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The real and contingent creditors regarding this company are likely to grow, over time and as the ‘Ponzi Scheme’ results are more consumer being placed onto harm’s way.

The Company is registered in England and Wales recognisable by its company number 09311368.

The company was incorporated on the 14th November 2014, as a private limited Company with filed accounts made up to 30th November 2016.  There are two active officers of the company, Mr Gary Wayne Smith and his wife Mrs Karen Anne Hasker-Smith and further it is noted there is a former Director Mr Dominic O’Reilly, (who resigned on 17th November 2015) and a shadow Director ‘Ian Patrick Benbow’ who only identifies himself as, IBP or Ian

The background of these individuals particularly Mr Smith, Mr O’Reilly and Ian Benbow will become apparent when you continue to read the information I have supplied.

The Company’s accounts made up to 30th November 2015 show reported total assets – less current liabilities and shareholder funds, as being £792. This financial situation needs to be compared to the Company’s unabridged accounts made up to 30th November 2016, which confirm a marked increase on the balance sheet, bank account (£8,649 to £468,028) and total assets from £792 to £334,236.

The Company’s annual return is dated 14th November 2015 and two issued shares each shared equally owned by Mrs Karen Hasker-Smith and Mr Dominic O-Reilly (now owned by Mr Smith when O’Reilly admitted guilt in a criminal prosecution).  The reader will also note that Mr O’Reilly resigned as Director of Praetorian Legal and also ceased to be ‘a person of significant control’ on 31st March 2018,

Praetorian Legal Ltd (Pretorian Legal) has incorporated what it calls a sister Company Mercantile Claims Management Solutions Ltd (Mercantile) advertise that fact prolifically but Mercantile is, dormant.

Both Companies have common shareholders again, Mr and Mrs Smith and both operate in tandem with each other including advertising and the promotion of the delivery of unreserved legal business including the termination of timeshares and the recovery of financial claims associated with Section 75 and 14OA Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Neither Mr Smith nor Mrs Smith (despite describing themselves as a legal officer and legal secretary) has any formal legal qualifications or training.  Mr and Mrs Smith has a long history of working on the edges of timeshare is linked to Eze Group in that Mr Smith field of expertise (in respect of High Court Proceedings [where he was supportive of Eze Group in a witness statement] brought against Alberto Garcia who ran a Spanish timeshare (consumer based) Association delivering information into the public domain regards scams).  Mr Smith held himself out as having a prominent position as ‘legal compliance officer’ within Eze, controlled by Dominic O’Reilly and his daughter

Dominic O’Reilly and his daughter Stephanie O’Reilly were the subjects of allegations involved multiple counts of consumer frauds.  They included ‘aggressive misleading’ and ‘aggressive selling practices’ and both have pleaded guilty to a number of counts, other guilt yet to be settled.

Another key person operating within the Company (whilst not operating as an officer or named Director) is the Convicted criminal ‘Mr Ian Patrick Benbow’ (a former Solicitor who was struck off from dealing with clients, convicted and sentenced to four years in prison).  Mr Benbow involvement is entirely concealed within the Pretorian and Mercantile operation.

Click here to review the case against Mr Benbow by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA

Consumers will appreciate that the persons involved in this Company have been directly or indirectly involved in criminal enterprises, targeting timeshare consumers, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable.

The company purports to assist many thousands of people in the UK who have disputes over timeshares and feel entombed (in paying management fees to the Timeshare Resorts) and have lost large amounts of money. Praetorian claims to offers a timeshare release service and states that it comprises “legally trained professionals who operate within the ethics laid down within the legal profession”, in reality, day to day work is conducted by Mr Benbow.

Praetorian alleges on its website that it has over 2,000 clients and is winning claims for compensation totalling £500,000, it also peddles the proposition that it does not charge upfront fees before the timeshare is terminated and states it warrants the termination and if’s service fails, a bespoke and fully underwritten ‘legal indemnity’ will cover its client.

The Sales Pitch is a Bait and Switch

Tess has been consulted by a number of concerned Praetorian/Mercantile. All telling a very similar, and disturbing, story. Upon a consumer agreeing to instruct ‘Mercantile’ the client is “switched” to ‘Praetorian’ who then sent out ‘terms and conditions’ explaining they will “terminate the timeshare and offer a fully guaranteed by way of a legal indemnity, should they fail in their mission.

We have received copies of some of the alleged termination notices and concluded they are embarrassingly inadequate.  In particular: Clients complain that they have received no advice, have not approved or even seen the letters. We have and the arguments put (if any) are meaningless and viewed as a “scam” by the industry who will not respond to the letters. For this service Praetorian charges thousands of pounds.

Having been ignored by the timeshare resort, Praetorian then issue an ‘Indemnity Certificate’ indemnifying consumers in respect of any potential claims from timeshare resort to the value of £10,000.

Having regard for the facts, what the Company is doing is, selling ‘Indemnities’ as little in the way of legal services are provided. The indemnity comes with a branded certificate for which at least 2,200 have been issued. A recent development is, that the Smiths have been stating that their indemnities are now ‘insurance backed’.

Regarding both the indemnity and the Insurance Certificate provided

The Indemnity was not backed by an ‘insurance policy’ nor is it underwritten by anyone.  I note a reference to ‘Palm Services Ltd’ but critical reading of what is stated is. that Palm Services, whilst FCA registered, do not underwrite the scheme. They merely “arrange” entry into it, and presumably’ Palm Services name’ is used to give false confidence and imply (falsely) that the scheme is in some way FCA regulated or approved.

The indemnity scheme has no terms and conditions, nor any rules, therefore, is not being underwritten and Praetorian is operating a ‘Ponzi’ Scheme.

As Praetorian has issued 2,200 indemnities this gives rise to contingent liabilities of over £20 million.

It is obvious Praetorian does not have the resources or where with all, to meet these liabilities (at best £300,000 of assets) and Mercantile Claims cannot help as they have, no assets at all.

The new venture into nothingness is another insurance policy it to does not deal with the issue of risk as it is available to “proved customers” of ‘All Round Travel Services Ltd’.  All Round Travel Services is a dormant company and has no employees to approve anything and no underwriter is named.  In any event, the policies are not available to any Company client as a general exclusion exist and relates to all “disputes that were prevailing before becoming a beneficiary” (of the policy).  You’re not now nor have ever been covered and the terminations service is woefully inadequate.

It is clear, therefore, that the indemnities are worthless and any reliance on them is financial harmful and dangerous.  They do not now nor have ever covered existing or contingent liabilities.

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Posted on: 3rd December 2018