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


‘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…


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.


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

MRISG Protest London January 4th, 2011

The MRISG held their first protest in London yesterday (2011.01.04) to publicly protest about the abuse of the legal system by Carter-Ruck Lawyers (www.carter-ruck.com) and the scams pulled off by Darragh MacAnthony’s company MacAnthony Realty International.  The marchers handed a petition in at No 10 Downing Street containing 800 signatures demanding that the UK Government do something to prevent companies like MRI repeating international scams in the future.

View a brief clip of the protest on YouTube:

If you have been a victim of abuse by MacAnthony Realty International, Darragh MacAnthony, Dominic Pickering or any of their ‘independent Companies or Adivisors’ you need to join the MRISG Members Only Forum to collate your protests.

Reported by:-

Andrew Penman on his Mirror Blog, Ollive Press, Almerimar Life and Blog Catalog

Is MacAnthony using industrial espionage to spy?


MRI ConstructionQuote from a recent thread in the MRISG Members Only Forum which specifically excludes anyone with MRI connections having sight of the forum.

« “This is a message to the informer’s on this forum.
What you must bear in mind is that if M.R.I. was the reputable company that we were led to believe then this forum would not need to exist.

Darragh MacAnthony

Darragh MacAnthony

Maybe you are an employee and are getting paid for passing information on which would mean that you posted a fictitious story in order to gain access to the forum, which to a certain extent, I can understand as you have obviously been indoctrinated and trained into the M.R.I. way of doing things and industrial espionage is ,today ,big business so make sure you are paid accordingly.
Maybe you were a genuine honest investor who has had a very large carrot dangled in front of them and has been promised many reward’s and could soon be the proud owner of a gleaming new finished apartment (including furniture) somewhere in the world. You must consider the fact that this forum only exists because of broken promises from M.R.I so I really hope you get your rewards. Either way, whatever your reason’s you can rest assured that you have contributed to Mr Macanthony’s goal of achieving billionaire status before his 40th birthday. What you get out of it is entirely up to you
Another aspect to seriously consider is that the member’s of this forum are honest citizens who were sucked in (like you) by the well oiled manipulative machine of M.R.I. (ex time share) which spotted an avenue to greater riches.
Whether you are an employee or a victim of some serious carrot dangling something else to bear in mind is the fact that this forum and it’s members “will not” going away and these law abiding honest hard working investor’s have now found the courage to stand up and fight for justice.
If you are an employee you will probably read this and have a good laugh!.  Something to do with the training iI expect. If you are the victim of the carrot dangling then all we can hope for is that you enjoy your reward’s and that one day your conscience gets the better of you knowing that, by divulging information and trying to pre-empt our every move you have been a major contributor to the decimation of hundreds of lives and future’s such as broken marriages, bankruptcy, lost pension funds and serious health problems brought about by the worry and stress caused by this company. The whole of this message may mean absolutely nothing to you and you might take the stance “Who cares, I’ve got what I want” but you can rest assured that one day in the near future your identities will probably be revealed and justice will be done.
In the words of Mr Macanthony “What goes around comes around»

Read the Forum Terms and Conditions, which have to be read twice before signing up to the forum, – Here – see if you can see how Dominic Pickering or Darragh MacAnthony can possibly believe they are exempt from those Terms and the Law.  Even their UK Solicitor Isabel Hudson of Carter-Ruck is known to have seen material from the forum.

« Previous PageNext Page »