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Old 13th February 2020, 12:20   #1
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Default The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

Following the financial issues at Norton Motorcycles, a Guardian/ITV investigation has revealed that there might be a deep scandal involved, diverting British elderly people's pension money into funding for Norton motorcycles.

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Garner bought the Norton brand in 2008, after it had been under US ownership and had ceased producing bikes.
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In 2012 and 2013, hundreds of elderly Britons were persuaded to transfer their pension funds into three Norton pension schemes: the Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme, and the Donington MC Pension Scheme.

As you might guess from their names, all three pension schemes primarily invested their funds into Norton Motorcycles. The trustee of all three schemes had a familiar name: Stuart Garner. This same man was also the sole director of Manorcrest Limited, which provided these pension schemes—in addition, of course, to his being CEO of Norton Motorcycles.
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  • Dozens of pension holders are now accusing Garner of ignoring repeated requests to return their pension pots – years after the lock-in periods that prevented them from accessing their money have passed.
  • Millions of pounds in government-backed loans and ministerial endorsements were given to Norton, which enhanced the credibility of the firm and its owner.
  • Lengthy delays in promised deliveries of Norton motorcycles – which can cost as much as £44,000 each – despite customers saying they had paid deposits and sometimes even the full purchase price.
  • A £1m loan received by the motorcycle firm in 2008, that came directly from the proceeds of a tax fraud, for which two longstanding Norton associates were convicted in 2013.
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In May 2019, the ombudsman stated: “We have received a number of complaints concerning the trustee’s failure to action members’ requests to withdraw their monies from the scheme, and from two other pension schemes of which Mr Garner is the sole trustee; the funds of which are also invested in Norton Motorcycle Holdings Limited.”
Complaints are also being raised from customers whose bikes were never delivered and some customers were cheated off their own bikes - the company apparently issued recalls and stripped their bikes to make new motorcycles.

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Tony Smith, a bike enthusiast from Sussex, says he ordered a Norton Dominator Street from the company last August, and paid the full purchase price of £22,000. He says he was informed his bike would be ready in September, November and then December – before being told the firm would be starting work on his bike this month. He has still to receive it.

He said: “I wish I could tell you where my bike is. I’ve had numerous promises of when my bike would be made. My bike was never made and of course now my bike won’t be made. It got to the point where people weren’t returning my calls, my emails weren’t being answered. Emotionally I’ve written the money off. I’m furious.”
Source - Read the below articles for the full story.

1. https://www.theguardian.com/business...ny-and-scandal

2. https://www.rideapart.com/articles/3...rner-pensions/

3. https://www.rideapart.com/articles/3...tripped-bikes/
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Old 14th February 2020, 07:40   #2
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

Sucks, but such is the state of many independent players in today's auto industry. One thing stood out:

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Those savers had been persuaded by a conman to transfer their retirement funds out of conventional pension plans during 2012 and 2013. Their money was then locked up for five years into three new pension plans controlled by Garner – where the cash was invested in just one asset: Norton shares.
A fool and his money parted IMHO. No one held a gun to their head. The only reason people invest in riskier schemes is the higher return. Reminds me of people who invest lakhs of rupees in fly-by-night schemes promising 20% per annum, instead of say a State Bank of India investment, and then whine & cry when the company goes bust.
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Old 14th February 2020, 09:58   #3
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

MV Agusta motorcycles in India get massive discounts as a result of ending the partnership with MotoRoyale group; an indirect effect of Norton Motorcycles going into administration in the UK.
As a result, MotoRoyale is offering heavy discounts on unsold stock of MV Agusta bikes in India. The recently launched MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 was introduced with a price tag of Rs. 18.99 lakhs but is now available for Rs. 12.99 lakhs (all prices, ex-showroom).

Link - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super...otoroyale.html (MV Agusta ends partnership with MotoRoyale)
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Old 14th February 2020, 16:38   #4
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
A fool and his money parted IMHO. No one held a gun to their head. The only reason people invest in riskier schemes is the higher return. Reminds me of people who invest lakhs of rupees in fly-by-night schemes promising 20% per annum, instead of say a State Bank of India investment, and then whine & cry when the company goes bust.
People tend to forget such high return schemes are not sustainable in the long term and turn blind eye towards others advice.
Something very similar happened in my town and the guys managed to scam around 4000 people for 400 crore rupees. Most of the investors were senior citizens who had invested their retirement money to get monthly returns.

Link to the news : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/58756973.cms
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Old 14th February 2020, 19:40   #5
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

As a simple rule I think anything above 7 to 9% return should be doubly scrutinised. Not that returns below it are 100% safe.
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Old 14th February 2020, 21:09   #6
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

These are among the reasons a little financial literacy in totally necessary for everyone. A person in the family had put in some deposit with some Merchantile Bank with a promise of 14% returns.

All that happened eventually was he had to really fight it out to get back the principal alone! Even that luck would not have favored him had it not been for the political contacts.

Another country that's been in the news for mishandling of pension funds - USA. Hopefully we'll soon learn more. Unfortunate, but very real.
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Old 15th February 2020, 21:37   #7
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

Mod Note : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum. We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further. Request to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

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Old 17th February 2020, 09:39   #8
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sucks, but such is the state of many independent players in today's auto industry. One thing stood out:



A fool and his money parted IMHO. No one held a gun to their head. The only reason people invest in riskier schemes is the higher return. Reminds me of people who invest lakhs of rupees in fly-by-night schemes promising 20% per annum, instead of say a State Bank of India investment, and then whine & cry when the company goes bust.
Caveat emptor.

Reminds me of this conman who set up shop in a tiny Town near my village in the mid 80's. This was at the peak of the Emu farm, teak farm 200% rate of return nonsense. The area SP a well meaning person basically called the town leaders told them that this was a scam but as there was no crime that was committed, he can't prevent this guy from selling his snake oil. And then he posted 2 cops outside the lodge to dissuade folks from investing.

The cops went home at night, and to be doubly sure 100's scaled the rear walls of the lodge and invested some 10lakhs (big big money in the mid 80's cumulatively.

They got big fat interest sums the first month, the second month it went down by half and the third the conman packed up and ran.

The same idiots who literally scaled a back door wall against sound advice now started protesting in front of the police station

They never got their money back.
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Old 17th February 2020, 11:28   #9
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

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Originally Posted by Arjun Bharadwaj View Post
As a simple rule I think anything above 7 to 9% return should be doubly scrutinised. Not that returns below it are 100% safe.
Equity linked mutual funds give even 14-16%. 7% is absurdly low.

Imo anything above 15% would need scrutiny, anything above 20% unless it is direct equity, I would personally avoid.
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Old 17th February 2020, 11:42   #10
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

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Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
Equity linked mutual funds give even 14-16%. 7% is absurdly low.

Imo anything above 15% would need scrutiny, anything above 20% unless it is direct equity, I would personally avoid.
Agreed. Just that "equity linked" and "guaranteed" cannot be quoted in the same line.
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Old 18th February 2020, 07:51   #11
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Default Re: The Norton Motorcycles scam! Cheats customers & pensioners

Some really disturbing interview has come up regarding the Norton scam.

https://www.superbike.co.uk/article/...from-the-start

It is a multiple part interview so people who are interested in the details do keep an eye out for future articles from the same person.

Cheers
Krishna
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