‘The money has disappeared’: how Dolphin Trust vanished a fortune

Property investment group Dolphin Trust collapsed in July with liabilities of over €1 billion – and took with it the pensions of thousands of ordinary people who thought their life savings were safe. What happened to their money – and will they ever see any of it again?

20th December, 2020
‘The money has disappeared’: how Dolphin Trust vanished a fortune
Charles Smethurst and his wife Manou Lenz: the Germany-based Dolphin Trust was founded by Smethurst, who is now being investigated by German authorities on foot of a criminal complaint Picture: Getty

It had already been an incredibly stressful year for Padraig, a healthcare worker in an Irish hospital, when he received some news last month that stunned him – an investment he had made of €60,000 was now worth zero.

During the course of a 35-year career, he had spent ten years working in the National Health Service in Britain, regularly working nights and weekends in a challenging area of nursing.

“It was money that was...

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