Richard Bates wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:54 pm
I would suggest that including the word "fraud" in the thread header is going beyond 'being careful'? Especially given the subsequent quotation "but have faced no sanction..."
'Fraud' and 'fraudster' are terms widely used in the article; hence, here too
Then there's this
(full text from the Times)
Courts and financial regulators have identified the following cases as pension “scams”. Regulators use the word to include legal attempts to persuade savers to put money into inappropriate investments and cases involving alleged fraud or deception.
The chess players
Simon Kim Williams become a chess grandmaster at 27 and quickly developed into one of Britain’s best players. Today he is ranked 25th in England, according to Fide, the world chess federation. An associate of Mr Williams, Gary Quillan, is ranked a few places below him and made headlines last year when he beat Daniil Dubov, one of Russia’s top grandmasters.
Mr Quillan and Mr Williams were involved in a more controversial sideline, however. Companies set up by the pair marketed a multimillion-pound pension liberation scheme that promised Britons early access to their pension pots. Simon Kim Williams provided loans as part of a pension liberation schemeSimon Kim Williams provided loans as part of a pension liberation scheme. It is unlawful to gain access to your pension before the age of 55. Investors in such schemes run the risk of huge tax charges from HM Revenue & Customs.
This risk did not prevent SKW Investments, a company named after Mr Williams’s initials, from promising dozens of investors that it could “loan” them a quarter of their pension if they transferred it to a property investment company called Imperium, which Mr Quillan controlled, a 2016 court case found. Sales staff at SKW told members not to mention the loan to anyone else as this would “jeopardise everything they were doing”. More than £5 million was transferred in total.
“I was in severe financial difficulty and was in desperate need of cash,” Mark Bakes, one investor who lost money, told the court. “The person who called me from SKW Investments told me there was a loophole in the law which would enable me to take the tax-free cash from my pension straightaway in the form of a loan, rather than have to wait until I reached 55.” Mr Bakes ended up with a huge tax charge, as did Richard White, a BA pilot who transferred more than £500,000 into the scheme and received a £30,000 tax bill from HMRC after taking an unauthorised rebate of £75,000 from SKW.
Last year the pensions ombudsman, examining the case of a third victim, noted that HMRC had found that Imperium investments was “a pension liberation scheme” and that “the loans from SKW were unauthorised member payments and liable for income tax”.
Neither Mr Quillan nor Mr Williams has faced any sanction. When contacted, Mr Williams told The Times that he acted in good faith. “My role as SKW Investment Ltd was to run a loan book,” he said. “I was paid a monthly retainer to act as the director of the company. I did not receive any bonuses or commissions.” He said that a tax adviser had told him that members would not face tax charges on their loans and that had he known they would, he would not have taken on the role.
Mr Quillan declined to comment. A liquidators’ report of a company involved in the scheme found that he had lent himself £440,000 which he has yet to pay back.
The court in 2016 found he had misled a pension company by covering up the loan element.
Today, in between teaching children chess and competing in competitions around the world, Mr Quillan works as a property consultant in Liverpool.