April 27, 2015
In mid-March, OffshoreAlert, a US-based company which specializes in uncovering fraud, claimed that Belvedere Management Limited (“Belvedere”) has been operating a massive $16 billion Ponzi scheme. Based in Mauritius, Belvedere is controlled by Cape Town based Cobus Kellermann, Irish businessman David Cosgrove, and Mauritian accountant Kenneth Maillard, and operates mainly in Mauritius, South Africa, Cayman, and Guernsey.
OffshoreAlert describes Belvedere as a “massive criminal enterprise” which operates approximately 125 hedge funds and allegedly defrauded its investors by providing false net valuations, managing funds that disappeared, making false statements in financial documents, and misappropriating millions. David Marchant, the founder of OffshoreAlert, stated that he believes that money was getting kicked up to Kellermann by way of administration or investment management fees.
Other fraudulent operations are allegedly linked to Belvedere, including a $130 million Ponzi scheme in the Cayman Islands currently under investigation by the British Police. Additionally, the Mauritian Financial Services Commission (FSC) took action against two companies under Belvedere’s administration in October 2014. The FSC prohibited these two funds – Lancelot Global PCC and The Four Elements PCC – from accepting new business. After the OffshoreAlert report broke, the FSC issued a public warning to remind stakeholders of its investigation into Belvedere and to notify them that “[i]n accordance with its functions to protect consumers of financial services, an inspection was conducted in 2015 and the FSC Mauritius shall issue a Notice in due course to keep members of the public/investors informed.”
There have been numerous signs that Belvedere is unable to pay back investor claims. Further, many suspect that US money was invested in the hedge funds managed by Belvedere, but it has yet to be located.