Since we were first made aware of the stories about Kevin Brennan and Emma Foulger, ex editors of the Hérault and Aude Times, and the magazine l’Artiste, we’ve been very busy talking to other people in the region who have similar stories to tell.
Thanks to all of you who had the courage to talk to us about situations which generally you’d rather not have re-lived.
The good news is that one of the victims, Hugh MacCamley, has established a procedure to contact the UK Fraud Squad, and now it’s a question of reporting what you can, in order that the Fraud Squad can build up a fuller picture of events and alleged fraudulent and criminal behaviour. Please see the end of the article for more details.
In the meantime, here are some more stories to add to the catalogue of horror stories already published. All these alleged stories were recounted to us by victims of Kevin and Emma.
1. Hugh MacCamley
My wife began working for Brennan early 2013. We had made a deal, with conditions laid out in an email. At first, it was to be an estate worker at the Domaine St Domingue which Brennan was allegedly buying for a fabulous sum. However, my job changed to writing and computer based functions.
We were writing for three publications, running the social network and visiting art exhibitions and galleries followed up with written reviews for The Aude Times, The Hérault Times and L’Artiste that Foulger was supposed editor of, and whose name appeared as company owner in an online UK company registry we discovered later, in 2014. We met up regularly as Foulger was friendly with my wife and also our daughter had a close friendship with Aisha. By September 2013 I was asking myself why Brennan had monthly problems paying us, and he had also seriously lost his temper over the phone with my wife on one occasion.
At the time I did not think Brennan and Foulger were crooked but rather disorganised.
We did not get paid for January 2014, though in February Brennan almost threw our February money at us he was evidently upset at having to pay us.
Foulger became increasingly distant from my wife, while Brennan oscillated between euphoric ideas about making L’Artiste an international art review and meetings where he seemed confused about what we were all doing. He insisted he would pay us but claimed there were inexplicable difficulties occurring due to matters concerned with his past as a secret service hacker and security clearance required by the French authorities. Once this was sorted we could all get back to normal and he would reimburse us.
By April, Brennan had received his so-called clearance so we still had remote hope for at least a concessional payment but it was clear by May it was over as we were treated to one excuse after another with technical problems and emails from fictitious lawyers, administrators, accountants and “Mary” in the “office” who suddenly appeared out of virtual nowhere to try to solve the pay issues. When we started analysing the emails we realised they were forgeries.
We decided we would visit the owner of St Domingue, whom Brennan and Foulger had both cheated to the tune of €240,000. We also began to meet other victims. We exchanged documents relating to their dishonesty in business and property dealings. We found out that over the relaunching of L’Artiste that they wanted us to having nothing to do with, they had swindled the promoters for €26,000. We decided we had to form alliances if we were to get anywhere further, legally.
By June, we were owed €12,250 and, on the advice of a lawyer, we went to the Gendarmerie in Pezenas to file a report. The gendarme who dealt with us actually called Foulger on her mobile. She was completely taken by surprise, admitted what they owed and we were told we would be paid if we resubmitted our invoices by registered mail. We did this but nothing happened. Brennan sent me threatening sms messages in the meantime but I ignored them.
In 2015 we were linked up with Italians who owned a cattery also tricked by the deceitful couple, to over €4,000 in unpaid boarding fees. Other revealing discoveries were made about them, as well as Foulger’s executive positions in companies from 2009. The cattery owners also told us that in a final bid to avoid paying up, Foulger had informed them that Brennan had been killed in a car accident.
By 2016, our police report was closed and sent for a judicial review to the Procureur in Beziers. Our lawyer ascertained that the case was turned down. We were extremely disappointed as we had supplied the gendarme on our case with many incriminating documents, including forged VAT, Inland Revenue UK and HSBC bank statement claiming he had 8 million pounds on a blocked account. It transpired that the gendarme had not included some papers in the dossier and had neglected to add our unpaid invoices for services to Foulger and Brennan.
2. Name withheld
What can you say about Kevin, he’s a chancer, a charmer and prays on the weak and vulnerable, especially women. I met Kevin about ten years ago, in the Languedoc, I wasn’t impressed with the stories he was coming out with, he bragged that he was a whizz at computers, and sold a Microsoft program for millions of pounds, but he then blew it all at the casinos. He sounded plausible to the naive, but my in-built radar kept telling me he was a fake, but in an odd way you couldn’t help but like him.
My husband and I were having problems with our computer, so we asked if he could take a look, (bearing in mind that my husband was quite good with computers, he was better at building them than programming). My husband and I sat and watched Kevin trying to fix our computer, Kevin thought that he was being clever, he soon changed his mind when he realised my husband had already tried exactly the same methods as he was doing. Anyway, in the end my husband fixed the computer himself. About a year later Kevin seemed to disappeared off the scene for a while, he kept a bit of a low profile.
About three years later, Kevin came back on the scene and some how muscled his way back in to our area, again I was having problems with my computer, by this time I was on my own, my husband had passed away, so I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, but that nagging feeling kept telling me not to let him touch it. I should have listened to my inner nagging feeling, because if I wasn’t upset enough with losing my husband, he lost all my memories and photos of my husband, and it cost me a few hundred euros to get it fixed, but the photos were priceless to me.
If there’s a con to be had, Kevin will have a go at conning someone out of their money, he has no scruples and doesn’t care who he hurts or tramples on the way to what he wants.
If I knew where he was, I would have no hesitation in turning him in. He has hurt a lot of people some of whom are very dear friends of mine.
3. Art Critic
In 2014, an English art critic was commissioned to write two articles for “Gatsby’s” English language magazines in the Languedoc, one for ‘L’Artiste’ and one for ‘The Hérault and Aude Times’. There was much pre-publicity for ‘L’Artiste’ and an elaborate launch was planned to take place in Montpellier. The launch was cancelled and the magazine never went to press. At the same time, ‘The Hérault and Aude Times’ went out of business. The critic was never paid.
4. Name withheld
It is said that when Kevin first arrived in France, he was on the run from England. Allegedly he had scammed an old lady out of a lot of money and her son found out and he took Kevin to court. The court date arrived but Kevin didn’t, he knew he would have been sentenced to prison and he got scared and said that he knew what happened to pretty boys in prison, so he ran.
5. Midi Cricket Club
I knew Kevin as Kevin Gatsby, and met him and his wife Emma a few times. He seemed very plausible, in fact he played cricket for us in a social match and also offered his ‘grounds’ in Narbonne as a venue for a season curtain raiser. We were persuaded by Kevin to get some shirts made with the HAT logo on them, but we never got the €700 they cost us. We heard last year that Interpol were after him and we also got a plaintive email from one of his creditors.
6. Name withheld
I wrote some recipes for the HAT, and never got paid as promised.
7. Name withheld
I loaned Kevin and Emma some jewellery for a photoshoot. I never got the jewellery back again.
8. Lucy Raverat
I am a painter living in Mons, and according to Kevin I was going to be the star of the Montpellier exhibition. Some people came to film me at work. Four days before the exhibition was due to start, it was cancelled, and then planned for London. He told me Grayson Perry going talk at the opening. I was just wrapping up some life size sculptures that I made ready for the transporter, when I got his email cancelling the whole thing. I was hugely disappointed, but wrote straight away and told him that I wanted nothing more to do with him. The whole adventure lasted around 6 months. We managed to track down some paintings of mine, which he was holding in storage, but we didn’t track him down. We lost the cost of the flights to London, and a lot of time and effort.
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UK Fraud Squad
If you have been affected by Kevin Brennan and / or Emma Foulger, please take the time to talk to the UK Fraud Squad. Hugh MacCamley has started the process, by initiating the report. The advisor told Hugh that anyone else involved abroad can contact them using this Report Number NFRC 170401811160. The phone number is +44 (0)300 123 2040
Note, Kevin has also used the pseudonyms Kevin Gatsby, Martin Plant, reaLlysfaen, Marty Rubens.
You can read the previous articles here:
If you want to contact us, please be assured that all details will remain confidential, unless you specifically tell us that we can share them with others. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.