Unregulated Irish pension - investment scheme Dolphin Trust (German Property Group)

Have you invested in any Dolphin Trust-German Property Group products?

Dave Coleman, Managing Partner at Coleman Legal previously advised the Sunday Business Post about the dangers of unregulated investment products in Ireland. (Click Here)

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Up to 1,800 Irish investors lose investments in The Dolphin Trust Scandal aka German Property Group totalling to a combined loss of €107 million

Dolphin Trust, now known as German Property Group (GPG) was started by Charles Smethurst and was a German property investment group that worked with Wealth Options Trustee Limited (WOTL), the Irish administrator to promote the investment scheme to Irish investors.

Dolphin Trust enticed investors to invest their funds for Dolphin Trust to acquire derelict German property such as old buildings, castles, monasteries, barracks, post offices, and more, with the plan to restore and renovate them into luxury apartments to sell to the German market with the advantage of generous tax breaks from the German government.

Coleman-Legal_Dolphin trust German Property Group_Compensation Scheme-Claims-Solicitor

The brochure of the investment scheme claimed that the acquired buildings would be renovated “with integrity and sensitivity to answer the call of the German property market to deliver sustainable living accommodation in highly-sought-after locations”. “Our clients are provided with the additional security of knowing their money is secured by a legal charge on the property,” was stated on their brochure.

From this, the investors understood that if all else went wrong, the investor money would at least have first legal charge on the development property assets.

These unregulated loan note products were sold to a network of approximately two-hundred Wealth Options Trustee Limited (WOTL) brokers in Ireland. It is reported that around 1,800 Irish investors, including pension planners, small business owners and various types of investors have put their money into the scheme where pension brokers and selling agents sold them the unregulated loan note products with the combined amount invested totalling €107 million.

In December 2019, Dolphin reassured brokers that Irish investors have €111 million worth of property assets yet in September 2020, Irish investors were advised that their investments had been written down to zero, as reported in the Irish Business Post.

As pressure mounted from the UK investors, some of which had been experiencing interest defaults from June 2019 and capital defaults as far back as 2018, the German Property group filed for bankruptcy in July 2020.  The bankruptcy proceedings were opened in the Bremen Court in October 2020 with liabilities estimated at €1 billion.

Irish investors have invested sums ranging from €20,000 to €200,000 on the presumption they were investing into secured products.

Recent News & Press Release 

New Update (10.03.2021)

  • Coleman Legal note that decision of O’Moore J this morning regarding the appointment of Myles Kirby of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants as liquidator of MUT 103 limited. Coleman Legal act for a large number of clients who were directed to MUT 103 ltd and MUT 116 ltd by Irish brokers and guaranteed a first legal charge on the property they had invested in. Coleman Legal are instructed to serve proceedings on all parties who are culpable in directing investors towards the now failed German Property Group (GPG) and seek redress for the loss of their investment and income.
  • From instructions received to date, there are concerns over the extent of assets within the company to such a degree that the company did not seem fit for purpose. Coleman Legal continue to be contacted by ‘Dolphin Trust’ investors daily and have continued to be shocked by the individual stories regarding the actions of Irish Brokers. The Administrator of the funds ‘Wealth Options Trustees Limited’ also have serious questions to answer.

If you have invested in ‘Dolphin Trust’ please contact Keith Rolls of Coleman Legal keith@colemanlegal.ie

Dolpin Trust Court Hearing – Important Update (01.03.2021)

  • Kathleen Dineen originally petitioned the High Court to wind up the company, MUT 103 Limited, on 18 December 2020. Kathleen Dineen is an investor in Dolphin Trust via special purposes vehicle company M.U.T. 103 Limited.
  • Mr Justice O’Moore heard from both sides this afternoon, Monday 1 March 2021. Ms Dineen’s legal team were asking the Court for an order to wind up the company without further delay. Counsel for M.U.T. 103 Limited asked the Court to adjourn the petition to allow time for the Directors of M.U.T. 103 Limited to make contact with the investors to advise them of their options.

Judgment stood reserved until Wednesday, 10 March 2021 and we will update our clients again thereafter. If you have invested in Dolphin Trust and have yet to receive your promised returns, please contact our legal team for advice. 

Free Phone: 1800 844 104
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1



Dolphin Trust Pyramid Scheme

Dolphin Trust/German Property Group(GPG) entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2020. Mr. Gerrit Hozle, the preliminary insolvency administrator appointed after Dolphin Trusts petition for bankruptcy, has outlined in his report prepared for the Bremen district court, that the business model of the German Property group had ‘collapsed years ago’ and that large sums of figures, received from Irish investors, had been funneled to family members of Mr. Charles Smethurst, founder of Dolphin Trust.

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How We Can Help ?

Coleman Legal is currently assisting investors involved in this investment scheme to explore their legal options. Our dedicated team has extensive experience in claims relating to professional negligence across a range of industries and we are ready to advise and assist you with your case.

If you believe you have been mis-sold a financial product and suffered financial losses arising from negligent advice, please contact our Professional Negligence Team today at Coleman Legal to discuss if you have a potential legal action.


Senior Solicitor
(Coleman Legal-South)



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Ciara Redmond

Senior Solicitor
(Professional Negligence)



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84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

D01 YX60

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