The not-for-profit con

Previously, the Bevis family claimed that Lochaber Highland Estates (CI) Limited and Highland Titles (CI) Limited were not-for-profit companies. As the observant reader will know, not-for-profit is a particular type of company and there are stringent requirements to form and maintain such a company. First of all, such companies must be registered as not-for-profit during formation, secondly their records must be transparent so the general public can ascertain that the funds are indeed not used for non-profit purposes. As the blogger behind the ‘My Lochaber Highland Estate’ blog points out, neither Lochaber Highland Estates nor Highland Titles are registered as not-for-profit companies in the UK or in the Channel Islands (source here).

In their usual style Highland Titles have now changed the misleading wording on their website to read “our Company pays no dividends or annual bonuses to any investors/owners.”

Read the original deceptive wording “We are proud to be a not-for-profit organisation” on this screen capture from 2010: “Go Green” (please allow the way back machine a few seconds to display the old website – Update: After we published this text the robots.txt file on Bevis family websites was altered to prevent archiving, and viewing of earlier versions!).

As evidenced by the blog lochaberhighlandestate.blogspot.co.uk the Bevis family maintained this falsity on their Lochaber Highland Estates website much longer. In fact, it was not removed until a query was made to the Guernsey Registrar. Read the full story here.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “The not-for-profit con

  1. The company might not pay any dividends or annual bonuses, nothing much unusual there for a lot of small companies anyway, but it says nothing about salaries. I wonder how much they pay themselves in salaries?

    Posted by Derek S | August 27, 2012, 9:09 pm
  2. They now state that they are “Proud to be a Limited Company”. As they don’t pay UK tax (as admitted by Bevis in his attack on Cunninghame Graham) both the companies’ profits and their salaries are taxed at much lower rates. Being a Limited Company merely means that their liability, if anything goes wrong, is limited. And should they wind up the companies, having resold the land, legal redress would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

    Posted by Piet B S Jerver | September 29, 2012, 12:02 pm
  3. Sometime after 17th June, 2013 – over a month after Highland Titles “Gathering off the Shams” during which the first AGM of their Scottish Charity was to be held (http://lochaberhighlandestate.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html) but mysteriously wasn’t – Highland Titles set up a Charity in Guernsey (CH444) where regulation of charities is far less than in Scotland and there is no requirement to publish accounts. Ironically, if one uses the shift key, one is able to see the true purpose of this sham CH$$$!

    Of course, this does not permit Highland Titles to call themselves a “not-for-profit organisation” as they did previously before desperately covering their tracks after they were exposed on Bletherskite.net and pretending that they had never misled their customers.

    Posted by Piet B S Jerver | September 14, 2013, 11:29 am
  4. It seems the Highland Titles Charitable Trust For Scotland (run be the same people behind Highland Titles) has been found to be misrepresenting itself as a Scottish charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator … and has been ordered to stop doing so.

    It is also reported that Highland Titles Ltd were found to be misrepresenting themselves as a charity in 2012 and Mr Peter Bevis of Highland Titles was instructed to amend any such references ……

    http://www.oscr.org.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/highland-titles-charitable-trust-for-scotland/

    http://www.oscr.org.uk/media/472678/2014-04-03_s33_report_the_highland_titles_charitable_trust_for_scotland.pdf

    Found misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority ….. found misleading by the Scottish Charity Regulator …. what chance is there that Highland Titles’ own reports on their own conservation work efforts can be taken at face value?

    Posted by ExFakeLaird | April 5, 2014, 9:36 am
    • Thank you for the tip. It actually appears as a rather serious matter:

      “On 3rd April 2014, OSCR issued a direction under Section 31(5) of the 2005 Act requiring Mr Peter Bevis to stop representing the ‘The Highland Titles Charitable Trust for Scotland’ as a charity registered in Scotland.

      A person who, without reasonable excuse, refuses or fails to comply with a direction under Section 31(5) of the 2005 Act is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or to both.”

      Well well well, it looks as if the long arm of the law finally found a way to catch up with the Bevis family after all. They cannot very well claim that everything they do is above board after this.

      Posted by Scambusters | April 5, 2014, 7:32 pm

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