The Romance,Mystery and Beauty of Regional Airports and Private Aviation

Posted by Chris on August 27th, 2011

I suppose that rural, regional, countryside airports are in my blood although in my case they are military ( Royal Air Force ) airfields.

I was born on R.A.F. Wattisham ( an R.A.F. and  U.S.A.A.F. –  479th Fighter Group – airfield ) near Stowmarket in Suffolk, England because my father was an aircraft technician in the R.A.F. and then moved with him and my mother to various R.A.F. stations in the U.K. and Germany – e.g. Colerne, Hullavington, Gaydon, Oldenberg, Geilenkirchen, Gütersloh , Church Lawford.

These were just a few of the many R.A.F. stations that existed in the U.K. ( ) and Germany ( ) in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Many of these airfields became private when the Ministry of Defence disposed of them. ( )

My reintroduction to the world of the private, countryside airfield came when building my I.T. company, Voyager, and we had our first office in Wellesbourne House , Warwickshire near which was Wellesbourne Airfield ( ).

Wellesbourne House became the centre of operations and Head Office for our growing I.T. company.

and we gradually took over a large portion of the business park with our main offices in Wellesbourne House itself. Wellesbourne House had a very appropriate U.K. and U.S. connection as we expanded our operations to London and New York. ( Wellesbourne House had belonged to – the founder of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. ).

One of our salespeople was also a private pilot and had a share in a Cessna single engine plane. We had decided that we would entertain some of our customers from London City Banks J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch by taking them to the iconic sailing event,Cowes Week, based from the Isle of Wight ( 2 of the Directors of Voyager were keen yachtsmen ).

Whilst most of our customers would make their own way to Cowes we would fly down to Elstree ( ) pick up one of our customers and then fly on down to Sandown ( ).

Elstree Airport

Sandown Airport

Sandown Airport is right by the sea.

Elstree Aerodrome originates from the 1930’s and 40’s when there was a Country Club and polo ground on the Aldenham House Estate and many of the polo players had their own aircraft ( ) like the Puss and Leapord Moth.

Leopard Moth

The flight from Wellesbourne to Elstree and then on to Sandown and back is a story in it’s own right and part of the folklore of Voyager.

As we drove from Wellesbourne House to Wellesbourne Airfield you could imagine Juliette and her husband doing the same thing ( in a slightly older vehicle ! ). They often travelled from Wellesbourne to London.

Certainly they loved horses and polo. Maybe they also like yachting

so a trip to the Isle of Wight was not out of the question either. Elstree is of course famous for it’s film studios ( ) and in the 50’s were owned by Douglas Fairbanks Jnr ( ) so it is likely that famous film actors and actresses flew into Elstree Airodrome.

The use of regional private airports is being boosted by new initiatives like those of


who are encouraging people to try private flights from regional airports instead of the present norm of travelling to huge airports and packing like cattle into ever bigger jets.

Bring the romance, beauty and mystery back into your flight plans !!!

365iT opens City of London Office

Posted by Chris on August 25th, 2011

Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company 365 iT is set to further accelerate its growth with a new office in the City of London .

February 2011

365 iT was recently ranked 15th out of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK according to the prestigious TechTrack league table.

It now starts 2011 with further ambitious expansion plans by opening a new London office to meet the accelerating growth opportunities in the financial, legal and property services sectors.

With a growing portfolio of managed service offerings, backed by best-in-class vendor partnerships which include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix,

Verint, Zeacom, IBM and VMware, 365 iT is excellently positioned to deliver IT solutions that are relevant to the needs of both existing and

new clients in key market sectors.

Commenting on the new offices Peter MacLean, 365 iT plc’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Based on our success with London clients

last year it has become evident that many companies are increasingly looking for a technology services partner that can meet all of their requirements whether it is a new communications system or a virtualization solution. Furthermore local service and support is key to these businesses hence the new offices.”

In addition to providing a base for a new sales and support team the new office in the heart of the City at Old Broad Street will offer clients an excellent venue for technology briefings, business seminars and demonstrations.

The key focus of the new team will be to work with clients to help them understand and justify how technology investments can significantly support business initiatives such as security and compliance, client service, real-time collaboration and business continuity.

MacLean adds: “An experienced team has already been recruited and  the office is open for business. The next stage is to work with our supplier partners to deliver a series of seminars and workshops at the offices which demonstrate the  true business benefits of the technologies and services we are proposing. The first seminar: Collaborative communications that meets FSA compliance is scheduled for March. Others scheduled for later in the year which will focus on critical issues in the legal and property services sectors.”

ESM Solutions Inc.

Posted by Chris on August 25th, 2011

Simplify buying, manage spending and connect to suppliers with two great brands eSchoolMall and Mercury Commerce.  ESM Solutions offers easy to implement online procurement, sourcing and commerce products for the public and private sectors.  All products are mobile and cloud-based making them fast, efficient, and accessible from everywhere.

Solutions for:

Our relationship with thousands of suppliers enables us to help you find the exact product or service you’re looking for. Let us take you through a demo today.

ESM Solutions’ experience in both the education and public sectors has led to the development of interconnected suites of products that can accommodate the most complicated sourcing and procurement processes: eSchoolMall for School Districts and Mercury Commerce for Colleges & Universities, State & Local Governments, Commercial Companies and Buying Co-ops.

Within our suites we offer products for purchasing, bidding, warehouse management, payment and more. These products can be used individually or combined seamlessly for a customizable solution to make your entire procurement process as efficient as possible.

ESM Solutions’ products are delivered using Software as a Service (SaaS) technology, so all you need to streamline your procurement process is Internet access. The whole process – from catalog-based requisitioning and purchasing to sealed bid management and award –  is done electronically, saving you time and money. ESM Solutions’ products are designed specifically for easy adoption, so regardless of the solution we create you can be up and running in no time.

Institutions across the country are implementing ESM Solutions to help reduce operational costs, support declining budgets, cope with reduced administrative staff and increase accountability requirements.

Cost Savings

Savings for a typical educational institution:

Based on past experience in the school district and higher education markets, ESM Solutions can affect roughly 18 percent of your budget.

Called the “addressable spend,” it includes all the funds typically spent on office supplies, technology, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), food service, classroom supplies, etc. (The non-addressable spend, the other 82 percent, covers personnel, benefits and other non-purchase spend.)

If an institution has 10,000 students and we apply a national average spend per student, the school’s General Fund would exceed $26 million. If this school saves just five percent in the first year using a customized solution, their savings would exceed $241,000!

Cooperative Buying

Just as ESM Solutions’ products help schools and universities get more for their money, we do the same for buying co-ops. We help co-ops work together, share costs and eliminate duplication. Using easyBid™, easyQuote™ and easyPurchase™, co-ops help school districts save money to put towards initiatives like building educational programs.

Time Savings

Our customers save time simply because the bidding process, with electronic bids and submissions, isn’t slowed down by paper. Sourcing events are also shortened from weeks to days, or even hours if a previous bid can be copied. Since analysis is done completely online with visual comparisons, reports and data analysis, it even takes less time to award a bid. There’s less time spent on data entry and checking fund availability with easyPurchase since these tasks are completed automatically with our Financial Integration System.

Financial System Integration

With the ESM Solutions Financial System Integration, our easyPurchase customers can create, modify and manage their procurement activities, while simultaneously sending real time transaction data to their pre-existing financial software. Purchase Order data is transmitted directly to the financial system where a Purchase Order is assigned, which means virtually no data entry. Security and existing business rules are maintained through the financial application, including areas such as account code validation, budget checking and final PO processing. ESM Solutions provides purchasing reports in addition to the reports which already exist within the financial application to support the entire process.

ESM Solutions has products that offer higher education entities end-to-end solutions, unique in the world of online procurement. We integrate with well-established financial systems like Datatel, Sungard, PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP, enable access to an extensive number of vendors, and because of our cost model, offer the greatest value to the customer.

Join the 8,000+ vendors in our Vendor Directory so buyers can find your business when they’re publishing bids, quotes, RFPs and other sourcing events. Our Hosted Catalogs allow you to upload your products and services, which buyers access right through easyPurchase™. We can also “punch out” to your company website. These Dynamic Link catalogs allow users to go directly to your site without an additional login, shop in a separate browser window, then electronically return their shopping cart to easyPurchase with the click of a button. Connecting to buyers has never been easier.

How it works:

  • Register as a Vendor (takes just a few minutes)
  • Receive e-mail notifications of new sourcing opportunities
  • Log in to the vendor site to view bids, quotes and projects
  • Respond to free sourcing events for “no fee” bids or access an unlimited number of events for an annual fee

Procurement Process Automation to Save Time and Money

ESM Solutions has sponsored research into Best Practices in Electronic Procurement, the use of Procurement Process Automation to save time and money. Our research shows that the goal of Procurement Process Automation is to overcome the six “Points of Pain” that traditional systems (including those that incorporate online shopping) inflict upon their users. These “Points of Pain” relentlessly and inexorably deplete funds, resources, energy and morale. These factors can prevent an organization from truly achieving the promise of electronic procurement solutions.

Why you need Procurement Process Automation
  1. Transaction Costs — It’s estimated that labor-intensive, paper-excessive procurement processes can cost organizations more than $100 per order in time and resources—a figure that’s often higher than what the ordered item costs!
  2. Wasted Effort — Paper-based requisition, purchase and approval processes cause redundancy of effort, promote errors, and inevitably result in costly, frustrating delays.
  3. Inefficient Management — Because they lack real-time data, administrators have no way of accurately budgeting and auditing their resources. Nor can they implement an effective overall purchasing strategy.
  4. Lost Savings Opportunities — Traditional procurement environments are a breeding ground for “maverick” or “rogue” buying which, according to one study, can account for a 30 to 45 percent increase in overall procurement costs. The purchase of unnecessary or non-contract items outside of standard business rules occurs routinely, undermining whatever efforts have been taken to save money through volume discounts, preferred vendor lists, and vendor bidding. It’s also difficult for organizations to leverage standard operating procedures for contract utilization and manual warehouse inventory, because it’s not clearly visible, is never fully exploited, nor can it be easily adjusted to meet the organization’s needs.
  5. Misallocation of Resources — The costs are impossible to quantify, but no one doubts that the time and energy employees spend procuring supplies would ideally be better spent with on productive business. In our study, author Max McKeown defines the goal of procurement automation with almost the same words we might use to define business goals. The goal, he says, “allows people to grow strong and independent in pursuit of the fulfillment that comes from serving other people.”
  6. Depletion of Energy and Morale — Bogged down by paperwork, requisitioners, administrators and business managers who find themselves performing redundant, distracting and potentially demoralizing work can eventually fall prey to resignation characterized by lack of vitality, even apathy.

Pre-Kickoff – Deployment Best Practice Checklist

Project Champion – All implementations require an executive level individual to help drive the cultural changes that are inherent with any software deployment. The champion needs to be able to articulate the importance of the project and communicate their full commitment in getting the applications rolled out to the entire organization and removing any barriers to changing outdated procedures.

Buy-in from Purchasing Department – The purchasing department will own the applications from a system administration perspective as well as being subject matter experts to the end user population. They need to understand their roles and responsibilities and be committed to removing obstacles to the process and helping to promote the process change. If they do not buy in, the project can stall and become burdensome because nothing is being accomplished.

Client Resources (Priorities & Focus) – Even though our applications can be deployed within 6-8 weeks, the participation of the purchasing department is critical and cannot be completed within that timeframe if they are not able to focus on the project activities. Many of the activities are minimal, but if management does not make it a high priority with other duties, the schedule will slip.

IT Participation – Even though the software is a hosted solution owned by the purchasing department, IT will be needed to during the interface installation, testing and production monitoring phases. Our interface will be tested with the GL partner, but each customer has specific technology requirements that will need to be reviewed to support the interface connection and network communication policies (ie. Firewall and DB settings)

Train-the-trainer model – Our professional services methodology allows for us to deploy our solutions quickly. We empower the purchasing department (as owners) to be responsible for basic administration functions. We will educate them on the application so they can duplicate the training to the rest of the organization.

Leverage Application Functionality – In order for us to deploy our applications quickly, we highly recommend reviewing/changing existing processes to utilize system functionality rather than trying to customize the application.

Phased Project implementation – Implementations are designed to be rolled out in phases to allow for the purchasing department to understand the application and potential impact on the organization. Phase I can include a single department and should be one that is close for handling initial support questions.

Seven Milestones – Each project is unique due to client business processes; however, deploying ESM Solutions’ customized solution can be broken down into seven basic steps:

  • System training
  • Data Import
  • ERP Integration (if applicable)
  • Vendor Enablement
  • Testing and Configuration Changes
  • User Training
  • Go Live (Phase I)

Customer Care covers support for your e-Procurement solutions, support for your suppliers, 7×24 solution access requiring only a web browser and Internet access and maintenance that ensures no-upgrade access to the latest features and problem-free solutions.
Email us or call us at 1-877-969-7246.

Urgent Express Delivery Services in Europe

Posted by Chris on August 25th, 2011

Recently I needed to get a high value watch which had been sold via eBay urgently delivered to a location in Germany.

Although it is not their typical business area Eurgent Ecspress have a proven track record for performance and reliability as express freight forwarders within the time critical logistics environment and they sorted this delivery for me without problem.

As a small independent they feel that thier operation can give a more personalised response at all levels. Staff are available at any stage, day or night, during the transit of any consignment.


Their operational team have over ninety years experience in all aspects as express freight forwarders for transport throughout the UK and Europe. This, they feel, gives them a distinct advantage in solving the many problems that can arise in today’s turbulent logistical market

Eurgent Ecspress freight forwarders are the preferred suppliers to many multinational companies in the UK and European community, where they have built an excellent reputation for client confidentiality.

If you have an Eurgent Express Delivery requirement in Europe give them a call:

Eurgent Ecspress

Unit 1b, Charnwood Park

Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan

South Wales, UK CF31 3PL

+44 (0) 1656 656535
+44 (0) 1656 656534

Eurgent Ecspress have been supplying Europe’s leading forwarders and transporters with cost effective solutions for the movement of time-critical consignments for over 11 years – over 95% of their clients are from within the freight industry – and their network of partners offer the assistance to make your consignment their top priority.

Their extensive database of agents ensure that no enquiry is without a solution. And their comprehensive network allows them to consider all cross-european destinations.

Eurgent can supply all modes of transport – whether it be a small van to an air-charter option – and every solution will be considered to meet the transit time required


The world of private jet airplane charter

Posted by Chris on August 23rd, 2011

No !! – I don’t charter private jets every day but I had a couple of experiences with chartering private airplanes and helicopters and flying in small aircraft that got me interested in this area.

Recently I found that 2 of my friends were involved in this area:

Jay Deragon with

and Thomas Power with

although both of these are combining business networking with private jet charter.

A few years ago some friends and I chartered a jet ( actually a turbo-prop on the way out and a 737 –  I think – on the way back ) to go skiing in Switzerland & France and we flew from Coventry airport to Geneva airport  and back.

I remember that the turbo-prop was actually owned ( leased ? ) by a motor racing personality ( can’t remember which one for the moment ) – don’t know who owned the 737.

A friend of a friend ( both of whom came skiing with us ) had arranged these flights ( one was an event organiser )

When we were flying we had time and the opportunity to visit the cockpits and talk to the pilots and crew. Some of the conversation was about the fact that there were planes, pilots and crews ” sat around ” all over the world.

The planes need to be chartered in order to provide a return on their owners investment and the pilots need flying hours and trips because that’s what they like to do and because more experience means a better job. Pilots and crews spend a lot of time on ” stand by “.

There seems to be an opportunity here – albeit a fairly complicated one:

There are people who want to fly from A to B who are prepared to pay a certain amount for the flight and there are planes, pilots and crews available.

I am not professing to be an aviation expert but a bit of Googling around gives you a sense of what is going on in the industry.

The last few years ( say 2008 on ) have been very difficult for the whole industry. Many airlines have laid people off ( pilots, crew and ground crew ) and some have gone bust.

The future appears somewhat rosier and the demand for pilots and crews is increasing, particularly in the Middle East, India and China.–_Gulf_carriers_expansion_plans_buffeted_amid_scramble_to_recruit_enough_qualified_pilots_

although I thought this was an interesting summary from a pilot on a forum

” I currently fly a small aircraft for a corporation. The market right now is terrible. Major airlines can pay the bucks, but the glory days of aviation are over. It is very difficult to get hired at a major airline. There are many other flying jobs than just airlines, though. Corporate, aerial mapping, ag, freight, charter, air ambulance, ect.

It will cost you around $40-50,000 to get your private through commercial ratings. Traditionally, you build flight hours by becoming a flight instructor. Instructors don’t make very much money. After you build enough hours, you try to get hired by a freight operator or a as a first officer with a regional airline. First year regional FO salaries range anywhere from $14,000 to $20,000 per year.

Aviation is a very unstable way to make a living. When the economy is bad, oil prices are high, or there is a terrorist attack, aviation is the first thing to feel it. Right now there are thousands of pilots on furlough from airlines.

Don’t get into aviation for the money. You will be dissapointed. Do it because you really like to do it. Don’t believe any of the nonsense you see in flight school advertisements about pilot shortages. There will never be a pilot shortage because there will always be pilots willing to work for next to nothing.

This is only a brief summary. I am writing this to let people know what they are really getting into before they decide to spend the time, effort, and money on becoming a commercial pilot. It is not as glamorous as most people think it is. ”

It would appear then that there is going to be a high demand for planes, pilots and crews in 2012 and beyond and you actually wonder where all of these trained people are going to come from ??

Right at the moment it would seem that there is plenty of spare capacity in all the areas.

Aside from social flights and ejone there are other companies matching plane and crew capacity to customer demand e.g.

Most people ( potential customers ) probably don’t even think about private charter believing it to be way out of their price range.

Actually there are some situations where chartering a whole airplane can be very cost effective – not to mention much more convenient and luxurious. ( We drove our cars to Coventry airport, parked close to the runway and then waited a short time in the lounge before boarding the plane and personalised crew service ).

Making people aware that they can buy competitively priced individual seats on private jets is a bit of a challenge but I believe that it will become much more common for people to fly by private jet using the likes of social flights and ejone.

Improving PC performance from Dorset

Posted by Chris on August 16th, 2011

Over the last couple of days Mike from Poundbury Systems in Dorchester, Dorset has been helping me with my PC ( & laptop & notebook ) performance .

We started out fixing a few problems but then got onto the subject of ” Bloatware ” ( unnecessary stuff that PC manufacturers put on to their PC’s that slows down the computer – especially boot up times – and takes up memory and disk space ) and then PC performance.

Mike was telling me that he spends a lot of time taking off ” Bloatware ” from computers before giving them to clients.

As this article says

Bloatware on Acer, Dell, Sony and HP computers just slows them down.

You would probably have assumed ( unless you are experienced in these matters ) that when you have a new computer it is going to be at peak performance and would go downhill from there because you have added more applications and probably acquired a few virus’s.

Actually to get to peak performance the Bloatware needs to be removed .

Mike and I spent some time ( after solving the main problems ) getting rid of applications that I didn’t really need.

Since then I have been going through the applications that I have and getting rid of any I don’t use myself ( although I feel safer going through them with Mike because sometimes you are not sure whether it’s ok to delete certain programs ).

Mike also advised me to take off any virus checking software that we were not using as one virus checker could contend with another – so we have done that aswell.

If you need some advice on improving PC performance give Mike a call at Poundbury systems:

Poundbury Systems Ltd.
Emeria House
71-73 Middlemarsh St

Tel: 01305 259849
Fax: 01305 259725

Help with PC Virus removal in Dorset and Bloatware !!

Posted by Chris on August 15th, 2011

If you are looking for help with PC Virus Removal in Dorset then I highly recommend that you give Poundbury Systems a call in Dorchester.

Over the last few days I have been struggling with 2 different problems on 2 different machines – a notebook and a desktop.

On the notebook I believed that I had identified the presence of the ” Tidserv ” virus and the desktop was giving me a Status error message that I just could not make go away.

A bit of a Google on the Tidserv virus led me to forums’s that at least told me that I was not alone. Other people had had an error message from Norton Antivirus and then tried to remove the Tidserv virus using Norton and failed. Just like me then !!

There were various bits of advice on which malware removal programs to install. All sounded a bit complicated to me !!

On the desktop it was this ” status ” message that just would not go away . There were no real clues in the message as to where the problem might be.

After trying various things over the weekend I decided to send Poundbury an email. I got a response that they would would get in contact on Monday.

By the way, I am in Staffordshire and Poundbury are in Dorset.

Mike from Poundbury called and we got to work on the two devices.

He installed some ” remote control ” software on my notebook and PC and got to work.

Apparently it didn’t matter that he was in Dorset  and  I was in Staffordshire, he was soon ” doing things ” to my notebook and PC remotely !!

He downloaded a couple of ” Tidserv killer ” programmes onto the notebook and quickly worked out that it was probably something to do with the HP printer software on my PC.

The notebook was in the house but the PC was in the office ( across the yard ). As I agreed that we would work on both at the same time there was a bit of unexpected exercise involved running between the two !!

In my efforts to solve the problems myself I had downloaded multiple virus killers and upgraded Windows and HP printer software – the right thing in some ways but also adding to the problems in others.

Both issues were resilient little critters ( ! )

but Mike patiently began to eliminate the problems.

As we got to grips with the solutions Mike asked about some of the programs installed on the two devices and whether they were all necessary. Then he mentioned that some were ” Bloatware ” – a new term on me but one that I came to understand basically meant – unnecessary stuff that PC ” manufacturers” put on the P.C.’s to make them more ” attractive ” and ” user friendly ” but which actually just slowed everything down and added minutes to boot times and took up memory and disk space.

Ah !! – so now I was going to get the ” stripped down ” version 😉

The more stuff he took off the faster everything ran – magic !!

So now my notebook and PC are running error free and FASTER !!!!!


Contact Mike at Poundbury on:

Poundbury Systems Ltd.
Emeria House
71-73 Middlemarsh St

Tel: 01305 259849
Fax: 01305 259725

Boiler Room Scammers get jailed.

Posted by Chris on August 5th, 2011

Boiler room gang behind bars after international investigation

George Abrue


Originally from Nigeria, Abrue met and married the 18-year-old Robson in Newcastle and from here he started to form his criminal network.

Detectives  discovered how he began his criminal career inventing false companies for other boiler rooms before deciding the big money was to be made by selling the shares for himself.

To legitimise the operation, UK phone numbers and Company details were acquired and bank accounts created using Abrue’s neighbours’ addresses.

His gang set-up Spanish boiler rooms from where fraudulent brokers used aggressive sales tactics to sell shares in what they claimed were emerging mineral and bio fuel companies about to float on the stock market.

Abrue was recruiting former colleagues from the telesales industry to work for him.

The men were trained in Malaga and then moved to offices in Majorca, where they operated pressurising people into buying shares in non-existent companies such as Bio Fuel Solutions Corporation and New Power Technology.

Professional websites and brochures were also produced in Sweden to convince people, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, to part with their savings.

The reality was victims were buying into fictitious companies, with their money being laundered through Swedish and Italian bank accounts to fund a champagne lifestyle for Abrue and his associates.

Parties for up to 300 people were thrown in top Barcelona hotels and a Ferrari, Bentley and Maserati were bought and garaged in Spain.

Victims were sent ‘bogus’ share certificates, produced in a Sunderland back-street office run by Henderson, to provide evidence of their investments and to encourage them to make further payouts.

Abrue was identified as the head of the organised crime gang, using different aliases to move between Spain, Sweden and the UK.


This boiler room fraud first appeared on the City of London Police’s radar in August 2009, when its National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) was contacted by a stream of people claiming to have lost money after being cold-called.The NFIB used this intelligence to build a picture of how the boiler room was operating; linking the individual losses to a much larger criminal network operating out of Spain.

City of London Police, which is the National Lead Force for fraud, launched an investigation.

In December 2009 the City of London Police led a national operation that saw 11 people arrested in Northumbria and three others in Manchester, Derbyshire and London. On the same day, Abrue was detained in Sweden and several months later extradited back to the UK to be charged.

Paul Slack’s case first came to police attention in March 2009 when a man from Ilkeston contacted Derbyshire police as he suspected he had been the victim of a ‘boiler room’ fraud by people claiming to be from a company called Milton Hayward based in Japan. He had lost thousands of pounds to the fraudsters.

The gangs set up companies, bank accounts and websites and send out press releases to deceive people into believing that they are purchasing legitimate shares and commodities from genuine companies.

Victims spanned 43 countries

Detectives found the Milton Hayward case particularly difficult to investigate because although the company was allegedly based in Japan, the companies involved had been registered in the West Indies and victims money had been transferred to accounts in Cyprus and Hong Kong.

As the investigation progressed and more victims were traced, officers identified another crime group in Spain, Sweden and the North East of England. The evidence and intelligence that had been gathered by Derbyshire officers was passed to the City of London Police, who agreed to take over the investigation with assistance from Derbyshire Constabulary.

National and international enquiries under Operation Handa continued. Over the next two years, 210 victims in 43 countries including Europe, North America, Australasia and the Far East, were traced. By liaising with authorities in China and Cyprus, police identified several gang members and a large number of other suspect companies being linked to the group.Milton Hayward logo

These companies included First Call Commodities, Milton Hayward, Total Asset Management, Keshington Group LTD, Regal and Archer, East West Options, Jam Capital, Mays Group, Bradley Hill Holdings, World Asian Trading Group, Chatex Ltd, Goldman Asset Management, Quantum Holdings and Borsa Financial.

Inquiries revealed that Slack, a British man living in Thailand, was linked to the companies and bank accounts. He was arrested by Derbyshire officers at Heathrow Airport in December 2010, having returned to the UK from a holiday in Australia.

‘Boiler room’ gang suspects arrested in Spain

Spanish police still of alleged scam phone roomRaids took place across the city of Palma de Mallorca

Fifteen Britons suspected of running one of Europe’s biggest “boiler room” scams have been arrested in Spain.

Armed police carried out a raid in Mallorca as part of an investigation into a gang believed to have been cold-calling thousands of UK residents.

The arrested men, from Nottinghamshire, Essex, Luton and London, appeared briefly in a Spanish court yesterday but are yet to face trial.

Boiler room fraudsters use pressure sales tactics to sell worthless shares.

City of London Police, who worked with the Spanish authorities, said younger members of the alleged scam are thought to have been lured into the operation by crime bosses who targeted them in English-speaking bars.

‘Fake companies’Dyno Medical, Inca Pacific Gold and Mining and Viking Gold Resources have been named as fake companies linked to the gang.

The 15 include Liam Rymell, 23; Dominic Jones, 24; Shafiq Dad, 41; Omar Rana, 27; and Rashid Shafayat, 30, all from Nottingham.

Also arrested were John Bartlett, 22; Tyrone Robinson, 23, and Lee Fisher, 24 – all from Mansfield – and Essex residents Danny Dilliway, 25, Chris Savva, 30, Mohamed Ghazalli, 26, and Neil Simpson, 27.

Farhan Khan, 24, from Hayes, west London; Anthony Baugh, 25, from Luton; and Fahim Khan, 36, from south London but residing in Spain, are the other British suspects.

Two German nationals also appeared in court.

Boiler room scams are estimated to cost the UK about £200m a year.

June 22nd 2011

A City of London Police investigation into one of the UK’s biggest boiler room frauds has ended with the conviction of nine people.The case can now be reported, after the final two suspects, Abrue’s wife and mother-in-law, were convicted in Newcastle Crown Court today. City of London Police investigated the crime in its role as national lead force for fraud.

Sarah Robson, 28, and Jocelyn Cowper, 57, from Tyne-and-Wear, were found guilty of assisting the mastermind behind the multi-million pound con. They will be sentenced on 12 July 2011.

George Abrue, 30, the mastermind behind the fraud, was jailed for five-years having admitted to orchestrating a £10 million investment con that targeted UK citizens.

Six other members of Abrue’s gang were also jailed at Harrow Crown Court in May, with his main partners, Scott Henderson, 31, and Anton Deach, 25, receiving five-year and four-year prison sentences respectively.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Clark, from the City of London Police, said:

“George Abrue was a bright and articulate man, but he was also an unscrupulous and callous coward.  He showed no sentiment in his crime, and clearly thought nothing of the impact his fraud had on its victims.

“Some of those victims have been suicidal, and the psychological effect on them and their families has been tragic; all so Abrue and his friends could live the lifestyle of a Premier League footballer spending astronomical sums of money.
“Our focus now is to recover every asset we can in an effort to claw back some of the victims’ money, work which will continue for the next two years.

Operation Soundwave saw the City of London Police working with Spanish law enforcement and, for the first time on a major investigation, the NFIB.

DCI Clark added:

“This case shows how the NFIB can prove to be a huge breakthrough for law enforcement. The linking together of this case by the Bureau turned a three-year investigation into six-months work.

“Transfer that to the number of possible victims who could have lost money during a longer investigation, and the potential value of the NFIB is clear.”

15th July 2011

A conman who defrauding investors in 43 countries out of more than £4.5m has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.Paul Slack

Paul Slack was jailed at Derby Crown Court today (Friday, July 15) after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to conceal criminal property. His conviction follows a two-year international investigation by officers from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit.

At Derby Crown Court, Slack admitted conspiring with others to obtain funds from various investors by falsely representing legitimate and fraudulent companies between June 2007 and December 2010.

Slack (32), formerly of Kingwinsford in the West Midlands, also admitted conspiring to conceal criminal property.


Click on links beneath photo for full size. (Photos open in new window)

George Abrue Car-3
George Abrue First car used by George Abrue
Car-2 Car-4 gangs location in Spain

‘Boiler Room’ frauds are generally committed by organised criminal gangs which con people into buying shares in legitimate companies or buying commodities such as gold. The victims are often elderly, vulnerable and inexperienced in investments.

They are typically cold called by the gang and subjected to high pressure sales tactics. Victims usually lose their savings, pensions, and property to the criminals.

Detectives hunt Slack’s gang

Detective Sergeant Darron Hunt of Derbyshire police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “Each year, there will be many victims in Derbyshire who lose hundreds of thousands of pounds to these criminal gangs. Some never report their losses to the police as they feel embarrassed at being duped by these criminals but they shouldn’t feel ashamed.

“These are professional criminals at the top of their game, operating outside UK jurisdiction, thinking that they will never be caught. This is a falsely held belief. With the assistance of the public, our Economic Crime Unit is not only prepared to take on these gangs but are also proven to be successful in prosecuting them from wherever they choose to operate.”

Detective Constable Winnard, the officer in the case, said: “These sort of crimes are difficult to investigate due to their complexity and cross-border nature. The gangs hope that by moving through different countries the police will not investigate their activities but in this case, they were wrong.”

DC Winnard said that this type of crime not only has a devastating effect on victims, who often lose everything they own, it has an impact on the economy as well. He added: “In this case, around £4.5 million that could have been invested in legitimate companies went straight into the pockets of criminals instead of into businesses that needed investment.

“We are aware that Slack had personal control of almost £1 million of victims money. This conviction sends a message to those involved in this type of crime that wherever you are in the world, you are not beyond the reach of the UK authorities.

“I would personally like to thank both the Cypriot and Hong Kong Authorities for their assistance in bringing Paul Slack to justice.”

“However, our investigation is not over. We are still actively seeking Slack’s accomplices in this significant fraud case.”

Fraudsters jailed in similar operation

The joint operation between Derbyshire Constabulary and the City of London led to several successful convictions earlier this summer at Harrow Crown Court. This crime group is believed to have obtained around £3.9 million from victims in the UK. Sentences for this crime group included:

  • George Abrue (30) – five years imprisonment
  • Scott Henderson (31) – Four years imprisonment
  • Anton Deach (25) – five years imprisonment
  • Babatunde Aluko (28) – three years and nine months imprisonment
  • Sam Hamed (24) – three years and nine months imprisonment
  • Dean Hamilton (25) – three years imprisonment
  • Mark Brannan (27) – 18 months imprisonment on each count (1 x conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently
  • Sarah Robson – (25) 21 months ( 1x conspiracy to defraud and 1x conspiracy to money launder)
  • Jocelyn Cowper (53) – one year (1x conspiracy to defraud and 1x conspiracy to money launder)

The full list of sentences for the case was as follows:

George Abrue – 5 years imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently

Anton Deach – 5 years imprisonment on 1 count of Conspiracy to defraud

Scott Henderson – 4 years imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently

Babatunde Aluko – 3 years and 9 months imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently

Sam Hamed – 3 years and 9 months imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently

Dean Hamilton – 3 years imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 money   laundering) to run concurrently

Mark Brannan – 18 months imprisonment on each count (1 x Conspiracy to defraud, 1 x money laundering) to run concurrently

Sarah Robson – found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of conspiracy to money launder; due to be sentenced 12 July

Jocelyn Cowper – found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of conspiracy to money launder; due to be sentenced 12 July

Get me my lawyer !!!!

Posted by Chris on August 1st, 2011

If you are sick then you go to the doctor.

If you have toothache you go to the dentist.

If you have a dispute you call on your lawyer !!

1311064934 64 Lawyer Faces Suspension over Racy Craigslist Ad

The first conversation is often free but pretty soon the invoices start flowing.

These days everything is billed – by the minute !!

A meeting ?? – that’s billed.

A phone call ?? – that’s billed.

Conversations between one lawyer and another ?? – that’s billed.

Lawyers are honest – correct ???

Unfortunately ……. not !!

In fact lawyers are in a position to scam you in more ways than one.

They can scam you in little ways ( billing for time that they did not actually spend on your case ) and in very big ways ( misappropriating your money ).

There is a little known alternative to calling your lawyer……

Mediation instead of litigation !!!

Mediation is described in full here:

but lets pull out a few main points:

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties. A third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement (facilitative mediation). In some cases, mediators may express a view on what might be a fair or reasonable settlement, generally where all the parties agree that the mediator may do so (evaluative mediation).

Mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential. The presence of a mediator is the key distinguishing feature of the process. There may be no obligation to go to mediation, but in some cases, any settlement agreement signed by the parties to a dispute will be binding on them.
Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. The mediator must be wholly impartial. Disputants may use mediation in a variety of disputes, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters. A third-party representative may contract and mediate between (say) unions and corporations. When a workers’ union goes on strike, a dispute takes place, the parties may agree to a third party to settle a contract or agreement between the unionand the corporation.

Why choose mediation

Several reasons exist for choosing mediation over other channels of dispute resolution (such as those involving attorneys and courts).

  • Parties to a dispute may choose mediation as (often) a less expensive route to follow for dispute resolution. While a mediator may charge a fee comparable to that of an attorney, the mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a lawyer or filed in court may take months or even years to resolve, a case in mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means expending less money on hourly fees and costs.
  • Mediation offers a confidential process. While court hearings of cases happen in public, whatever happens in mediation remains strictly confidential. No one but the parties to the dispute and the mediator(s) know what has gone on in the mediation forum. In fact, confidentiality in mediation has such importance that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court as to the content or progress of a mediation. Many mediators actually destroy their notes taken during a mediation once that mediation has finished. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
  • Mediation offers multiple and flexible possibilities for resolving a dispute and for the control the parties have over the resolution. In a case filed in court, the parties will obtain a resolution, but a resolution thrust upon the parties by the judge or jury. The result probably will leave neither party to the dispute totally happy. In mediation, on the other hand, the parties have control over the resolution, and the resolution can be unique to the dispute. Often, solutions developed by the parties are ones that a judge or jury could not provide. Thus, mediation is more likely to produce a result that is mutually agreeable, or win/win, for the parties. And because the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable, the compliance with the mediated agreement is usually high. This also results in less costs, because the parties do not have to seek out the aid of an attorney to force compliance with the agreement. The mediated agreement is, however, fully enforceable in a court of law.
  • The mediation process consist of a mutual endeavor. Unlike in negotiations (where parties are often entrenched in their positions), parties to a mediation usually seek out mediation because they are ready to work toward a resolution to their dispute. The mere fact that parties are willing to mediate in most circumstances means that they are ready to “move” their position. Since both parties are willing to work toward resolving the case, they are more likely to work with one another than against one another. The parties thus are amenable to understanding the other party’s side and work on underlying issues to the dispute. This has the added benefit of often preserving the relationship the parties had before the dispute.
  • Finally, but certainly not least, and as mentioned earlier in this article, the mediation takes place with the aid of a mediator who is a neutral third party. A good mediator is trained in conflict resolution and in working with difficult situations. The good mediator is likely to work as much with the emotional aspects and relationship aspects of a case as he or she is to work on the “topical” issues of the matter. The mediator, as a neutral, gives no legal advice, but guides the parties through the problem solving process. The mediator may or may not suggest alternative solutions to the dispute. Whether he or she offers advice or not, the trained mediator helps the parties think “outside of the box” for possible solutions to the dispute, thus enabling the parties to find the avenue to dispute resolution that suits them best.[3]

Here’s a great video on Mediation:

Here is The Begum Aga Khan on Mediation:

The Begum with Mrs. Charlotte Knobloch, President of Central Council of Jews in Germany and Prof. Dr. Katharina Countess von Schlieffen, Director of the Contarini Institute

The Begum said “Mediation is a voluntary, constructive process in which the parties in a dispute, with the aid of a neutral intermediary, the so-called mediator, themselves seek agreement, instead of battling it out in the court. The mediator helps the often very entrenched parties to speak to each other again, helps avoid the conflict escalating and helps to highlight the parties’ interests without proposing a decision. In a family mediation, for instance, parents who are at loggerheads succeed in making reasonable arrangements for the future in the interest of their beloved child. Mediation is respectful cooperation in conflict and an intelligent and humane way of thinking. However, mediation can only help where both or all parties have a real desire to reach agreement.”

To discuss mediation in more detail please contact Graham at The Mediation Room.


The Mediation

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