Monthly Archives: December 2011

As Christmas Approaches, A Few Questions Regarding Craig Whyte and Rangers

 

 

The saga of the takeover of Rangers Football Club PLC by Wavetower Ltd (now Rangers FC Group Ltd), the company controlled by Craig Whyte, has run and run.

As the most recent post on the Rangers Tax Case blog put it, it is now no longer news to hear that Rangers or Mr Whyte is involved in litigation in relation to allegedly unpaid bills.

I thought it might be useful to list a few of the questions which remain extant. I don’t come up with many answers, and I am sure wiser folk than me can make the necessary connections and deductions.

 

Craig Whyte v the BBC

Following on from the BBC Inside Story programme, Mr Whyte made it clear that he was going to pursue the matter through the courts, both against the BBC and indeed against the official from the Insolvency Service who appeared in the programme to discuss the allegations against Mr Whyte.

Carter-Ruck, the famed London libel lawyers, were quickly brought in to advise both Mr Whyte and Rangers. However, in the two months which have gone by, it does not appear that the case has yet been raised.

A few weeks ago, there was a flurry of press comment to the effect that Bannatyne, Kirkwood and France of Glasgow were now instructed as Carter-Ruck could not raise proceedings directly in Scotland.

I have repeated ad nauseam that, in Mr Whyte’s shoes, and if I was determined to sue for libel/defamation, I would initiate proceedings in the High Court in London. There are many reasons for doing so, and comparatively few for choosing to go to law in the Court of Session in a case such as this where both jurisdictions are applicable.

The BBC programme was carefully crafted. The most serious allegations either came from public records or from court paperwork. For example, the suggestion, vigorously denied by Mr Whyte, that he had acted as a director when disqualified from doing so, arose for court papers prepared in connection with the winding up of Re-Tex.

As I have mentioned before, there is not an absolute privilege when reporting court matters from the past, but malice requires to be proved. It is extraordinarily difficult to establish malice in the legal sense, short of an admission by the allegedly malicious party!

However, in the last few days, RangersTaxCase himself mentioned in a comment that he expected Mr Whyte to go ahead with the action.

Nothing else concrete appears to have arisen in this regard.

It may be that the purpose of raising an action would be to try to stifle comment on the matters at issue. Media organisations would be reluctant to delve too deeply into matters that were already the subject of litigation, in case the BBC turned out to be wrong, and other parties were found liable on the BBC’s coat tails. I would not expect Mr Whyte to announce that he is no longer going to sue the BBC, so until there is word about proceedings, I suppose we simply have to wait and see.

 

The wee tax bill

HMRC had successfully arrested around £2.3 million of a bill due in relation to Discounted Option Schemes operated by Rangers. This sum was part of a liability which had been accepted by Rangers, and indeed by Mr Whyte on the takeover. However, the bill was not paid, and Sheriff Officers were dispatched by HMRC to serve a charge for payment and then an arrestment.

The arrestment succeeded and the sum mentioned above was frozen.

Under the law as it now exists, if the funds remain frozen for 14 weeks, they are automatically remitted to the arresting creditor, in this case HMRC. It seemed hard to work out why, once the funds were arrested, they were not simply handed over to HMRC by Rangers. After all, they would not be coming back into Rangers hands.

Then, just before the transfer was due to take place a couple of weeks ago, there was a flurry of speculation that this formerly agreed tax bill was now to be appealed, and that steps would be taken to prevent the handover.

In the event that Rangers suffered an Insolvency Event, the arrested funds might come back into the pot for the secured creditor, namely Wavetower under its floating charge.

Normally any appeal so late would be doomed to fail. However, an application could have been made to Glasgow Sheriff Court to object to the arrestment (a) on the ground that there was some defect in its application or (b) that the arrestment was unduly harsh on the debtor.

In either case, there would not be any need for an initial hearing, but instead the matter would come before the court, probably in January, for argument. Until then the funds would remain arrested but not passed over to HMRC.

If the funds had been transferred, I would have thought that there would have been some spin to suggest that this was a liability Rangers were meeting, as the impression is being created that they do not do so, or at least timeously.

On the other hand, as the lodging of the application to object to the arrestment does not result in an initial hearing, it may well be the case that this had happened and that the court, as would be expected, has kept the matter confidential until the point next year when the case is listed on the court rolls.

As with the BBC case however, the lack of information leads to varying degrees of speculation.

 

The big tax case

This seems simpler (hah!). The First Tier Tribunal (Tax) is due to reconvene for three days on 16th January. It is hoped that the case will conclude during that period. Once that happens, it might take two or three months for the Tribunal to issue its decision.

Thereafter the losing party can appeal to the Upper Tribunal, and thence to the courts.

Very recently there have been suggestions made that in fact Rangers are about to “cut a deal” to pay around £5 million to settle this claim which, with interest and penalties, is believed to total around £49 million.

Mr Whyte is rumoured personally to be meeting HMRC officials in London to batter out a settlement.

Whilst that is not impossible, I would class it as highly unlikely. There is really no incentive for HMRC to reach a deal with Rangers here. Some have suggested that, should Rangers enter insolvency, the fact that Wavetower’s floating charge would eat up most, if not all, of the assets, means that HMRC has to strike a deal or else it would get nothing.

However, HMRC does not work as a normal commercial creditor. It emphasis the “moral hazard” caused by people who are unable or unwilling to pay their full liabilities. If HMRC is seen as letting taxpayers escape their full liabilities on the grounds that, if insolvent, HMRC might get nothing, then we would see a spate of these situations. HMRC is quite clear in its guidelines. It will not, except for extraordinary circumstances, accept the clearance of a debt to take over one year, and to enter into such an agreement they would require to be satisfied of the taxpayer’s full co-operation.

It does not appear that such co-operation has been forthcoming from Rangers over recent months, and they may, and I emphasis may, fall into the category of wilful no-payers. HMRC has no incentive to deal favourably with such parties, no matter how august an organisation they represent.

It remains the position, as acknowledged by Mr Whyte, that if a substantial finding goes against Rangers at the FTT (T), then some form of insolvency is almost inevitable. However, that might not hit now till near, or at, the end of this season.

 

Will Rangers Run out of Money, and Will They Sell Players to Keep the Doors Open?

There has been speculation about the state of Rangers bank balance for some time now. It was suggested that, in fact, they were running out of money a couple of months ago. Mr Whyte has not made public the present position of the Club financially, and so the guesswork continues.

It may be that a “firesale” of players will take place in January to generate cash, either to keep the club running till the end of the season, or to “fatten the calf” in advance of Mr Whyte appointing a receiver to get him Wavetower’s money back.

It would confound the pundits I there was not such a sale, although any sale of a player is dependent on there being a willing buyer and also the player himself being prepared to agree terms.

As has been seen recently with Hearts, where players are not paid (and if the club enters an Insolvency situation) the players can be come free agents. In such a case there would be no need for a transfer fee, and the signing on payment to the player would likely be much higher. Players, and their agents, will be gauging how likely Rangers is to make it to the end of the transfer window and then till the end of the season.

If Rangers start selling at the start of the window, this would be a clear sign that the sales were forced, and not voluntary.

 

The Audited Accounts and Annual General Meeting

Mr Whyte met the Rangers Supporters Trust in October. He told them that both the accounts and the AGM were on schedule.

The audited accounts were due by the end of the year, and company law required Rangers to hold their AGM by 31sdt December. As a result of the notice requirements, they could not now validly hold the AGM this year anyway.

Rangers, through Mr Whyte, released a statement to the effect that the AGM was being postponed as the tax case was due to resume in January, and Mr Whyte wanted to come to the meeting with more concrete news. However, that is not a valid reason for failing to hold an AGM!

Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Will the Directors of Rangers be prosecuted for this failure?

Press coverage of the matter seems non-existent over the last week or so. One can only imagine the furore if any other prominent SPL team produced unaudited accounts (without any real explanation as to why) and refused to hold an AGM.

On the back of the allegation that Rangers have not held a board meeting since the takeover, this seems consistent with what has gone before, and the rumours that all decision making at Ibrox is now in the hands of the triumvirate of Craig Whyte, Gary Withey and Ali Russell, and that all information is totally locked down, it seems that a policy decision has been taken to allow as little light as possible to be shed on Rangers’ affairs, at least till the tax case concludes.

It should be of concern to the football authorities that Rangers appear to be flouting their obligations in this regard.

 

Talking of the Football Authorities

When, five weeks after the BBC programme alleged that Mr Whyte had been disqualified from being a company director, Rangers confirmed this to the PLUS Stock Exchange, this prompted the SFA/SPL to make enquiries. The question was raised as to whether or not Mr Whyte remained a “fit and proper person” to have his role in a football club. It is understood that Rangers have not yet responded to the queries raised.

Bearing in mind the imminent holiday period, can we expect Rangers to reply before 2012? I doubt it. The football authorities cannot look into matters till Rangers reply. It must surely be coincidental that such a delay would appear to suit Rangers apparent proposes just now.

 

Court Cases

Mr Bain will go to court for his full hearing in July 2012, if Rangers still exists as an entity.

Mr McIntyre was supposed to have settled his case. It remains to be seen if settlement has been effected. If not, expect this case to be back before a judge imminently, to thrash out the disputed terms, if any.

The case involving Tixway, owned by Mr Whyte, is due to continue on a date to be fixed. Mr Whyte was cross examined by the other party’s QC. Mr Whyte told the court he could not remember, without paperwork in front of him, why he had been disqualified as a director. He was asked if it was for trading whilst insolvent. He could not answer.

Bearing in mind that he previously described the seven year ban as for a “technicality” it is a pity that he has become, in the intervening period, so forgetful.

 

What Will Happen to Rangers

This is the $64 million question!

There are as may theories as there are football teams in Scotland as to Mr Whyte’s plans and motivations.

I, as a simple man, have always tended to the simple explanation.

Here is a man who has a history of involvement in distressed companies and who gets involve in them to make a profit by asset stripping, or by rescuing the company and selling it on.

Rangers, with the debt to HMRC looming, and with the “black hole” described by Mr Whyte, is a distressed company.

Repeatedly in interviews Mr Whyte has commented that he has been shocked at the amount of scrutiny he and his activities have received. If it had not been for the early exit from European competition, he would have had a decent nest egg to keep the Club going either till it traded out of difficulties or, more likely, when it lost the FTT (T) thus allowing Mr Whyte to appoint his receiver.

However, fate intervened and the European cash expected failed to materialise. Since then it seems every penny, even bills admitted to be due, is watched like a hawk, and not paid till the last minute.

As to what will happen…. I have no idea, though I suspect that HMRC might be back knocking on the door very soon.

 

 

 

 

21 Comments

Filed under Bain v Rangers, BBC, Football, HMRC v Rangers, McIntyre v Rangers, One Stop Roofing Supplies Ltd v Tixway UK Ltd, Rangers

Donaghy v Goodwillie – The Agent’s Claim Back in Court Tomorrow

Tomorrow (21st December) the case of Donaghy v Goodwillie calls for a “Starred Motion” in the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr Donaghy is the former agent of Mr Goodwillie, who was transferred for a substantial sum in the summer from Dundee United to Blackburn Rovers. Bearing in mind press reports that the sum claimed by the agent is £400,000 it would not be unreasonable to think that the agent is looking for his cut from the signing on fees paid to the player on his transfer and subsequent wages, and Mr Goodwillie is unwilling to pay what is claimed.

McClure Naismith act for Mr Donaghy and Thompsons represent Mr Goodwillie.

A “starred motion” is defined as follows:-

“A motion that is opposed becomes a starred motion.   All opposed motions are starred.   This means that counsel must appear on behalf of the pursuer and defender or petitioner and respondent to argue the case for and against the opposed motion.   A starred motion is known as such because it can be identified in the court rolls under the heading starred motions.”

So the calling of the case tomorrow is about a preliminary or procedural application which the other party has opposed. One hour has been set aside for the hearing.

As it is a motion, rather than a hearing of evidence, it is highly unlikely either party would be at court, so any autograph hunters will have to make do only with the lawyers.

The normal court time tables mean that this case might still be many months, if not longer, from a conclusion, but the fact that the case is to call means that the respective legal teams are hard at work!

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil Law, Courts, Donaghy v Goodwillie, Football

Craig Whyte’s Companies – Strident PLC – Mr Whyte Was NOT A Director of This Company Whilst Disqualified + Some Intricate Detail Re Connected Parties

 

 

Recently on the RTC blog there was a flurry of activity in connection with Strident PLC. One website which provides company data appeared to be suggesting that Mr Whyte had been a Director of this company throughout most, if not all, of the period of his disqualification.

If that was the case, then clearly Mr Whyte would have had more to worry about than the possible continuation of his cross examination by Alastair Clark QC in the case of One Stop Roofing Supplies Ltd v Tixway UK Ltd.

However, that is not the case. Strident has a lengthy list of former directors. There are a couple of matters of interest which arise however.

First of all, as shown below, Strident PLC was a company in which Craig Whyte owned 49,999 of the issued shares until 27th April 1999, when they were transferred to another company. The remaining one issued share was owned, until 17th April 1999, by Kenneth MacLeod, the former accountant linked to Mr Whyte by the BBC Inside Story programme, and through many companies where they were both directors.

What the terms of the transfer of shares from Mr Whyte to SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd is unclear, as that company was listed as “dormant” at the time.

In addition, the shares were transferred again from SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd to FE Holdings Ltd when both of these companies were dormant. Strident has now been dissolved. What happened, if anything, to the “value” in the shares?

However, whilst these are matters of interest, I think they pale beside many of the other questions which have arisen in connection with Mr Whyte’s affairs.

There is an interesting example of what our American cousins would call “the old switcheroo” which is reminiscent of other machinations carried out in companies connected with Messrs Whyte and MacLeod at a similar time. I have detailed it in the notes about Mr MacLeod.

Now, as I was always taught at school, I am showing my workings below. Be warned, it is turgid stuff, but there might be points of interest that occur to readers.

—————————————————————

From the Companies House website:-

 

Company Details

Name & Registered Office:
STRIDENT PLC
48 SKYLINES VILLAGE
LIMEHARBOUR
LONDON
UNITED KINGDOM
E14 9TS
Company No. 03186668

Status: Dissolved 06/12/2011
Date of Incorporation: 16/04/1996

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Public Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC):
7499 – Non-trading company
Accounting Reference Date: 31/01
Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/01/2010  (DORMANT)
Next Accounts Due:
Last Return Made Up To: 16/04/2011
Next Return Due:
Last Members List: 16/04/2011

Previous Names:
Date of change Previous Name
10/07/1996 GLOBEREACH PLC

 

UK Establishment Details
There are no UK Establishments associated with this company.

 

Overseas Company Info
There are no Overseas Details associated with this company.

 

This is the company in connection with which it has been suggested that Craig Whyte served as a Director for a period when he was disqualified from holding a directorship. I thought that seemed to be rather unlikely, to be frank, so I have looked a bit more into the company.

It is recorded that in fact the Company was dissolved on 23rd August 2011.

At that point, the Directors listed were:-

Fe Nominee Directors Ltd;

Fe Corporate Services Ltd;

and Sherri Ellison.

 

The previous were:-

Craig Whyte (42) Company Director;

Company Directors Ltd; (Disregard as Company Formation Agents)

Temple Secretaries Ltd; (Disregard as Company Formation Agents)

Fe Holdings Ltd;

Bhe Company Directors Ltd;

Sbi Company Secretaries Ltd;

Vital Holdings Ltd;

Brendan Earley (56) Company Secretary;

Prolink Ventures Ltd;

Richard Stanton-Reid (54) Solicitor;

Sbi Nominee Holdings Ltd;

Sbi Company Secretaries Ltd;

Bhe Company Secretaries Ltd; and

Kenneth Macleod (63) Accountant.

 

The age listed for the “human” directors is as at today, so we are dealing with Craig Whyte, 1969 version, perhaps therefore with flared trousers and a flower power bandana?

 

The company is shown in the records as having been “dormant” as far back as 1999. It has remained dormant till it was dissolved.

 

It might seem to have an awful lot of activity for a “dormant” company!

 

Per the Companies House website:-

1. What is a dormant company?

A company is dormant if it has had no ‘significant accounting transactions’ during the accounting period. A significant accounting transaction is one which the company should enter in its accounting records.

When determining whether a company is dormant you can disregard the following transactions:

  • payment for shares taken by subscribers to the memorandum of association;
  • fees paid to the Registrar of Companies for a change of company name, the re-registration of a company and filing annual returns; and
  • payment of a civil penalty for late filing of accounts.

 

So we have a company which does nothing for at least 11 years…

 

Looking more closely at the directors, we see the following:-

 

Fe Nominee Directors Ltd            – Is listed as a dormant and non-trading company. It shares the registered office of Trident. Its director is Sherri Ellison. A former director is Tess Flower.

 

Fe Corporate Services Ltd            – Is listed as a dormant and non-trading company. It shares the registered office of Trident. Its directors are Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower.

 

Sherri Ellison                                      – Is an accountant who seems to be involved in the records of many companies. There is no proof that she had any formal involvement in Strident PLC whilst Mr Whyte was there, although the signature on the 2000 Annual Return could be hers.

 

Fe Holdings Ltd                                 – Is listed as a dormant and non-trading company. It shares the registered office of Trident. Its directors are Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower.

 

Bhe Company Directors Ltd         – Was dissolved on 16th July 2002. It seems to have been dormant since at least 2000 if not before. Its directors/officers at the end were Brendan Earley and Sbi Company Secretaries Ltd. Previous directors include Sherri Ellison, Tess Flower, Wulstan Earley, Brendan Farley and Kevin Sykes.

 

Sbi Company Secretaries Ltd       – Was dissolved on 5th May 2009. It shared the trading address of Trident. Its directors were Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower. Previous directors included Philip Ellison.

 

Vital Holdings Ltd                             – Was dissolved on 26th April 2005. Its final registered office seems to be a terraced house in Wimbledon. A winding up petition by creditors was notified in the London Gazette in January 1999. At that stage the Registered Office was in Goswell Road, London. Amongst its directors were Susan Gemmell, Kenneth MacLeod, Sherri Ellison, Craig Whyte (1969), Prolink Ventures Ltd, Spartan Industrial Group Ltd and Bhe Company Directors Ltd. Accounts as at January 1997 suggested the company had net assets of £3,125,610.

 

 

Brendan Earley (56)                        – Is listed as a director of 5 active and 58 inactive companies, many of whom are listed here.

 

Prolink Ventures Ltd                       – Was dissolved on 25th February 1997. Its directors were Vincent and Sonya Konig.

 

Richard Stanton-Reid (54) Solicitor – Is listed as a director of 10 active and 39 inactive companies.

 

Sbi Nominee Holdings Ltd            – Was dissolved on 30th June 2009. It shared the trading address of Trident. Its directors were Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower. Previous directors included Philip Ellison.

 

Sbi Company Secretaries Ltd       – Was dissolved on 5th May 2009. It shared the trading address of Trident. Its directors were Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower. Previous directors included Philip Ellison.

 

Bhe Company Secretaries Ltd     – Was dissolved on 27th November 2001. Its last registered office was the same Wimbledon address as Vital Holdings Ltd. Its directors were Brendan Earley, Sherri Ellison and Tess Flower. Previous directors included Philip Ellison.

 

Kenneth Macleod (63) Accountant – he deserves a post all of his own. Let it be noted that he is listed as director of 39 inactive companies, many of which were also involving Craig Whyte. One example is Vus 1996 Ltd. This company was originally Vital Ltd. It then became Vital UK Security Ltd. The Registered Office was at the Goswell Road address. Mr Whyte was not a director of Vus1996 Ltd. However, both of them were directors of Vital Security Ltd. Previous names for this company were Conbury Ltd and Vital Uk Security Ltd (note the lower case “k”).

 

 

The records indicate that 49,999 £1 shares in Strident PLC were owned by Fe Holdings Ltd and 1 £1 share by Fe Nominee Directors Ltd.

 

 

Now we turn to the company returns for Strident.

 

In the return as at 16th April 2000 we see the following:-

 

The registered office is in Bowling Green Lane in London, an address which appears in other Whyte companies.

 

The Company Secretary is BHE Company Secretaries Ltd of the same Bowling Green Lane address.

 

The listed Directors are BHE Company Directors Ltd, of Bowling Green Lane and Brendan Earley of the Wimbledon address where Vital Holdings Ltd ended up.

 

There are 50,000 issued shares in the company. 49,999 of them are held by SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd and 1 by SBI Company Directors Ltd. On 17th April 1999 the one share was transferred from Kenneth MacLeod, 31A St James Square, London. On 27th April 1999, the 49,999 shares were transferred to SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd by Craig Whyte, Flat 8, 83 Lancefield Quay, Glasgow.

 

By 16th April 2001, the Registered Office has moved to 11 Lyon Road, South Wimbledon (not the same address as Mr Earley the previous year). The directors have changed too. They are now the owners – the two SBI companies.

 

By 16th April 2007 the position was that the shares were held by FE Holdings Ltd (49,999) and FE Nominee Directors Ltd (1). That stayed the same through the 2011 return.

 

Therefore at some point between April 2001 and April 2007, the ownership of the 49,999 shares passed from SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd to FE Holdings Ltd. However, for all that period FE Holdings remained a dormant company. That confuses me.

 

SBI Nominee Holdings Ltd was also a dormant company for that whole period of 2001 until it was dissolved in 2009.

 

15 Comments

Filed under Craig Whyte's Companies

Esto Law No More

http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/2733/Breaking_News%3A_Esto_Law_collapses_as_Directors_resign_.html

The rumour mill was hot this morning about the fate of Esto Law, and The Firm Magazine has confirmed (link above) that Esto Law has ceased operations.

Its website is now inaccessible without a password.

Whilst, on one hand, the way in which the organisation arose, and the concerns expressed about the actions of the parties involved, especially those on the Law Society’s Legal Aid Negotiating Team, caused a huge amount of concern and suspicion, one wonders whether, in fact, this was actually a good plan, with benefits for the criminal bar, if launched without the fuss Esto Law caused.

It would not be a surprise to see a similar entity appear very soon, but I suspect that none of the Esto Law directors would have any connection with it, nor indeed anyone with the same apparent conflicts as they had.

I understand that already some practitioners, especially sole practitioners, had signed up with Esto Law, or exprrssed a wish to do so. That suggests that there may be a market there for an enterprising firm, or team of firms, to replicate Esto’s plan.

We shall see! I suspect the Glasgow Bar Common Room will be a happier place today.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Esto Law, General Scots Law Rambling

The Evidence Suggests – There’s Only One Craig Whyte!

My post yesterday about Craig Whyte and his differing dates of birth, if indeed it is the same person, brought forth some comments.

One was from Brim. Take it away my friend!

 

Brim

December 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm (Edit)

I guess the only link between the ’69 Craig and the ’71 Craig is that the ’69 Craig was director of two businesses with ‘Vital’ in the name, and ’71 Craig has admitted that his ban was to do with ‘Vital UK Ltd’. Other than that (which is no smoking gun in itself) it is still believable that it’s different Craigs.

Any other links that I’m missing?

 

Good point Brim. As you say, apart from the reference to “Vital” where is the connection?

Hopefully the following helps you change your mind about the 2 different Craig Whyte’s!

 

Craig Whyte (1969 vintage) was a director of a number of companies as I listed. Some names pop u regularly in them as Directors.

Of the 15 companies listed in which Craig Whyte (1969) was a director, Kenneth McLeod, Accountant, was a director of 12.

Of the 15 companies listed in which Craig Whyte (1969) was a director, Kevin Sykes, convicted fraudster, was a director of 3. In all three of the companies where Mr Sykes was a director, Mr McLeod was too.

The Companies House records I have been able to access do not disclose who all the directors were, but we know one was Mr Whyte as this is where his disqualification stemmed from.

The BBC programme about Mr Whyte mentioned an alleged association with Messrs Sykes and McLeod. When Tom English of the Scotland on Sunday raised this with Mr Whyte in his interview published on 22nd October, here is what was said.

 

Q         They then tried to link you with a convicted fraudster, Kevin Sykes. What was your involvement with Sykes?

A          I’m sure that most people in their past has met somebody – 12 years ago, 15 years ago – and then you move on and you forget about them. To bring it up now, to associate him with me is an outrage. I haven’t seen the guy in 12-13 years. What’s the relevance of that?

Mr Whyte (1971 vintage) did not reply by saying – “Kevin Sykes? Never heard of him!”

Not a cast iron admission, but circumstantially it looks like the 2 are one and the same.

But there is more.

One of CW69’s companies was Strident plc. A director of this was Sherri Ellison.

Sherri Ellison is or was also a director in two CW71 companies – Countryliner Ltd and LM Logistics Ltd.

Sherri Ellison seems to be an accountant trading as Ellison Business Services Ltd. Is it possible that, as a matter of coincidence, she happened to be a director in two companies with CW71, and in another with a totally separate CW69?

Such a coincidence is possible, but all in all, it seems clear that some terrible clerical error has been repeated throughout the paperwork for a great many companies.

Has anyone popped along to Motherwell Registry Office to get a look at Craig Whyte’s birth certificate? A search on the Scotland’s People website suggests that there is one “Craig Thomas Whyte” in the birth records for 1971 and none for 1969.

The pattern of the companies goes something like this. CW71 starts off as a director, with such as Edna Whyte and Thomas Whyte in various companies, Whyte Hire Ltd, Whyte Plant Ltd, Whyte Communications Ltd, Whyte Forbes Contract Services Ltd and Intercity Guards Ltd in the early and mid 1990’s. These are all long since dissolved.

Our hero then goes to England, and perhaps subconsciously, adds two years to his age – maybe a desire to appear longer in the tooth with his fellow business people?

Here he gets in touch with characters like Messrs McLeod and Sykes, who perhaps take advantage of Craig. Most of these companies fail and, as a result of a “technicality” our hero is banned from holding a position as a director in the UK for seven years from 2000.

He endures his Monegasque sojourn (I like that phrase, so I will keep using it) before returning as a triumphant hero, having been vastly successful, under the radar, in expanding his wealth. On his return he buys a castle and starts to take up directorships in the Merchant Group and other companies too as CW71.

Please note that, for the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish to imply that Mr Whyte deliberately entered the incorrect details in all the relevant forms. I am sure some minion bears responsibility for what is, after all, a simple clerical error.

Brim – does this answer your question?

5 Comments

Filed under HMRC v Rangers, Rangers