Norton pensioner pleads for justice after losing £65,000
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A man who has lost £65,000 as a result of the Norton Motorcyles scandal has called upon the Government to bring the firm’s owner Stuart Garner to justice.
Speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com, Richard Jones says he should be enjoying £300 a month income from one of the pension schemes set up by Norton Motorcyles owner Garner and a lump sum of £18,000, but that he is now in danger of losing out after the manufacturer entered administration in January.
Jones told us: “I first became involved with the pension transfer when I saw an online advert stating that I could get a cash lump sum by transferring, no mention of Norton. I responded to the ad and spent an hour talking to the guy, a Mr Davies who turned out to be Simon Colfer.
“I was a fan of Norton as I have an interest in vintage bikes and scooters.”
Jones said his first contact was Simon Colfer, a fellow Welshman from Llanelli in October 2012. Jones told us he needed some cash for a new business venture and he received £12,000 for transferring his fund of £50,000.
He added: “My suspicions were first aroused when I received a visit from South Wales Police Financial fraud investigation unit. They told me about Mr Colfer who had recently been released from jail after he committed a fraud involving hundreds of thousands of pounds, possibly £1m.”
Jones said that he believes that while Colfer was in prison he met his accomplice who was from Bournemouth.
He added: “I think and the two hatched a plan to scam pensions, as Mr Colfer was made part of the proceeds of crime act for the unrecoverable monies from his previous fraud. South Wales police have to periodically conduct ad hoc visits on him to inspect bank accounts. “It was on such a visit in 2013 that they discovered he had £800,000 in his current account, they immediately arrested him and his girlfriend and confiscated passports pending an investigation to which I became a part, after six years he was charged and went Crown Court where he received a suspended sentence.”
Jones says he has lost the whole of his pension pot which was last valued in 2019 at £65,000. He believes the total transferred money that was lost is £14m.
He added: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that Mr Garner has used some of the Pension money to fund his lifestyle.
“I cannot see me getting my pension back as administrators prioritise HMRC and the banks; my only hope is Government and I have written to my MP who has written to the Pensions Secretary. I have had no response so far, but it is early days.
“I would say that this whole scenario has put a tremendous strain on me and my family both emotionally and financially. I am 56 years of age and should be enjoying an extra £300 per month income and a lump sum of about £18,000, instead I have no extra income and the HMRC have added insult to injury by imposing a tax on the money I received initially and a large penalty on top.”
Earlier this week, we reported that over 3,100 people have signed a petition calling for the Government to force the owner of stricken Norton Motorycles to face questions over the alleged misuse of pension funds.
The move comes after Garner failed to show for a Pensions Ombudsman hearing after being accused of funneling funds into a failing company.
The petition needs 10,000 people to sign in order that the Government responds.
Garner, whose firm is in administration, was supposed to answer claims brought by 30 members of three retirement funds he had set up, with names such as Dominator 2012, Donington MC Pension and Commando 2012. It is alleged that he, on more than one occasion, failed to return cash to members when it was due for payment.
Norton slipped into administration after reportedly failing to pay a £300,000 tax bill.