It must be said, that at present TESS stands under a cloud, as its website is the subject of “cybersquatting” by the 2 fake websites, which have come into existence to defame and cause TESS financial damage.
The 2 of websites have not been created by a client of TESS nor a disgruntled consumer, however, have been created by one of TESS ‘claimed’ competitors, yet to be fully identified. I use the term “claimed competitors” glibly as if they were competitors were would be running in the same race and operating by the same rules. In this case, they are not, as they don’t play by the rules, are competing dishonourably and a deceptive ghost.
It’s quite remarkable that 1 of the 2 fake cybersquatting websites which do admonish TESS appears to praise Praetorian legal and Mercantile Claim and the services they claimed expert service they allegedly give to Timeshare consumers. Quite clearly everyone is entitled to their own opinion!
In this backdrop, the Resort Development Organisation RDO, Trading Standards departments and others are aware that fraud exists in some parts of timeshare and clams management lawyers. In saying this The aforementioned RDO and others are making strides to ridding the Timeshare world of those who operate contrary to good and ethical standards, and if some letters issued by RDO members are to be believed, some websites and claimed law firms deliver false and damaging services and should be criminally investigated.
In a recent interview, the head of the RDO explained that in the last 2 years they have spent £35o,000 in investigating and bringing to the attention of the Police what they perceive to be ‘civil wrongs’ perpetrated by Claims Management Companies and Leisure Credit Firms (Monster Travel and Ezer Group). In fact, TESS is aware of these investigations as TESS did provide the core documents which exposed them. So quite naturally TESS is likely to receive besmudgings now and then from those it exposes.
These problems now exposed are high-value frauds, have involved the taking on millions of pounds from innocent consumers and for fake and corrupted services backed up by mystifying credits and plastic indemnity certificates. The spate of investigation has now resulted in many raids arrests and in one case an admission of guilt (with respect to Eze Group whos sales activities were officiated over by Mr Gary Wayne Smith).
Because of, the fake cybersquatting websites, and the defamatory content splurged into the public domain, TESS (early this year) delivered defamation allegations to those it suspected of owning or assisting the websites in the delivery of their content.
Many were served with a Letters Before Action [LBA] which simply asked a question; “do you own or contribute to the content of the website complained of“. Many kindly provided a response and answered the question, except for Pretorian Legal Ltd, Mercantile Claims Ltd, LCM Law Ltd, their Directors (the Smiths) and Mr Ian Patrick Benbow. This group simply ignored the LBA and the question put.
Having asked been asked a simple question, one would expect a simple and short response either “we are involved or not“. If not, naturally the reply would be “take a hike” or “you are barking up the wrong tree“. In the alternative and should they be the owners and contributors, remain silent, (believing the protective shield they hide behind and have paid for will protect them) they will not want to expose themselves. In the alternative, they could admit their involvement and stand by what they have written. To date, this group of potential Defendants have elected to adopt a booming silence.
Many companies write and do publish blogs, which can assist consumers in their quest for advice. Many bloggers who carry out research, due diligence, analyses and publish, stand by the opinions they advance and give details of who they are. If a blogger/website owners/author “hides behind” a deceptive veil of identity protection, quite clearly they are in fear of being exposed and for the rants, defamation and harassment they perpetrate.
Today we concentrate on Mr Ian Patrick Benbow (pictured below), he heads up the legal team at Praetorian legal, is a servant and agent of Pretorian and well known to both Mrs Karen and Mr Gary Wayne Smith. Despite Mr Benbow heading up their companies legal team, he does not appear on their website with the other photographed employees. (see here) Which does beg the question why? The answer can be found in the Manchester and the Bolton evening newspapers in 2013.
Manchester See Here
Bolton See Here
Upon reading these articles, you will learn that Mr Benbow was an ‘up-and-coming’ Regulated Solicitor whilst working for Molesworths Bright-Clegg Solicitors in Rochdale. Whilst at that firm and in the capacity of a Solicitor, he stole clients’ money, perpetrated frauds, lied to his clients and his employers and deceived people he was meant to represent. When his dastardly deeds were discovered, his employers were deeply shocked, embarrassed and saddened that Benbow had exposed them, their business and reputation to an unwelcome assault on their senses.
For the crimes Benbow did perpetrate, he was summoned to appear before the Solicitors Regulations Authority SRA, was struck off the role, and sanctioned. Further, the SRA reported the matter to the Police who then prosecuted him via the criminal courts, whereby he was given a custodial prison sentence after being found guilty of 16 counts of fraud and thief. His scams cost his employers £85,000 and he was sentenced to serve 2 years in prison.
4 years and serving his prison sentence he was reliance. He could not ply his profession as a solicitor and other than “stacking shelves” Mr Benbow resurfaced at Praetorian Legal Ltd and Mercantile Claims Ltd, delivering legal services and advice to their clients.
Mr Benbow is not pictured on the Pretorian Legal website, nor is it averred that he exists in the company, but is photographed celebrating with them at its 2017 “Christmas party” with the named Staff and Directors.
Photo see here.
Having carried out research TESS knows he is not an employee of the Pretorian legal but a Director of IPB Compliance Ltd (viewed here) who are based in Prescott, Liverpool (his parent’s address). That said, he has an email address at Pretorian legal and LCM Law.
My simple questions are, “if you knew this information would you pay the vast sums these companies ask, knowing you were being represented and/or advice by a fraudster and thief?
“Would you, forgive Pretorian Legal for hiring him and permitting him to have access to its clients and exposing them knowing his past“?
“If Pretorian legal were the claimed great and good the wise and honourable, would you expect them to hire fraudulent (struct off) solicitors, just released from jail“?
“Is this the reason why the Timeshare industry berate Praetorian Legal and advise those consumers to seek advice from another“?
The facts are to date
Mr Gary Smith claimed he was a Director of Pretorian Legal and in the press on 2 occasions, he lied or was disingenuous to them both. Mr Smith averred Pretorian were actively assisting consumers when Praetorian legal was DORMENT again an untruth and when he became a director he hires a convicted”thief and fraudster” who the legal profession have struck off.
When lying to the press, he was working in a management role at Eze Group and certified that the sales and sales processes were compliant when clearly they were not. When the allegations surfaced and splattered the internet Mr Smith defended Eze Group and now via a protective and shielded website (based in Panama) he seeks to profit from the very victims he was employed to protect.
Rather strange don’t you think?
Posted on: 6th February 2018