Monday, November 30, 2009

Attention Dubai Clients of Larionovo and Profile

Solicitor, Anthony Joyce, has been in touch with the site to say that he is currently looking for clients of both Ennis based Larionovo and its Dubai based sister company, Profile.

Larionovo, of course, went into liquidation in November 2008, but its former clients are undeterred. They have now formed The Dubai Action Group to fight their corner against what they feel is the unjust way in which they have been treated. Developments in which worried investors bought include: Eagle Heights, Bermuda Views, Stadium Point and Profile Residences; all are developments within the landmark proposed Sports City project. Other developments in which investors had become involved include: International City, Snowdome Residences, 050 Waterfront and the Island of Ireland in the, now infamous, World development 20 minutes off the coast of the Emirate.

Such was the volume of property sold by Larionovo, the Group currently has 200 members signed up with a further 100 who have been in contact and shown an interest in joining. The Group is currently recruiting new members with a view to instigating legal action. The Group will close before any action is taken and no new members will then be allowed to join.

The group has appointed Joyce to undertake litigation on behalf of the purchasers in relation to parties involved in the projects both in Ireland and in Dubai. Readers of the blog will be aware that Joyce has experience in recovering funds for overseas property owners, having taken a high profile legal action against Irish agent Kuvera regarding developments it was promoting in India. In July, Joyce used the new facility in the Commercial Court to secure property assets, company shares and cash for the Kuvera Action Group just eight weeks after injunctions were issued. A legal action is also currently in motion against the indemnity insurance that covered Kuvera’s legal adviser, Seymour Major. Action in India is also progressing.

See here for further information on the Dubai action.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Larionovo & Profile Clients Fear Money is Gone

A report in today's Irish Independent claims that investors in Ennis based Larionovo - which shut down a year ago - and its sister company in Dubai, Profile Properties LLC, fear that their investments are now gone forever.

From the piece:

"A group of small Irish investors who bought into a dream property scheme in Dubai now fear that as much as €20m of their money could be lost.

The Concerned Dubai Sports City Investors Group, which hopes to recruit hundreds of members, bought off-plan apartments through the now defunct Larionovo property agents. They are worried that as much as €20m - cash many hoped would fund their retirements - is caught up in Dubai.

The group is building up a war chest to help fund a campaign to retrieve their deposits.


A meeting of the group last week in the Citywest Hotel in Dublin heard that they have no idea if building work has even started on some apartments, such is the difficulty in getting information from developers. Some recently received letters telling them the project had been put 'on hold'."

The CEO of Dubai Sports City complex is U. Balasubramaniam (often referred to as Bala Subramanian or simply Bala), who can be heard here describing the progress of the project up to April 25th, 2007, at which stage he was quite bullish about the prospects of everything finishing on time.

According to the report above, however, the wheels would appear to have come off the wagon since that time as the credit crunch eventually hit Dubai with its full force. If you are to visit the Dubai Sports City website, however, you'd be hard pressed to tell that things were not as they should be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jim Moore and Instant Access Properties Back in Action

This is from some time ago (February 2009), but worth noting nonetheless. Andrew Penman, of Penman and Sommerlad Investigate, which runs on the Mirror website, has been on the tail of Jim Moore, a name that will be familiar to many, but perhaps not to others. The guy was responsible for the phenomenally successful (for him) but spectacularly unsuccessful (for his clients) companies such as Inside Track, which mass-sold (or more correctly miss-sold) thousands of over-priced apartment units, most of which now lie empty, around the UK. Inside Track spawned another, equally useless, offspring called Instant Access Properties, which has now resurfaced as IAP Global.

I'll let Penman take over here:

"With property company IAP Global running seminars (aka recruiting sessions) nationwide, the following might prove a timely alert.

It's from a retired couple who were badly stung by IAP's predecessor, Instant Access Properties.

Both are the brainchild, if that's the right word, of former perfume salesman turned buy-to-let property guru Jim Moore. Not that many of the thousands of victims who raided their savings to attend his Inside Track property seminars or invest through his Instant Access Properties will consider him a guru.

Both companies are now bust, which isn't stopping Jim. He's back with IAP Global. Before you decide to fall for the dream of becoming a 'property millionaire', it's worth reading this tale we received today from a chap we'll just call Clive."

Read Clive's story here.

In case you've had dealings with any of these, here's another piece from Penman on the seamless handover of information from the Instant Access Properties scam to another con-operation, European Mediation (who've been mentioned before on this blog with reference to Fortuna Estates and Oanna) and then onto another entity called

Suffice to say, buyer beware - the overseas property industry (and the property industry in general) is still, essentially, completely unregulated. A simple Google search on any of the entities above would get you a huge amount of information, unfortunately, normally too late.

Try to find out who is behind the company with whom you are considering investing your money. This will never be easy if they are a con organisation, so this should ring alarm bells for a start. If you do a bit of sleuthing around their website and documentation you'll often find hints, however. For instance, if you take a look at the following page in the IAP Global website you'll find the following statement:

“Rousing speech from Jim Moore!. I am open to options. I am very interested in high earning/high growth property/land fund. I consider property a safer investment than stocks and shares.”

Most of these con-men (they are predominantly men, but you should also be wary of the fairer sex as a few have also been implicated) are serial offenders, so you may well find a lot of information about them on the internet before you run the risk of losing your hard earned cash to their nefarious schemes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New AIPP Annual 'Investor Advice' Document

The AIPP (the UK based Association of International Property Professionals) has released its latest 'Green Cross Code' document, outlining what overseas property buyers should, and more importantly, should not, do when looking to purchase a property

The association certainly has been busy with positive initiatives recently. On top of a new newsletter promoting stories of a positive nature in the overseas property market, the AIPP has just recently also released a new version of its annual consumer guide, entitled ‘Buying Overseas Property Safely’.

There are a number of informative pieces in the guide, including the ‘top five’ pitfalls to avoid. Being honest, the pitfalls to avoid in purchasing an overseas property seldom, if ever, change, but there is no harm in having a look at some of them from time to time in any case. The ones who have made it to AIPP’s top five are, unsurprisingly, led by the need for an independent legal representative. If you avoid this step you’re simply looking for trouble so there is no surprise that it floats to the top of nearly every ‘How to’ or ‘Things to Avoid’ list when it comes to overseas property.

The guide also warns about the dangers of signing contracts too early, advice specifically aimed at stopping clients from signing binding contracts at property exhibitions. While you could argue that this particular problem is hardly critical at the moment, considering the paucity of property exhibitions these days, it’s good to know for future reference nonetheless.

The whole area of having a developer in breach of contract, one which is certainly a live issue at the moment, is also raised. The guide points out that, without sufficient legal input from your end you may get a contract that protects the interests of the developer, but not yours. The advice is to have your solicitor check through conditions of the contract, the type of guarantee of property delivery - if any - that is involved, and the circumstances in which you will be entitled to compensation. The advice is, admittedly, a little late for a lot of buyers, but it is still an area about which people should be aware and it is important to check out your contract’s provisions if you have not already done so.

Unreleastic budgeting is also addressed. Again, this advice is a bit late for many people, but will be very apt for others who are considering purchasing property, investment or otherwise, at lending rates that are currently as low as they can get. For such mortgages the only way is up, so investors should be very wary of this when making their calculations.

Finally the ‘5 Pitfalls to Avoid’ piece finishes with the ownership of land. It seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it causes huge problems. Avoiding pitfall number one should normally suffice, but it is still important to note that the person who claims to be selling a piece of land or property, doesn’t necessarily always have the legal right to do so.

For further information on the AIPP guide visit