More disturbing information has been sent to us about the activities of a South Wales conman exclusively exposed by The Eye, who has spent years in jail and had his legs broken when a drugs deal soured.
One victim of Howard Williams’ (who changed his name to James Daniels) gave our journalists details of how he has pocketed several thousand pounds, but failed to do agreed work, while another told us that “He’s still at it (and) left our family with no money after putting fraudulent claims into HMRC saying he’s paying my partner wages”.
The first victim told us: “I paid Mr Williams a total of £8,000 via 3 credit cards of £2,700, £2,700 & £2,000 on 02 August 2021 to a few of his business SumUp accounts…it was clear to me that Mr Williams had no intentions whatsoever in carrying out what he agreed”.
The second added: “Honestly, there’s so much dirt on him. I dont get why he’s not rotting in prison. He’s driving round in nice cars whilst people like ourselves, honest families with kids, are left with nothing due to his scams and fraud”.
We showed earlier how a picture had been posted on Facebook (FB) of Williams/Daniels with a £300,000 Ferrari super car, and that his mother had declared “Woo-hooooo ~ Howard’s new car Fab & F-A-S-T !!!!!!!!”, he also went into business leasing upmarket cars to unsuspecting members of the public.
Yet this latest news about the exploits of Williams/Daniels may disturb all those he has tricked out of their life savings. Our journalists have been appproached by numerous others of his victims, whose lives have been ruined.
The first jail sentence for him was handed down at Cardiff Crown Court on December 22 2005 and was for four months imprisonment. During it, part of one Christmas Day was spent outside the walls of Cardiff prison by his parents, in order to be close to their son inside. On July 25 2012 Williams/Daniels was jailed for four years. Some months after his release a damaging fire took place at the home of his parents, in Treharris to the south of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.
Meanwhile Williams/Daniels’ own father has told us that his son was a “complete crook”. Mr Williams (Snr) (who ran a sofa business in South Wales) posted previously on FB, as well, 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…”.
Mr Williams Snr, has also told how he was called by the police to Clifton suspension bridge where his son was threatening to commit suicide.
However the mental problems of Williams/Daniels are unlikely to appease the many distressed people who contacted The Eye with details of what he has done to them. Williams/Daniels has, in the past, ‘sold’ or ‘rented out’ luxury Spanish villas, and, recently he has also ‘run’ a ‘restaurant’ called ‘Crave Desserts’ in Merthyr Tydfil. Another was ‘Billy’s Diner’ at Porth in the Rhondda, which had a correspondence address in Cardiff, and was offering deliveries during the lockdown, but it appears that customers to it were duped there too.
One angry client said on FB the food took an hour and 20 minutes to arrive, while another proclaimed: “I ordered a hot dog for myself, with salad and cheese, I opened the box and had one leaf of lettuce and roughly 5 grated bits of cheese, fair to say I had about two bites of it…My daughter had a chicken burger, not too much of a problem with that however had a stringy texture on the chicken, and felt undercooked, fair to say nearly everything went in the bin”. Meat was served raw, has been condemned as ‘disgusting’, and it has been stated on FB that Trading Standards would be alerted.
A person close to Williams/Daniels told us: “He has sucked everyone in. He owes some staff and the landlords lots of money who haven’t been paid at all. He’s using the name James Daniels and Alfie Elkins and (a) cafe (he opened) was called ALFIE’S in Roath (Cardiff). Another cafe (he opened) was called Alfie’s in Tonypandy, then he opened Scoops in Pontyclun.”
The reviews of his ‘restaurant’ ‘businesses’ (which switched to takeaways during the pandemic) were not good and it appeared he was taking orders but not sending out food. One critical comment read: “We didn’t receive the BBQ Chicken Wrap in the order. We have tried to ring twice but no answer”. Williams/Daniels moved to Murcia in Spain, when he changed his name, and has in the past posed as an ‘Estate Agent’, although some of his recent ‘businesses’ have been mainly in the cafe or restaurant trades, yet when he ran ‘Crave Desserts’ , staff said on FB they had to “beg” for money, and that it was “absolutely disgusting”.
The Eye have also been contacted by one of the drivers for this cafe who offered extremely worrying information. He said: “He (Williams/Daniels) (is) not paying me for the work I did for him and he (is) also not paying the other drivers. Thank god I read your report on him, it save(d) me money and bother. The guy is a joke. I’m now £200 out of pocket, but it could be worst (sic)”.
A recent text message about the latest escapades of Williams/Daniels said that he has: “…taken everything out AGAIN not paid the staff Owes one of the girls £500 locked up and empty”. Earlier a ‘Crave Desserts’ staff member warned others on FB: “Nobody work for Crave desserts in Merthyr town, haven’t paid some of their staff for weeks, delivery drivers and kitchen staff, always says it will be in on Friday or Tuesday and I’m still waiting 5 weeks on along with others who worked there. Always got to beg for your money, Absolutely disgusting, you work the hours and expect to be paid! They have blocked me from their page and ain’t answering my messages, fuming!”.
The Eye understand, too, that Williams/Daniels has a new partner, although it was shown how several years ago he had announced on social media his engagement to another woman called Danni (or Danielle) Greer while he was still married to a third person. Our journalists have disclosed as well, that Williams/Daniels had opened a tanning studio in Cardiff, although like many of his past ‘businesses’ this one also soon met trouble. Williams/Daniels has admitted to being imprisoned, but described it in a FB post as a “short while”, when his convictions in fact total years. He claimed: “…when I was younger I did spend a short while in prison for fraud in the UK”, and adds: “Stand up to the liars (and) haters…”.
But Williams/Daniels himself is a liar and hater. Apart from, over 10 years, spending more than four of them in prison convicted of 25 deception counts, he has been made bankrupt three times – in 2002, 2010 and 2015.
During one of his previous ‘careers’ as an ‘Estate Agent’, the anger of an individual was clear on a property website: “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 extraordinary 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 FB 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 (perhaps endorsed by the photographs), 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 us: “This is all made up. He lives in a complete fantasy world!”.
Williams/Daniels has also been in charge of marketing for a Spanish wine bar called ‘Blanco’ in Murcia, and he announced his engagement to Ms Greer on the bar’s website. But The Eye have divulged how over one 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 it is almost unheard of for them only to take cash then.
He also ran dance nights at a disco in Spain called ‘Roldan’ but it closed soon after The Eye’s 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?”.
Williams/Daniels had his legs broken when an illegal drugs deal soured, and it has also been revealed on The Eye, how formerly he had teamed up with another ex-criminal from South Wales, who was 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 venture designed ostensibly to help ex-convicts find homes. The ‘charity’ gave an address in Cardiff but does not now exist.
There is, however, mounting frustration that only The Eye have covered the exploits of Williams/Daniels. One who knows him well, told the website: “I was totally ignored when I emailed (the mainstream media) back last year, I was so hopeful when it was the Spanish national police after him. He was also wanted for identification fraud here (Spain). Turns my stomach just thinking of what he is doing. Evil man”.
Our Editor Phil Parry has been subjected to a torrent of abuse on social media from Williams/Daniels and his supporters, following discoveries by The Eye’s journalists. His friends, wife and children, have been too.
In one tirade he wrote to him on FB: “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).
Meanwhile his ex-business partner, Sam McManus (also known as ‘Georgeson’), has first-hand knowledge of his lies. He has admitted he too was conned by him and that Williams/Daniels was a ‘sick man’. Mr McManus explained 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”.
Williams/Daniels also said he performed at expensive property ‘seminars’ in upmarket hotels or golf clubs around South Wales where customers were duped once again. For £299 potential clients were tempted with a “Special Offer February Deal – Sourcing and rent to rent training weekend”. The ‘offer’ was removed from Williams/Daniels’ FB site, where he was known as ‘The Shoes’, soon afterwards, and when The Eye contacted one of the golf clubs, officials had no record of it taking place.
But the record that does exist of the way Williams’Daniels deals with people is an alarming one, if we are being told about him trousering thousands of pounds, and leaving families with no money…
The memories of Phil’s astonishing decades-long award-winning career in journalism (when the behaviour of those who had tricked people out of their life savings was always exposed) as he was gripped by the rare disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!
Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.