Comments can be sent to us at

This Blog is dedicated to making public some of the business activities and methods of Liam Collins, David Bone Jr and their associates. In the spring of 2010, the present authors invested in Collins & Bone (C&B), who were offering an enticing 8-10% interest on the basis of buying houses for cash, renovating them and letting them out to students. We were assured that our money was secured against houses that they owned, including their own homes and the properties held by their associated company, Castle & Gatehouse (C&G). We have emails and brochures that confirm these details, as do others who invested on this same basis at around the same time. The idea worked for us for over a year, then in November 2011 they told us they were insolvent. They refused our every request for clear accounts, which led us to suspect wrongdoing. We began an investigation and then started this Blog. We found our suspicions confirmed: other investors had lost sometimes quite large amounts to C&B and its predecessor CBS, and all requests for repayment were adamantly refused. These people use and have used so many names that we found it necessary to compress them into CoBo (for Collins & Bone) and Coboco (for the whole bunch of them – there are quite a few!) Note that there is an index in the margin at the right hand side.

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Our aim, from the start of this Blog, as most readers know, has been to clarify the accounts of Collins and Bone and their associates (Coboco) and to find out what happened to the investors’ money. We had to ensure that the two persons in the forefront of this case, the perpetrators Liam Collins and David Bone Jr, were bankrupted in order that scrutiny of their financial accounts could commence.

The analysis of those accounts is the job of the Public Trustee (PT). In this case, Messrs Chantrey Vellacott were nominated when their agent, Mr David Clements, was working for them and was in touch with us. Since he left the firm, Chantrey Vellacott does not seem to have considered it any kind of priority to communicate with Collins and Bone's creditors. Professional people these days do charge very high fees and consequently the Public Trustee feels that it would be too costly to scrutinize all of the said accounts in detail; witness that Chantrey Vellacott, having scarcely scratched the surface of the said accounts, have already managed to rack up a bill of £40,000 plus VAT—and that doesn’t take account of their lawyer! We realise that the cost of maintaining offices in Russell Square and elsewhere must be exorbitant,* but that can’t be a problem to dump on CoBo’s creditors, can it? Nor is it fair to plunder the sole (at present) discoverable asset pertaining to Collins & Bone, namely, the property at 25 Shelton Street, London. ‘Trustee’ means someone who is to be trusted, but it doesn’t mean someone who can be trusted to get as much out of a situation for themselves without the slightest regard to the other people and other factors involved.

The Trustees, Chantrey Vellacott, have called a creditors’ meeting in order to approve their charges and they have offered to host this meeting at the nominal charge of £100 plus VAT for the use of one of their rooms for this purpose. They have not stated whether this fee would include refreshments, sandwiches, etc. There can be no doubt that this would present an absurd situation for CoBo’s creditors. Something more equitable will have to be worked out, as well as something more reasonable by way of fees. 

No wonder British business is in a parlous state! We warn that with this sort of grab-and-snatch attitude, everyone will eventually lose out.

Meanwhile, evidence is surfacing that David Bone Sr and Mark Black benefited substantially from money that investors entrusted to Collins & Bone and to CBS. In fact, they were able to draw on those funds at will, without any proper checks. ('Those funds' = money paid to them in good faith by many readers of this Blog, as well as ourselves).

We call upon all those involved in this case to pull their socks up and help us shovel away this sorry mess. You are invited to rise up from your sofas.

* Mr Clements was based in Reading, where it is logical to suppose that overheads are considerably less overheated than they are in central London.

No comments:

Post a Comment