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EXPOSED: Chris Cleverly – the serial fraudster trying to buy West Ham

By Tom Winnifrith | Thursday 9 September 2021

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

It has been widely reported that lawyer Chris Cleverly is the key London player in PAI, the company that wishes to buy West Ham and that Cleverly, cousin of Tory high flier James, is colourful. As a diehard hammer I put this article outside paywalls so that supporters of the club, the Ferdinand Brothers who back PAI and the current owners are fully aware that Chris Cleverly is more than colourful, he is a serial fraudster and habitual liar. Everything he touches may see him prosper but everyone else gets screwed. I have exposed his frauds over many years, seen off his intimidation of me as an investigative journalist and ensured that his company was booted off London’s AIM Market.

That company was African Potash and on 6 January 2016 it announced a deal to sell $10 million of fertilizer in Africa saying that the deal was backed by a letter of credit and that the product would be delivered within 3-5 days having already been shipped. The exact statement reads:

$10,160,000 gross revenue (gross revenue being the price payable by the buyer of the stock, before deduction of any costs including the purchase cost of the Urea Stock) attributable to African Potash with a sale price of $508 per MT achieved

Payment by the buyer will be made via a Letter of Credit from an internationally accredited bank within 30 days of delivery of the Urea Stock

African Potash will be paid on the basis of a 30 day back to back Letter of Credit Delivery of the Urea Stock to the customer in Lusaka, Zambia, is expected within 3-5 days – transport costs undertaken by the supplier of the Urea Stock and included in the Cost, Insurance & Freight price

A letter of credit in your hand means that revenues are guaranteed.  This news for a company that had never generated any sales before saw the shares rocket and  that allowed the company to raise almost £1 million at 1.7p per share.

But the company never a received a cent. The product was not delivered within 3-5 days or indeed ever. And there was no Letter of credit from the bank (Barclays) which the bank had signed off on just a draft proposal. So this was a fraud, raising money by telling lies.

I published documents to prove this and two other frauds, announcements of contracts which were utterly bogus, and in August 2016 the company sent me a lawyers letter saying it would sue me for libel as you can see HERE unless I apologised, retracted and coughed up two grand in damages.  I said “see you in Court Bitchez!” and started to detail what I would like to see from Potash and its City Nominated Advisor (Nomad) Cantor Fitzgerald as part of the disclosure process in a libel trial. Within a couple of weeks Cantor had parted company with the banker, Stewart Dickson, who had signed off on the untrue releases and had handed in its notice as Potash’s Nomad. Much to my regret, Memery Crystal and Chris Cleverly did not pursue the action.

On the AIM market, where Potash was listed, if you have no Nomad you are slung off. Other Nomads read my article and when approached by Cleverly opted not to act for a fraud run by a serial liar. Unable to find anyone who would act for Potash, Cleverly saw his company thrown off the market by Christmas.

The shares were then listed on the Aquis market, the most junior of exchanges where skulduggery is rife. Within a few months its first corporate advisor had grown tired of being lied to and resigned. Its shares are currently suspended at just 0.0315p following the resignation of the latest in a string of advisers to have walked after being lied to. Cleverly resigned a few months ago to do a related party deal with the company which has, needless to say, got nowhere.

On Aquis, Cleverly carried on lying. He claimed in official statements  on 27 and 29 March 2019 to have raised money at 0.07p per share. Investors bought shares on that basis. But he had, in fact, not raised a cent and only admitted as such months later. I flagged this with regulators who fined the company and publicly censured it. Lying to investors and creating a false market is fraud. And that is what Chris Cleverly does. Not once and by accident but on a serial basis over many years. He is a crook.

Cleverly is the London point man for PAI. Mr Money who claims to have the £400 million offered to the current owners David Gold and David Sullivan, aka “the pornographers” is Nasib Piriyev, the son of Nizami Piriyev, a businessman who was arrested by the Azerbaijani authorities in May 2015. The Azerbaijan government also issued an Interpol arrest notice for Nasib Piriyev which may explain why he is based in London.  These colourful characters say the arrest warrants are politically motivated.

“Those bogus allegations against my family were part of the government-sponsored corporate raid of our assets in the country,” Nasib Piriyev told The Athletic and he insists that he has nothing to fear from the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test. “We are sure we pass the fit and proper test with flying colours.”

If the Premier League thinks that a serial fraudster like Cleverly and anyone who does business with him is fit and proper then it has sunk to a new low. I would urge folks like Anton and Rio Ferdinand to think about with whom they mix and walk away from PAI as fast as possible and for the pornographers to make it clear that they will not sell a club which, for all their faults, they do care about to PAI at any price.

A full dossier of the 449 articles and podcasts I published exposing the African Potash fraud can be found HERE and there are 16 more on it under its new name Block Commodities HERE – if you are here only as  West Ham supporter but have no real interest in shares you will need to invest £1.99 in a day pass to trawl an full archive which demonstrates why Cleverly is not fit to run a public lavatory let alone the mighty Irons. I wouldn’t wish him on Spurs. Ok that’s a lie I would.

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