We were recently asked this question by a solicitor:
"Did Collins & Bone set out originally to act deliberately dishonestly?"
Our answer follows below:
"Well, it seems pretty clear to most of those concerned that CoBo's intention was to get rich quick, which very soon propelled them into dishonest schemes. Our study of their activities suggests they started out by convincing themselves that their schemes were above board and feasible and would ultimately be rewarding. But we surmise that their dishonesty began at a very early stage and there are a lot of reports going back to their CBS days that support such a conclusion. They may well have told themselves that they would be able to straighten things out as they went along. But they seem to have mesmerized themselves into activities that quickly became wrong-doing, and once they had started, there was no turning back because broken contracts and the associated debts mounted exponentially.
"The deception becomes quite clear by 2010, when they took investment money as the Collins & Bone Partnership. At that time, they would have known that they would not be able to repay monies derived from new bone fide investors, people who were attracted by their suave, confident and deceptive advertising. They also would have known that they would not be able to honour the terms of the promissory notes they were issuing. The fact is that by then they were already deeply in debt. Their accounting was and still is in a complete muddle. To our knowledge, they have not to date been able to produce accounts to the authorities' satisfaction. They always claimed to be running a successful property company, which of course was a complete lie. It is taking a lot of specialists a great deal of time and expense to sort all this out, so these phantasy businessmen continue to be a liability to society."
We would add that while the authorities are having to cope with the tangle of accounts left by Collins and Bone and while those whose money was taken are struggling to come to terms with the way they have been swindled, Liam Collins is having a nice holiday prancing about with his new partner on the Italian TV copycat show Italy's Got Talent. Put that together with all the County Court Judgements against him that he ignored, the money he has taken dishonestly and you get the impression that because he has not yet been called to account by the law, he thinks he can easily get away with it. That leaves the way open for him to live a life with all expenses paid by his victims.