Inside Out finds the man behind a property investment scheme that has left savers out of pocket, and Jon Cuthill takes part in the national tree-climbing championship.
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The MP, Charlie Elphicke,
denies any wrongdoing.
Now on BBC News, it's Inside Out
We are going in search of investors
who will ask money is.
I did trust
This is no different
to hand in your life savings over to
a man in the pub and hoping that he
will give it back to you again one
Leave the camera.
up, the online love rats breaking
hearts and busting bank accounts.
It's like a part of the world
disappears and I also felt quite
ashamed that I could have been so
And learning the ropes. My
attempt to become the UK tree
First, they've been left thousands
of pounds out of pocket with no idea
where that money has gone. Investors
in a property scheme have told us
they want some serious answers, so
did their top tip turn into a non-
A flutter on the horses can be
tempting. Especially when Matt
Schaub bet is looking you right in
the eye -- that sure bet. And my
course racing, financial investments
also need a bit of luck if they are
to pay out.
But if that
investment pitfalls that the first
hurdle, you might find you backed
the wrong horse. That's exactly what
happened to Steve Perry from
Ringwood. He was investing for his
future and the current low interest
rate offered by banks weren't very
I am virtually retired now
and I had some I wanted to put away
and some income. I had two kids at
school. They would be going to
university before I know it and
Eager to start
investing, Stephen found a broker
They claimed they did all
the due diligence and only offered
reliable products, so I trusted
The broker introduced him to
Forbes capital. It was offering a
secure two-year investment in social
housing scheme based in Chicago. It
was promising high returns. So
Stephen invested £70,000. Records
we've seen show investors have paid
£440,000 to Forbes Capital. This
man, Tony, and his fiancee invested
£5,000 to help pay for their
wedding. The date they haven't
received a penny. Others invested
lump sums from their pensions. Be
64-year-old was in NHS nurse for
many years and has recently retired.
He did into his pension pot to
invest with Forbes Capital.
invested £40,000 and that investment
was for two years.
promised to return all of this
investment at the end and pay him
for 100 pounds every month.
had a payment schedule from the
managing director to tell me how
much I was going to get. At the time
I thought it was a good return.
That's the main reason I invested.
And it was a regular income, monthly
income, because since I retired I
was getting less money every month.
So to make it up at the main reason
I invested in Forbes Capital.
only received for interest payments
and then they dried up. He contacted
Forbes Capital to ask where his
money was but they didn't return his
calls or respond to his e-mails.
After a lifetime of helping others,
he hoped this investment would help
him and his family financially.
extremely worried about the capital
of £40,000. I've worked hard for
So who is behind the company?
The main shareholder of Forbes
Capital is this man, Peter
Shuttleworth. He previously was a
director for colonial capital, which
offered an almost identical
investment opportunity. That firm
went under, owing millions. Forbes
Capital is unregulated and for
investors that can mean risky
If you are dealing with an
unregulated broker this is no
different to handing your life
savings over to a man in the pub and
hoping that he will give it back to
you one day.
With 30 years
experience in the financial
services, Tom specialises in
retirement planning and investments.
You've looked at the detail of the
Forbes Capital investment offer.
What do you think of it?
things that really worried me were
first of all multiple layers of
uncertainty around the Chicago
property market, the US government,
it being an overseas investment. At
more than anything the fact that it
is an regulated investment scheme,
so the UK regulator, the financial
con the authority, has no control
over it. It also means if anything
goes wrong you have no comeback.
investment broker template invest
based in Spain acted as a middleman
between investors and Forbes
Capital. But even when investors
started reporting that they hadn't
received their monthly payments from
Forbes Capital, the company in Spain
continued to sign people up to the
scheme. Templer invest is currently
being investigated by the Financial
Conduct Authority. It says it has
ceased training and it too was
misled by Forbes Capital. But that
is of little comfort to Stephen,
when the company he invested in
isn't paying out what they promised.
Since you invested the money in
Forbes Capital, had any contact from
them? No. The only contact I had was
the bond certificate and the
covering letter that came in the
post back in April.
Since that time
I send e-mails, left phone messages
When you realised that
perhaps the assessment hadn't worked
out, how do you feel? £70,000 is the
huge amount of money.
obviously I was upset. And I tried
everything, I contacted the
Financial Conduct Authority, the
financial ombudsman, the serious
fraud office, my MP. I just wanted
answers as to what happened to this
Argue resigned to the fact
that you may not see that money
Virtually. I think I've had
to admit that probably or
possibility. Otherwise, I wouldn't
sleep at night, I would spend all my
days worrying about it.
of searching, we finally found Mr
Shuttleworth hears, this caravan
park, in Essex. Time to get some
answers. Halo, Peter Shuttleworth.
Can we have a chat? No.
to ask where the investors' money
Could you leave before I phoned
Peter, where is the
investors' money? Leave the camera.
You've taken tens of thousands of
pounds. Peter Shuttleworth, you owed
at least an explanation, don't you?
£70,000 from Vista Perry, not a
penny payback. You can't even be
bothered to talk to them. Why not?
It really like to hear your side of
things. Anything at all? Tens of
thousands of pounds of investors'
money and you can't even be bothered
to talk to them. Nothing to say?
Last chance. You are quite a hard
man to track down. And you are very
hard man to talk to.
Well, clearly Peter Shuttleworth
doesn't want to talk to us today.
Tens of thousands of pounds of
investors' money, investors have
asked them what happened to their
money, we've asked what happened to
their money and he's got nothing to
say. Now, a bit of an update for you
on that story. Since we confronted
Mr Shuttleworth he sent us an e-mail
stating that all investors would
receive a full refund by the end of
November. We will keep you posted.
Still to come... I quickly regret
trying to become the UK tree
Next, online dating is more popular
than ever, but would you believe it?
Not everyone using their sites and
apps is telling the truth.
This woman lived alone for many
years after her husband's death and
decided to give love another try.
After venturing online, she thought
she had found it with a man called
We were quite a good match
because the website that we used did
such profiling, so we came up as the
same. We would chat for four hours a
night on messenger, felt like this
was someone I had a real connection
with. It was that thing about
feeling really connected. I had
found love again.
Her newfound love
said he was a major in the British
Army, stationed in Baghdad.
he went out on patrol and I didn't
hear from him the following morning
and so I was really distressed. I
didn't hear from him for 48 hours,
which felt like a lifetime because
it triggered all the memories of my
husband's death and everything. Then
he came back online to say he had
lost a couple of men in battle and
he wanted to get out of the Army.
Peter said he wanted to start a new
life with bowel but needed money to
buy himself out of the Mira --
He told me where to send
the money, so I sent it. Naturally
that wasn't enough money. I ended up
foolishly sending two more lots of
money, totalling just over £8,500.
This woman runs a dating agency in
Brighton. She doesn't run an online
service, but introduces people
face-to-face. She also happens to be
a former detective for Sussex
There are some victims that
have lost up to 1.6 million, others
that have lost £800,000. They are
life changing amounts of money to
lose. To some people 8000 could be a
life changing amount of money. Some
people are actually Bancroft because
of the money they've given to some
of these fraudsters -- bankrupt. The
sad reality is they are not likely
to ever get it back.
cases of romance fraud were reported
to the authorities last year. In
fact, this type of crime is now so
widespread you can get fraud kits
online that come complete with
templated e-mail is to persuade
people to part with their money.
Dave has also been looking for love.
He enjoys dancing and has always
found it a great way to meet people.
But after a spell of being single,
Dave thought he had found his
special someone online in Canada.
The pair exchanged countless e-mails
and phone calls.
I miss you so much,
Dave. You've become something
necessary for my soul. I dream about
the children we will have in the
future. I love you.
emotive language. How did you feel
when you read that?
I felt really
excited and happy. And, you know, I
thought my life was going to change
for the good.
Dave said his online
lover £15,000 to help with medical
expenses she said she had. And to
pay for flights to the UK. Neal from
Action Fraud is familiar with many
of the common tricks fraudsters use.
If you say that you have been
divorced they will say they've been
divorced. It's about looking for
that attachment that they can then
use in order to reel the victim in.
His profile was that he was widowed
and that he joined the army because
of the grief and so we felt... It
felt like we had an infant bond
because we'd been through a similar
grief experienced -- an instant
Having parted with more than
£8,000, she heard nothing more from
her online love.
I did a search on
internet and found the story of a
lady in the United States and had
been scammed by a person using the
same story and the same picture.
It's like a part of the world
disappears and I also felt really
quite ashamed that I could have been
so silly. That's what I felt.
Dave was awaiting the arrival of
this new love but then he got an
e-mail saying she was visiting
relatives in Ghana and was stuck in
immigration. She needed yet more
muggy. Dave showed the letter to
this bank manager, who immediately
is not a rat.
It was only through
the bank, who said that isn't
How did you feel when you
heard those words?
I was Devon
devastated. I couldn't believe it
The fraudster had sent
Dave these photos to encourage him
to hand over the cash, but the
police confirmed it was a con. The
photos could have been stolen from a
genuine dating profile, they told
they've not to send any more muggy.
Former detective Tara McDonald said
there's things people can do to keep
the online sharks at bay. The main
one is to stay on the dating site,
never move to private e-mails or
There are checks
and balances in place an online
dating sites where certain e-mails,
if they're worded in a certain way,
they will be pulled to one side and
it will be checked. They may well
remove that person if they believe
them to be a scammer. Beware of
someone who keeps asking you lots of
questions about you and your
background and you find you're not
getting much back from them but
you're giving a lot of information
about yourself. You should never
consider giving out money to anyone
either you've never met and that you
Fizz in during love of
dancing is helping Dave get over his
online experience -- his enduring
I go dancing, which helps
Mirallas and focus on different
things so my mind is not on it all
Val says she's learned
from what's happened and she's no
longer ashamed about telling her
If it helps somebody else,
anybody watching this, who's
wondering maybe this is a scam,
maybe it's not, to take a step back
because if someone genuinely loves
you are not going to put pressure on
you to do something that doesn't
feel right for you.
Emma Thomas reporting there. Don't
forget, you can find out more about
the show on Twitter:
Finally, when was the last time you
climbed a tree crazy if you're
anything like me, it's been a while.
But when the UK national tree
climbing Championships rolled into
town, guess who got roped in? There
was a time I'd spend more of the day
up a tree than down it, but time has
passed. A lot of time. If I'm to
stand any chance in a tree climbing
competition I need some serious
help, and that's where Joe Hedger
comes in. By a day Joe works as an
arborist, or tree surgeon, but she's
also a three-time world champion
tree climber. Why, you must be John?
How are you, all right?
This is your
challenge for today. Climb this
Things have moved
on since I last climbed a tree,
these days it's all about helmets,
harnesses and ropes and first you've
got to get those ropes at the treat.
For that you need a throw line. We
need to get this up in the canopy.
Turns out it's a bit more technical
than just chucking it.
that's telling you is you need to
let go more up here.
Oh, I hit a
They do get stuck.
competition you get points for
safety, speed and technique. I
actually missed the entire tree,
though. I'm wearing a helmet, so one
out of 38 bad, but this doesn't bode
Good bit of power there, good
Finally it's up, let's go --
one out of three ain't bad. We using
both hands. After a mere three hours
I'm a giddy three feet off the
You're using your thigh
muscle more than your arms.
most elegant. What is it about trees
that got her hooked?
have a job, they go to work, 9-to-5
and that's it, they have their own
sports they want to do and my sport
happens to be what I do for a job.
In fact tree climbing means so much
to Jo that she even had her wedding
ceremony in this very tree complete
with the vicar in a cherry picker.
competition, not only will I have to
climb a tree but also complete a
series of tasks against the clock.
I'm not as graceful as you.
your first go.
I'm on the wrong
Keep stepping your feet down.
This is the one I pull on?
While I'm still searching
for my inner monkey, in Surrey one
of my rivals is also preparing for
Trees are amazing.
There in credible organisms when you
really think about it.
English works at the Royal
Horticultural Society's garden at
Wisley where she is training to be
I worked in gardens and
saw the team working in the trees
above me and I thought, hey, I want
to be up there, not on the floor. I
do find it quite scary at times but
I think everyone does, they'd be
lying to say they didn't sometimes.
Scarlet's been learning the ropes
for two years and the UK open will
be only her second competitive
climb. A few weeks later and it's
the day of the UK open tree climbing
Championships in the new Forest. I'm
up against 13 other climbers from
across the country.
climber. You get extra points if
you've got to hands on the saw, one
point if you've got one hand on the
Macro a two's husband John will
be one of the judges today, no
favouritism I hope. It shows you how
technical bases and how did these
guys are -- macro a two's husband.
Gone are the days when you climb and
cut things off, progression has come
through to be a world champion --
macro a two's husband.
-- macro a
two's husband. Have you been sizing
up the opposition?
There are quite a
few new phases, which is good to
As the competition gets under way,
it doesn't take long for me to
realise what I've let myself in for.
You are seriously moving up there.
Tried to, it's just a lot of
practice I suppose. There's a few
flipside shouldn't have had.
A few things I could
have changed, shaking a lot, you try
to be fast with the pressure on and
people watching you but it slows you
He's got to be on the ground
before the time runs out and he's
got to be unclipped. Here we go.
Tony Dyer Beshara is one of the
day's judges and a tree climbing
There's been a lot of talk
about equipment and... -- Tony
Derbyshire. You need to show guys
different systems that the guys are
You've got the best job in
the world when you climb trees, what
can be better than that? Over on the
Kendell challenge, Jo is showing why
she's three-time world champion. --
ten Dell challenge. -- Bell. How was
It was good fun, you'll
You think you've done all
right? No blood. Newcomer scarlet's
also showing off her skills in the
Stand-up. That's it, go
on. Keep going, keep going. Go on.
stayed on this side, which I think
helped because I was leaning away
from my rope.
It was all right, wasn't it?
can't put it off any longer. This
could all end in total humiliation.
Man alive! Out of my league. Clear.
First, getting a line in.
Second time lucky... No.
Third time lucky?
Come on! With my line in
I've got to get the gear on. OK. I'm
getting a bit more help than anyone
else but I don't mind, I'm going to
take it. But it's a timed event.
Halfway through I am still on the
Ten minutes remaining.
Come on, John.
I'm heading for
the Bell. Next I've got to throw a
lord in the basket.
honest. Time for my speedy descent.
Feet on the ground.
Clock stops when the
ropes are down.
I'm not catlike in the branches. I'm
clublike. Bit harsh, Tony. After a
long day the Ukip Championship goes
to Graham Bird. Joe has to make do
with run-up and Scarlett takes a
well deserved fifth -- UK
Championship. As for me...
friend from BBC, John.
12 out of 13,
unbelievably not last, although the
other two were disqualified. But
technically speaking that does me
I'm the 12th best tree climber in
the country. I guess I've got quite
a remarkable talent. -- does mean.
Me and trees, I think we've got
something going on.
You're right, I won't give up the
day job. Don't forget the e-mail:
I'll see you soon, bye-bye.
Inside Out tracks down the man behind a property investment scheme that has left savers thousands of pounds out of pocket, and Jon Cuthill takes part in the national tree-climbing championship. What could possibly go wrong?