Robert Cowley, 2nd Baron Ardwhallan: A Scammer’s Comeuppance

We are happy to announce that Robert Cowley, 2nd Baron Ardwhallan, CEO of fake bank Investment Suisse, and occasionally fake Knight, and Earl, as well as Baron, whose bizarre fantasy life we glimpsed here, and whose ruthless scammery we also glimpsed, here, is on an extended career break, as of Wednesday 26th March, 2014.

On that day Cowley was sentenced, in Brisbane District Court, to three years in jail, for a $200,000 investment fraud; relatively modest by the standards set during his thirty year scamming spree, which must have cost a few million bucks, and maybe as much as $20Mn. The sentence started immediately. Parole will not be offered for 18 months. It may not be on offer after 18 months, either, if the police haven’t recovered the money by then. It is considered very unlikely that they will.

Adding to Cowley’s suddenly brimming cup of woes, a further trial on another fraud charge, for a similar amount of money, is scheduled for later this year, and the sentence, if he is convicted, is to run consecutively to the sentence already passed.

This blog offers its congratulations, and commiserations, to the tough-minded victims who have finally managed to nail the old crocodile. Hats off to the Brisbane Police, too.

Meanwhile, the decapitated remains of Robert Cowley’s scam empire can still be found, out there, twitching. Aimed, broadly speaking, at the Northern Hemisphere, there is his latest fake brokerage, Hawker Davis Marlowe (free registration required to see the reg entry), at 35 Piccadilly, which seems to be late with its accounts. Hawker Davis Marlowe’s web sites, presumably soon to disappear, and archived here and here, look drab and harmless; quite unlike the man’s biography, and the man himself.

For any Antipodeans who want to be defrauded, there is Cowley’s other bank, Chartered Savings and Loan of New Zealand, formerly known as Investment Suisse, which, despite having no NZ-resident directors, really is registered by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as a Financial Services Provider. That seems outrageous, until you remember that the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will register pretty much anything as a Financial Services Provider, and manifestly doesn’t and couldn’t have ongoing absence of FSPs’ directors’ fraud convictions across the entire planet as part of its criteria for retention of an FSP registration.

You might think that undermines the entire sodding point of having registered Financial Services Providers, but I could not possibly comment. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key used to think these overseas ISPs were a good idea. What more need be said?

My tips:

1. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment should consult the District Court Registry to see if they have any copies of the Cowley trial transcripts (Sentence on Robert Cowley, Wednesday 26 March 2014, Judge Rafter, District Court). The Registry phone number is 07 3247 4313. If that doesn’t pan out, sentencing remarks may be obtained from Auscript; there are contact details on their website:

2. After that, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment might feel inclined to cancel the FSP registration of FSP153304 and strike off the company.

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  1. leapfrog

    Cowley’s scams don’t sound much different than the “God’s work” that Blankfein does. Did Cowley forget to pay “someone” off or did his competition take him out?

  2. steelhead23

    Fraud? Robert Crowley is a fraud? Really? Well, that changes things doesn’t it? Surely the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will scour its registry for criminals and Mr. Crowley’s enterprises will end up in the bin. Right? Right? …. oh, I see. The registry if rife with fraud? Wouldn’t be prudent? Carry on.

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