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Report: #510098

Complaint Review: Patrick Visser - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Rosemary — Axminster Nationwide United Kingdom
  • Patrick Visser www.silvatree.com Internet United States of America

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I was interested to see Pablos post in this forum. My husband and I also lost our entire life savings to one of Patrick Vissers investment schemes. Its a long story but I hope youll take the time to read it as it may well save you from tremendous heartache in the future:

 

Approximately two years ago my husband and I walked into the basement office of Inmolink (one of many companies Patrick Visser was running from an underground shop in the centre of Fuengirola, Spain). As a retired couple we had sold our home in the UK and were looking for a home in southern Spain to enjoy our retirement. If Id known then what I know now, I would never have set foot in his office.

 

We were greeted by Patrick Visser, who introduced himself as a Spanish property expert. We described our ideal retirement property and he assured us that wed come to the right place. To cut a long story short, he showed us several completely unsuitable properties before taking us to a charming, but slightly run-down property in the countryside near Coin. We fell in love with that property immediately and could instantly picture how we could fix it up to be the home of our dreams.

 

In hindsight I realise that this is the moment that our enthusiasm and naivety allowed Patrick Visser to destroy our whole life! Patrick claimed that there were several other people interested in buying but that they all needed to get finance, however as we were in the fortunate position of already have the full asking price, (200,000 Euros), in our bank account, (thanks to sale of our UK house), we might be able to get in first and buy the house. He said that the owner was a friend of his who had recently returned to the UK for family reasons and that hed call him right now. Patrick went back to his car to make the phone call while we continued to look around the property. He came back a few minutes later with what seemed like great news. Patrick had not only convinced his friend to sell us the property, but his friend also needed to pay off some outstanding debts he had in Spain, if we were willing to put down a 50% deposit in cash, (Patrick told us this was normal practice in Spain), then hed reduce the asking price by 10,000 Euros.

 

I was a little worried about paying cash but Patrick convinced my husband that this was normal practice in Spain and that we were getting a fantastic deal. Wed been married for more than 40 years and all that time my husband had looked after our finances, so despite my reservations I went along with his decision. Patrick couldnt have been more helpful, he drove us to a bank where he helped us to open an account and he even let us use the phone and fax machine in his office to arrange for our bank to transfer over half of our entire life savings.

 

Three days later the money was in our new Spanish bank account and Patrick came with us to arrange for them to have the 95,000 euros we needed available in cash the next day. The arrangement was that the owner of the property would meet us the next day and sign a reservation document when we handed over the money.

 

When we met Patrick again the next day with our money he said that the owner had missed his flight to Spain but not to worry we could still go ahead. He called the owner and handed the phone over to us. The owner apologised profusely that he wasnt able to be there himself but that as Patrick Visser was an old friend of his as well as his estate agent he was quite happy for us to hand over the 95,000 Euros to Patrick to hold until he could get another flight to Spain and that the property would be reserved in our name.  In our naivety we handed over half of our life savings in return for a three line receipt signed by Patrick Visser with an illegible signature. Patrick told us to relax, the property was now secured in our name as under Spanish law a verbal contract is binding. He said hed call in a few days when the owner was in Spain and we could all go the notary to sign an official reservation contract and agree when the final part of the deal would be completed. We were overjoyed that our dream of a retirement together in the sun was finally coming true.

 

While we were waiting to hear from Patrick my husband and I drove out to see the property again and by pure chance met another local estate agent showing the house to a couple. We explained how we had already put down a deposit so the house was effectively sold, the estate agent assured us that was impossible as theyd spoken to the owner that morning and hed said nothing about any deposit And that the owner was a Spanish gentleman who lived in the north of Spain!

 

Suddenly alarm bells started ringing in our minds, something was very wrong. We tried calling Patrick no answer. We called his office sorry hes not in the office today. We drove to his office hes not here today and were not sure when hell next be in, had we tried his mobile?

 

For the next two days we called constantly, at least 50 times and visited his office at least 3 times per day. Finally we caught up with him just as he was leaving his office. My husband confronted him demanding to know what was going on and why he didnt return our phone calls? At this point Patrick turned nasty. Patrick, who must be 6 foot 5 inches tall, grabbed my 67 year old, 5 foot 9 inch husband, by the collar and told him in a stream of swear words that if he didnt f***ing stop f***ing calling him hed seriously f***ing regret it and to p**s off and leave him alone, when there was news hed f***ing call us.

 

Naturally we were both pretty shaken up by this experience, but Id never seen my husband so terrified. As soon as wed sufficiently recovered we went to the nearest police station to report what had happened. We told them everything that had happened up until now but as we had no witnesses to the assault and no physical injuries they said there was nothing they could do, they advised us to get a lawyer to check what was happening with the property and if the lawyer could produce evidence that we had been victims of a fraud they could start an investigation then.

 

We found a very helpful lawyer who spoke excellent English and gave them everything we had including the receipt from Patrick Visser for our 95,000 Euros. We were reassured that they would look into everything and if it turned out that we had be duped they would contact the police on our behalf. We returned to England and waited for news.

 

Two weeks later our lawyer contacted us to say that unfortunately it did seem that Patrick Visser had deliberately deceived us. The real owner was indeed a Spaniard living in the north of Spain who knew nothing about a deposit being paid and had never heard of Patrick Visser. It seemed that whoever we had spoken to on the phone in Patricks office was an accomplice of his also involved in the deception. Our lawyer attempted to contact Patrick but his office claimed that he had recently left the company he owned and gone to work overseas although they werent sure exactly where.

 

Our lawyer contacted the Spanish police on our behalf as promised, but as the only real evidence we had was the receipt it would be extremely hard to prove, apparently the evidence of the bank transfer was not enough as the money was taken out in cash and Patrick wasnt actually with us in the bank on that occasion. It was obvious that we had been duped by a cunning and devious fraudster. The police told our lawyer that they had received several other complaints of fraud and theft by Patrick Visser and had started an investigation, but they also failed to locate Patrick and the investigation appears to have been closed. It seems that soon after the complaints came in he ceased operations in Spain and fled.

 

Two years on, the impact of meeting this callous and vicious conman lives on. Three weeks after realising that we had lost not only half of everything wed spent a lifetime working for, but also that our dream of retiring to the sun would no longer be possible, my husband suffered a severe stroke leaving him in a wheelchair and semi-paralysed for the rest of his life. We believe, and the doctors agree, that the stress, shame, and anger of losing half of our life savings to this despicable cheat Patrick Visser was a major cause of the stroke.

 

We now live in small rented accommodation as we were left without enough money to buy another home outright and unable to get a mortgage due to our age and my husbands condition.

 

We will report this to the UK and Spanish police in the hope that they will investigate further and hopefully be able to do something to stop Patrick Visser from ruining anybody elses life. In the mean time I cant recommend strongly enough that you dont do business with Patrick Visser or any company hes involved in as I can only imagine its a complete fraud.

 

Patrick Visser, may you rot in hell.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/16/2009 01:10 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/patrick-visser/internet/patrick-visser-silvatree-stole-our-money-our-dreams-and-our-health-internet-510098. 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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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

This report is fake and only intended to damage my reputation. Details on my blog.

AUTHOR: Patrick Visser - (Israel)

POSTED: Monday, November 07, 2011
Rather than writing a lengthy reply, I have chose to reply via my blog. Full details of why these accusations are lies can be found here: http://www.patrick-visser.com/2011/10/26/ripoffreport-com/.
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#2 Consumer Comment

He is a thief, I know because he stole from me.

AUTHOR: rippedoffandpissedoff - (United Kingdom)

POSTED: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silvatree and Patrick Visser might like to claim that all the reports about him being a thief and a conman are the work of one disgruntled ex-employee by I don't think so. Perhaps Silvatree can share with us just who this ex-employee is and what he's supposed to have done? My guess is that he blew the whistle on Patrick Visser and now he's trying to silence him.

I've had first hand experience of Patrick Visser stealing from ME so I can tell you with absolute certainty that the man is a thief!

He might think he can run away to a new country and put his past behind him, but for people like him who've done the despicable things that he's done and ruined people's lives the past has a way of catching up with them. I think they call it Karma.

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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

This is deliberate slander, please ignore it

AUTHOR: Silva Tree - (United Kingdom)

POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evidence that this report is false:

 Approximately two years ago my husband and I walked into the basement office of Inmolink (one of many companies Patrick Visser was running from an underground shop in the centre of Fuengirola, Spain)

Inmolink is a software company based in la Cala, nowhere near Fuengirola and nothing to do with direct property sales. 

The ground floor office (partially basement due to incline of road but accessible from street level) belonged to an estate agency owned by Patrick Visser and was indeed in Fuengirola but was vacated approx. 3 years ago, so the story of clients walking in 2 years ago is not possible.

Patrick Vissers property company was also closed 3 years ago when the property recession affected business, with no debts or unhappy customers.

Note: It is strange that a couple whose life had been ruined remember the date of such an important event so vaguely, as  approx. 2 years ago

We were greeted by Patrick Visser, who introduced himself as a Spanish property expert.

Patrick was rarely involved in property sales, he was Managing Director and did not deal directly with clients.

Three days later the money was in our new Spanish bank account and Patrick came with us to arrange for them to have the 95,000 Euros we needed available in cash the next day.

This is illegal in Spain, all transaction over 10,000 Euros must receive permission from the Central Bank of Spain, to prevent money laundering, so this is impossible.  Similarly, transferring 95000 Euros across countries is subject to various checks and is unlikely to be achieved within 3 days, especially by an elderly couple with an old fashioned savings account.

The police failed to locate Patrick and the investigation appears to have been closed. It seems that soon after the complaints came in he ceased operations in Spain and fled.

Patrick Visser has always been open about his whereabouts and there is no police investigation in his name (this can be proved very easily).  He left Spain less than 1 year ago, was registered as resident in his local town hall until then, so his address was completely accessible, and moved to London for business reasons.  His details are on Silva Trees website, hardly the tactics of a man on the run.

my husband suffered a severe stroke leaving him in a wheelchair and semi-paralysed for the rest of his life. We believe, and the doctors agree, that the stress, shame, and anger of losing half of our life savings to this despicable cheat Patrick Visser was a major cause of the stroke.

This is ridiculous.  A stroke is not caused by emotional trauma.  Moreover, it is hugely disrespectful and offensive to real stroke victims and their loved-ones to sink to such lows to pursue a vendetta against an innocent man.

We will report this to the UK and Spanish police in the hope that they will investigate further and hopefully be able to do something to stop Patrick Visser from ruining anybody elses life

How strange that the police has not been contacted before, when the incident apparently occurred 2 years ago. 

There is no mention in this report of the name of a real estate agency, the lawyers involved, the name of the vendor, and no dates.  Some details here vaguely reflect aspects of Patricks Vissers previous work, but they are all inaccurate, representative of a person who knows Patrick but not well enough to get the details right, nor to be telling the truth.

If one had to invent a touching story, the personas of an elderly couple who lost their life savings is quite appropriate, but the stroke is a step too far even for fiction.  This is completely incredible and I hope that people reading the report will realize how ridiculous it sounds.  Thankfully, the person attempting to ruin Patricks reputation due to a personal dispute is not smart enough to create an authentic-sounding story.

We hope that anyone who knows Patrick, his friends colleagues and family, will not take offence at the terrible words unfairly spoken against him, we are investigating the source of the reports and will pursue legal action against this act of slander.

The reputation of Silva Tree as a company affects many people, not just Patrick Visser.  The company works to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty as well as delivering crucial environmental benefits.  This selfish act of slander affects a lot of people, so please- whoever is trying to hurt Mr. Visser, take it up with him on a personal level.

The authenticity of our work is apparent in all that we do, from the photo diary we have live on our website to the array of legal documents, legal opinions and trust approval we have in place.  We have a broad network of IFAs who are FSA approved promoting the investment opportunity (which is why we do not need to be approved as the project developers only).  We hope that the reputation of Silva Tree will not be affected by someones unfortunate actions.

 

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