Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Dear Investors,

         The Blue Bulls logo in a colour newspaper advertisement was the stamp of approval that convinced people that the investment opportunity being offered was kosher.
          It told readers that this was the “Business opportunity of a lifetime” where they could earn a “Phenomenal income.” 
          It was said to involve a product used in the medical and sporting fields that was already “successful in 43 countries.”
          “Our product is approved by the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and other rugby unions and sports bodies will follow shortly,” it claimed.
          The investment required was R140 000.

          The Blue Bulls is one of South Africa’s best known rugby clubs and plays in the Super Rugby tournament under the Vodacom Blue Bulls name.
          “The Blue Bulls logo had a major impact in influencing me to invest,” said Rodney Lauder a retired bank credit manager.
          The ad appeared in the Beeld, the Afrikaans daily newspaper that is said to be the most quoted paper in South Africa.

          There were also others. One in the Sunday Times on 7 October 2012 for instance made this unbelievable claim: “Earn R25 000 passive income every month from January 2013.” The capital required was R250 000. To make it even more enticing this ridiculous return was “Guaranteed or your money back.” 

          Another one in the same paper on 14 October 2012 offered the same incredible income and guarantee on R200 000 with payments beginning in December 2012.
          At the bottom of both these ads was the name of the company The World Loves a Winner (TWLW) with the same telephone number and an address at Hanger 2, Rand Airport, Germiston.
          This Rand Airport address also appeared in the Beeld advertisement and was where the owner of the company, pilot Kevin Pearman had a flight school.
          He left Rand Airport about three years ago and when I asked the airport manager Stuart Coetzee what happened to the flight school he replied: “I can’t tell you. I’m not getting into that.”

         Pearman has a history of making too good to be true undertakings in advertisements to get people to put money into his various get-rich-quick schemes which don’t produce the promised riches.
 See previous posts.
Telkom drops Pearman
Blog that nobody reads   
Cell C's strange deal
Big business shuns little man
          This Bulls campaign netted him R1.1-million.
          Lauder put in R150 000 and some of the others, one of whom was disabled in a wheel chair, used their pension money, he maintained.
          The others were: Gideon van Zyl, Eddie Mabusela and Razia Hassan R200 000 each; Tony Baker R150 000; William Chauke, Sivanander Pillay and Noko Gnoebe, R50 000 each.

          The money entitled them to become licensees for Heat in a Click (SA) Ltd (HIAC) represented by Jess Cawood, although oddly all the shares were in the name of his wife Johanna Petronella Cawood. It was suppose to have the exclusive South African rights to market the products of the London based Heat in a Click.
          The products were said to consist of a variety of re-usable heating pads to treat muscle and related ailments.
           As the authorised broker Pearman had the investments paid into TWLW’s bank account. This was despite the fact that all the licensing agreements were with Cawood’s company, which gave money back guarantees in the contracts investors signed even though it had not been paid any of it.
          On his heat pad website Pearman stated that a minimum of 50 stands would be placed in shopping malls to sell the product. It showed a picture of a stand that was said to “produced an average profit of R5 000 a day.”
          It went on to say that a net profit per stand was projected to be R150 000 per month and 50% of this would be pooled to be shared equally by the licence holders.
          On this basis if there were only 50 licence holders they would each receive a “passive income of R75 000 per month.”
          Other hard to believe claims on the website included that “over the past few months a feasibility of the product was done here in South Africa by introducing it to a diverse range of potential markets ranging from doctors, school children, vets, maternity wards, physiotherapists, beauty salons, spas and a variety of sportsmen such as rugby players, hunters and fishermen, and this study proved that the product sells itself and that the retail pricing is extremely affordable.”
          “We were never told anything about this and I don’t believe it was ever done,” Lauder told me.
          The investors were not aware that the Bulls club had never authoriZed for its logo to be use in any investment promoting advertisements.
Darryl Kroll, the Club’s brand promoter had this to say when I sent him a copy of the Beeld ad.
          “I’m flabbergasted; we would never have approved that. I cannot believe how unscrupulous and devious people can be. It saddens me.”
          He told me that one of Cawood’s companies was “licensed purely to distribute Bulls branded Heat in a Click packs to retailers in South Africa.”

          “But there was shortfall of the minimum guarantee and they were put in breach once they did not pay.”
          He added that they tried for months to get hold of Cawood to get what they were owed but he seemed to have disappeared. As far as he knew no Bulls heat pads ever got to the market.

        And no stalls were ever put in any malls, according to Lauder.
         Inevitably the investors began complaining that they had not received any of the promised income. The money back guarantees in the agreements they signed were not honour and they soon realised they had lost all their money.
          Pearman and Cawood then accused each other of fraud.   
          “I’m sure they were working together,” said Van Zyl, an IT specialist. “We were told so many lies.”
          However Pearman denied this saying that he was duped by Cawood and that was the reason he laid a fraud charge against him.
This was done at the Germiston Police station, but the prosecutor declined to take it any further as it was regarded as a civil case rather than a criminal one.
          In an affidavit 62 year old Pearman, who lives at 21 Chaucer Avenue, Senderwood, Bedfordview, Johannesburg, stated that on the basis of an agreement he had with Cawood he recruited the investors. Approximately R500 000 went in his expenses and R441 475 was paid into the Absa Bank account of Cawood’s wife.
          On 19 January 2013 he stopped doing business with Cawood and in terms of a termination agreement they both signed Cawood agreed to continue with Heat in a Click in the “best interests of the investors.”


          After this he was surprised to learn that Cawood was doing nothing further and in April 2013 he contacted the London Heat in a Click only to be told that they had not given Cawood the sole South African rights and that “this could be a fraudulent scam.”
          In a letter to an Inspector at the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission, to whom the investors had complained, Cawood’s lawyer Neels Grobler said according to his client Pearman and his company were only mandated to find buyers for the products.
 “At no stage was he given permission to obtained investors and at no stage did Heat in a Click receive the money from the investors,” he wrote. “At no stage did Mr or Mrs Cawood representing Heat in a Click sign any of the investors’ contracts.
“We have appointed our own forensic investigator to investigate charges of fraud against Mr Pearman.”

On 21 January 2013 Pearman sent a circular to the investors saying that “an extremely exciting new avenue has opened up for our sister company which demands our total attention. Consequently from today The World Loves a Winner will no longer handle any responsibilities for Heat in Click.”
He referred them to Cawood and his company HIAC which he maintained was now in full control of the business and “all plans remain exactly the same.”
In a letter to the investors dated 28 February 2013 Pearman told them that although he had ended his relationship with HIAC “we felt morally obliged to ensure that none of the investors loses their investment.”
For this reason he was putting pressure on Jess Cawood to honour his agreement to put stands in shopping centres and to begin marketing the products.
“Rest assured we will make good our promise to liquidate HIAC and appoint a liquidator to manage the business in the sole interest of the investors.”
He stated that his attorney Frik Weldhagen had been instructed to do this immediately after the expiry of seven days unless he got a satisfactory answer from Cawood.
Good hearted Kevin added: “Please be aware that we are instituting this action at our cost on behalf of all investors and will not be seeking any contributions from you.”
But like a lot of Kevin’s promises this never happened. “There was no point in throwing good money after bad,” he told me.

He assured me he was not a crook and proof of this was that he had even given one investor their money back towards the end. Asked who this was he could neither name the person nor give me the amount involved.
Eddie Mabusela, who had a small construction business in Pretoria, told me that the loss of his investment affected him “big time.”
“I’m broke,” he said. “I put all my savings into this and they ducked and dived.”
Pearman once told me he has never hurt anyone. I suppose leaving somebody “broke” doesn’t count and taking hundreds of thousands of rand from people, many of whom could ill afford to lose it, doesn’t count either.


Jon, the Consumer Watchdog who stands up
for the less fortunate when nobody else will.                  
P.S. When Rodney Lauder began complaining that there had been “misappropriation of funds and a total misrepresentation of the business” he started getting anonymous calls on his landline in the middle of the night. Odd that, as I had the same experience (See my post “Blog that nobody reads.”).

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