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The Ready2Invest Property Scam

For those caught in any of the Ready2Invest fiascos, such as Cerros de Turre, La Cadima or Santa Ana


Posts Tagged ‘Studios Inmobiliarios Howell S.L.’

Ready2Invest/Citrus Answer Questions… That Were Never Asked.

May 28th, 2011

Following the publication of a preliminary report, that include a number of crucial questions, on what I believe are allegedly fraudulent activities by the consortium Read2invest/Citrus, we have now started to receive answers to questions…that I have not asked.

Still, no answer as to where did approximately €9 million go, once they reached Citrus Europe Ltd., considering that one of the half -built development (Los Cerros de Turre) was sold to a third party, who denies no liability nor involvement in the initial project and denies responsibility in respect to Read2Invest’s clients, and a second one that did not get finished, but where presumably some form of guarantee (bank advance payment bond) could mean that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

No word of Santa Ana, where individual lenders have entrusted very large sums of money to Studios Inmobiliarios Howell S.L. as high as €750,000.



Citrus Playa Macenas Limited


Dom Antonio Flores

It has come to my attention that you have posted on the internet a report (the “Report”) of what you describe as  the  “Cerros/Turre, La Cadima/Playa Macenas and Santa Ana property Fiasco” which suggest that the projects referred to above were in some way an elaborate premeditated fraud or scam carried out by any or all of Mr J Crossick, the UK broker Ready2invest Limited (R2i) and myself, acting in concert through a joint venture involving the Spanish development companies.

Such statements are entirely false and have been made by you recklessly and without any supporting justification. By your own admission in the Report you are unable to understand the situation without answers to a number of questions. It is then a mystery to me why you as a professional lawyer have not sought to ask these questions and obtain the answers before making defamatory remarks about various parties.

Action will be taken against you and your law firm in this respect and I set this out in detail at the end of this letter.

Had you taken the time to ask any questions of me I would have explained to you the number of inaccurate conclusions you have arrived at and also answered any issues on which you had not got previous information.

I will set out below a brief history of facts in relation to these development projects and where appropriate refer to statements you have made within your Report.

Brief History

Your very first statement in your Report is incorrect. Citrus Playa Macenas SL was not represented by me at the time the project was first considered, or the land at Playa Macenas and Turre acquired or the land at Turre disposed of.

Citrus Playa Macenas SL was represented either by Richard Day (RD) or Colin Francis Smith (CFS). When Citrus Playa Macenas SL was formed they appointed a Spanish managing director.  This information is a matter of public record and I am surprised that you should be so wrong on what is the very fundamental basis of your Report

My initial involvement was only as the Representative of one of the investors at Turre and subsequently Playa Macenas.

Only when the legal dispute at Turre developed was I asked by Citrus to become their Administrator and only then did I become directly involved in the company. I was removed from that position without notice by Colin Francis Smith but reinstated in 2007 when the bank made it clear that they had lost confidence in the previous management of the company and required that I be reinstated.

However, at all relevant times, 2003, for the basis of your Report, I was not “representing Citrus Playa Macenas SL”. You say that “from the beginning” you had some difficulty in working with me. Please specify what work you are referring to , when that work was attempted, and when you tried to contact me ( saying whether that was by phone or by email)

Your Report also pre-supposes a collusion between Citrus and R2i , when in fact the relationship between them was non-existent. So much so that I acted as a go between throughout the whole of the period when Citrus was controlled by CFS and RD.

You should also be aware that Jonty Crossick and myself only took positions on the board of Citrus Europe Limited and Citrus Playa Macenas Limited under the terms of an investment agreement with Citrus, not with a view to taking equity, but as a means of control to protect, in Jontys case, the investors of R2i, and in mine , to protect my associate  who had agreed to invest in the project with. On the occasion I had shares in the company, it was only by way of security.

An arrangement prepared by lawyers and fully documented.

There is an even more ridiculous pre-supposition by your use of the words in the Report “friendly lawyer”, which clearly implies that in order for such a fraudulent scheme to succeed it is necessary for the perpetrators to persuade the investors to take the advice of a lawyer who will give them advice favourable to the developer.

The thing that makes that so ridiculous is that you were the independent lawyer recommended by R2i to advise the buyers. Are you suggesting that when you acted for buyers you did so on the basis that you were in fact doing so on the basis that you would not be acting in their best interests or would be taking instructions from some other party?

For the record and in so far as it is alleged by you it is absolutely denied that you were ever asked to turn a blind eye to any of the issues that should have been of concern and you were never offered any sort of incentive to do so. Your obligation was always to act in the best interests of your clients.

You go on to say that you did not find it easy to work with Jonty or myself. Can you please elaborate on that? Please specify the times you had contact with me, tried but failed to contact me, what information you sought from me and what information you received from me directly?

You say you were issuing “warnings” to both companies. Please specify what warnings you were issuing and how they were communicated. On whose behalf were you issuing those warnings? Clearly, by your own admission, all those clients who instructed you, were asked by R2i to pay their deposits in the first instance to you. Neither Citrus nor R2i had any control over those deposits.

What then is the significance of you referring to the sales engine running full steam if the payment of the deposits to you, as recommended by R2i , was intended as an independent buffer of protection for the clients. Once again the clear innuendo of your statement does not make sense.

You state in your Report that you were issuing “warnings to both companies”. What companies, what warnings and to whom were they directed?    There appears to be a conflict here in what you are saying. On the one hand, you accept that R2i were advising people to take advice from you, to pay their deposits to you and were not expecting them to transfer their deposits until they had received that advice. Therefore the gathering of deposits, as you say, was in fact asking people to send their deposits to you to hold in a safe place. On the other hand you are suggesting by innuendo that R2i (and myself, but I await evidence of that) were too busy getting in deposits than worrying about the legalities of the transaction. Surely you were charged with the task of ensuring the latter and the deposits were safe in your hands?

You say, that people instructed you to release those deposits despite the fact that you advised them not to because of your concerns about the legality of the project. You say they did so because of the “trickery” of Jonty. You dont say what that trickery was, so I give you the opportunity now to spell out in clear terms how Jonty tricked people into ignoring your advice and proceeding with the transfer of the deposits to Citrus. Surely, that is crucial to any claim against R2i, which you seem to be advocating. You must therefore be clear, and have clear evidence of his “trickery”.

Let us be clear about certain things here. Those people who initially paid deposits in escrow did so to you as their independent lawyer. A draft contract was prepared but was never signed, primarily because the terms of the contract could not be agreed with you.

The opportunity to purchase a property in La Cadima at Playa Macenas was then offered to all those people who had reserved one at Turre and a new contract was drawn up to purchase at La Cadima which incorporated an option to buy one at Turre as well, as and when they might become available.

Those people therefore have a written contract and privity of contract with Citrus Playa Macenas SL.

However, if they did not transfer their funds to the la Cadima project, they have privity of contract with Citrus Europe Limited , but not Citrus Playa Macenas SL. Garcia Bosch were perfectly right to point that out to you. It would be ill conceived of Turre only purchasers to commence an action against Citrus Playa Macenas Limited in Spain in the absence of a written contract. How can you as a lawyer say anything different. The Spanish courts would have no standing. Moreover, for you to suggest that you might act in such an action is misleading at the least. You would be an active witness in the case and therefore a conflict of interest would apply. You will have to explain why you allowed the Turre only purchasers to transfer their funds without a contract being in place?

Can you also explain why you are suggesting a fraud when, having discovered that no contract existed for the Turre only purchasers, I , in conjunction with R2i arranged that each of those people were given an acknowledgement of the debt by Citrus Playa Macenas SL to protect them?

You say that the sale of the land at Turre to UCC SL was a breach of contract. What contract? That is of course in any event quite different to saying it is a fraud. I disagree on both counts.

Again, as if of some significance, you make play again of the fact that the land was not in fact sold to Promobys SL, but Promobys SL is a sister company of UCC SL and the marketing of the site at Turre is conducted by Promobys SL. Are you aware of why it was sold? If yes why not disclose that in your report. If not, why have you not made enquiry as to why it was sold? These are obviously crucial matters when determining the background.

Please detail exactly when I refused to provide you with a copy of the contract of sale. You say that you subsequently obtained a copy of the title deed. Who were the executing parties to that deed?

Turning to La Cadima at Playa Macenas, you suggest that the scheme has no licence, no guarantee and that the contract is in a form that is illegal.   You will be aware that a subsequent legal due diligence report was prepared by  a firm of Spanish lawyers by the name of Legalex on those very points.

It confirmed the following:

1. Conclusion: CITRUS PLAYA MACENAS S.L. is a properly incorporated company that complies with all formalities of Spanish law. It is trading with no liabilities.

2.Conclusion: there already exists an independent registered title for each unit that is the object of the contract of purchase and sale.

3. Conclusion: all the valid building and environmental permits have been granted by the relevant authorities.

4. The project complies with all the necessary requirement of Spanish Law for this type of development. Both at planning and administrative levels, the project is approved and the company selling it has full freehold ownership of the project without any charges or liens expect the charge for the construction finance as explained above.

The amounts paid under the terms of the contract are not guaranteed in the event of non completion of the site.

On the question of Guarantees

5 Guarantees

The developer is not providing a bank guarantee or insurance policy to cover payments already made under the purchase agreement. In other words there is a commercial risk in the transaction that must be brought to attention

Whether or not you agree with that advice, how can you begin to justify a suggestion that R2i /Citrus/ myself were purportedly acting fraudulently if acting under the guidance and knowledge of such advice?

Is it your suggestion, that Legalex are also involved is some sort of fraudulent activity? If so please make it clear and I will pass on your comments to them.

I note you say their advice is wrong, they disagree with you.

Significantly, every purchaser at Playa Macenas was given a copy of that due diligence report before being asked to sign the updated contract. It clearly identifies the commercial risk taken when a bank guarantee or insurance policy is not available from the Developer.

In the event, at my request, the bank as you rightly pointed out, confirmed the existence of a guarantee. Why would the bank issue such a confirmation if there was any doubt at that stage of the bona fide nature of the project?

Despite the fact that the bank, without good cause in my opinion, breached the terms of the developers mortgage by refusing to continue to fund the La Cadima project, and despite the fact that UCC sl failed to deliver the  properties as contracted, I have continued in my position as Managing director, without any payment for doing so, travelling back and forth to Spain at my own expense in an effort to persuade the bank to honour its agreement to the company and/or   repay the the deposits under the terms of the guarantee.  How then does that fit the profile of a property swindle you would seek to project in your unsubstantiated postings?

I do not know what your motivation is for posting the Report. I must say for my part it appears to be some attempt to offer your services in bringing a legal action against a variety of persons, including myself based upon a fraud.

I wish to make it clear form the start that I in no way wish to influence the decision of any of those persons who fall into the category of purchasers who have not received either a property or their deposit back, not to seek legal advise and if advised to do so take the appropriate action.

I am concerned though, that they should not be encouraged to expend further sums on legal fees in a Court case unless they are aware of ALL the relevant facts and not driven by an opinion based upon clear inaccuracy and fuelled by unsubstaniated emotive words as trickery fraud and property swindle. More particularly where those words are used by someone who clearly seeks to make financial gain from such an action and were themselves involved in the transactions.

Your comments are defamatory but I prefer to take the view of what we call in the UK “sticks and stones”. That may not be the view of R2i when they become awrae of your posts and my comments here. I intend to copy this to them not because of any association with them but because I have mentioned them and they should be allowed to spaek for themselves.

I would though invite you to justify your post or remove the same, not least because it serves to mislead those purchasers who await their deposits and no doubt will deflect them from the action that they should really be contemplating to recover their money.

If I do not hear form you within 7 days with clear evidence that will support your assertions then I intend to copy  this note to each of the persons who wer prospective purchasers of Citrus and who have to date not received their money back.

Yours faithfully

Ray Warren

Cc Jonty Crossick

Cc Ready2invest Limited


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