The personal financial guru of the Bangkok Post has been indicted by the Thai Securities Exchange Commission along with eight other ‘financial advisors’ for operating securities businesses without licences.
Andrew Wood, who was afforded a regular financial column in the Bangkok Post’s Spectrum section had an unenviable reputation for losing clients’ money.
He was repeatedly exposed on andrew-drummond.com.
But when new clients cottoned on they were faced with massive financial penalties for withdrawing their accounts.
These of course represented the commissions which were paid to the financial advisers up front.
Wood, who began his career as a management trainee for Lambeth Borough Council at Chiswick Poly, is named with his company PFS International (Platinum Financial Services) and five other , colleagues, namely director Mark Edward Kirkham, Mr. Harpreet Sajjan, Roger Sefton, Ms. Sakun Chaiyakun and Mr. Timothy Lock.
Mark Kirkham, 50, was given a three week prison sentences (suspended for biting a Hong Kong policeman outside the Yung Kee Restaurant in Central Hong Kong. He was described in court as the Chief Executive of Business Class Group.
Wood was involved in several financial scandals. First as financial advisor for Barclay Spencer he put clients’ money into the now infamous ‘Football Fund’ which crashed disastrously and was exposed in a documentary on Britain’s Channel 4 TV.
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The second time was when he put clients’ money into Axiom Legal Funding, which turned out to be nothing more than a PONZI.
The third was when he put clients’ cash into Centaur Litigation which went bust with US$10 million of clients’ assets.
And the fourth time was when he put client assets into the Australian based LM Managed Performance Fund run by New Zealander Peter Drake, which also spectacularly crashed with an estimated US$600 million of client assets.
The PFS slogan was ‘Helping expats with the business of life’.
Also indicted are members of the Gilt Edge International Group (2/3 Moo 14, Bangna Tower A, 2nd Floor, Room No. 207, Bangna-Trad Road, KM 6.5) and its members named as Mrs. Karen Elizabeth Entwistle, Mr. Steven Entwistle and Mr. Neil Callard.
The Entwistles have a very low internet profile – but Neil Callard was the principal speaker at a Bangkok seminar on Forex trading, claiming to have been a ‘trader’ for 25 years, employed by many well know banks.
In both cases the files have been sent to the Economic Crime Division Police to prosecute.
Footnote: These prosecutions will come as little consolation to those expats who have lost their life savings. The penalties, as the SEC points out “include 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 violation ends.”
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When Bangkok’s boiler room fraud operations were raided in 2001 the bosses were merely fined and they went back to work again. A maximum fine of 500,000 baht in these cases meant little to them.