missing R 28 million will be able to be traced through various lawyer trust accounts.
The only question that remains is which ones?
This shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
According to Professor Barry Spitz , the one time the corporate veil that protects a trust can be lifted and a Trust cannot be protected is when that Trust is tainted by the proceeds of crime .
It is high time that lawyers like Haroon Laher are rewarded for their diligence and common humanity and those that facilitated the stripping of the investors in Dr. DS Grieve’s schemes funds find their Trust Accounts seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit .
The issue at hand isn’t simply one of investors losing their life savings, it is about sustainability; it is about investor protection and rule of law.
It’s about creating a climate that encourages foreign direct investment and confidence in the economy through due process.
I look forward to seeing how this case pans out.
Suffice it to say, Dr. DS Grieve seems to demonstrate no empathy or remorse for his victims .
He claims he will be rehabilitated sometime this year already and will be looking to continue his business practices.
If, or when he does, this will be the third such venture .
Let the buyer beware .