An update to Phenco investors was sent out by Martin Finch on 4th April 2019. The text of the update is copied below.
“Unfortunately, it has come to my attention, our UK based payment platform, Chainbox Technology Limited, has been contacted by several shareholders and a 3rd party entity, of which, they have decided to withdraw their services for the time being.
Chainbox are merely a payment facility and nothing to do with anything other than distributing payments upon my instruction. They provided a service, of which we had used for a short time. They are an independent organisation that are able to make payments in volume. No more no less.
Now I have to start from scratch in terms of finding a company solely geared to distribute payments to a large number of shareholders for as little fees as possible.
I apologise for all of the inconvenience; however, it seems though I have to get back to the drawing board in regards to the payment distributions.
Whilst the situation may be less than ideal in the UK at present, please see the latest project snapshots, attached, which highlight the progress being made on the US side, and to me, that is where the main priority and focus should be, in turn adding further value to the lease and asset.”
There then followed a paragraph about progress at one of the sites, along with some photographs. We aren’t interested in that aspect because we would remind investors of three oil investments in Illinois which were established and sold by UK companies between 2012-2014. Those investments were:
Rocky Point Energy / Armadillo Energy / Hockley Energy
All three of those investments provided investors with photographs of progress. They also welcomed investors to the well sites to see for themselves. Unfortunately none of the wells in the photographs and none of the sites were actually owned by the companies. They were scams. Investors can search for more details online.
We are not saying that the photographs provided by Phenco are fake. The fact is that nobody knows. The history of previous US oil scams proves these things are easy to fake. What is not in doubt is the fact that Mr Finch has taken in around £15 million for five oil companies and yet shareholders know absolutely nothing about the US companies involved or where most of the £15 million went. All we do know is that very little of the money went into the purchase of assets.
We assume that the third party referred to above is Safe Or Scam. It may be that another company also contacted Chainbox, but we certainly did. We asked the owner, Mr Spurling, to provide us with reassurance. Our request is copied below:
I am writing to ask for your assurance that you have checked out the source of funds paid out to shareholders in all five companies and you can emphatically verify that neither yourself nor any of your companies are involved in illicit transactions or money laundering. We will post your reply online.
Whilst you may feel that it is acceptable for 70% of a new shareholder’s investment to be paid out in fees and commissions, we do not. We regard that as a scam.
Mr Spurling has not responded. We find that odd because all he had to do was confirm that everything was compliant with UK regulations and that would have been the end of it.
However, Mr Finch did respond, even though we did not write to him. His response was that we should leave Chainbox alone.
So now Mr Finch does not have “a platform” to make the payments to shareholders. We have a solution for him. He could use a company called PHENCO LTD.
Yes, it may seem strange to him but hundreds of thousands of companies in the UK manage to make payments to their shareholders. Why can’t Phenco itself make the payments ?
The last filing on the register at Companies House shows that Phenco has 194 shareholders. That is not a large number. Payment can be done very easily in one day. Most UK bank accounts allow multiple payments to be made online via bank transfer. Even with “a platform” Mr Finch has to provide the platform with the bank details of every shareholder and he has to tell the platform how much to pay each shareholder.
It’s very odd that Phenco can produce royalty statements for every shareholder showing the percentage and amount they are owed, but can’t then press a few buttons and make the payment. Surely having to give all the information to a platform (whatever one of those is) is much more time-consuming than Phenco actually just making the payments itself.
Mr Finch’s excuses do not make sense.
So there is the solution for Martin Finch. Phenco Ltd can pay shareholders itself. As he is the only employee of the company and he wouldn’t be using an outside organisation it would also save a lot of money for shareholders.
It makes perfect sense but there is another important factor. It would be clear where the money is coming from. We can’t help feel this is something Phenco wants to avoid.
To read more about Safe Or Scam investigations please visit our site using this LINK and read the posts on our blog page.