Scam Tip Report #88990 - Scam for security deposit

Scam ReporterScam Tips Received
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
2018-01-01 06:55:27
Business Venture Scam
+1 Scam for security deposit   
Michael Masterson, Michael J Masterson
Email Address:
07951 770400
Mr Masterson brought someone, he described as a client, to the table looking for funding. The agreement ended up being a cross funding deal to which everyone was aware of the facts. The client was called Christopher Highams (07500 966050) through one his company’s called Starbrook Property Management Limited. A company that is registered to the same shell address in London that Mr Masterson uses for some of his companies. Starbrook Property Management Limited is now due to be struck off the registrar for failure to file information with Companies House.

Mr Highams is also a director of a company called Freehold Capital Partners Limited. A company that appears, on the face of it to be connected to a business located in New York. When the New York number is phoned no one answers. This only becomes suspicious when it happens consistently over an extended period.

As part of the transaction Mr Masterson demanded a security deposit of €250,000 (£193,000) which was to be returned within 7 days if the funding did not go ahead. As soon as the deposit was paid it became obvious that Mr Highams had no intention of going ahead and that the security deposit would not be returned.

Mr Masterson firstly gave assurances that the funds were held in escrow at Barclays Bank., producing bank statements and letters saying Barclays Bank were investigating the transaction. Many promises were made to repay the funds. As soon as dates were missed he would pretend the funds were coming from a different source and refusing to discuss the bank documents. When questions on the validity of the documents were raised he would refuse to talk for days on end.

He eventually brought in his solicitor, Mark Pugh of RM Legal in Southamptom. Mr Pugh turned out not to be a solicitor. Mr Pugh refused to engage with my solicitor. Making the occasional statement that he had proof funds were incoming then disappearing for weeks and even months on end. When he did reappear he would not discuss previous statements or the backup he had seen to make him issue such statements.

I am now trying to issue legal papers against Mr Masterson but he has moved house to avoid being served (moving from Surry/Hampshire to Leicestershire I believe) and refuses to answer any phone calls. RM Legal refuse to accept proceedings, refuse to provide Mr Masterson’s new address and the senior partner indicates that Mr Masterson is no longer a client, even though Mr Pugh refuses to confirm or deny this.

Do not deal with either of these three men or RM Legal. They are con men.
Follow Ups/Extra Information. Most recent is listed first.
My name is Chris Highams and I am responding to the above post which is factually incorrect.
The post was made by David John Allen Bell of DJB Consultants and as far as I am aware relates to an agreement that he had with Michael Masterson to which I was not a party.
The proposed scam was advanced fee fraud involving a company to which David John Allen Bell provided accountancy and fidicuary services and had the same registered office address as seven of David John Allen Bells companies: (Missouri Holding Group LTD - 255 Lough Road, Lurgan, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT66 6NQ).
This matter was reported by me to FinCEN (Finance Crimes Enforcement Network) on the 13th April 2016 and they confirmed that it was a SCAM.
Any relevant party who wishes to receive a formal written report including communication to and from FinCEN which implicates David John Allen Bell and his associates should contact me on the following e-mail address:

Chris Highams   (Reading, Reading, United Kingdom) Added the following extra information on :2018-03-13 03:10:50
David John Allen Bell
Email Address:

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