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£4m Fraud Of Asset Strippers

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/4m-fraud-of-...pers.5638939.jp

THREE Sheffield fraudsters were beginning jail terms today – after funding lives of luxury by stripping £4 million from failing businesses and making 46 staff redundant.

Workers were left jobless and their pension funds pillaged, while the conmen spent the money on private education for their children, expensive holidays, flash cars, and mortgage repayments, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Saleem Kiani, aged 47, Christopher Fox, 46, and William Lane, 66, were jailed for fraudulently acquiring the companies, then stripping them of their assets.

Robert Green, 42, received a suspended jail term.

It is the second time Kiani, Fox and Lane have been jailed for committing asset-stripping offences. In 2004 the three were imprisoned for similar crimes against three companies – including South Yorkshire furniture firm Druckers.

Jailing Kiani, Fox and Lane for a total of four years and a month, and handing Green a nine-month suspended jail term, Judge Patrick Robertshaw said they had carried out "fraud on a grand scale. They were intending to enrich themselves heedless of the impact that would have had. This was asset stripping on a huge scale."

He told them: "You picked three companies which were solvent and profitable. Each company was obtained as the result of false claims of substantial wealth and promises of investment.

"Once control had been achieved there was no investment, there was no interest in the business product of the company, only in its turnover and profit. The object was to take out as much money as possible in as short a time as possible."

The court heard the men acquired Uno, a shop-fitting firm in Stoke-on-Trent; Abbotts, a tobacconist near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire; and Wavetown, a Bristol-based printing firm.

They ran their operation from offices in the Redlands Business Centre on Tapton House Road, Broomhill, Sheffield.

Kiani, of Whirlow Grange Drive, Whirlow, Sheffield, was the ringleader who chose the companies to be targeted, while Fox was the company accountant and secretary.

Green of West Lane, Aughton, was the managing director of Uno who turned a blind eye to what was going on, and Lane was the office manager and administrator.

At the time the four were already being investigated by police, but continued their scams and changed their tactics to avoid detection.

Judge Robertshaw said: "In the case of Kiani and Fox the money funded affluent lifestyles – expensive holidays, cars, mortgage repayments and private education for their children.

"In the end 46 employees were declared redundant and £4 million of company assets were dissipated.

"It was human beings who suffered. The considered actions of these defendants has added quite appreciatively to the sum total of human unhappiness."

The quartet were caught after an operation by South Yorkshire Police and the Serious Fraud Office and each admitted three counts of fraudulent trading.

Kiani was sentenced to 21 months in prison and could be banned from all future business dealings if police successfully apply for a Serious Crime Prevention order next year.

Green was given a nine-month jail term suspended for 18 months and banned from holding a directorship for three years.

Fox, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was jailed for 16 months and banned from being a company director for five years, and Lane, of Snape, North Yorkshire, was given 12 months and disqualified from being a director for five years.

After Det Insp Graham Wragg said: "These people had no regard for the employees of the companies who were made redundant and lost the benefits they might have got such as pensions. There will be a confiscation hearing where we will try to ensure they pay back as much of the money they have stolen as we are able to find."

Can anyone give a reasonable explanation as to why scum like this aren't banned for life from holding directorships?

They clearly can't be trusted and the sentences are a joke, what a deterrent that is getting a few months of jail for stealing £4m.

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or brought into GB's cabinet

plenty of looters there already. duck Hotels anyone?

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I'm not being facetious here, but what is the problem if people buy private companies with their own cash and then decide to break them up? Surely the company is there's to do as they like?

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I'm not being facetious here, but what is the problem if people buy private companies with their own cash and then decide to break them up? Surely the company is there's to do as they like?
Each company was obtained as the result of false claims of substantial wealth

Why don't you frigging read you moron?

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Why don't you frigging read you moron?

The tone of the article, the quotes, and the title talk as though the process of asset stripping was and is fraudulent. It isn't.

Giving up control of the company on the promise of future investment that doesn't materialise is surely just bad management or at worse a breach of contract?

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It is exactly the PE business model.

Fraud has undoubtedly occured, but the article barely touches on that fraud was and misrepresents asset stripping as fraudulent.

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The tone of the article, the quotes, and the title talk as though the process of asset stripping was and is fraudulent. It isn't.

It's obviously fraudulent if you make false claims as to your assets and ability to develop the company, and thereby prevent the sale to more reputable (cough) asset strippers.

Or so the judge reckons.

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Standard business model for western companies, they must have been really incompetent to get caught and made and example of, expect more of this except on a larger basis. I would imagine Vauxhall would be a great candidate to go the way of Rover............

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I'm not being facetious here, but what is the problem if people buy private companies with their own cash and then decide to break them up? Surely the company is there's to do as they like?

What they probably did, was use the good names of these companies to commit fraud. They would have borrowed cash from banks, on the basis that they were going to buy inventory and plant, and instead put the cash in their own pockets. They would have sold stock, and instead of using the money to pay the staff, they would have kept it themselves. They would have received stock on credit, and sold it, keeping the money and not paying the suppliers.

etc.

It looks to me as if the guys at Rover were a bit more careful, so they didnt obviously step over the line with their 'activities'. However, in a lot of other countries they would have been locked up, for 'control fraud.' This is where you dont run the company for the benefit of shareholders, but instead for yourself. A good way of doing this is to pay yourself over the odds for your job, or pay yourself a big bonus on the back of a badly carried out asset evaluation.

Fraud is a very under punished crime in the UK. As a minimum, I would like to see all fraudsters stripped of all their assets, without the crown having to prove that the assets were obtained using illegal moneys.

And much longer sentences wouldnt go amiss either. These people ruin the lives of countless others.

Mandelson really wanted those on the Rover board to go down. After reading the stuff about what they did, I am just amazed they got away with it. It looks like our laws need a change.

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Sounds like the banksters' business model.

Yeah! EVERY Tom Dick and Harry has been "persuaded" to do the same thing by their BANKSTER/LIAR LOANER/Mortgage "Broker"?!!! No??

i.e. LIE - and take out a

LIAR LOAN

i.e. Pretend you have "income"/assets/riches you don't have & cannot afford....

This is compulsory in the UK isn't it???

How else do you "afford" property?? :unsure::blink:?

Edited by eric pebble

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They've bought the companies from the original owners on condition of investment, then asset stripped.

I doubt that some of these family style frms would have been passed on if asset stripping had been said up front.

Some d1ckhead is almost certainly going to say "if it's not in the contract" or some such. Save it, it doesn't wash.

Edited by Injin

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I'm not being facetious here, but what is the problem if people buy private companies with their own cash and then decide to break them up? Surely the company is there's to do as they like?

No you are just being very stupid. What's the likelihood they used their own cash?

They would have borrowed the money having secured it on a going concern, which they then bankrupted. Wise up!

Edited by Laughing Gnome

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No you are just being very stupid. What's the likelihood they used their own cash?

They would have borrowed the money having secured it on a going concern, which they then bankrupted. Wise up!

Fraud is mandatory in the UK. How else do you survive?

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The mistake they made was simply taking the money.

If they had paid it to themselves as wages and pain tax/NI on it they would have been free and clear.

That's the mantra in Nieue Labia Britain:

"Take the money and - RUN!!"

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