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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Friday
Dec282012

Beware of Share Scams

Two unconnected clients have recently contacted us after receiving unsolicited approaches by US based corporate finance advisers wanting to acquire their small historical shareholdings in public companies, which had previously been thought to be worthless. In both instances, they stated that their US based client was mounting a hostile takeover of the target company and before any information could be released to the proposed selling shareholder, it was vital that they enter into a confidentiality agreement. As soon as interest was shown or a response was given by our clients, the phone calls, emails and letters became more frequent and urgent.

One of our clients entered into the confidentiality agreement. Details of the proposed acquisition where then given, together with a startling revelation that the supposedly worthless shares were in fact very valuable and had been split into a larger number of shares and thus the potential gains had increased further.

The next stage in this process was for the corporate finance advisers to state that under US law the consideration payable for the shares can only be released from the US if an advance payment of tax is made on account by the proposed selling shareholder.  Of course, this is untrue and is the way that these people make money out of this scam.  We are pleased to report that in both instances no money was sent to the US.

If you receive any unsolicited approach to purchase your shares or any other similar asset, we recommend that you seek professional advice as a matter of urgency and, if in doubt, do not enter into further correspondence in the interim as it is likely that they will apply additional pressure upon anybody that responds, just as is the case with other ‘advance fee frauds’, the most famous being the ‘Nigerian 419’ scams.

To discuss this in more detail and to seek advice, contact Mark Daly at markdaly@greene-greene.com or telephone 01284 717500.

Mark joined Greene & Greene in 2010 and became a company commercial partner in 2012. Mark has experience of acting for a variety of public and private companies, partnerships, start-ups and sole traders.

Also find Mark on:      Google +        LinkedIn         Twitter