The controversial Spanish wine bar of a convicted South Wales fraudster who had his legs broken when a drugs deal soured has closed following The Eye’s exclusive revelations about his criminal past, and angry customers who booked for meals are demanding the return of their money.
So-called ‘Estate Agent’ Howard Williams who changed his name to James Daniels is a proven liar who has been jailed for years for several frauds.
One furious ‘client’ of the bar and restaurant called Blanco asked on Facebook if Williams/Daniels had done a runner and stressed that he had a “reputation”, and another said four adults had been booked for a New Year’s Eve party but that the reservation funds must now be returned, while his phone number was not working and messages have been blocked.
Yet Williams/Daniels has a history of failed ventures during which money from innocent people has been pocketed. Our journalists have shown that over 10 years his jail sentences have totalled four years four months, involved 25 counts of deception, and he has been made bankrupt three times. But there is mounting consternation his extraordinary career in crime has not been covered by the mainstream media.
His own father Bill Williams has described Williams/Daniels to us as a “complete crook”. Williams Snr who ran a sofa business in South Wales, believes his son stole about £250,000 from him in cash and stock, and posted on Facebook that he and his wife knew of their son’s past and on occasions did not like him, although always loved him. He said: “… we know his wrongs often we felt he was a little xxxxx but whatever we allways (sic) love him, often we did,nt like him but we always have and always will love him…”. Unusually there was no positive comment to this from his son.
We showed how one of Williams’/Daniels’ jail sentences for deception, came as founder and president of The Welsh Martial Arts Association. He had been accepting money from affiliated dojos for insurance cover, not arranging the required cover and pocketing the cash.
He had also ‘arranged’ a claim for one of his own students who had suffered a broken wrist during a training session, and then kept the insurance payout himself. The alarming details have been shown by us in records from Cardiff Magistrates Court in December 2005.
Williams/Daniels’ ex-business partner, Sam McManus (also known as ‘Georgeson’), has first-hand knowledge of his lies and criminal past. He has admitted he too was conned by him and that he was a ‘sick man’. Mr McManus explained to us how he was deceived along with everyone else, and told The Eye: “He (Williams/Daniels) has fooled many people and I can only be grateful that there are good investigative journalists like you guys who expose greedy people like him. It is embarrassing to admit that I am yet another victim of his greed”.
A ‘denuncia’ or statement has also been given to the Guardia Civil alleging that Williams/Daniels smashed the window of a home then grabbed and assaulted a pensioner.
It has been claimed that after smashing the window he tried to kick in the door of the villa and then ‘went for’ the pensioner in his 70s. The alleged drama happened this Summer and the claimant, his present wife Lisa, is expecting formal action soon from the Guardia Civil. The elderly man is Lisa’s father and he had to be taken to hospital with bruising to his ribs and chest as well as a sore groin, after being kneed during the incident.
One of the previous disclosure by us of him, which led to the Facebook post, was our revelation that Williams/Daniels had announced his engagement even though he was still married.
Divorce proceedings were underway, but they must have raised more questions for his new fiancee Danni (or Danielle) Greer, and Williams/Daniels had himself called them in the Facebook post a “messy divorce”.
The Editor of The Eye Phil Parry as well as his friends, wife and children, have been subjected to a torrent of abuse on social media from Williams/Daniels and his supporters, following our discoveries.
In one tirade he wrote: “You write total lies about people (The Eye – we only report facts), bully to the point of harassment and suicide, and will not answer a direct email? This is not journalism this is a mixture of Phil Parry (The ex journalist) and (others) you are pure scum!!!!! Let it be publicly known that The Eye does NOT care about people it just lies to make fictitious stories up. BULLYING, LIES, MENTAL HEALTH ABUSE TO NAME BUT A FEW!!!!!”.
In another he said: “I am have contacted you (sic) numerous times before asking why you consistently, stalk, bully and harass me? … You so far have asked the following for comments:
Abuser (The Eye have never said Williams/Daniels is an abuser).
Sex Offender (The Eye have never said Williams/Daniels is a sex offender).
Drug user (The Eye have never said Williams/Daniels is a drug-user, just that he has dealt in illegal drugs).
Williams moved to Murcia in Spain, became Daniels, and has been in prison on a variety of charges. Apart from formerly dealing in illegal drugs when he needed hospital treatment after his legs were smashed following the badly-executed illegal drugs deal, some of his victims have been left mentally damaged by losing large amounts of money to him.
In one of his previous ‘careers’ Williams/Daniels has tricked people into thinking he is an ‘Estate Agent’ but on one property website, the anger of an individual is clear: “He (Williams/Daniels) makes you pay circa £10k deposit and then disappears into the sunset”. At a property event in the South of England The Eye were told that an investor had lost £30,000 to him.
His incredible exploits have even been the subject of our satirical writer Edwin Phillips and Williams/Daniels has boasted of owning a boat as well as a jetski, which he has said on Facebook was for sale.
He has posted a Youtube interview on his property website where he brags about his property ‘expertise’. He claims he had a “massive” estate agency business, but went from earning £20,000 a week to having just £56 in his pocket and living on the streets. Williams/Daniels also alleges he has driven expensive cars, and said in the interview that it took just “24 hours” to turn the £56 into £1,000, yet some critics have questioned how much of this is true.
One who is owed thousands of pounds by Williams/Daniels told The Eye: “This is all made up. He lives in a complete fantasy world!”.
Williams/Daniels announced his engagement to Ms Greer on Blanco’s website.
Our journalists have divulged how over Christmas and New Year he warned customers on social media that they could no longer accept credit cards at Blanco, even though these periods are the busiest times of year for restaurants, and further told customers more recently there was limited payment methods.
He also ran dance nights at a disco in Spain called ‘Roldan’ but it closed too soon after our disclosures.
Following them, Williams/Daniels asked a specialist company how to “get rid” of the “negative” stories about him on the internet. He wrote: “When I google James daniels spain or James Daniels property or James Daniels murcia a load of website links appear for the-eye.wales which are negative reviews and not true (The Eye – nothing is untrue). How do I get rid of these an(d) how much does it cost? Also how long does it take?”.
As well as having his legs broken when an illegal drugs deal soured, we have also disclosed how previously Williams/Daniels has teamed up with another ex-criminal from South Wales, who had been put behind bars for drug offences, to start a ‘charity’. He launched the ‘Crisis Housing Charity’ and asked for donations from the public in a ‘business’ designed ostensibly to help ex-convicts find homes. The ‘charity’ gave an address in Cardiff but does not now exist.
There were also a mysterious burglary and fire at his parents South Wales home and the dates are intriguing.
Williams/Daniels was convicted at Cardiff Magistrates Court in December 2005 and on November 21 2006 his parents’ home was burgled.
The law may yet catch up with him again if the money from irate customers of Blanco is not returned after its closure.
Tomorrow our Editor Phil Parry explains why extremely clever people are sometimes very stupid as he recalls more of his award-winning career.
Mr Parry’s memories of an extraordinary life in journalism before he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A Good Story’. Order the book now. The picture doubles as a cut-and-paste poster!