Belvedere: The back story, with links to Biznews coverage of the saga

By Alec Hogg

In the six weeks since we picked up on David Marchant’s expose’ of the Belvedere Ponzi scheme, things have been rather interesting here at Biznews.com. On the night our first article was published, Sunday 22 March, the site was the subject of a massive cyber attack. Bringing the site back required substantial investment in upgrading already hefty security walls.

A few days later when the central characters Cobus Kellermann and David Cosgrove emerged, the battle switched to the legal arena. There aren’t many bigger names in SA law than Werksmans, and I discovered why its Stellenbosch partner, Johan Theron, is regarded by them as one of their best.

Theron started out as sweetness itself, explaining how he and his clients were going to show the error of my ways and was confident I would happily recant by publishing a full retraction of the Biznews articles. Indeed, said Theron, it had taken Kellermann and Cosgrove two hours to convince him of their innocence.

But after the duo refused to engage directly, either face-to-face or even on the phone, the pitbull side of Theron emerged – bullying, influencing other media and in two cases leaking info about our fight to competitors, then resorting to a letters-only-through-lawyers approach threatening and then demanding a day in court.

I was warned by one of Theron’s former colleagues that Cosgrove would “go all the way – expect to see them in court”. It was a delightful possibility. When hearing of the threatened defamation action, Marchant graciously offered us access to his contacts and extensive documentation – an unusual and extremely generous gesture from an investigative journalist of his stature.

Six weeks later the boot is very firmly on the other foot. In the face of mounting evidence from official channels, even those who bought the Kellermann/Cosgrove/Theron story are switching sides. Now comes the sad part when the forensic investigators get inside the crumbling Belvedere empire. To borrow from Winston Churchill, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning in a scandal that promises to be the talk of the financial services sector for some time.

Here, in chronological order and for easy reference, are links to the Biznews.com’s Belvedere-related articles to date.

Belvedere Ponzi scandal: Who is Cobus Kellermann?

22 March 2015

Belvedere scandal: Legacy of 1920 fraudster Charles Ponzi

22 March 2015

Belvedere Scandal: The Anchor Capital Connection

23 March 2015

Capetonian Kellermann accused as kingpin of R200bn Belvedere Ponzi

23 March 2015

Alec Hogg: Back to my roots investigating Cape kingpin of apparent Ponzi scheme

23 March 2015

MitonOptimal: Kellermann used to work for us, but no connection now

23 March 2015

Are you exposed? Here are the Kellermann-controlled SA unit trusts

23 March 2015

Alec Hogg: Kellermann’s world starts to unwind

23 March 2015

Biznews servers suffer cyber attack as Belvedere Ponzi story gains traction. Co-incidence?

24 March 2015

Ponzi kingpin Kellermann: now MET CI scrambles for distance

24 March 2015

DeVere puts both boots into Belvedere and old friend Kellermann

25 March 2015

SARS apparently had Belvedere on its radar months ago

25 March 2015

Kingpin Cosgrove breaks cover, writes to Belvedere investors

25 March 2015

Belvedere Ponzi wake-up call – crooks aren’t stopped by red tape; honest players are

25 March 2015

Belvedere Ponzi: The deVere connection – victim or partner?

25 March 2015

Belvedere Ponzi: The other kingpin – David Cosgrove

25 March 2015

Meet Belvedere Ponzi buster David Marchant – Kellermann’s nemesis

25 March 2015

FSB: We’re working with offshore agencies on Kellermann

26 March 2015

Armitage vs Kellermann on Anchor offshore fund. Aberration or strategy?

26 March 2015

Mailbox: Ponzi scheme questions

26 March 2015

UPDATED: Good news – MET CI guarantees unit trust owners, but…..

26 March 2015

Alec Hogg: Kellermann and Cosgrove make me an offer not to be refused

26 March 2015

Mailbox: DeVere client losing faith in the ombud

26 March 2015

Mailbox: DeVere client losing faith in the ombud

26 March 2015

Kellermann, Cosgrove answer Belvedere scandal specifics

27 March 2015

UPDATED WITH LETTER: Belvedere: Kellermann’s Basileus connection

27 March 2015

UPDATED WITH FOLLOW-UPS: Kellermann and Cosgrove come on the record

27 March 2015

Kellermann to Biznews: Retract your defamation. Here’s our response.

29 March 2015

Mauritius suspends licence of another Kellermann/Cosgrove offshoot

31 March 2015

Da Silva: FSB investigating “suspicious” Kellermann investments into SA

1 April 2015

Mauritius shuts bank: PM says evidence of Ponzi scheme

4 April 2015

The Legal Details: How Belvedere kingpins believe Biznews defamed them

29 April 2015

Authorities explore Belvedere kingpin Cosgrove links to R365m CWM FX scam

3 May 2015

Guernsey Financial Regulator: How Kellermann manipulated Belvedere funds’ NAVs

3 May 2015

The Smoking Gun? GFSC explains how Kellermann manipulated Belvedere funds’ NAVs

4 May 2015

Belvedere: Guernsey regulator blocks “unilateral surrender” of Lancelot licence

5 May 2015

Belvedere: The back story, with links to Biznews coverage of the saga

5 May 2015

Ian Kilbride: Why the Belvedere Ponzi reminds me of Fidentia

8 May 2015

Belvedere: A huge collapsing scam, with online document shredding too

11 May 2015

Belvedere Buster David Marchant on Ponzis, Cosgrove, CWM and Moneyweb

11 May 2015

Belvedere unravelling into a “huge collapsing scam”

12 May 2015

Kellermann’s cars – Belvedere kingpin’s Ferrari fetish (with video)

12 May 2015

 

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