Spanish Class Legal Action FAQs

MRISG

MRISG

 

As a member of the MRISG Members Only Forum you will be well aware the MRISG are organising a collective legal action against Darragh MacAnthony.  The first action is already lodged with the courts in Spain and was discussed recently on this blog.   These FAQs are to inform individuals of the opportunities and will answer some common questions to our lawyers about this next action.

Note for Darragh MacAnthony, former Directors of MacAnthony’s Companies and associated companies.  It is only a matter of time now and is no longer if but when.
If you are an ex-director and wish to join forces as a prosecution witness as opposed to a defendant please contact MRISG.  The same goes for any ex-employee who feels that they can contribute to the legal action your evidence may be invaluable and you will not be alone.



1.  What case do I have?

MRI Overseas PropertyIn principle, everyone would have a civil against Martinez Echeverria Legal  Independence (ME/LI) given that the conflict of interest would have rendered  the legal representation service as “fake”. This would entitle anyone who  bought through ME/LI from Macanthony (MRI) to bring an action, as they would be  in this situation, for a refund of the legal fees paid towards the  representation.

2. How about a civil case against MRI?
This would most certainly be a waste of time and  money as these companies have been wound up and all but disappeared. However,  it is clear that Macanthony ran his companies as a tool to be able to protect  him from creditors, all the while flouting all regulations pertaining to fair  trading, bookkeeping, accounting and not the least important, business ethics  and morals. There is post about this legal angle at www.belegal.com,  and it would entail bringing an action directly against Darragh Macanthony  personally which, if successful, could see the winning party seizing his  assets, including his football club.

Martinez-Enchevarria Logo

Martinez-Enchevarria Logo

3.  How do the civil differentiate from the criminal?
The criminal requires intent to defraud and  monetary loss, by concocting a preconceived plan to persuade people to part  with monies AND such people sustaining losses. The civil case requires  contractual default either by not performing the obligation in the legal  representation contract or, where the contract would have been null and void  “ab initio”, that is, from its inception, due to the impossibility to provide  legal representation service, as is the case, quite simply because ME/LI were  already working for the other party.

Capital Financial Partners Logo

Capital Financial Partners

4. Who  are the alleged defrauders?
In principle,  MRI, Capital Partners and ME/LI, and the individual who caused financial harm  either directly, as a principal, or as an accessory (accomplices, co-operators).

5. Would  I qualify for criminal case?
If you bought  a property that was never built, or you bought a property because you were told  that you could get a mortgage, or on the basis of a “guaranteed rental”, or  once the property was known to not be built you were charged money to move to a  further one (“bait and switch”) or, if you chose not to change developments you  were charged to get your deposit acknowledged, and charged for it (“credit note”),  then there are strong grounds to believe that fraud intervened (fraud  understood as theft by swindle and misappropriation). We will however advise on  whether you qualify for one action or another on the basis of the paperwork you  have given us and what you can provide us.

6. Who  can determine in which position am I in?
A  lawyer with knowledge of the modus operandi of the triad (MRI, CFP and ME/LI)  would be able to tell you where you stand, legally. Currently, no more than a  few lawyers have acquainted themselves with this case.

7. What  is required to know where I am?
We will  need a short description of your position, stating namely whether your property  was built, and if it was built, if you were given a mortgage approval in  principle by CFP that convinced you that you qualified to get a loan and  therefore a property, if you were offered a rental package, if you were  subjected to the bait & switch session and ended up paying for this bogus  service, if you were given a “credit note” signed by  Macanthony or any of his acolytes and ended up paying for  this bogus service,  and a number  of other deceits that had, as a result, the loss (will attach a form for this).

8.  Can I run both actions at the same time?
No, the criminal action takes precedence over the  civil one and in fact, it already includes the civil one as part of the  compensations requested. If you start a civil case and then file a criminal  one, the civil case will be “stayed”, or interrupted, until the criminal one is  finalized.

9.  Can I just join a civil case and forget about the criminal  one?
Certainly, not a problem.

10. If other  claimants are pursuing via the criminal claim, will my civil claim be “stayed”,  that is, stopped?
Each claimant sues  individually and not as part of class action, which in Spain is reserved only  to Consumer Protection Associations. Therefore, the answer is no, you can sue  via the civil courts to obtain redress on your particular case.

11. Can we  all join under one case?
Certainly,  collective or joint actions are groups of claimants that sue together, within  one claim that encompasses all other smaller ones. But in reality, there are as  many claims as people claiming although they case is progressed as one unit.

12. What  is required to file the suit?
a.      Signed letter of engagement (to be advised on).
b.      Power of attorney (to be advised on).
c.      Supporting documentation proving your investment, with  particular reference being made to: contracts signed with the developer or  Macanthony, proof of payment of deposit, “bait and switch” documents, “credit  note” documents, rental guarantees and mortgage approvals in principle.
d.      Any correspondence you may have had with Macanthony  employees.

13. What if I have already sent the paperwork and letter of  engagement to another member of the claimants’ legal team? 
There is absolutely no problem as all claimants will  be joined under one action and the objectives and aims pursued are the same.

Marbella14. Where  will it be filed?
Jurisdiction is still  not determined but in principle, the main center of the activities carried out by  Macanthony was Spain, in particular Marbella,

15. How long  will the Court case take?
It is difficult  to tell given the variety of results when this question is made. We have been  involved in a Court case that has just settled, prior to hearing, after 10 years,  in relation to timeshare resale scam (details can be found at www.lawbird.com). This  is, however, an abnormal and exceptionally lengthy case that has slept in Court  for years and therefore, it is not to be used as an example. Statistically, a  Court of First Instance case in Spain takes up to 6.9 months, and a Criminal  case 8.9 months. This is perhaps also optimistic as most case would be filed by  one single claimant against one single defendant, as is not our case, and so I  would therefore be more comfortable with increasing this forecast by twice as  much, at least.

16. Do  I need to come to Spain to sue?
No, it can  be done with powers of attorney although there is a possibility, not  insignificant, that the defendants decide to call the claimants/plaintiffs to  give a statement and that therefore, they have to attend personally. This,  although unlikely, is possible.

17. How much  are the fees?
After some discussion, it  has been proposed that a fee of 7% of the sums claimed, plus VAT (18%), would  be appropriate, 50% of which would be payable in advance and the balance on  successful recovery of the sums and provided the sum obtained covers the  balance of the pending legal fee. With a view to facilitate the payment of the initial 50%  of the legal fee for the action, the initial payment can be split as follows: –

On signing the letter of engagement:    €500 –
Payment  of  balance staggered:   6  equal monthly payments.

18.  What about translation costs?
We do not have an issue with English documentation as the lawyers are able to  do the translation in-house, and therefore, no further fees are required. If  the documentation is in any other language different from English, Spanish or  French, they would need to have the documents translated. In principle,  translations need not be official provided the other party does not challenge  the validity of these, which may occur only of the quality of the translation  is poor, inexact or, alternatively, they wish to introduce the challenge as a  spurious delaying tactic (a move that may, ultimately, backfire on the  defendants).

19. What is latest about the MRI and Martínez-Echeverría  Association
The  Association has now been duly incorporated. This organization is a non-profit  making entity that will have, among its aims, to assist and endorse the legal  case to be filed with the Courts, exposing the wrongdoings committed by the above  companies and individuals at different levels, inclusive of media, Government  and judiciary. Any person can join the association and in due course, members  will be advised on the sum of a small contribution to cover maintenance costs  that will allow the association to carry out the actions required to attain its  objectives.

20. What do  I need to get started?
In principle, indicating  your willingness to join an action against will suffice, by emailing the  address contact@mri-sg.org, indicating  your contact details. Upon receipt of it, we will forward you a short request  for information that we will use to advise on the likelihood of joining one  action of another. The documentation we will require is listed on point 12.c.  We undertake to provide you with an answer within 10 working days in respect of  the action you are most likely to pursue.



Please read these questions carefully – if you need to speak to someone personally send your contact details to contact@mri-sg.org and your details will be passed to a member of the forum who will call you personally to discuss.

If you want to be part of this legal action for justice – Now is the time to come forward!

Rest assured you need not fear any further threats from any member of the MRI group,  their lawyers or directly from Darragh MacAnthony.
We also know they read this blog and strongly suspect they also read the members only forum illegally and/or pay others to supply information illegally.  So they will be very aware they could be breaching UK and Spanish Law by trying to Harass, Intimidate or Bully you any more and they could be subjected to criminal proceedings relating to any such actions.  They will also be aware they are in breach of copyright and federal hacking legislation if caught hacking the forum too.

Also be aware some of our members have had offers to settle their disputes or provide the service paid for and promised but the promises have proved to be just that and are not fulfilled or not what they thought was agreed.  So please be aware of the MacAnthony methods and speak to the the lawyers before agreeing to anything.

MRI Credit Notes or Just Another Scam?

MRISG

MRISG

MRISG have received the following information about the Credit Note part of the MRI business.  The credit notes were issued to people for various reasons but mainly because MRI failed to fulfil their contractual commitments to ‘Customers’.

These credit notes could be surrendered when buying another property through MRI.  However, read the Pineapple Fields deal Dominic Pickering, who claims not to work for MacAnthony any more, arranged in July 2011despite all the MRI companies claiming to have folded or packed up trading in 2010.



Are You One Of These?

Problem Development Issue Date Credit Note € Credit Note $ Dollar Amount
Panarama Bay 10th May 09 €5,000.00
$7,100.00
Vila Verde 25th April 09 €6,000.00
$8,520.00
Melbourne / SCBR 6th June 09 €7,245.00
$10,287.90
Santa Venere 18th Nov 09 €18,000.00
$25,560.00
Jardines Del Sol 4th May 09
$27,000.00 $27,000.00
Panarama Bay 28th August 09 €19,700.00
$27,974.00
Greenfield 4th May 09 €20,000.00
$28,400.00
Vila Verde 5th May 09 €20,000.00
$28,400.00
Aldeia Formosa 14th May 09 €20,000.00
$28,400.00
Vila Verde 24th Sept 09 €21,000.00
$29,820.00
Villa Verde 4th May 09 €22,000.00
$31,240.00
Stek 15th Nov 09 €22,000.00
$31,240.00
Royal Park 21st August 09 €23,700.00
$33,654.00
Silver Mountain 02nd May 10 €24,446.00
$34,713.32
Residencial Don Juan II 15th June 09 €25,000.00
$35,500.00
Royal Heights 19th April 09 €26,000.00
$36,920.00
Pirin Suites 7th March 09 €27,000.00
$38,340.00
Tierra Del Sol 23rd August 09 €27,000.00
$38,340.00
Onyx 24th Sept 09 €28,500.00
$40,470.00
City Residence 25th August 09 €28,633.00
$40,658.86
Jardin del Sol 8th June 09 €29,000.00
$41,180.00
Portofino 9th May 09 €30,000.00
$42,600.00
Lazemia 27th Sept 09 €30,000.00
$42,600.00
Don Juan 20th April 09 €34,000.00
$48,280.00
San Jose 30th May 09 €34,000.00
$48,280.00
SMR 30th Apr 10 €35,000.00
$49,700.00
SCBR 30th June 10 €35,575.00
$50,516.50
City Residence 28th Nov 09 €35,786.00
$50,816.12
Topaz 28th August 09 €35,822.00
$50,867.24
City Residence 25th Nov 09 €35,998.00
$51,117.16
Portofino 11th May 09 €36,000.00
$51,120.00
St Ivan 19th August 09 €36,000.00
$51,120.00
Pirin Park 7th June 09 €37,000.00
$52,540.00
Giardino Mediterraneo 28th Oct 09 €39,000.00
$55,380.00
City Residence 2nd May 10 €39,439.00
$56,003.38
Aspen Valley 20th Sept 10 € 39,553.00
$56,165.26
Santa Venere 8th April 09 €39,947.42
$56,725.34
Adelaide 23rd Feb 09 €40,000.00
$56,800.00
Silver Mountain 24th Sept 09 €40,000.00
$56,800.00
Residential Bavaro 7th June 09
$57,000.00 $57,000.00
Blaconi Zi Zambrone 29th Oct 10 €40,480.00
$57,481.60
Blaconi Zi Zambrone 29th Oct 10 €40,480.00
$57,481.60
City Residence 25th August 09 €41,178.13
$58,472.94
SCBR 25th Feb 10 €42,115.50
$59,804.01
Santa Venere 16th May 09 €44,000.00
$62,480.00
Katarina Spa 7th June 09 €44,000.00
$62,480.00
SCBR 27th Feb 10 €44,100.00
$62,622.00
City Residence 30th August 09 €44,224.66
$62,799.02
City Residence 19th Sept 09 €44,803.00
$63,620.26
Porto Fino 14th May 09 €45,000.00
$63,900.00
SCBR 11th Mar 10 €45,100.00
$64,042.00
SCBR 29th Apr 10 €46,250.00
$65,675.00
Aspen Heights 25th Oct 09 €46,871.00
$66,556.82
Giardino Mediterraneo 28th Oct 09 €47,000.00
$66,740.00
SCBR 29th June 10 €47,900.00
$68,018.00
Blaconi Zi Zambrone 29th Oct 10 €48,400.00
$68,728.00
Blaconi Zi Zambrone 29th Oct 10 €48,400.00
$68,728.00
Santa Venere 20th April 09 €49,500.00
$70,290.00
Flamingo 6th April 09 €50,000.00
$71,000.00
Pirin Suites 1st June 09 €50,000.00
$71,000.00
SCBR 29th Apr 10 €83,400.00
$72,568.94
City Residence 13th August 09 €52,110.00
$73,996.20
Panorama Bay 2 20th Aug 09 €53,000.00
$75,260.00
Le Tercia Real 4th April 09 €56,000.00
$79,520.00
TDS 14th June €57,000.00
$80,940.00
Aldeia Formosa 19th April 09 €58,000.00
$82,360.00
Dom Rep 17th Nov 09 €59,700.00
$84,774.00
SCBR 2nd May 10 €62,888.00
$89,300.96
SCBR 1st Mar 10 €64,330.00
$91,348.60
City Residence 28th August 09 €64,500.00
$91,590.00
SMR- Deeds signed 26th June 10 €64,880.00
$92,129.60
City Residence 24th August 09 €64,885.20
$92,136.98
City Residence 24th August 09 €66,460.00
$94,373.20
SCBR 27th March 10 €68,000.00
$96,560.00
SCBR 28th Feb 10 €69,000.00
$97,980.00
City Residence 13th August 09
$100,000.00 $100,000.00
SCBR 17th Feb 10 €70,450.00
$100,039.00
SCBR 25th July 10 € 70,763.00
$100,483.46
SCBR 27th Apr 10 €71,000.00
$100,820.00
City Residence 26th Oct 09 €71,721.00
$101,843.82
Silver Mountain 27th July 10 €72,598.00
$103,089.16
SCBR 23rd Feb 10 €74,377.00
$105,615.34
Silver Mountain 26th July 10 €74,979.00
$106,470.18
Aspen Golf 10th Sept 10 €75,000.00
$106,500.00
Silver Mountain 06th May 10 €75,786.46
$107,616.77
Vila Verde 26th August 09 €76,000.00
$107,920.00
SCBR 12th Feb 10 €76,000.00
$107,920.00
SMR 28th Apr 10 €77,500.00
$110,050.00
SMR 1st May 10 €78,752.00
$111,827.84
SMR 1st May 10 €80,972.00
$114,980.24
SCBR 28th Apr 10 €83,500.00
$118,570.00
SCBR 25th June 10 €83,621.00
$118,741.82
Vila Verde 26th Oct 09 €84,000.00
$119,280.00
City Residence 23rd Sept 09 € 87,105.96
$123,690.46
SCBR 13th Mar 10 €88,785.00
$126,074.70
Silver Mountain 23rd Sept 09 €90,000.00
$127,800.00
Flamingo 26th August 09 €93,000.00
$132,060.00
Florida 19th April 09 €96,000.00
$136,320.00
Silver Mountain 26th July 10 €98,853.00
$140,371.26
Silver Mountain 25th July 10 € 99,603.00
$141,436.26
SCBR 27th June 10 €99,721.00
$141,603.82
SCBR 27th June 10 €100,500.00
$142,710.00
SCBR 28th Feb 10 €100,660.00
$142,937.20
Preserves 16th Nov 09 €106,000.00
$150,520.00
SCBR 27th June 10 €108,650.00
$154,283.00
Jardines Del Sol 10th May 09 €109,000.00
$154,780.00
SCBR 1st May 10 €109,710.00
$155,788.20
SCBR 24th Feb 10 €110,500.00
$156,910.00
Covera Golf 28th Nov 09 €127,000.00
$180,340.00
Aspen Suites 16th Nov 09 €129,708.00
$184,185.36
SCBR 29th Apr 10 €135,720.00
$192,722.40
Silver Mountain 23rd August 10 €135,844.00
$192,898.48
SCBR 28th Apr 10 €138,931.00
$197,282.02
SCBR 13th Feb 10 €142,814.00
$202,795.88
SCBR 28th Feb 10 €159,313.00
$226,224.46
SCBR 14th Mar 10 €172,981.00
$245,633.02
La Marinate & SCBR 20th March 09 / 27th March 10 €240,800.00
$341,936.00

—————————————————————–

Darragh MacAnthony

Darragh MacAnthony

Dominic Pickering

Dominic Pickering

Correct us if we are wrong Messrs Pickering and MacAnthony but we make this a total of $10,227,976.96 …  That is just over Ten and a Quarter Million Dollars owed to 117ecstatically happy customers who you have issued Credit Notes to.  To add insult to their injury many of those customers even had to pay to receive these, apparently, worthless credit notes. Mr Pickering you will note the dates so all were issued when you were CEO so don’t be shy, your opportunity to reply is below.

What is worse, in the opinion of the MRISG, is many still don’t know they have been victims or the MacAnthony Corporation and are still being bombarded with ‘unbeatable deals‘ by phone and e-mail to cash the credit notes in just to be ripped-off again.  Darragh have you offered any of them Free iPads  or just the  properties in Pineapple Fields with inflated prices?



MacAnthony Country

MacAnthony Country

If you are one of those unfortunate individuals who possess an MRI Credit Note you may want to read about the MRI Credit Note Deal with Pineapple Fields.

You may also want to join the MRI Support Group Members Only Forum.

If anyone knows any other resorts anywhere in the world where MRI are trying to offer properties to Credit Note victims contact the MRISG and we will investigate the validity and value of these offers.

Darragh MacAnthony – Founder of MRI – Saint or Sinner?

By linking his name to a number of local charities is Darragh MacAnthony, founder and ex-Chairman of the troubled property company MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) trying to reinvent his somewhat tarnished public profile?

Is this personal PR crisis also the reason why Darragh is funding The Helping Hands Group, an education centre for adults with learning disabilities, which has close ties to his another of his business interests Peterborough United Football Club.

MacAnthony recently wrote on his narcissistic website that he too has been “scammed, robbed and ripped off to the tune of millions” by investing in one of Bernie Madoff’s funds.

Darragh & Natali MacAnthony

Darragh & Natali MacAnthony

He also writes that he has taken this considerable financial loss without complaint or self-pity.

Scammed, robbed and ripped off and totally screwed out of millions”.

Are these the words of a man without complaint? For someone who claims he is not one for self pity there seems to be a lot of complaint on his blog; he moans about developers and furniture companies who went bankrupt, owing him money; he moans about clients who walked away from their contracts, which many believe to be unfair and biased, also owing him money; he complains about bitter ex-employees and competitors who seemingly have nothing better to do than to spend their time and energy just trying to discredit him. Why?

MacAnthony Country

MacAnthony Country

MacAnthony appears to have an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance but more worryingly he fails to accept any responsibility for his own actions in the perceived mismanagement of MRI.

Scammed, robbed and ripped off”, Darragh? Isn’t this also a pot calling the kettle black?

MacAnthony is very fortunate to be in a financial position to lose millions – not so lucky are all those clients in the UK and Ireland who have lost their retirement funds and hard earned savings by believing and trusting in MacAnthony’s sales and marketing machine called MRI.

It could be argued that MacAnthony’s ‘millions’ came from monies paid to his company in advance payments for furniture (some packs never received), deposits paid on apartments (never finished and in some cases never started), advance commissions from developers, after-sales services (not provided), the list goes on and on and on… What he and his directors is to have just taken money from their client accounts and not profits.

Has MacAnthony been advised that to be seen to be giving money to good causes is a sure sign of his honesty? Maybe he’s not a bad guy after all? Or could it be just another shameless PR ploy?

It’s interesting to note that the list of donations made by Bernie Madoff to numerous charities in the 10 years prior to his arrest is considerable. Madoff undertook charity work and made gifts through the Madoff family foundation to hospitals and many educational, cultural, and health charities. Unfortunately some of these were eventually forced to close because of Madoff’s massive fraud.

A ruling against MRI by the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) in September 2009 found that their Code of Conduct had been breached in 5 areas (see below)

National Federation of Property Professionals

NFoPP

‘The Tribunal were appalled to hear of the Company’s misleading business practices, including unfulfilled promises of guaranteed rental returns and misleading descriptions of the facilities that would be available to owners. The Company accepted deposits for unbuilt and unidentified properties. In some cases a purchase price was not included in the documentation provided to buyers. These problems were compounded by the Company’s poor service, including their reluctance to resolve grievances after sales had been agreed.
Despite these omissions, the Company’s position is that there is no right of cancellation by buyers, and therefore their deposits have not been returned to them. As a result members of the public have lost considerable sums of money resulting from false and enticing statements made by the Company.
The NAEA has received a resignation of membership from the Company. As membership is individual and personal, the Tribunal understands the NAEA has presumed that Mr D MacAnthony has resigned. The Tribunal welcomes this development as they would have had no hesitation in terminating his membership in addition to the financial penalties imposed.’

MacAnthony seems to think that to make an informed decision his inexperienced clients did not need to be told the truth about these property investments and aftersales services being sold by MRI.

If these clients had been made aware of the hidden ‘truth’ behind their dream of owning a property abroad – would they still have made the same decision to buy?

Instead of addressing these client’s legitimate complaints, MRI chose to ignore many of their client’s letters and phone calls, they also chose to use legal threats against clients that were already distressed, having discovered that they may have been seriously misled.

At present, MacAnthony seems to be reinventing his role in this disgraceful charade and describing himself as semi-retired between 2005-2008. Even though 2006 and 2007 are considered the ‘golden’ years for MRI but then again these are also the years that MRI failed to file their accounts by the due dates.

Now the honest, family focused, misunderstood businessman is pledging his support to local charities. Unfortunately some clients of MRI have not been lucky enough to experience this charitable side of MacAnthony’s character, instead they have been threatened with legal action for the temerity to fight back at companies like his and make themselves heard. Some have even been intimidated verbally by MacAnthony and his ‘posse of directors’ at meetings held throughout the UK and Ireland over the last two years.

Meanwhile, MacAnthony Reality International (aka MRI Overseas Property) have relocated to an address in Madrid, which does not technically exist – they have a website with no contact details apart from an e-mail address and an occasional update from the CEO of MRI.

Can this be the reason why MacAnthony is so keen to make clear that he is the ex-Chairman of the MRI group of companies? Although MRI Construction is still listed as an club sponsor on the Peterborough United website.

Confused? So are his clients who have lost thousands of Euros.

What a tangled web…

Biography

Peterborough Football Club Shirt

MRI Sponsorship

Darragh MacAnthony (born 24 March 1976) is a property entrepreneur and football club chairman. As a 15-year-old, he moved to Spain with his family.
After his education he worked as a time-share salesman for Club La Costa.

MacAnthony formed the property group MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) in Marbella in 2000, he also founded the financial group Capital Financial Partners. MRI sells overseas holiday homes to mainly Irish and British customers. The Sunday Times Rich Listestimated his wealth at £150 million in 2007, and £68 million in 2008.  He divides his time between his primary base in Florida (since 2010), a home in Marbella (Casa MacAnthony) and frequent visits to Peterborough.

Several of MacAnthony’s companies have recently gone into liquidation (Oct 2010); some of them appear to be winding down and have failed to submit their company accounts on time, risking being struck off. According to an eminent Spanish Lawyer, Antonio Flores, MacAnthony and his directors could be sued in the Spanish Courts for criminal offences.

Questions about MacAnthony Realty (Reality) International Overseas Property,have been asked in the European Parliament by Roger Helmer MEP After receiving many complaints about the operations of MRI Overseas Property he asks, ‘Is the Commission aware that a company operating under the name ‘MRI Overseas Property’ has been the source of numerous complaints by customers all over the European Union?’.

In the UK Parliament Sammy Wilson MP has proposed and was granted an Early Days Motion on the 23rd March 2010.

Since September 2006 he has been chairman and owner of Peterborough United Football Club.

References

If you can add to this list please add your comments below.