ISG centre of controversy again

The Cascais Court has ordered financial services company International Service Group Lda (ISG Lda.) to pay nearly 50,000 Euros plus interest to bakery company M. Harris Lda.At issue were sums of money improperly held by ISG Lda. when it managed the Algarve based bakery company in 1991.Since the decision, rumours have resurfaced concerning the control of ISG Lda. by charismatic “therapist” and “business consultant”, Nadine Scott.Scott and her “International Saturday Group”, a therapeutic community of middle class professionals which also, confusingly goes by the acronym “ISG”, were at the centre of allegations of brainwashing and business fraud when, in 1997, the Group was involved in a high profile dispute over the custody of three teenagers, who were eventually taken back to Britain by their mother against the wishes of Scott and her followers.At the time the Portuguese press branded them an “English Sect” and a former member of the Group voiced fears that his own children could be victims of manipulation and brainwashing and that the Group had defrauded him of £1m in therapy and ill-advised business ventures.Also, during the same period, the British cult-busting charity, Catalyst gave evidence to the Portuguese authorities. Catalyst president, Graham Baldwin, was reported as saying, “Mrs Scott took control of people’s lives, not only in their marriages and where they lived, but also in what they did with their money. It developed way beyond one-to-one psychotherapy into what is a cult.”The decision in favour of M. Harris Lda., is part of an alleged tangled web of corporate fraud alleged to be masterminded by Scott and a tight circle of collaborators involving the running and sale of shares in the Isle of Man registered investment holding company Acamudes Ltd. Acamudes’ capital had been raised during early 1987 by ISG Lda. salesmen from among ISG Lda.’s expatriate clients who then became its shareholders. It is alleged that very soon, by September 1987, ISG Lda. directors, Nadine Scott and her associate Philip Portal had, through improper means, personally gained management control of Acamudes Ltd as well as other similarly structured offshore companies with assets of over £2m.Several other similar cases against ISG Lda, or related entities are due to be heard later this year. According to a statement released by lawyers for M. Harris Lda., ISG Lda is now trading as “Yes-to-Consulting Lda”.