Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


With the announcement this week that Thailand’s Securities Exchange Commission is taking criminal action against an unregistered financial adviser almost certainly other cases will follow.

Malpass worked for this outfit before Credenda

But unfortunately as is the case of international banks when they are caught out doing such things as laundering money for drugs cartels or terrorist groups the penalties are not that severe.

Like much of the legal system Thailand’s laws have not been modified to suit the times, and if convicted the first alleged miscreant Briton Richard Dunston Malpass, operating for a company called Credenda and separately advertising QROPS Specialist Services, faces a maximum three years imprisonment and 500,000 baht fine.

Hark back to 2000 and the days when there were major raids on ‘Boiler Room’ of ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ operations in Bangkok. These were ‘financial advisers’ deliberately seeking to defraud the gullible of their money.

After the raids on Brinton, FCI, and International Asset Management, the management of the Brinton Group for example were fined 300,000 baht plus (about US$10,000) each – and boiler rooms carried on as before, just a little bit more below the horizon with smaller rooms in private houses.  

Raid on the Brinton Group

Our own pet boiler room king Paul Hayward formerly of FCI, came into his riches after the fall of Brinton – now victims estimate his personal wealth at US$150M.

Unlike boiler rooms whom IFAs claimed gave the financial industry a bad name, they operated by convincing expats to transfer their pensions offshore to avoid taxes back home. 

By doing so however the expats discovered, most of them too late, that IFAs in Thailand were not regulated at all, even though with cash they got work permits as consultants.

The SEC’s decision to prosecute could still be the beginning of the end for Thailand’s foreign independent financial advisers and they may at least have to move on.  Some have done already, believing the glory days are over. and avoiding grief from their clients. 

But this will not be of much consolation to the expats who lost their life savings entrusting these charlatans to transfer their funs offshore into QROPS.

The Securities Exchange Commission had been acting on a complaint by the LMTIG – a group of 60 victims who put cash into the LM Managed Performance Fund and between them lost pretty much all their life savings – some US$14-15million.

They state: 

“LMPF was promoted heavily by 'advisers' in Thailand during the 2008 - 2013 period, and was invariably fraudulently, and in the case of the 11 organisations below, illegally, sold as low risk to retail investors to obtain upfront commission of as much as 15% for a 5 year term.  
The MPF information memorandum itself stated that the fund was for professional investors only and therefore not suitable for retail investors. It was classified as an unregulated collective investment or UCIS universally recognised as high risk and unsuitable for retirees or near retirees.”

They could have added that financial advisers were offered the best commissions on the market for putting their clients into what turned out to be a Ponzi.

This is the list of the directors and companies of which they have complained. 

Among them Andrew Wood a former financial columnist for the Bangkok Post, and director of Platinum Financial, Alan Hall of PFM, who have been previously reported about on this site.

Mike McBriar. Abbey Solutions, Thailand . 321/3 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Klongtoey, Wattana, 
Bangkok 10110,

Phil Barbour,  Coreharbour Ltd, Level 9, Zuellig House,1 Silom Road, Bangkok,10500

Richard Malpass, Credenda Associates, Level 16, Prime Building, 24 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke), 
Klong Toey, Wattana, Bangkok. Malpass also owned the now dormant website ‘’

Alan Lane, EMM Consultancy, Thailand EMM ( Expat Money Matters ) Consulting Co. Ltd., 
Prime Building, Unit B-2, 12th Floor,24, SUKHUMVIT Soi 21 ( Asoke ) Klongtoey Nua, 
BANGKOK, 10110.
Website now down.

Alan Hall, PFM International ( Previous Address) PFM International1M4T Sanpranet, Sansai
Chiang Mai 50210, Thailand. 

Alan Hall has now fled back to the UK where he is still offering financial advisory services.

Andrew Wood and Roger Seftan, Platinum Financial, Thailand2105, 21st Floor, Two Pacific Place, 
142 Sukhumvit Road,Klong Toey, 
Bangkok 10110, 

Wood is a bit of a classic. He sold clients  into such duff projects as 'The Football Fund' . 'Axiom', 'Centaur Litigation' as well as LMPF while retaining his column as the Bangkok Posts persona; money adviser.

Gavin Broad, Portsmouth Mann, Thailand Portsmouth Mann International Co., Ltd. Renamed as PMI Consulting Co. Ltd,77/22 ChokChai Garden Home 3 Soi 8. Soi Khao Noi, 
Nong Prue,Banglamung, Chonburi.Thailand.

Gavin used to hang around expat bars such as Jools in Bangkok and Jameson's in Pattaya befriending potential clients.

Gary Bradford and  Eric Jordan, PPI Advisory Intl.,

Malcolm Lewis, SCI Group, Thailand, 2nd floor Liberty Place42 Sukhumvit Soi 22Klongtoey 

The SCI has also featured on this site. They specialised in advising international school teachers.
The FT Adviser  managed to get statements and rebuttals from some of them.

“Mark Kirkham, of Hong Kong-based Platinum Financial Services, which he said operated in Thailand under the name PFS International, said that clients who bought the LM fund had accepted its terms and conditions before transferring funds. 
He added: “For any of those clients to now claim that they were not aware of the associated risks of investing into the LM product is nonsense, and clearly being done in an attempt to lay the blame of LM’s collapse at the feet of the advisory firms who assisted them with their purchases.” 
Alan Lane, director of EMM Consultancy, said: “There is no SEC certification available for advisers who deal exclusively with expatriates, although the Thai authorities have been threatening to issue one for several years now.” 
Another statement on behalf of advisers Neil Robbirt of Global Investments International, Philip Barbour of Coreharbour and Eric Jordan of Professional Portfolio International, noted: “The SEC does not currently provide an applicable license for international financial advisory companies and offshore fund regulation for legally registered Thai companies such as ourselves.”
Another adviser mentioned in the letter of complaint, Gary Bradford, now of QROPS Made Easy, said that LM funds had been distributed in markets regarded as well-regulated, including Hong Kong, saying: “It would be absolutely wrong to lay the blame for the LM catastrophe at the feet of so-called unregulated or unlicensed firms.”

Well of course no-one is blaming the advisers for the collapse of LM – that is on the shoulders of Peter Drake.  What the victims say is that they should not have put clients pension money into this fund period.

The following is the text of the SEC statement.

Bangkok, February 8, 2016 –  The SEC has filed a criminal complaint with the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police (ECD Police) against Richard Dunston Malpass, a British nationality, on account of operating securities business without license.   

Several foreign investors informed the SEC that Mr. Malpass, who resided in Thailand, had solicited them to transfer their pension funds from overseas to make investment based on his advice for the sake of tax benefits and long-term return. The investors followed his advice but suffered loss.  

Mr. Malpass was not licensed to operate securities business pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Act of 1992. His action was in violation of Section 90 and liable to penalties under Section 289, which are imprisonment for a term of 2 to 5 years and a fine from 200,000 to 500,000 baht, plus a daily fine of 10,000 baht until the period of violation ends.

The SEC, therefore, filed a criminal complaint against Mr. Malpass with the ECD Police for further legal proceedings. Anyone who may have been affected because of his unlicensed securities business operation should give their accounts for the ECD Police’s further investigation and prosecution by calling 0-2237-1199. 

Investors are strongly advised to consult the License Check banner at before making investment decisions. Information on suspicious unlicensed securities business operation can be given to the SEC for further appropriate action via Hotline


Clive Jackson said...

I think in reference to Paul Hilton, "unlicensed financial advisor" is an overstatement. He is nothing more than a good liar with absolutely no moral compass. He is a Psychopath and shows no remorse for the many 1000's of victims he has financially ruined. Some of whom have committed suicide as a result of his scams. He had his minions recommending investments in non existent, totally fabricated inventions and bogus companies. And he often laughed about people being so gullible that they deserved to be taken. This guy needs to see the inside of a cold, damp cell somewhere that doesn't have prisoner or human rights for the rest of his miserable life. He couldn't have had any positive role model as his father, mother and little brother are involved in his way of life as well. How can his parents sleep at night knowing their son is the biggest defrauder in the world. What a f@#$ing knob for corrupting his little brother and ruining the possibility of him (Ryan Hayward) of ever having a normal life.

Ian McFarland said...

Excellent news and once again Andrew thank you for publicising an issue few if any will go near.

I personally know of two expats who have lost their pensions to QROPS scams in Thailand, there must be hundreds if not thousands who are facing poverty in old age because of these crooks.

Keep up the good work.

tanmedia said...

The following list is from the Japan Financial Service
s Agency, where they started cracking down on IFAs and boiler rooms some time ago.

One notorious character, who relocated to Bangkok, was quite well known around Tokyo and actually caused one of the expat savings plan providers (Zurich) some embarrassment after a number of rulings came out. Like the Thais, the Japanese don't really want to bother dealing with foreigners on the whole. However, one of the only methods to really deal with these people is through the providers of the products they sell.

Loiner said...

Good to see the Thai authorities eventually doing something in this whole sorry fiasco. But for us, it's too little and too late. If it were not for the victims making the complaints to SEC themselves, the same shyster IFAs would still be out there acting with impunity. Most of them, with only a few notable exceptions, are still in town and looking for new suckers with a pension or savings to invest.
All expats must beware and never take the advice of an IFA in Thailand, especially when they do claim to be licenced and regulated. The whole lot of them are acting illegally and your life savings can easily be lost without any recourse for recovery.

IdyChung said...

Finally thai SEC taking action to stop these cow boy rip off clients! Sad to see some of expat lost their life time saving/ pensions! Personally think QROPS is not a bad scheme it has benefit for expat who left UK,but the bad thing is these advisor advice client put their pension into shit fund to get pay high commissions!!! Many of IFA's just sales, they have not idea of what product's charge, how to compare the market product list the pro & cont, don't even mention ask these cow boy to provide market research/analysis/give investment advice! As a registered investment manger my advice is, If you need advice better go look for a fee base advisor rather then go for these no fee but taking hiden commission! And you better go to place with high standard of regulation! Plus you really need to study the product term & condition before you sign any paper ( beside the TOS- term of services agreement ) & make sure you keep all the meeting/email/document record, if someday you found out you rip off by your advice then you need to have all evidence you need to make complain! Hope all of you can find a good advice to help you manging your capital! Cheers!