Tag Archives: #Bankrupt

Speak Holding (Lars Wollebekk) Denmark dissolved

Updated Nov 4, 2020

August 2019 Lars Henrik Wollebekk declared the Norwegian companies Language Education Norge A/S and Speak Norge A/S bankrupt. October 2017  Language Education Denmark A/S and Speak Holding ApS. In 2017 ELG: European Language Group, Sarl was also liquidated. Such bankruptcies create a unique problem when it comes to exchange students. In both 2019 and 2017 students had already been sent abroad to live with their host families. Since employees had not been informed ahead of time, they had to figure out what would happen with regards to the students abroad and the ones who were waiting to go. Abroad partner companies had to take the brunt. In Norway the company that handled the liquidations stated that nothing illegal had happened and that there was no reason for a company quarantine. I was asked by Wollebekk’s attorney to remove any private information regarding Wollebekk from my sites (and FB)*.

Another of Wollebekk’s exchange organizations, Speak Education Nordic AB (Language Education) in Sweden, was liquidated October 2020.

Only Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd. in England seems to remain as a purely student exchange organization with Wollebekk as owner. Indirectly tied to student exchange we find Norwegian Combank IT Systems AS. It is listed as designing net-based IT systems for (among other things) exchange organizations. In Denmark his Zaruben Capital ApS is listed as an advisory and PR company. However, exchange organizations are not specifically listed.

Lars Henrik Wollebekk’s companies
  • Speak Holding ApS – Dissolved
    • Language Education ApS, Denmark (Aspect High School) – Dissolved
    • Language Education Norge AS (Aspect High School)
    • Speak Norge AS
    • ELG: European Language Group, Sarl – Dissolved
      • Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd.
  • Speak Education Nordic AB
  • Combank IT Systems
  • European Language Group, USA
  • Advisory Board ApS (Zaruben Capital ApS)

*All of the information listed in this post is publicly available and of public interest as it pertains to the exchange industry and those wishing to participate in an exchange experience. 

Into Education Ltd / into GmbH / ISE (USA) John and Constanze Fisher

According to Into Education’s own Wikipedia page and their About pages they claim that the firm DLS was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1976. I have not been able to find anything that substantiates that claim.

I do not know why details on Into’s own website deviate from the ones in the various commercial registers. I have tried really hard to find substantiation for each of their claims.

First time I encounter John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher in any kind of business registry is through Constanze Fisher’s employment with the publishers Sharpe & Fisher Ltd. Sharpe & Fisher have been on the market since early 1900’s.

Bankruptcies UK

1986: In 1986 John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher established Douglas Language Services Limited in England: 02053181: East Sussex. In 1987 its first name change was to Educational Services Abroad Limited. Next name change was in 1988 to Douglas Language Schools Limited. Then it was changed in 1992 to Into Study Tours Limited. In 1994 Into Study Tours Limited is listed as Dissolved.

  • 32 North Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1DN, United Kingdom

1993: Reg.no: 02590268, Lipstick Records Limited was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher, Constanze Fisher and Swift Incorporations Ltd. Lipstick Records Ltd. was  dissolved in 1995.

2001: Reg.no: 04312219, Lipstick Limited. Lipstick Ltd. was founded by Constanze Fisher and John Douglas Fisher along with Temple Secretaries Ltd and Company Directors Ltd.

2007: Reg.no: 06421297, Proteedo Limited was established by John Douglas Fisher and Mr Frederik Sebastion Matthias Spiegel. In addition the firms (who seem to be involved in a lot of bankruptcy schemes) Temple Secretaries Ltd and Company Directors Ltd. were also involved in the setting up of Proteedo Ltd. Proteedo’s name was changed to Prozeedo Limited later in 2007. Prozeedo Limited was dissolved in 2010.

Companies listed as still running

1988: Reg.no: 02290833, Abaco Music Limited. Abaco Music Ltd. was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher. Its name was changed to Abaco Media & Publishing LTD. in 1999. Abaco Media & Publishing Ltd. still seems to be up and running.

1997: Into Study Tours Limited (Reg.no: 03434626) was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher, Constanze Fisher, Waterlow Secretaries Limited and Waterlow Nominees Limited. Its name was changed to Into Education Ltd. in 2000: 30 – 34 North Street, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1DW.

Subsidiaries Into UK

  • 2005: INTO Education Ltd., organizační složka (reg.no: 27375722): Incorporated by John Fisher / manager: Ing. Hana Hercherová / www.into-studiumvzahranici.cz/index.html / Tel: +420 233 322 991 / Email:
    –   Ing. Hana Hercherová is also part of the company Amefa Project Consultants
  • 2008: Reg.no: 993 277 053, Into Education Ltd. owns 100% of Into Education (Norway)
  • 2008: Reg.no: 516404-9867, Into Education Ltd. Uk – Filial (Sweden)
  • 2008: Into Education Ltd. Filial (Finland) (reg.no: 22306772) incorporated by Into Education Ltd. c/o Technopolis Tekniikantie 21YTJ, 02150 ESPOO finland@into-exchange.com
  • –   2013: into Education Oy (reg.no: 25620548) incorporated by John Douglas and Constanze Fisher. CEO: Taina Katriina Vainio
  • 2014: Reg.no: IE539425. Into Education Ireland Limited was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher. There is also listed a company secretary without a name.

Bankruptcies Germany

1982: Inter-Study Tours GmbH (Reg.no: HRB 1692 Siegburg) was established in Germany. Its name changed to into Inter-Study Tours GmbH, Schmerbachstr. 5, 53804 Much, Liquidated 2008, manager Ulrich Buschmann (also manager at the same address for 1A Soft Gesellschaft Für Computersysteme/Buschmann Concept – HRB 4245 – liquidated 2011/2013).

Companies still running in Germany

1986: In 1986 Mr. and Mrs. Fisher established the firm Douglas Sprachreisen für Schüler und Erwachsene GmbH / Douglas Reisen (HRB21993 Amtsgericht Köln) in Germany: Ostlandstr. 14, 50858 Köln, Fax: 02234/48960. It later changed its name to Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH and then to INTO-Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH. INTO-Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH is the trade name of this company while into GmbH is its business name.

Subsidiaries Into Germany

2001: Reg.no: HRB 38387 Köln, ABACO Media Productions GmbH (Ostlandstr. 14, 50858 Köln, Germany). In 2008 ABACO changed its name to Prozeedo GmbH. ABACO was incorporated by John D. Fisher and Frederik Spiegel. Prozeedo seems to be in the publishing and photography business.

  • Prozeedo GmbH runs the technical bit for:
  • –   Apartments Cologne / CS Apartment, Köln, att: Cornelia Schmidt
  • –   denkgarage GbR, att: Frederik Spiegel & David White
  • –   Dieter Lauff
  • –   Into Schueleraustausch (GmbH)
  • –   Berns Consulting

–   DIKE_Entwicklung Sozialer Systeme

United States

1997: When Into speaks of their merger with an US firm I think they are speaking of Eurovacances Youth Exchange, Inc. Eurovacances (1439809) was founded in 1990 in New York at the address of 119 Cooper St Babylon, New York 11702-2319 United States. In 1997 Eurovacances changed its name to Into-Edventures Inc. (Craig Brewer). At the same address we find DM Discoveries (Diana Declemente), ASA International (Samuel Gibson) and International Student Exchange Inc. (Wayne Brewer)

2003: Into-Edventures Inc., DM Discoveries, ASA International and International Student Exchange Inc. were placed under management by the firm Student Management Group, Inc. (reg.no: 2918981) (Wayne Brewer).

2011: Into-Edventures Inc., ASA International and DM Discoveries were merged with ISE (International Student Exchange) Inc. ISE is one of the US groups Into Education uses most frequently. If Into did not withdraw from Into-Edventures at the time Into-Edventures were merged with ISE then Into Education is now part of International Student Exchange Inc. and Student Management Group/111 Property Management Group.

2004: In 2004 111 Property Management Group was incorporated (reg.no: 3044725). 111 PMG has its address at 119 Cooper St Babylon, New York 11702-2319, Tel: +1 631 422 1095, website: student-management.com

2004: Virant LLC, Florida (L04000033085) incorporated by John Fisher and Constanze Fisher. Registering agents are Allure Accounting, Inc. – the only holder of the address: 3665 Bonita Beach Rd, Ste 1-3, Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Into Education's history

Student Management Group - ISE - Into Edventure - ASA International - DM Discoveries

Copied from trygghetforutvekslingseleven.com

2012 Sep 15: SNT International College

Help for students after language school shuts (SNT)

11:00am Saturday 15th September 2012

By Stephen Bailey

A LANGUAGE school suddenly closed leaving around 90 students and host families in limbo.

SNT on St Peter’s Road in Bournemouth shut on Wednesday and a trade body has now stepped in to help.

One Bournemouth woman, who had an SNT pupil staying with them, said: “Host families like us were owed hundreds of pounds.”

Mustafa Dogan, 21, from Turkey, paid £2,000 for 22 weeks of lessons and accommodation but has only been there for two weeks.

He said: “I maybe have money for lessons at another school. I don’t know.”

The membership body English UK held an emergency meeting on Thursday at another school, ETC, on West Hill Road .

It has an emergency fund that is normally only activated when an accredited school becomes insolvent.

But English UK has decided yesterday to use the fund now because SNT’s status is unclear.

An English UK spokesman said: “We were made aware on Wednesday that the doors of SNT were locked.

“We don’t know where the owners of the school are at the moment.

“The emergency fund provides for places on suitable courses at schools nearby and where the student has paid in advance for accommodation the fund will pay for that.”

A former owner of SNT, who declined to be named, said she sold the school in January when it had around 300 pupils.

She said: “They new owners really hoped it would be successful and they kept all the staff. I think there were 20.

“But the changes in the Border Agency rules from 1 July last year really affected the business.

“Agents said it was not easy to get into the UK and they felt more welcome going to Australia and Canada.”

Jenny Brunyee, from World Choice Education, which helped arrange accommodation for SNT students said: “The host families are generally paid by the school 1-2 weeks in arrears.

“They didn’t want to put the students on the street so they were in a bit of a predicament.”

Owners of other English schools came to the meeting to offer help.

Mark Venus, from Bournemouth School of English on St Stephen’s Road, said: “The industry in Bournemouth has a strong image but it’s not very nice when something like this happens.”

The Echo phoned and emailed SNT and also left a note at the apparently empty office but did not get any reply.

Industry worth £200m a year to the area

David Jones, chairman of the Dorset-based International Education Forum, is also principal of ETC language school.

He said: “Language schools are worth £200 million a year to the area.

“Generally the industry is buoyant and last year was as good as any we have had.

“A couple of markets are down – Columbia and South Korea – as a result of the changes to the system.

“But our school, for example, is probably about 10 per cent up on last year.”

© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group


Other articles:

YFU/YFU USA – bankruptcy and resurrection in 2002

Subject: Have YFU USA changed their stripes?
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:43:38 +0200
From: Lise Almenningen <margarethesdatter@csfes.org>
To: oighotline@state.gov, James T Alexander <AlexanderJT@state.gov>, Brandi Duffy <duffyb@state.gov>, Robin Lerner <lernerrj@state.gov>, Elizabeth Dickerson <DickersonEB@state.gov>, Susan Geary <GearySA@state.gov>, Hawkins S <hawkinsks@state.gov>
CC: dgrijalva@csfes.org, Child-Safe International <childsafe@avonandsomerset.police.uk>, erik.duncan@siu.no, postmottak@kd.dep.no, nigel.fulton@education.gsi.gov.uk, Freda.briggs@unisa.edu.au, english@moe.edu.cn, information@bmbf.bund.de

Office of Inspector General:


YFU-USA, Inc. (previously YFU, Inc.)
Bankruptcy YFU 2002
YFU USA rises from the ashes 2002

Have YFU USA changed their stripes?

According to the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) own report number AUD/CG-02-12, December 2002 OIG’s Office of Audits conducted a review of nine grants awarded to Youth for Understanding, Inc. Due to the facts uncovered by OIG YFU filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 11, 2002 (shutting down operations on March 8, 2002).

On March 9, 2002 much of the same personnel (including Roberta Hopkins who helped set up the new company) working at the same offices begin a new firm called YFU-USA, Inc. They requested that the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) hand over all of the old grants to them so they might finish their responsibilities. At the same time YFU/YFU-USA ensures through their bankruptcy that they will not have to fulfill their financial obligations to ECA in spite of YFU owing to the US Govenment at the very least USD 315,793 (very likely more than USD 1,000,000). (Based on OIG’s report)

In addition, we see that YFU, Inc/YFU-USA, Inc. tried to get out of health insurance obligations through filing for their Chapter 11. (Risteen V. Youth For Understanding) The Court concluded that YFU USA was ”under the IRS COBRA regulations” a successor employer to YFU. The Court also issued a preliminary injunction ordering YFU-USA, Inc. to provide COBRA coverage to the employee.

According to Kal Goren’s presentation to the OCBA Employee Benefits Committee, YFU, Inc./YFU-USA’s is considered a fraudulent transfer case. They claim this is due to the so-called “buyer” taking over the seller’s assets except their real-estate. In addition the new entity refused to provide the terminated former “number two-position” officer with his remaining 16 months of COBRA health insurance coverage. (Successor Liability For Benefits in Assets Purchases, 2011).

Before the time of the bankruptcy of YFU, Inc., YFU had been the primary administrative organization for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for CBYX’s first decade and a half. YFU-USA had hoped it would be able to get back in the game once they had once more become eligible. (K12 Academics) In spite of YFU’s previous serious monetary transgressions, CBYX seems to have chosen to continue their work with this “well-renowned” corporation. (CBYX’s website)

Recently there was an Article in Journal-Standard dated Jun. 12, 2014 about young Madeleine Sutton who is travelling via a CBYX stipend to Germany. Please verify that she is indeed travelling with YFU/YFU-USA. Her father’s contact information is: xxxxxxxxx

I hope that the Office of Inspector General continue to keep an eye on YFU-USA, Inc. so the students and their parents can feel safe in their attempt to build a positive relationship between Germany and the US.

Lise Lotte M Almenningen
CSFES Norway

Cc: Child-Safe, UK

SIU, Norway: Eric Duncan

Department for Education, China
Department for Education, UK
Department for Education, Germany
Department for Education, Australia
Department for Education, Norway

CSFES, Danielle Grijalva
Dr. Freda Briggs

CSFES Norway