Dolphin Trust has been offering its loans to investors since at least 2013 when it was offering 12% per year for a 5-year term.
Dolphin Trust is an investment scheme that specialised in the refurbishment of listed buildings in Germany. The Dolphin Trust, as it was known in April 2019, claims to buy derelict buildings in prime locations which it then redevelops into luxury apartments. It is now known as German Property Group (GPG).
How Dolphin Trust went so quickly from paying out 12% per year to investors, and 20% commission to introducers to telling investors that there is not even enough money to pay administrators is not clear.
Dolphin/ GPG told these investors that their money would be safe because of the “First Legal Charge” they would get against the property – a document that entitles the investor to claim their money back from the sale of the property if the borrower fails to repay. As far as we are aware not one client received their supposed “First Legal Charge”.
In May 2019 Dolphin/ GPG hit the headlines when a BBC report found that many lenders had not received any of the returns on the loans as they had been promised. Many of the people who have lost money are not experienced investors and have invested their entire life savings into GPG.
It is alleged that in many cases, pension holders who invested in GPG were told by unregulated salesmen working for separate companies, that they would almost double their money if they lent their savings for five years to GPG. The scheme was often recommended to individuals by an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) who advised their clients to invest via a SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension).