Report: #874159

Complaint Review: Alvin Donovan and Equity Partners Fund

  • Submitted: Thu, April 26, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, April 07, 2014
  • Reported By: Jackie — Sydney Panama
  • Alvin Donovan and Equity Partners Fund

    United States of America

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AN ASPIRING manganese miner, Bracken International Mining, struck an "equity line financing" deal with Alvin Donovan. However, according to its chief executive, Luke Bracken, Donovan took a fee and said "raise the money yourself".

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Early last year, Bracken was approached by Donovan's (now former) agent, Kim Cox, with the proposition that Donovan's company, Equity Partners Fund, would take Bracken public in a float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and raise 200 million. "The 200 million was to be raised from Alvin Donovan's 'network of 55,000 investors','' Bracken says.

Donovan has denied to The Sun-Herald that he made any such claims: "Equity Partners Fund SPC is a segregated portfolio company set up under the laws of the Cayman Islands. We have no outside investors and we do not provide upfront funding to companies," he said. [continued below]....

Bracken says he was told EPF was backed by a Chinese bank, Zigong. Indeed, a Newsmaker media release said Bracken had ''secured a 200 million funding package through Chinese-based Zigong Commercial Equity Partners Fund SP''. After his company listed in Frankfurt in October, Bracken was meant to hand over shares in it to EPF at a 10 per cent discount.

Donovan would take a 2 per cent fee and immediately remit the 200 million to Bracken. Assuming that the equity line was in place, Bracken began to sign contracts with equipment and materials suppliers for the manganese mine in Papua New Guinea.

(((link redacted)))

When the time came for the contracts to be paid, Bracken called in the money from EPF. At this point, Bracken says Donovan told him that he had to raise the money himself. "Donovan denied he agreed to provide the funding directly," Bracken says. "This contradicted his own press release, which stated EPF had planned to fully fund (us) for 200 million."

Bracken says that Donovan also demanded that he place his company's shares in EPF's account. Bracken refused. "If things sound too good to be true, they probably are. I spent six months taking my company public. I signed contracts worth millions of dollars.''
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/26/2012 09:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Fairhills Scam?

AUTHOR: GSmith - ()

I have to agree that they are as bad as Kodiak Capital in creating these toxic death spirals for companies. If you look at the history of the stock purchase/resell agreements that thye have completed, most of the companies they partner with are either fraudulant or close to bankruptcy.

SEC Charges Firm with Illegal Fund Raising for Penny Stock Companies: This turns out to be one of those rare situations where you have to ask yourself,  what took the SEC so long?  I very quickly recognized the name Edward Bronson, and his firm E-Lionheart Associates, LLC., which was also doing business under the name Fairhills Capital, Inc.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Alvin Donovan Scam Artist

AUTHOR: GS - (United States of America)

"In an investigation of Donovan's activities, however, The Sun-Herald found that it has been his clients, rather than his assailants, who have suffered pain.The investigation failed to find a single example of a successful capital raising - despite the slew of hyped-up media releases online touting billions of dollars in deals."

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"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."  Benjamin Franklin 

"You have complaints? Good. That means youve stood up for something, sometime in your life." Winston Churchill 

Having read the rebuttals here on the one hand they do make sense and on the other hand further show the original report for the utter and total nonsense it is.

Firstly, thanks for stating the real facts here and for pointing out just some of the many obvious factual mistakes the tabloid made. 

Secondly, a quick check on google shows that at least one company named Worldlink Plc DID get actual funding from this investor. google "worldlink update on funding" This company and many others also had very good things to say about the MD of the investor.

Furthermore, those companies went on to say that the investor also arrranged for other investors and acquisitions as well.

Lastly, this provides reliable independent proof this investor is for real and that the tabloid sensationalist story is in reality a lie.

This is an example of the just one of a long line of shoddy mistakes made by either ignoring or not even bothering to check out the real facts in the case.

They would not let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Obviously when the companies do what they are supposed to do according to their contract with the investor and proceed in an honest and ethical manner then the investor does what they are supposed to do with respect to the contract.

In this case, this investor is for real as they have invested in at least one company who did the right thing and shows that Blandin and Brackens story just do not hold water.
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This post here on ripoff report has been reposted over and over again, apparently by the same person. I would like to add the results of my own investigation and research. There are several reasons why this article is complete rubbish. I have contacted and spoken to a few people involved in this case and here are the facts.  

Luke Bracken or Bracken International Mining, Kim Cox of AWTN and Jacques Blandin of Firmware and Visi Inc Plc. played that poor unsuspecting tabloid journalist at the Enquirer like a banjo and here is how they did it:

1. This company in the report is an equity line funder. This kind of investor obviously wants companies to drawdown so they make money when a company draws down. So if a company puts in a drawdown notice obviously they would fill it, there is no reason not to.

2. In all cases the company signs a legal contract which they must have their lawyer review before signing and the terms are in simple plain English. Nowhere in the article by this tabloid journalist does the journalist refer to the contract or having had any discussions with Brackens or Blandin lawyer. I can only assume there was no discussions with their lawyers .

3. Their website clearly states that the companies pay a third party non- affiliated law firm for legal document preparation.

4. It also clearly states they are not an underwriter and do not provide liquidity, IR or PR.

5. In all cases the company signs a term sheet which is made in simple English any 12 year old can understand.

This type of funding has been around for over 10 years and there are over a dozen firms worldwide offering this type of structure worldwide.

Luke Bracken claims the investor did 100s of deals. Okay but only two companies in Australia seemed to have had a problem. Maybe in Australia they sign term sheets without reading them? And they sign legally binding agreements without reading them?

Jacques Blandin CEO Firmware or VisiInc PLC made an announcement after they signed with the investor, probably used that announcement to entice investors and the investor never heard from them again after the announcement and they never put in a drawdown

But dont believe me- Google the term Jacques Blandin ASIC and you will see that Jacques Blandin of Firmware VisiInc Plc. was banned by the Australian SEC for:
Mr. Blandin, of Dianella, Western Australia, was a proper authority holder with Australian Financial Securities Pty Ltd during the period 19 November 1998 to 27 January 2000.

The undertaking was offered following an investigation into the activities of Mr. Blandin, which found that Mr. Blandin had made recommendations to his client that ****she invest $135,000 in companies with which he was associated or had an interest, without properly disclosing that association or interest to the client, in contravention of the Corporations Law.****

ASIC also found that Mr. Blandin did not have a reasonable basis for making those recommendations, and knew that his client would rely upon them.

The conduct of Mr. Blandin ultimately caused his client to sustain a loss of approximately $120,000 due to the insolvency of the company with which Mr. Blandin was associated or had an interest.

My guess is Jacque Blandin Firmware Visi Inc used the announcement of his signing with the investor as a way to entice investors into his sham company and had no intention of ever getting funding from the investor.

One other point that makes no sense whatsoever:  Jacques Blandin of Firmware Visiinc Plc. claims that the investor is just giving you your own money. Yet he claims that the investor did not fulfill the drawdown. If the investor was just giving him his own money then obviously they would have fulfilled the drawdown.

My sources reveal that once Jacques Blandin of Firmware Visi Inc made the announcement, then he fled to the USA to get away from the Australian authorities and never contacted the investor again.

Further proof is that Visiinc plc. that they have been kicked off of the German stock exchange- why?

Now lets focus on Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining-
His company Bracken International Mining appears to have a $500 million dollar market cap as of this posting but it does not have any trading volume? How many companies with that size market cap have no trading volume like this?

Also if you research them further you will see they are trying to raise $500 million dollars. How can a company worth $500 million raise $500 million?

Maybe he just cannot do the math like they just cannot read term sheets and contracts?

Furthermore Google Luke Bracken Ripoff Report  to see his background.  Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining seems even worse than Jacques Blandin of Firmware Visi Inc Plc.

Once again, Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining announced the deal with the investor and then most likely used it to get other investors into his company.

We also have it on reliable sources that Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining was close to roping in Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman fame into investing but he tried to circumvent the introducer and Norman ran away from Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining as fast as he could. Not to mention that he works out a bedroom in the house of his mother. How is it that the CEO of a 500 million euro market cap does not have the ability to even live in his own apartment- something smells very fishy there.

It looks like both Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining and Jacques Blandin of Firmware Visi Inc pulled one of the oldest tricks in the book- they burn an investor then try to throw dirt on the victim to bury their mis deeds.
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#5 Consumer Comment

some of the many of Luke Bracken Bracken International Mining, Kim Cox AWTN and Jacques Blandin Firmware Visi Inc. latest in a long line of questionable debacles.

AUTHOR: Elena Ambrosiadou - (United States of America)

I have read this tabloid journalist with great interest and it is an interesting alert about just some of the many of Luke Bracken 
Bracken International Mining, Kim Cox AWTN and Jacques Blandin Firmware Visi Inc. latest in a long line of questionable debacles.  

If you Google the term Jacques Blandin ASIC you will get an idea of his character. ASIC reported in part as follows The undertaking was offered following an investigation into the activities of Mr Blandin, which found that Mr Blandin had made 
recommendations to his client that she invest $135,000 in companies with which he was associated or had an interest, without properly disclosing that association or interest to the client, in contravention of the Corporations Law.

ASIC also found that Mr Blandin did not have a reasonable basis for making those recommendations, and knew that his client would rely upon them.

The conduct of Mr Blandin ultimately caused his client to sustain a loss of approximately $120,000 due to the insolvency of the company with which Mr Blandin was associated or had an interest. 

Birds of a feather flock together.

It is important for other potential investment firms or private investors to conduct thorough due diligence on them and their past transactions and know that Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining, Kim Cox of AWTN and Jacques Blandin or Firmware/Visiinc and their conduct should there be any difficulties arising from their dealings with them.

Let this ripoff report serve as a warning to anyone looking at doing business with Kim Cox AWTN, Jacques Blandin Firmware 
Visi Inc or Luke Bracken of Bracken International Mining that if they sound too good to be true it probably is and the possible trouble they will cause you if you do business with them.
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