I was first approached by Carlton Financial Advisory service in 2002. (They changed the name a few times, including Carlton Birtal..), who in turn managed to sell me shares for Xvariant, Mayan Gold, and Broadcast International over the next four years at a rate of about USD 2000 per annum, with the largest portion of this going to Mayan Gold. By 2006 I became suspicious of the Carlton agent. I started doing internet enquiries and after many hours of searching I realised I was being scammed. When the agent next called I confronted him about the scam which he tried to write off to some technical issue Carlton was having with the Spanish authorities. When I tried to sell my shares back to him, he told me he was not authorised to sell shares on my behalf, but he was willing to take back some shares and give me more Mayan gold shares if I paid him some more money. Once caught out they persist and even try sell you more shares. To add insult to injury he admits he is not authorised to sell shares but he still trys to sell you more shares. These guys are good, they talk a lot, send you wonderful links paper portfolios, reports etc, but all worthless at the end of the day.
I have written off the money and I have no faith that I will ever see any return on this. After I confronted the agent the Spanish authorities closed in on Carlton and seemingly managed to close them down. One thing I must mention here, I dont know if I am allowed to but here goes. The common name that appeared in all the companies I was being enticed to buy was Reed L Benson, and I see he received a fine from the Spanish authorites.
See http: [url]//sharesleuth.com/investigations/2006/10/utek_corp[/url]
"Broadcast International Corp. (OTCBB: BCST), which acquired technology through UTEK for delivering smoother video images to mobile devices. Spanish securities regulators in 2004 identified Reed L. Benson, the company’s vice president, secretary and general counsel, as one of the directors of Carlton Birtal Financial Advisory of Barcelona. They said that firm, which offered shares in Broadcast International and at least one other obscure U.S. company to European investors, was not authorized to conduct an investment business in Spain. Regulators in February imposed fines of just over 300,000 Euros (approximately $375,000) against Benson, Carlton Birtal and another person. UTEK’s latest quarterly filing listed 984,360 Broadcast International shares with a stated value of $994,204."
The common thread what I understand how these guys operate is that they either own or have shares in the advisory company as well as the company they entice you to invest in. I.e. a double scam, they collect whatever fees when advising as well as the income from the failed company. I followed the financials of some of the companies like Broadcast international, and they never made good profits if any at all. They always seemed to have extraordinary expenditure resulting in losses.
All went quite for a while, but they are back in business, with new names, and obviously new ways to trick you out of your money.
A new agent details below has contacted me. I asked to sell my shares and he told me he was not authorised to do so. I then told him not to send me any advice, and he told me he was sending information only, so he keeps sending me "portfolio reports" I guess he is hoping I will by some more shares?
Erwin Speckert, CFA
Stockerstrasse 39, 8027 Zürich, Switzerland
t: +41 43 288 2700 f: +41 43 288 2719 m: +41 78 818 2700http://www.everestam.com
The latest mail I have received is a letter advising me that Mayan Gold will be liquidated and that I will receive shares from Mustang Allainces. I have no way of knowing if this is a good thing or bad thing, but based on the track record so far I guess its just another scam. Probably the name Mayan gold has lost its appeal and they need a new name to trade their dirty business with. Unfortunately I don't have the resources to throw good money chasing bad money, but I wish someone who has the resources will track these guys down and make them pay. They will continue to stay a few steps ahead of the authorities, just enough so that they stay out of jail, or their fines are not to severe. As long as there are unsuspecting foolish investors like me who are not street smart, then these unscrupulous investors are going to make you part ways with your money.
The best we can do is avoid these people who contact us out of the blue (especially if they are an international caller)
Hope you learn from my mistake, before you invest and not after you have invested.