Timeshare Company closed down due to huge fraud

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timeshare company closed down due to fraud

A Timeshare risk management company which claimed to help people exit their timeshare contracts in Tenerife has been shut down leaving clients at a loss

Timeshare Legals Limited was wound-up following investigations by the Insolvency Service which found no proper accounting records, hundreds of clients left with unfulfilled claims and the transfer of client funds to a company in Spain with the same name, Timeshare Legals SL, and the same director, creating a lack of transparency.

Timeshare Legals was set up in October 2018 by directors Robert Pinker and David Rhodes, and offered a service for people wishing to terminate or claim for mis-sold timeshare agreements, mainly in Tenerife.

Clients were charged upfront fees plus a percentage of any recoveries. However, many of the claims where upfront fees had been taken never had any realistic chance of being successful and were assessed without proper involvement from lawyers.

Lack of records hampers Investigations

Insolvency Service investigators were unable to identify where funds of more than £3.75m which passed through the company bank accounts went to due to a lack of trading and financial records.

The company provided very limited co-operation to Insolvency Service, failing to produce any trading or financial records, resulting in investigators being unable to establish the legitimacy of, or the reasons for, the transfer of more than £900,000 to unknown accounts.

Only very limited financial information was filed at Companies House back in October 2021 with filleted accounts for year end October 2020, where the directors claimed they had made losses of £138,226 and had made directors’ loans of £117,242. A total of six staff were employed at the time including directors Pinker and Rhodes.

A total of 244 claims were known to be ongoing at the end of 2023, 41 of which were with a Spanish law firm and the remainder with two other claims management companies.

A significant number of the 440 overall claimants did not have potential timeshare claims but the upfront fee had been charged before any assessment could be completed.

Many of the cases had no jurisdiction in Spain, related to cancelled or relinquished contracts which could not be litigated, or were ongoing cases with another firm.

Spanish Lawyers involved

In some cases where Spanish lawyers working with Timeshare Legals were able to obtain information required for a claim, the legal fees were not paid by the company, resulting in the cases not being issued.

Some clients were told by Timeshare Legals that their claims were being progressed even though the lawyers were not acting because the timeshare agreement was not governed by Spanish law.

Cold-calling techniques were also used by the company, with further evidence indicating clients were encouraged to waive the 14-day cooling off period after signing a contract with Timeshare Legals so work on the claim could begin straight away.

Mark George, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Timeshare Legals deceived hundreds of people who wanted to exit or claim for mis-sold timeshare agreements into paying upfront fees for what were ultimately futile cases.

‘Their obvious record-keeping deficiencies and failure to pay funds over to appointed lawyers has clearly hindered progress and damaged clients’ prospects of ever recovering money.’

Timeshare Legals wound up

Timeshare Legals was wound-up at the High Court in London on 16 April.

The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator of the company.

The company has no presence at its registered office in North London and is uncontactable by clients seeking an update on their claim.

All enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to the Official Receiver by email: piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk quoting liquidation number LQD7116021.

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