Too Long – Didn’t Read? Summary: DON’T PAY THESE DEMANDS! Looks like the old company director and or ex employees are trying to collect debt that he doesn’t have the authority to collect.
Debt belonged to Wild About Water (UK) Limited. As of December 2014 nobody has the authority to collect this debt. There are previous court injunctions against ex-director of Powwow Water and associated companies preventing him incorrectly collecting debt.
You should provide your documentation to the police. See the update of 18th December 2014 (near the bottom of this article) to get hold of the contact details of the correct department to do so.
This is especially important if you have PAID these demands!
I happened to be on site at one of my customers the other day. I overheard them talking about a demand for unpaid invoices from one of their old suppliers, Powwow Water.
It was initially flagged up as a confusion as my customer believed they had settled all their invoices and some of the invoices Powwow were saying were unpaid didn’t tally with the deliveries my customer had.
The demand was sent by Ian Close [email@example.com] (paperwork signed by “Alan Reid”) with the message being submitted by IP address 18.104.22.168 (server88-208-206-170.live-servers.net) with an internal host name of DSVR018203.
The headers reveal that the Exchange Hosting that columbuslegal.co.uk use seems to be registered under vintnet.com.
One of the messages also referenced Kerr, Sophie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
A whois on this domain shows that the domain has been registered under the name Andrew Vint at “vintnet”: (update – since publication the whois has been hidden using a privacy service!)
Registrant Name: WEB MASTER
Registrant Organization: NUMBERGROUP BILLING SERVICES LTD
Registrant Street: UNIT 1 ANSTY COURT
Registrant Street: 31 CAROLINE STREET
Registrant City: BIRMINGHAM
Registrant State/Province: WEST MIDLANDS
Registrant Postal Code: B3 1UQ
Registrant Country: GB
Registrant Phone: +44.7748760372
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.111111111
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: ANDREW.VINT@VINTNET.COM
The domain had only been registered 2014-07-03!
An MX lookup on this domain also shows that the mail flows to IP smtp.powwowwater.net [22.214.171.124] which suspiciously resolves to “smtp.vintnet.com”!
(Since publication the IP Reverse DNS has also been changed to smtp.mailme.link – even more hiding and makes it less obvious it is related to vintnet.. The whois for mailme.link is protected via the same privacy service as the powwowwater.net now is.
However upon further investigation the IP still announces itself as GLA1-EX13.int.vintnet.com).
Already something iffy going on there. The demands are being sent by a supposed legal company that already uses the same IT resources as Powwow Water and run by an ex employee.
Powwow water went into insolvency around 14th March 2012.
This demand for payment of unpaid invoices came through to my customer in July 2014! The invoices they were demanding ranged from 2008 through to 2010 and totalled about £1,500.
My customer had also even called the company that took over the debt and business – Wild About Water (UK) Limited. They said they were aware of a few other people who had been sent these demands and they were nothing to do with them. I have subsequently called them again and confirmed that the account was settled and nothing is due.
Here is the important part from the above (linked) insolvency document.
3.6 Book debts
The most significant asset of the Company was its customer debtor book. In order to preserve value and maintain continuity of supply it was agreed that WAW would carry out the collection of all book debts.
Shortly after our appointment, it came to our attention that the Director had purported to have sold a significant amount of the Company’s book debts older than 120 days to Murray White on the day of our appointment, for a nominal consideration. It should be noted that no sums were received by the Company for those book debts. Under the terms of the CID facility, all book debts were secured to the Bank.
As Murray White and MWL had been targeting customers pursuing recovery of the Company’s book debts. the Bank were required to raise injunctions in both the Scottish and English courts to intervene. Subsequently, successful injunctions were granted by the courts.
The Bank operated a separate pre-appointment bank account on behalf of the Company into which approximately £1.3m of book debts has been received. These debts are not included in the Administrators’ Receipts and Payments Account at Appendix 2. As the Bank has suffered a shortfall of approximately £0.3m under its CID facility, there will be no recovery to the Administration from this source.
On this basis, pursuance of any remaining book debt recoveries would not benefit the Company’s preferential or unsecured creditors. Notwithstanding, no agent, third party or sol1c1tor has been instructed either by the Bank or the Administrators to pursue recovery of all book debts, which remain secured to the Bank under its CID facility or owed to the Company
So it seems there is instantly confusion over the debt from the day of insolvency. The bank owned the debt due to the CID (Confidential Invoice Discounting) function of the account they had yet the Director, James Clement Park (Jim Park), sold the debt for little or no sum to “Murray White & Co Limited or Murray White London Limited” (MWL).
Murray White _and_ Futureview Technologies appear on the creditors list at time of Powwow Insolvency!
Funnily enough.. Since around 2007 to today Jim White is a director of…. Murray White & Co Limited.
But! The demand that my customer was sent was a demand from “Powwow Water Company Limited”.
The legal company claimed, and sent documentation supposedly showing so too, assignation of debts and other business from “Powwow Water Company Limited” to “Futureview Technologies Inc.” 5th April 2009, before Insolvency (but, we assume, while the bank still owned the debt). “Futureview Technologies Inc.” then changed it’s name to “Powwow Group Holdings Inc.” on 1st March 2012.
Returning to Andrew Vint (the ex-IT chap
still involved who’s name has continued to be used with I.T. infrastructure for Powwow and Columbus Legal) his LinkedIn page explains, slightly more, the relationship between all of these companies:
Head of Information Services
Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Facilities Services industry
September 2008 – August 2010 (2 years)
Head of IS for the Murray White Group which encompasses three business units, Murraywhite Debt Management (Glasgow), Powwow Water Company Ltd (Oxford) and Futureview Technologies Inc (Houston, TX) in the states.
Jim Park has been a director of Futureview Technologies Limited, a similarly named company, since mid 2007 until early 2014. There is currently a Proposal to strike off recorded on Companies House at the time I write this. The last accounts filed also show as Jan 2010.
Once presented with all the information I found the accountants advise was to respond with:
Thank you for your e-mail attaching a certified copy of an assignation between Powwow Water Company Limited and Futureview Technologies Inc dated 5 November 2009. We further understand that this company has changed its name to Powwow Group Holdings Inc.
We are concerned that this document is signed by James Park on behalf of Powwow Water Company Limited. We are aware that the same gentleman was also a director of Futureview Technologies Limited and Murray White Limited. Furthermore that Mr Park has sold some of the book debts of Powwow Limited to Murray White and that the Scottish and English Courts have raised injunctions against this company due to the fact that these debts were secured to the bank.
We also note that the collection of book debts was to be collected by Wild About Water (UK) Limited. They have confirmed to us that all our debts are paid.
We therefore conclude that you are attempting to recover “paid debts” to which you would not actually have entitlement to collect.
Update: 29th Oct 2014: Seems that Ian Close (columbus legal) was already associated with Powwow Water. He was Head of Collections in 2008! A visitor to this blog also sent through another IP associated with columbuslegal e-mail.
126.96.36.199 (no reverse dns)
inetnum: 188.8.131.52 – 184.108.40.206
descr: Customer LAN subnet
status: ASSIGNED PA
source: RIPE # Filtered
role: Lumison Hostmaster
address: Pulsant (Scotland) Ltd
address: Sugar Bond House
address: 2 Anderson Place
address: EH6 5NP
Update: 6th November 2014: Another IP address associated with columbuslegal email submission / sending has emerged…
Interestingly this server has a number of open services and announces itself as internal name PWW-DC01 (presumably PowWowWater Domain Controller 01) on domain….. “powwowwater.local”
Columbus Legal are sending their e-mails using PowWow Water’s server, vpn or remote desktop services?
Update: 10th November 2014: A new company “POW WOW WATER LIMITED” has appeared, registered in September 2014, with Ian Close as the sole director… https://www.kompany.co.uk/p/uk/sc485586
Update: 25th November 2014: Some time between publishing this a month ago (24th Oct) and today – the powwowwater.net domain has had privacy applied to it and it’s related hostname changed hiding the vintnet connection. I guess they are reading this blog and covering their tracks?
Update: 28th November 2014: A reader of the blog comments that they have now started to use another domain.. also protected by the same privacy service as the other domains above. The domain has only been registered since 17th November 2014!
powwowgroupinc.com doesn’t give a postal address and claims they are in the USA. However the website contains a hidden UK telephone number “0191 632 5463” (01916325463). At the moment it seems to be unallocated. The site lists an email address @powwowgroupinc.com but there is no MX DNS record for the domain so mail won’t reach them.
Update: 15th December 2014: If you are being threatened with winding up proceedings but you still dispute the debt; advice from “The Insolvency Service” is:
“Apply for an injunction to restrain presentation or advertisement of a winding up petition (Insolvency Rules 1986 Rule 4.6A) using Form 7.1a. You would select “liquidation” on the form..
Complete the form and file it with the court for the area covering the registered office of your company. There is likely to be a court fee IRO £155 for this.”
A new physical address has also surfaced for Ian Close.. Some e-mail seems to come from a broadband connection based in a shared office building in Glasgow..
Baltic Chambers, 50 Wellington Street, Glasgow, G2 6HA
The address noted on e-mails from Columbus Legal:
Columbus Legal Solutions Ltd
83 West Regent St
Tel: 0141 4420256
In July 2014 StreetView shows this as being a Gildeas Solicitors office – who also have their main address / offices just down the road at 97 & 99 West Regent Street.
It’s been pointed out to me that the Baltic Chambers address is where Garner Bruce Legal Services are and their domain is registered to Jim Park at yet another address:
A little bit more searching around also brings up this discrepancy. A visitor to this site comments..
[J]ust been sent a letter dated 19th May 2012, which states that Powwow Water Company Ltd transferred debt to Powwow Group Holdings Inc. during 2009 and 2010. It then goes on to say that Powwow Group Holdings Inc. have assigned the debt to Columbus Legal Solutions.
Yet a post on an Academic form in April 2012 states that they were told:
[R]eceived a letter on headed paper which appeared to come from Powwow stating that the debts due to Powwow Water Company Ltd had been transferred to Powwow Group Holdings Inc and had then been assigned to Ashton Beveridge.
Note the final assignation is different.. David’s letter dated May 2012 claims Columbus Legal yet a University finance department were given a letter in April 2012 claims Ashton Beveridge.
I’ve also found further reports on a forum for dental practices showing Kate King titling herself “Collections Manager” (supplying 0141 404 6517 as her / their phone number) in an e-mail in September 2014 demanding payment to the following account..
Santander Business Banking
Sort code 09-01-27
Funnily enough – still the same account number that the University was asked to send payment to in 2012. This same account number seems to appear in demands sent by Garner Bruce in Jan 2014.. as if you need any more reason or re-enforcement to not pay into this account number: Advice from the Devon Audit Partnership (devonaudit.gov.uk). (On the second to last page and last page)
Update: 17th December 2014:
A visitor to this site, who I’ve been communicating with a few times over the past few months, has sent:
“[Someone who represents the insolvency service gave advice] to tell anyone I was in contact with on this that no one is authorised to collect pow wow’s debt anymore and it is illegal to do so.”
He also notes that this same person asked him to contact the police about this matter as well.
I’ve also noticed another name and phone number associated with the bank account referenced in the last update:
T: 0141 404 6181
For Garner Bruce Legal Services
Update: 18th December 2014:
Advice given to me today, directly by the person representing the insolvency service; Nobody has authority to collect [this] debt and it has been this way since April 2013.
For anyone who feels they wish to contact the police – please leave me a comment at the bottom of this article and I will pass you the contact detail of someone at the Economic Crime Unit or someone representing the insolvency service.
(The form is below all the existing comments, make sure you fill in your e-mail address in the appropriate box. It won’t be published on this website but will allow me to e-mail you.)
Update: 12th Jan 2015:
It has been re-confirmed by the police that nobody should pay these demands. They are very in hearing from people who have already paid demands, please read the above update (18th December) to get the contact details.
Update: 28th Jan 2015:
A new name has appeared in relation to contact about supposed outstanding invoices – “Gordon Rahburn”.
Update: 29th Jan 2015:
As far as I can verify – a genuine comment has been posted by Alan Reid of Columbus Legal.
Update: 2nd June 2015:
After around 5 months of inactivity there appears to be renewed interest in this article. I wonder if powwow have re-surfaced and are sending letters again, if you have any information please comment at the bottom of the page!
I also note that the “POW WOW WATER LIMITED” company number SC485586, formed September 2014) is now listed as “Status: Active – Proposal to Strike off” and “Dissolution (First Gazette)” at Companies House!