Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:32 am

Well, if people will try to commercialise an amateur game that no-one is interested in paying to watch, they'll end up presenting the Arthur Daley Trophy to the winner of the TrotterBrothers.com Open.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Mick Norris
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:47 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:43 am
I wonder if Simon Williams' SKW Investments Ltd could have a court case lining up? If Williams was banned from
being a company director he would have to step aside from Ginger GM Ltd.
HMRC are certainly aware of what's gone on; paragraph 16 of the Pension Ombudsman decision on 1 case makes it clear that it is only the involvement of SKW that turned this into a pension liberation scam

2018.06.06 Pension Ombudsman decision.pdf
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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:22 am

More on the relationship between SKW and Imperium can be found here, which document refers in turn to this one. I will not pretend that I can follow much of the discussion of pensions practice, the law relating to it or the discussion of that law, but the account of events includes some interesting detail.
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Daniel Gormally
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:15 pm

I think anyone with even a sketchy understanding of the case will understand that Simon was only involved in a very limited way and was ill-advised to get involved in the first place.

But because he's the biggest name of those involved (in a chess sense at least) people are lining up to have a go. A typically British disease- as soon as anyone has any success in life, jealousy kicks in and some try to bring them down to their level.

Maybe I'm biased as Simon is a good mate of mine but why not focus on the positive- that he's brought a lot to chess with his videos, general humor and also his website- as well as doing stuff behind the scenes to promote chess and encourage sponsorship, rather that snipe from the sidelines and speculate that he'll get dragged into a court case.

Presumably those sticking the boot in have never made a mistake in their lives...

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:19 pm

If you wanted to start a thread about Simon Williams' many positive contributions to English chess I am sure nobody would stop you.
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Mick Norris
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:43 pm

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:15 pm
I think anyone with even a sketchy understanding of the case will understand that Simon was only involved in a very limited way and was ill-advised to get involved in the first place.

But because he's the biggest name of those involved (in a chess sense at least) people are lining up to have a go. A typically British disease- as soon as anyone has any success in life, jealousy kicks in and some try to bring them down to their level.

Maybe I'm biased as Simon is a good mate of mine but why not focus on the positive- that he's brought a lot to chess with his videos, general humor and also his website- as well as doing stuff behind the scenes to promote chess and encourage sponsorship, rather that snipe from the sidelines and speculate that he'll get dragged into a court case.

Presumably those sticking the boot in have never made a mistake in their lives...
You're understandably vexed about cheating in chess, which is your job; I'm vexed about cheating in pensions, which has been my job for the last 35 years; I don't care what he's done for chess, I do care what damage he's done to pensions, especially as I'm financially affected by this in terms of what I have to pay in to the compensation schemes and ombudsman services, amongst other things

I'm much more concerned about Quillan
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:36 pm

I've now spoken with Gary Quillan, and we've cleared the air, so I don't intend posting about this again
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Simon Williams
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Simon Williams » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:54 pm

Much speculation and misinformation has been posted on this forum, so I have taken the decision to make a comment on the events commented on in this thread.

Thirteen years ago, I was appointed by the board as the director of the company in question. Although I was the director of the company, my role was purely administrative; as such, I played a minor role in the structure of the company, received a nominal salary, no commissions or bonuses and did not partake in the sharing or distribution of any profits. As a young and newly qualified GM, I sought alternative methods of employment in order to subsidise working on chess full time. I do not claim (and have never claimed) to have any specific pensions knowledge and I was reliant on other people who were experts in the field.

Before agreeing to become director, I was presented evidence of advice received from an independent, professional tax advisor, who issued a formal document demonstrating that the structure was legitimate and, in his professional opinion, would not lead to any tax consequences for the individuals involved. Not being technically minded in this field I did not seek further clarification. In hindsight, my decision to become involved is regrettable, since HMRC disagreed with some of the technical arguments and decided to apply tax.

Despite unfounded allegations and speculation directed at me, there has never been any criminal/legal investigation sought against any parties in respect of this structure. Furthermore, I have never been and do not believe that the authorities have ever deemed me to be a key individual in the structure. This is evidenced by my name not appearing in the documents that have been posted in this thread.

I have been advised by a legal professional that some of the statements that appeared in 'The Times' article could amount to libel, but a battle of that magnitude is one that I do not have the funding, resources or inclination to partake in. The company is now dissolved.

It is disappointing that some people who do not know me and have no knowledge of the situation have repeatedly and publicly attacked me here and elsewhere, creating outlandish conclusions based on faulty, missing or entirely erroneous knowledge. I made a mistake, and now I am trying to carry on by making positive contributions within the world of chess and in both my personal and professional life.

I accept full responsibility for my actions and regret my involvement. Suffice to say, this has caused enormous personal stress to myself and my family, and it is for that reason I will not be making any further statements.

Martin Crichton
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Martin Crichton » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:23 pm

Simon
Sounds like you were just a pawn in this particular game. Mr. Quillan being the Grandmaster :) The case makes very sad reading for the individual that lost his pension (Mr. Y)...I have followed this thread and heeded the lessons on offer as I am soon going to be eligible to transfer / draw down some of my company pension.
For now I think I will leave my company pension where it is...there are far too many sharks out there ready to take money from people. As the saying goes if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
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NickFaulks
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:21 am

Martin Crichton wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:23 pm
The case makes very sad reading for the individual that lost his pension (Mr. Y)
I'm sorry for Sippchoice too. Even assuming their legal costs are covered by insurance, it's a massive problem they didn't need - they only won on appeal. Also, people like Martin will be put off genuinely valuable innovative products, which do exist. The whole thing is a mess.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:27 am

Simon Williams wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:54 pm
HMRC disagreed with some of the technical arguments and decided to apply tax.
That's quite an unfortunate little detail for them to quibble about. Given that "tax" in this context refers to a 55% penalty levied by HMRC on any funds withdrawn from a pension without their permission, and that the whole business model stands or falls by whether you've figured out a way to circumvent that penalty.

The moral is, beware GMs who promote pensions in between promoting pawns, they may get confused and try to pawn your pension.
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Roger Lancaster
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:29 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:21 am
Martin Crichton wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:23 pm
The case makes very sad reading for the individual that lost his pension (Mr. Y)
I'm sorry for Sippchoice too. Even assuming their legal costs are covered by insurance, it's a massive problem they didn't need - they only won on appeal. Also, people like Martin will be put off genuinely valuable innovative products, which do exist. The whole thing is a mess.
Having spent many years in the pensions industry, I'd endorse Nick's point that there are genuinely valuable products available. However, at the other extreme, there are unscrupulous parties very ready - reflecting the fact that, through lack of education in such matters, many people are financially illiterate or semi-literate - to prey on others. I may be being charitable here but my guess is that those who devised this particular scheme probably weren't total rogues but honestly thought that they had found a loophole in the law - if so, then unfortunately it has backfired. As the saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it very likely is".

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:44 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:29 pm
I may be being charitable here but my guess is that those who devised this particular scheme probably weren't total rogues but honestly thought that they had found a loophole in the law
Somewhere along the line, someone thought to themselves "It's illegal to get income out of your pension before you're 55 without paying tax on it. If we were to launder the funds through three intermediate companies, the third of which is instructed not to contact the pension provider lest they give the game away, would that make it more illegal or less?" and came down on the side of "less".

If they were total rogues, what do you think they would have done differently?

It's like if I sold you a train ticket that I'd drawn on the back of an envelope. I haven't broken any rules if the guard happens to feel strongly that your ticket isn't valid and kicks you off the train. But if I'd set out to sell you a valid ticket, that is not the way I would have done it.
Last edited by Chris Goodall on Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Roger Lancaster
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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:44 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:29 pm
I may be being charitable here but my guess is that those who devised this particular scheme probably weren't total rogues but honestly thought that they had found a loophole in the law
Somewhere along the line, someone thought to themselves "It's illegal to get income out of your pension before you're 55 without paying tax on it. If we were to launder the funds through three intermediate companies, the third of which is instructed not to contact the pension provider lest they give the game away, would that make it more illegal or less?" and came down on the side of "less".

If they were total rogues, what do you think they would have done differently?
Answer - invested the money in shares in a shell company which, after paying out generous dividends to its shareholders who just coincidentally happened to be connected to the said rogues, unaccountably [LOL!] found it had gone bust with the result that the shares became worthless. Or a variation on this theme.

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Re: Chess and Pension Fraud - allegation

Post by John McKenna » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:21 pm

Roger L>Having spent many years in the pensions industry, I'd endorse Nick's point that there are genuinely valuable products available.<

As a member of the financial illiterati it behoves me to ask how I could take advantage from the acquisition and enjoyment of one of these genuine instruments?

Is it in any way, shape or form like searching for a Stradivarius among a veritable forest of fiddles while a considerable choir of smoothing salesmen serenade - along the lines of sing something for simpletons?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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