the long shadow

lse:pmg

#1

I’m not sure how many shareholders noticed or understood the potential impact on PMG of yesterday’s news about a major fraud enquiry

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1337-nca-to-conduct-a-pre-investigative-review-of-allegations-of-fraud-by-hbos-impaired-assets-division-london-and-south-east-region

At the relevant time the individual driving this massive fraud - David Mills- was an executive director of Parkmead and also its largest shareholder and is already serving a 15 year jail sentence for certain specimen charges. The corporate vehicle at the heart of the fraud was a wholly owned subsidiary of PMG for about 18 months before it was hastily jettisoned ( and the NCA may be wondering why).

The NCA are now investigating other complaints about Mills, HBOS and the PMG subsidiary (Quayside). It may have no material impact on PMG but I would be surprised if the much wider investigation doesn’t focus on Parkmead’s role and knowledge and what responsibility PMG may have directly or vicariously for Mills and its subsidiary’s actions. After all HBOS is paying out £100 m for the actions of 2 of its staff, so PMG is probably responsible legally for the actions of its bad apples.
It is a factor to be considered as an investor rather than to be ignored and of Course if it materialises the financial and reputational impact could be very material.
So far PMG has pretended there is no risk and never mentioned it, which indicates heads in the sand .


#2

Still trying to peddle this one? So it could involve PMG? A man has been jailed for fraud, he was a director of a company that is dissolved. The company that bought his company is also dissolved. The link to Parkmead and the fraudster was from memory two months. When Tom Cross took over the fraudster was shown the door poste haste. Good luck to anyone considering litigation.


#3

MM and CSZ you may choose to ignore what I say but there isn’t a fact I have mentioned that is incorrect. Demeaning and belittling me and the facts is unhelpful to anyone who wants to consider and research the matter for themselves so they can have a full understanding of the risks and rewards of their investment .
But anyone who thinks that crimes are time barred or that PMG does not have potentially large exposure is delusional. the facts are simple-

  • It DOES involve PMG- the crook was an executive director for some 18 months
  • PMG patently isnt dissolved
  • He carried out his crimes whilst director or Parkmead and for at least one subsidiary of PMG.
  • companies generally are responsible for unlawful acts of their directors carried out whilst putatively performing their duties
  • The link is some 10 years ago not 2 months- but as David Mills can reflect on during his 15 years inside , how long ago a crime was committed has nothing to do with responsibility and culpability for it.
    I don’t know what your legal background is but your opinion seems to ignore the facts and the basic legal principles

#4

Blouson you’re repeating a point that you’ve already made and your point here is one of the most tenuous I’ve ever seen on a BB.

You’ve said

“The NCA are now investigating other complaints about Mills, HBOS and the PMG subsidiary (Quayside)”

Really? your link says the NCA are only investigating the South East Region of HBOS?s Impaired Assets Division. The NCA will determine whether there’s a need for a further criminal investigation into this HBOS division.

Surely the factual statement, based on the link that you’ve provided is
“The NCA are now investigating other complaints about the South East Region of HBOS?s Impaired Assets Division”

If the article did mention Quayside and PMG specifically then I would think there was a level of risk worth considering.


#5

Well said Killermanjarrow, I was going to ignore the reply by Blouson Blouson aimed at me because he obviously has his own agenda. If he wants to portray himself as some sort of legal eagle may he long continue to do so but it is not right that he can call into question the integrity of Parkmead by misquoting official press releases.The case goes back to when Parkmead was a boutique bank before Tom Cross became a director and rather than gain out of it it cost Parkmead around £8million. Parkmead bought Quayside because it was decent fit as an arm of a boutique bank for £10 million only for Mills to divert the revenues through other companies. Blouson is correct in saying that companies are generally liable to the actions of their directors but this was a well orchestrated fraud involving one of the world’s largest banks and Mills made fools of the directors of Parkmead but it was only a matter of months before the decline in the revenue stream of Quayside came under the microscope. The company was sold back to Mills for £1.9 million a few months after Mills resigned as a director. Tom Cross became a director in October 2006 with the aim of turning into a oil compny and Mills resigned in June 2007.
Any shareholder in Parkmead can allay their fears by reading any of the excellent reports by Ian Fraser who was the only journalist with the courage to take on HBOS and the FCA who tried for years to whitewash what had happened.
Rather than trying to tarnish the reputation of Parkmead perhaps Blouson Blouson would like to comment on the activities of Core Enterprise Management and the Sandwell Organisation run by Mills.
GLA.


#6

MM and KillermanJ
I’m going to respond because I think it’s important that followers of this BB understand how potentially significant this could be, even though clearly none of us have the full picture. I believe this area is a big red flag which should be factored in to any decision to hold shares in PMG.

My only agenda is to use these BB’s to gather and share knowledge- and for reasons that should be obvious ( and I mention below) this information is of relevance to shareholders in PMG. I haven’t misquoted a press release, I’ve simply drawn a natural inference from it based on information in the public domain but which people may not have connected. If I wanted to mislead I would hardly have pasted the link to the original source!

I had assumed that owners of PMG would know that the ‘HBOS Impaired Assets Division’ was inextricably intertwined with Mills and Quayside in the frauds for which Mills and HBOS bankers were convicted. Whilst it is possible that a fraud unconnected with Mills and Quayside ( and hence PMG) was ALSO taking place at HBOS Impaired Asserts that would be an extraordinary coincidence. The much more likely explanation is that if there was other fraud at HBOS IAD then it involved Mills/Quayside /PMG. Hence the inference I drew.
As Killerman suggests will be the case ONCE PMG is actually named in a press release I think this is a risk worth considering NOW. As no details of the number or value of the other frauds being explored is yet known I’m unsure how anyone can assess the potential hit to PMG if they result in prosecutions, or even only the release of information which leads to civil actions by former PMG shareholders . It may be nothing or it could be existential. Hence why I think it is something which should not be ignored, just because understanding the impact is challenging, but should be researched and be something that shareholders should share information about as more becomes public, whether explicitly or more subtly.
That is a sensible use of this BB.

The court seemed to acknowledge that the criminal charges were merely examples of wider bad behaviour so the latest development is consistent with that and no surprise.
As you say MM, companies are generally responsible for the actions of their directors and you give no reason why that principle wouldn’t apply to PMG.
I endorse your reference of Ian Fraser. He’s knowledgable, forensic and tenacious.
Drawing attention to a dark period in PMG’s history, that is still reverberating and could cast a very long shadow on PMG isn’t ‘tarnishing’ PMG. It’s the events themselves that caused the problem. As you say Tom Cross and David Mills shared the board for almost 9 months.

You mention Core Enterprise Management but that seems to contradict your view that this is irrelevant. CEM is another link that may cause PMG shareholders concern as it (amongst other things) indicates the close relationship between a PMG director called Gordon Ashworth and David Mills. Ashworth was a director of PMG until Jan 2010- overlapping with Cross for over 3 years. Despite the carnage that Mills caused PMG in 2006/7 ( which you estimate to have been £8m ) Ashworth was on the board of CEM with Mills many years later suggesting they were quite close despite what Ashworth knew of Mills past form!
It’s opaque and clearly there are many questions that need answering. There may be no financial exposure for PMG but personally with so many other shares out there I wouldn’t take the risk. PMG itself won’t guarantee the market that it can have no possible exposure because even they cannot know.


#7

Blouson blouse " I haven’t misquoted a press release, I’ve simply drawn a natural inference from it based on information in the public domain but which people may not have connected. If I wanted to mislead I would hardly have pavulnerablested the link to the original source!"
It is not a natural inference at all, it is just your opinion that this may be the case. No mention that the NCA is investigating Parkmead in the press release whatsoever.
please carry on being the legal eagle on this board.
Filtered
GLA


#8

Mary,
All potential investors should be encouraged to make themselves aware of this issue. Your suggestions that I am ‘peddling’ an ‘agenda’ and am misleading people distracts attention from that.

I would prefer not to split hairs over the meaning of the press release but I can’t agree that my reasoning is absurd as you intimate. I believe it is perfectly reasonable (which is why I posted it) particularly in view of the fact the release says-
1.That the NCA is acting on information provided by Thames Valley Police, ie the force that singlehandedly and despite serious obstruction from others convicted Mills ( a former director of PMG) of his fraud perpetrated largely through Quayside (PMG’s subsidiary at a key time) ;
2. That “a number of companies have reported allegations of significant fraud involving a former employee of HBOS AND THEIR ASSOCIATES. These include allegations of …the use of CORRUPT CONSULTANTS”. It would be truly surprising if it was another employee of HBOS other than one of the ones already convicted ( especially in view of HBOS/Lloyds public assurances about a ‘rogue’ ) or that they had used different corrupt consultants to those they were already working with (ie Mills and his wife and cronies).
3. “The sums of money involved could be significant, running to many millions”. We know that HBOS has set aside £100 million to compensate it’s victims, and there are numerous other enquiries and police investigations still going on regarding that.

You may deduce a different meaning to me , but can’t legitimately rubbish my deduction of the statement coupled with what else is readily available on the web and social media . It is A- not the only- natural inference. There may be others.

Time will of course tell whether PMG suffers more than the £8m you claim as a result of some aspect or other of the criminal activities carried out by its one time subsidiary.

Your posts indicate that you bought PMG shares at prices many times higher and many years ago so you appear to be sitting on massive losses which may hinder a truly objective assessment . So I say with greater emphasis than usual, DYOR and having done so see if you feel you can honestly assure people on this BB that the press release TOGETHER WITH WHAT ELSE IS KNOWN containsNO RISK at all for PMG and its long suffering shareholders.


#9

Blouson you’re making inferences on Mary’s purchase price. Can you tell us your position here? It appears to me that you’ve got a short open because you’ve been peddling this tenuous carp for quite a while.

Even if anyone wants to entertain your very unlikely notion of PMG being fined for a crime where HBOS has fully accepted responsibility, this investigation has 6 months to run and in that time PMG is expected to release news that should cause this to re-rate from here. In case you’re unaware

  1. AGR TRACS reservoir study is now over due
  2. Nexen report into feasibility of using the Scot Platform
  3. Possibility of service agreements being announced.

Your posts seem hellbent on advising people to invest elsewhere because of the legal risk to PMG from the Lloyds/HBOS crime but surely even you’d admit that the more pertinent information to affect the share price in the next six months is related to operational progress than information that suddenly leads to a fine for PMG?


#10

KillermanJ
You and Mary appear more interested in attacking the messenger than dispassionately considering the facts in the message. That would indicate Confirmation Bias, which is widely recognised to be a dangerous heuristic for an investor.

Dealing with your questions/accusations-

  1. I’m not making inferences about Mary’s purchase price- her previous posts make clear that she bought shares way above 200p about 4 years ago and was encouraging others to believe they would rise significantly from there. If she had invested in low risk products or shares elsewhere that cash would be worth circa 300-350p now, and if she still holds PMG it is worth 53p. Value destruction on a massive scale. [ Perhaps it is ironic that my previous post referred to iinformation in the public domain that is available to people but not accessed and is the difference between the judgements people make?]

  2. I have made clear previously that I am not short nor long and never have been. So I have no ‘agenda’ to ‘peddle’. But what’s your position? presumably you are long and currently suffering a paper loss even before considering what would have happened with an alternative investment?[ I suffer losses too- but I cut them early ]

  3. You dismiss my posts as ‘carp’ (presumably a typo, but you mean rubbish?) yet you have not denied any of the facts I have posted and instead play the man not the ball.

  4. Your suggestion that it is “very unlikely” that PMG can suffer any- let alone a substantial-financial loss from it’s previous director’s and subsidiary’s unlawful behaviour must be a pure guess dressed up as an opinion, unless you have extraordinary inside information. Look at my earlier posts on this subject . There are numerous potential bases for former shareholders of PMG, clients and victims of wrongdoing to bring civil actions against PMG as well as the potential for all sorts of criminal prosecutions. The number of ongoing regulatory, private and criminal investigations into the further nefarious behaviour of Mills and Quayside run into double figures according to Google. Not surprisingly the publicity from the specimen charges has led to a torrent of people claiming “me too”. If you are in any doubt that this is real just google David Mills (PMG’s former director) and Quayside (PMG’s former subsidiary) and you see lawyers advertising for claimants . Obviously HBOS is responsible for some, and maybe most, but that doesn’t mean PMG aren’t as well or for different ones. Indeed HBOS may have a claim for contribution for their loss against PMG! personally I doubt they will bring that as they just want to hush it all up, but who knows what a new CEO would think.

  5. The suggestion that HBOS has “accepted responsibility” is laughable. Look at what Thames Valley Police have said about how Lloyds and HBOS thwarted them at every turn and tried to cover things up. Only last week the FT reported on how this is going to run and run, as new cover ups keep coming to light (
    https://www.ft.com/content/d3365678-4eda-11e8-a7a9-37318e776bab )

  6. As regards your details about PMG’s business then of course those are ALSO factors to take into account in deciding whether to buy, hold or sell PMG. Neither you or I can judge whether that is “more pertinent” as you claim though because we simply cannot calculate the size of the liability if the past fraud again catches up with PMG. Lloyds thought it had no risk from PPi and has so far set aside £19 billion…so it would be naive to think even very experienced and very highly paid directors and lawyers are able to assess the risks of litigation. So what chance small investors?
    And with oil at a 4.5 year high PMG shares are barely back to the level they were a year ago. So they have performed significantly less well than a straight play on oil .

The problem is that it is impossible for anyone to know what the exposure to PMG is IF the risk manifests. Lloyds have set aside £100 million and said it may need to be more, and there are many other ongoing investigations into Lloyds before the NCA news. Mary says it has already cost PMG £8m. THE FACTS ARE SIMPLE- THERE IS A RISK AND The SIZE OF IT IS UNKNOWN. For those reasons they should be factored into any decision to invest in or hold shares in PMG and not, as you and Mary suggest, brushed aside or ignored based on wishful thinking and smearing of a poster.

I’m not continuing to post to convince you or Mary of anything- just to ensure that real facts and additional analysis is not obscured by people who don’t wish it to be true and so choose to ignore it. That is of course your prerogative. As I have said time will tell whether PMG ever need to announce that they are embroiled in any investigations or legal actions arising out of their association with Mills, Quayside and perhaps others. Personally I think it is at least 50/50 and if that happens just the distraction, uncertainty and legal fees are likely to see a huge hit to the share price…long before any liability is established.


#11

PS It also appears , if Ian Fraser (who Mary mentioned)is to be believed, that PMG and Tom Cross have previously created a false market in PMG shares http://www.ianfraser.org/corporate-goveranance-abuse-at-parkmead/

Tom Cross claimed this creation of the false market was inadvertent, but it makes me wonder if the £2m liability from Mills to PMG was ever repaid at all? As Quayside failed probably not. Perhaps someone from PMG itself can tell us?

One would hope that PMG would have made a clear and prominent disclosure if it wasn’t paid but then again I do find the governance of this company far from ideal. A few weeks ago they had to issue an RNS apology/correction and for years they have lent money to Tom and other of his companies, which whilst disclosed isn’t best practice.If TC’s other companies could raise the money cheaper they would- which indicates PMG is lending the money below commercial rates.

It’s also odd that PMG raises money and when it doesn’t need it instead of returning it to shareholders it lends it to the CEO to try and make a return for him and his associates in a completely different company.That seems to leave much of the risk with PMG yet the upside with TC.

And isn’t TC’s skill meant to be in identifying cheap assets and buying them? So if he hasn’t been able to reply his capital should that reflect on his remuneration?

More questions than answers but as far as I am concerned they are red flags

Whilst clearly not connected to the Mills/Quayside issues, it doesn’t fill me with confidence of a board with an ability to pay sufficient attention to governance and detail- which does have a read across to the Mills issue


#12

Blouse,

“1. I’m not making inferences about Mary’s purchase price- her previous posts make clear that she bought shares way above 200p about 4 years ago…”

umm that’s called an inference because you don’t know whether she has bought or sold any since 2014.

  1. “[ I suffer losses too- but I cut them early ]”
    I now understand your motivation for posting. I’m sorry that you’ve lost money but I think you should get over it.

“3. You dismiss my posts as ‘carp’ (presumably a typo, but you mean rubbish?) yet you have not denied any of the facts I have posted and instead play the man not the ball.”

I’m not denying that some form of fallout is possible. I’m saying that the risk is so small that it’s not worth worrying about.

  1. Thanks for pointing out that I’m stating my opinion.

“5. The suggestion that HBOS has “accepted responsibility” is laughable.”

It’s a fact that they have accepted responsibility and set up a compensation fund. You do not pay compensation unless you have accepted the wrong doing.

This article explains how Lloyds/HBOS initially wouldn’t accept responsibility but were forced to after the criminal convictions

https://www.ft.com/content/aab55456-a890-11e7-ab55-27219df83c97

specifically
“The convictions have at last forced Lloyds to accept some responsibility. The bank has conceded that it will have to pay the victims compensation and has set aside £100m for the purpose.”

  1. I give up. Good luck with your non-investment here.

#13

KillermanJ
Clearly the Confirmation Bias is strong with you !
I note that you didn’t answer my question about your position in and losses on PMG. I won’t hold my breath .
Despite your wishful thinking I didn’t suffer any losses on PMG as I have never been long or short ( weird that you overlook what I said to make a point!)…probably a rare thing amongst this BB to not be nursing a loss.


#14

Blouse
I note you ignored all of my points where I’d pulled you up.
This is getting v boring.
Let’s just agree to disagree.
You think it’s 50/50 that PMG get pulled into the Lloyds issues. I think it’s 1 in a million.

If you haven’t lost money here and you aren’t short then it doesn’t make sense as to why you’re investing so much time on this board.
Good luck everyone who’s invested here.


#15

Killerman
I didn’t ignore your points, which are incorrect, but acknowledge, as you also do, that it is pointless continuing this discussion. You clearly aren’t interested in facts and prefer to rely on your opinion regardless of how little research you have done into the underlying issues. I suspect that approach is correlated to your financial losses on this stock.

It would have taken some time to address the inaccuracies in your points. Conversely it would’ve taken you seconds to answer my very simple and direct question of whether you are in profit or loss on this stock. So to criticise others for not addressing points whilst refusing to answer a simple direct question is hypocritical and revealing.

Clear evidence of Confirmation Bias. If you think it’s a million to 1 shot let me put £5000 on it with you at odds of only 20-1.

And the cover up of the fraud that PMG was at the centre of is the lead financial story in the Mail on Sunday today - dominating the front page of its financial section.
Hardly the history and irrelevance that some wish to believe


#16

>If you think it’s a million to 1 shot let me put £5000 on it with you at odds of only 20-1.

hahaha. Please explain the logistics of how this bet could ever be taken?

If you’re prepared to lose £5K then open up a short and post your price?


#17

killerman
Still you refuse to admit you have suffered big losses in this stock and are holding a losing long position- apparently having done so for years.

Given a chance to put your money where your mouth is with a bet you show no interest in doing so.I’m not interested in playing games whilst you come up with reasons to wriggle out of taking the bet. Clearly you are happy with the results of your investing approach, despite your losses. Only a fool keeps doing what doesn’t work expecting a different outcome. But if that makes you happy so be it- trading and investing is a zero sum game- for some to make money others need to lose it.

After the weekend press it seems even more likely that before too long PMG will be issuing a statement that it is incurring costs arsing from it’s former fraudulent director’s antics. At that point you can stick your head even further in the sand. My guess is by next Summer.


#18

Again you ignored my question. I’ll take your bet but tell me how I can?


#19

Killerman- An escrow accountant which we each pay £5,000 and simple contract .


#20

Ok please set it up and clearly define the terms where each party wins. It needs a time limit and definition of penalty for pmg.