Everybody remembers the case of the Panama Papers where shell companies got created for keeping personal financial information private. While offshore business entities are often not illegal, reporters found that some of the Mossack Fonseca shell corporations were used for illegal purposes, including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions. A similar kind of company like Mossack Fonseca seems to be A1 Company Services located in Finchley, London, UK. Shell companies can get easily identified by their address which they are using for their mail forwarding service.
One client from A1 Company Services, Leadco Limited, has sent me the following message from using the contact form from my website:
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2016 23:47
Betreff: WWPA e-mail - Pension review leads LOA
We are looking for an out bound call centre for pension lead gen or appointement setting is this something you can provide us with?
Name: Leon thomas
IP address: 188.8.131.52
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 5.1.1; SM-G928T Build/LMY47X) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/50.0.2661.89 Mobile Safari/537.36
The IP address 184.108.40.206 is really from the UK, but at the Internet are many different proxy services available and an UK domain proves nothing. A view at the homepage from leadcoltd.co.uk returned the joke "We are the leading Marketing Brokers", because the domain and the company is less than 2 months old. Additional is the start-up company LeadCo Limited dreaming from hot ice with their requirements where the call center has to Supply their own data and get Paid per lead. With other words the "Leading Marketing Broker" is thinking that others are investing for him that he can make big money. At the payment time the center has to discuss about the quality of the leads. Already these facts are showing that LeadCo Limited has no idea about the business but the owner from the company seems to have enough reasons to hide his real name and his real location.
LEADCO Limited is registered at the UK Companies House:
Company number: 10133813
Address: 1st Floor 2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, London, England, N12 0DR
Incorporated on 19 April 2016
Director: MORRIS, Darren, born July 1980, Nationality British
People who have invested into a limited company (the shareholders) are only responsible for any company debts up-to the amount that they have invested and no more. The capital from the company LEADCO Limited is £100. That means if the debts from the company are higher than the £100 and the company has not enough funds for paying their debts they are bankrupt. In this case the creditors are not getting more in sum than £100, independent how high the debts from such a company are.
A Google search for the address "2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, London, England, N12 0DR" returned 58,700 results. This count of results seems to be too high for a simple company address. It seems that at this place is something running wrong. One of the search results is 15,826 Companies in N12 0DR, Woodberry Grove, London - Endole and you'll find there really more than 15,000 companies listed with their net worth value and their cash in bank.
Google recognizes the search for an address and provides in such a case in the search results Google Maps, Google Earth and Streetview.
Google Streetview shows us only the Finchley Christian Spiritualist Church. Such a big house where 15,826 companies can have their office inside is simple missing. The Finchley Christian Spiritualist Church has house number 4:
The satellite picture from Google Earth shows us that the house with the address 2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, London, England, N12 0DR is hiding behind the church and cannot get seen from the street:
Don't let yourself get fooled and think that the big building with the caption Homebase - London North Finchley could be the searched address. This building has the address 679 High Rd, North Finchley, London, N12 0DA and is a Warehouse-like chain for home improvement, DIY and garden equipment, plus furniture. Even this building would be to small for having more than 15,000 companies inside.
The answer is very simple and can get found in the search results for the address at Google. At the same address is working the company A1 Company Services - UK Company Formations. Such services are registering companies and are even providing directors, nominee and secretarial services for a small amount. The business term for such a company is shell company.
The domain registration data from leadcoltd.co.uk:
Other UK Entity (e.g. clubs, associations, many universities)
1st Floor 2 Woodberry Grove,
Nominet was able to match the registrant's name and address against a 3rd party data source on 19-Apr-2016
Heart Internet Ltd t/a Heart Internet [Tag = HEARTINTERNET]
Registered on: 19-Apr-2016
Expiry date: 19-Apr-2017
Last updated: 19-May-2016
Registered until expiry date.
WHOIS lookup made at 06:01:08 10-Jun-2016