Traffic Monsoon flat sell-off prompts Hague Convention request
The sell-off of a flat in Manchester, purchased with stolen Traffic Monsoon investor funds, has prompted the Receiver to call for international judicial assistance.
At issue is a £280,000 flat (~$342,000 USD), that Charles Scoville purchased with Traffic Monsoon investor funds in 2015.
As per the granted injunctions against Scoville, any Traffic Monsoon related assets belong to the court-appointed Receivership.
The granted injunctions prohibited Scoville from selling off any assets, and so it was assumed the flat, of which Scoville was listed as the sole owner, would remain property of the Receivership.
In November 2017 however,
Scoville—or someone claiming to be Scoville—sold the Property on November 28, 2017, to John Jarvis Hitchen for £280,000.
Scoville’s signature appears on sale related documents. In court filings Scoville maintains this was a forgery and he had nothing to do with the sale.
The Receiver pushed for contempt on this point, but the court ultimately ruled it
did not have clear and convincing evidence before it that Scoville participated in the Transfer.
Sale of the Manchester flat was handled by Premier Property Lawyers, a subsidiary of My Home Move.
The Receiver has attempted to obtain sale related information from Premier, however at the time of filing several requests remain outstanding.
Premier failed to provide certain documents critical to the Receiver’s investigation:
(i) documents showing how Premier verified the identity of the person who, in the presence of Premier’s agents at the time of the conveyancing of the Property, signed Scoville’s name on the Transfer Report (also known as “Know Your Customer” or “KYC” documents);
(ii) documents showing where and how Premier delivered the proceeds of the Transfer to the seller; and
(iii) the documents pertinent to the Transfer that that have not yet been produced that were made or relied on by Premier as part of the Transfer or in closing the Transfer.
The cynic in me believes Scoville was involved. Premier is part of “the largest conveyancing firm in the UK”, so one would think they know what they’re doing.
The Receiver’s counsel requested these additional documents from Premier on or about August 28, 2018.
Despite prodding from the Receiver’s counsel, Premier did not respond to the Receiver’s request for almost seven months, and when it did respond, on March 18, 2019, Premier refused to provide the Additional Documents.
On May 13, 2019, the Receiver’s counsel again requested that Premier provide the Additional Documents, to which Premier responded via email on May 22, 2019, again refusing to provide the Additional Documents and stating that it would “wait to receive further authority for the release of such documents.”
Then again, it’s also entirely possible they failed to verify Scoville’s identity.
This is precisely part of what the Receiver is trying to get to the bottom of.
To that end the Receiver has petitioned the Utah District Court for a “letter of request for international judicial assistance”.
The request, if made, will be made under the Hague Convention.
The Hague Convention, of which both the United States the United Kingdom are signatories, “is the mechanism by which evidence is gathered abroad through the issuance of a Letter of Request.”
At the time of publication a decision on the Receiver’s motion remains pending.
Update 2nd September 2019 – Tara Talks has put up an interesting article outing Kuddus Qureshi as a witness to Charles Scoville (or someone impersonating him), signing the sale related documents.
Qureshi has links to Traffic Monsoon, so he definitely knew who Charles Scoville was at the time.
I imagine much rests on who Qureshi saw sign Scoville’s name on the sale related documents. It is also of course a possibility that he just signed them himself.
Be it Charles Scoville, Kuddus Qureshi and/or Premier Property Lawyers, somebody is clearly hiding something here.
Update 7th September 2019 – The Receiver’s motion was granted on August 30th.
Update 24th December 2021 – After identifying who received £280,000 from the sale of Scoville’s Manchester flat, the Receiver has opted to discontinue clawback efforts.