Mercantile Claims is Caught Deceiving the Timeshare Public

The Timeshare Association can report on another scandal perpetrated by the owners of Mercantile Claims (the sister company to Praetorian Legal). Mercantile Claims is owned by Mr. Gary Smith and Mrs. Hesker-Smith whose personal history includes assisting Eze Group Ltd and the O’Reilly crime family.

Presently, many timeshare consumers are seeking legal resolutions to disputes over timeshares and holiday clubs which were sold to them in Europe. Despite the many warnings, consumers have found themselves in financial peril, accordingly, in need of assistance from the legal profession.

With promises of ‘guaranteed timeshare terminations’ and ‘compensation’ many consumers unwittingly began conversing with the fake lawyers, or those incapable of delivering the expert legal assistance. Many consumers have flocked to the silver-tongued advisors who have perpetrated scams time and time again and under serval guises.

In the recent ‘Leisure Credit’ scandal, many real advisors were involved in the disrupting of trade and shutting down the scammers' operations in order to prevent others from being fleeced, yet despite these efforts, many timeshare consumers remain harangued by cold callers. Most cold calling has now moved offshore and present repeated calls are made in order to wear down consumers, moving them from a position from not wanting to buy, to doing so.

These conversations are called ‘hot leads’ which are then sold to ex-timeshare salespeople who arrive at your door in order to sell fake legal services. The fact is, the services sold are incapable of delivering the promised benefits. The nasty of all nasties in this scenario is that those who originally wrongly sold the products in the first place are making even more money off those same consumers.

Many salespeople have now infiltrated and become embedded in the offices of solicitors/lawyers who are jockeying these scams by way of charging upfront fees and then failing to progress matters to a resolution.

The salespeople who couldn’t move their cold calling operations abroad, developed multiple marketing ‘trading’ and ‘attack’ websites.

With a string of trading websites, they hoped to cast multiple nets to catch hordes of consumers, whilst the attack websites, dissuaded consumers from wandering off into the good and skillful competitors.

In bygone days, those delivering advice and opinion on others identified themselves, and the newspapers reporting scams were accountable for the messages they delivered. In matters of the internet, all websites are required by law to identify the owner, so those making the allegations are accountable for what they say. The law also protects ‘free speech’ if the advice is based upon ‘reasonably held beliefs’, ‘the truth’ or substantially truthful content.

The delivery of free speech goes hand in hand with the identity of the speaker, as that denotes the credibility of what is being said. Not to identify yourself is distancing yourself from what you say and denotes that you are in fear of reprisals or any accountability. The principles of accountability have been abandoned by Mr and Mrs Smith who have become keyboard warriors, living in fear of the consequences of their defamatory remarks.

Mr Gary Smith and Mrs Karen Hesker-Smith are Directors of Praetorian Legal, Mercantile Claims and many other failed or collapsing enterprises. Their current timeshare scam centers around ‘fake indemnity certificates’ and corrupted legal services, performed by an ex-solicitor ‘Ian Patrick Benbow’ who was charged, convicted and recently inprisononed. Supported by a failed car parts salesman they are and consistently prove to be, a real and present danger to all timeshare consumers.

To aid the Smith companies, in obtaining clients, they have created no less than ‘9 trading websites’ and ‘6 attack websites.

The 1st attack website  was ‘’ followed by: -,,, and finally All domiciled in far off jurisdictions (like Panama) and all hiding behind the same privacy shield.

In respect to the attack websites and

I am not at liberty to publish the two websites in the title, other that to say TESS issued defamations proceedings against the Smiths in November 2018 and served those proceedings in February 2019. TESS’s claim is for damages and the claim is defended by the Smiths. That said, no counterclaim has been issued by the Smiths, so everything TESS wrote is not complained of - by the Smiths.

After the claims were defended, a new attack website was created and was called

The Smiths whilst knowing they were in litigation - denying ownership of the other two websites - created in April 2019 this domain name and the website was constructed by Soar-on-line who loaded the messages onto a ‘wordpress’ program. The website consisted of two distinct parts, the first being trusted companies and the second, untrusted.

The Smiths lied to the world explaining that it was created independently, and the owners had no financial gain or financial motive behind the creation of the website other than to assist timeshare consumers.

The site went on to say TESS, The Timeshare Association, and Legal Claim Funder Ltd were all ‘untrusted websites‘ whilst all the companies owned by the Smiths were trusted. To ensure the Smiths had a monopoly over the trusted references the Smiths also listed as 'trusted' a collection of ‘bankrupt’, ‘fraudulent companies’, and others who did not provide legal services.

Once again, the domain name hid behind a privacy shield, this time domiciled in Germany. The mistake the Smiths made was, the internet service provider was an English company and subject to English laws. The internet company was asked if they had the details of the owner and if so, would they disclose them.

The internet company wrote back explaining they did have the information, however, could not disclose the data unless ordered to do so by the courts. With this a Norwich Pharmacal order was applied for in the high court asking for third party disclosure. That application was unopposed thus, the court ordered disclosure within 14 days and the internet company complied and identified that Mr. Gary Smith was the owner and the domain name was paid by ‘Soar-on-line’ on behalf of Mercantile Claims.

The website is a sham has been taken down but was designed for a purpose. That purpose was not to give independent comment but to smear, besmudge and defame others in the Smiths' pursuit of selling corrupt legal services and fake indemnity certificates.