Financial consultant “vanishes with one million”

ANXIOUS INVESTORS living in the Algarve have recently contacted The Resident over the alleged sudden disappearance of financial intermediary Mark Hodgson along with, it is feared, at least one million euros of investors’ cash.

According to certain investors who do not wish to be named at this stage, Mr Hodgson, 33, was until a few weeks ago operating as an investment consultant from an office in Albufeira under the name, Claremont Consultants Ltd, a company with a Swiss postal address, but whose registered office is thought to be in Belize. An investor raised the alarm when, unable to contact Mr Hodson by telephone, he visited the Albufeira office in early June, only to find it closed. On making inquiries of the office landlady, who lives opposite, he was told that Mr Hodgson had vacated the premises some two weeks before and handed back the keys. Since then, all attempts to contact Mr Hodson by telephone, fax and e-mail have proved futile and all enquiries as to his whereabouts or that of his wife Zena Jane Hodgson Gilchrist, 34, have drawn a blank. The Hodgsons are said to be British citizens, formerly from New Milton in Hampshire, England, and are reported to have been resident in Portugal for about the last eight years.“We don’t yet know how many investors may be affected, or the total amount of money that may have gone missing,” an investor told The Resident.

Complaints have now been lodged with Faro Polícia Judiciária and investors are awaiting the “imminent” issue of an international warrant for the arrest of Mark Hodgson.

Jacob Dijkstra, a relative of two of the investors, his 82 year old mother and his young orphaned nephew, who together stand to lose over 600,000 Euros, has flown to the Algarve from his home in Florida, USA, to help spearhead the search for the missing consultant and the money. Mr Dijkstra told The Resident that the missing sums include his mother’s entire life savings as well as all the monies in a trust fund set up for the benefit of his nephew, whose parents both died of cancer during the 1990s. The family now have to borrow money for their daily needs.

Contacted by The Resident, Mr Hodgson’s mother Louise, who lives in the Algarve, said that she had no idea where her son was, adding, “I have never had any idea about anything to do with his business, he never told me. I can’t help you. I’m as in the dark as anyone else.” Attempts by investors and by The Resident to contact Mr Hodgson’s mother-in-law in New Milton, England, resulted in callers being informed that they “have the wrong number.”

Investors are appealing for anyone who believes they may be affected by Mr Hodgson’s apparent disappearance and the sudden mysterious closure of the Claremont Consultants Ltd office or has news of Mr Hodgson or his wife Zena, to contact Faro Polícia Judiciária or email Jacob Dijkstra at[email protected]