Tuesday, July 29, 2008

tomsmithevesham@googlemail.com

Dear Gordon,

Thank you for your email and since your call, I have thought of little else than your situation. I cannot believe that once again they have found some poor sole to extract money from. In the light of this, I thought that I should outline the situation and the chain of events in connection with Amber Boats and Paul Geary.

Paul Geary, after being declared Bankrupt, approached a guy called Trevor Vicker's, to finance a boat building venture that he wanted to start in Poland. He told Trevor that he wanted about £50,000 to get the company up and running ( this figure eventually rose to over £600,000 plus what another investor put in at a later date ), so Trevor invested and the company Amber Boats SP z.o.o. was launched. However, they did not have any customers and so Paul came to England to find outlets. They built three boats which they sold to British Waterways and somehow found out that another of our companies wanted to replace its aging fleet. We have another boat building company of our own called Heritage Boat Builders Limited, which has been established about 30 yrs., but our order books were too full for us to build the boats ourselves.

Eventually, we reached agreement with Amber to build the boats for us. At the end of this order, some 2 yrs later, Amber had to start building boats for customers as we had taken nearly all of their production to date. Paul approached me as Evesham Marina and asked would I consider being their UK importer for their retail market. I told him that I would not say yes immediately, but would consider the proposal. Then out of the blue, I saw another company called Narrowcraft Ltd., was advertising as the sole UK importer of Amber Boats. I tried to contact Paul but he kept avoiding me. I then phoned Trevor and asked what was going on. He told me that he did not know anything about the Narrowcraft situation and no way would he agree to them being the agent. If it was going to happen and if I agreed to be the importer, he only wanted it to be with my company as we have been established since 1926 and was financially secure. This all took place in March, April and May 2006.

In June 2006, Trevor approached me and asked me if I wanted to purchase his share holding in Amber Boats, which at this point in time was 40%. Paul Geary also held 40% (although he had never paid for his shares or invested any of his own capital in the company ) and by now, there was another Investor called Andrzej Myzyk who was a Polish Industrialist who had spent a large part of his life in the UK and now lives in Krakow, who held the remaining 20%. I had a meeting with Paul and asked if he had any objections to me purchasing Trevor's share's and he said no he was quite happy for me to do so. I was quite surprised as I had made it clear that I would want to control the finances a lot tighter than Trevor did.

Three weeks later. I still had not given an answer to Trevor as I was not happy with certain things that I had found out about Paul, for although I had never had any problems with him and always found him very pleasant, I did not trust him in any way and did not feel that was a very good basis on which to go into the company. At this time, Trevor received a phone call from their chief designer Michal, to say that he was very unhappy with the formation of the NEW company and did not really want to be a Director. Trevor did not know anything about a NEW company and was told that if Michal did not accept a Directorship, then they would dispose of his services as Amber Boats was being wound up.

Trevor immediately called Andrzej and he went to the factory to find out what was going on. Once he investigated the situation, it came to light that Paul along with Malcome Burge of Narrowcraft, had appointed a Receiver to wind the company up on the 31st July. Burge had then formed another company in Poland to buy the assets off of the Receiver at a knock down price. The result of this was that Burge would acquire all of the assets, staff and factories at a knock down price and Paul would continue to run the operation for Burge. Now I know why Paul did not mind me coming on board as he had already had plans in place to steal the company.

Trevor and Andrzej immediately dismissed Paul and sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutors office and this is currently under investigation. If he was found guilty of the charges, it will without doubt lead to a Prison sentence. I then purchased a third share in Amber Boats SP z.o.o and started Amber Boats (UK) Limited to handle the UK sales.

Since then, Trevor has taken him to Court here in the UK over other matters and got Judgments against him, but unfortunately, because he has nothing, he has not received anything from him and is now considering issuing a Bankruptcy order against him. Our Lawyer in Malbork, has now been appointed by his ex wife, to sue him for child maintenance, which he has now stopped paying as the Courts in the UK cannot touch him in Poland, but it seems that he can be prosecuted over there.

I am sorry that this is such a long message, but you really need to know as much about these two as possible if you are going to invest money with them. They have a whole life long trail of failed businesses and investors you have lost nearly everything. Paul has started other companies while being involved with Trevor and Andrzej and has STOLEN labour and materials from Amber Boats for the benefit of these companies of which he was to only beneficiary. Not to mention his time and flights and many other costs which have been picked up by Amber.

My advice is to cut your losses and get out. I would remove your boat from Burge's premises as soon as possible and find another firm to fit it out. I know that Burge is not very happy with the operation in Poland and if he decided to place the company into receivership and your boat was on the premises, it could be seized by a Receiver and then you would have a legal battle to get it back. Remember, Paul does NOT own the company in Poland, he is only an employee and was given a 5% share holding to retain his services.

I have asked our staff in Poland to send me the names of some good Yacht Fitters the area, which I will send you next week. If you did decide to remove your boat from their premises before you have found another firm, you would be more than welcome to store it at our steel factory, which is about a mile away from where it is at the moment. We would not charge you for the time it was there.

I do not envy you about the position that you find yourself in at the moment but please, please be very careful, I can promise you that you will get your fingers burnt. Just remember, a Leopard cannot change its spots and they cannot change their ways, it is a way of life for them. I am only pleased that I have not suffered financially by them but only by sheer luck.

I have told Trevor about your call and he has said that he would be more than happy to talk to you, if you so wished. Once again, my apologies for the length of this letter.

Good luck,
Tom.

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