Pension fraudster flees Spain after scam collapses

Pension fraudster flees Spain after scam collapses

Pension fraudster flees Spain after scam collapses

Over 300 British expats have lost up to €20 million to a pension fraudster who fled Spain after his scams were discovered.

Darren Kirby, boss of Continental Wealth Management in Alicante, fled the country for Australia after closing his Javea office as soon as his illegal practices were discovered. Expat investors in Spain. Turkey, France. Portugal and Ibiza were caught up in the fraud, mainly by agreeing to sign blank dealing instructions. Kirby placed entire pension pots in high-risk assets, choosing those which paid him the highest commissions.

Kirby’s modus operandum is common amongst unprincipled, unqualified and mostly illegally working financial advisors scattered across the world’s expat retiree destinations. One victim who’d lost €200,000 told reporters all his paperwork had been altered, his medium risk level was upped to high and his dealing instructions sent to Kirby were repeatedly photocopied in order to buy and sell assets he hadn’t authorised. Some pensioners, he added, have lost all their savings and have no idea how they’re going to survive. Another retiree has just €50,000 left from pension savings of some €480,000.

Antonio Flores, the Andalusia-based lawyer now working with a number of CMW victims cites the signing of blank investment sheets as the clue to the entire scam. Another victim who’d lost €210,000 explained that he’d insisted on a low-to-medium risk attitude and had expected Kirby to do his best for him. When signing the blank form, he said, he’d trusted the man to act in his best interests, but now knows the firm was simply feathering its own nest. He’s certain he did not sign off on almost all of his so-called investments.

The victims’ lawyers along with trustees Trafalgar and Momentum are attempting to recover all or most of the losses, as those which didn’t perform or went bankrupt were linked to insurance policies. Former CMW staff members have stated they had no idea what was going on and were not involved, saying such matters would have been activated by the dealing desk

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