Harper Macleod and LNS

A guest blog by Auldheid

In the previous blog (http://www.tsfm.scot/how-not-to-govern-scottish-football/), TSFM wrote to Harper Macleod raising questions on their advice supplied to the then SPL Board in February 2013 when the Lord Nimmo Smith Decision re use of EBTs and side letters was announced.

A reply was received from Mr McKenzie on 18th September the gist of which can be discerned in the following reply sent on 4th October.


Dear Mr McKenzie                                                                                                    4th Oct 2014

Thank you for your response of 18th September to my letter of 5th September regarding the consequences of information on the true nature of EBTs for Craig Moore, Ronald De Boer and Tor Andre Flo being withheld from your good selves when establishing in 2012 the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission into the use of EBTs and side letters by Rangers FC from 1999.

In recognition of the points you made about publishing your responses on line, your letter of 18th September will not be published although readers of TSFM will be able to gather from this reply which is being published what those points were.

Anonymity.
It is a matter of real regret that not only was anonymity required, but that Harper MacLeod were used as a conduit to try and elicit a reply from the SPFL or SFA. In terms of anonymity there were three factors at play:

  1. Security. The individuals asking the questions are aware that any raised concerning Rangers can attract threats from the worst of the Rangers support. We know that they are a minority but nevertheless, as we have recently witnessed, some are ready to turn threat into action. It is a condemnation of Scottish society that fear has played its part in preventing the truth being revealed about Rangers FC’s use of EBTs since 1999.
  2.  

  3. Collective. The Scottish Football Monitor is made up of supporters of many clubs in Scottish football and is in effect a collective. The letters reflect to a large extent the thinking and feelings of the majority of readers. If a name is required for any future correspondence from the SPFL or SFA, then it can be addressed to Mr John Macnab, and a Post Box address can be supplied if necessary in addition to this e mail address press@tsfm.scot.
  4.  

  5. Accountability. The final factor is the most important because it is why Harper Macleod were approached. It was not just because you were responsible for commissioning the Lord Nimmo Smith enquiry, but because there is absolutely no form of direct accountability by either the SPFL or the SFA to the supporters of Scottish football clubs. Correspondence can be ignored or the content not fully addressed and the customer who pays the wages of both organisations has no means of redress at all. Had there been some oversight in say an Ombudsman type role, it would not have been necessary to involve Harper MacLeod and indeed your good self. We sincerely apologise for doing so along with our thanks for actually responding to our correspondence, but we would like the reasons for our approach being addressed by the clubs who make up both footballing authorities. We hope you pass this particular point on to both SFA and SPFL.

 

Provenance.
You ask what the provenance is of the information/evidencethat you were given. The answer is we do not know, it was taken from material uploaded mainly in June last year for purposes unknown. Whilst its provenance may be in doubt there is no question as to the veracity of the content of the material itself.

This, when put together, sets out the narrative that prompted our correspondence. This question of provenance simply looks like an excuse for football authority not investigating what the material suggests took place when Duff and Phelps were asked to supply all documents relating to EBTs (no distinction being made) from the inception of the SPL.

Even if the material itself could not be used directly, it should have prompted questions that would have either corrected the narrative or established that the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission was indeed misled either by accident or design, when those documents were not supplied.

The SPFL must surely have the powers to seek the original documents from BDO and the SFA cannot be totally impotent in that regard either.

Then there is the personal knowledge of current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie to draw on. A simple statement explaining why he saw no reason to make any distinction between the irregular DOS REBTs that he launched in 1999 and the later MGMRT EBTs of which he was a beneficiary would surely help clear the air?

Existence of Side Letters.
We note that the Commission were aware of the existence of side letters to Moore, De Boer and Flo at the time of its decision of 28th February 2013 and these were taken into account when determining the appropriate sanction. The existence of side letters is not the issue that was raised in our previous correspondence, it was the nature of the EBTs that was the issue raised. In fact it would seem that the Commission themselves were confused by the switching from the irregular REBT ebts in 2002/03 to the MGMRT EBTs that are subject to further appeal with regard to regularity by HMRC.

The side letters to De Boer and Flo of 30th August and 23 November 2000 related to the DOS REBTs that they were both paid under. It is not known if they had subsequent side letters relating to the MGMRT EBTs , which is possible, but as set out in previous correspondence there were two distinctive types of EBTs and the side letters supplied relate to the earlier irregular type.

The position regarding the Moore EBT is interesting in that whatever EBT side letter was known to the Commission in February 2012 it could only have related to payments made to him under an accompanying side letter from the MGMRT ebts after 2002/03.

That Mr Moore was paid under the REBT scheme in 1999 is a matter of supplied evidence. However there is no record of any side letter in relation to the payment under the 1999 arrangement, which may or may not have been reported in the contract lodged with the SPL and SFA. It was the absence of any side letter in respect of this payment that prevented HMRC pursuing the tax due on it as they did for De Boer and Flo in what has become known as “the wee tax case. “ The evidence of deliberate concealment by the Murray Group of the side letters to De Boer and Flo allowed HMRC to seek repayment outside the normal 6 year time limit.

However the absence of a side letter or tax demand for Mr Moore does not mean this particular payment is not deserving of further scrutiny since

  1. It was an irregular payment that other clubs could not avail themselves of (as applies to the other two EBTs to De Boer and Flo)
  2.  

  3. It is not known if it was reported to the SPL/SFA under the registration rules of that period.

Finally thank you for forwarding our letter of 5th September and previous correspondence to the SFA Compliance Officer. Hopefully any further correspondence will be between him and ourselves, first to our email address, later to a PO Box if required.

It is the hope of all readers of The Scottish Football Monitor that the SFA will stop hiding behind the provenance excuse, which is destroying any semblance of integrity and proper governance of Scottish football and they will use their powers to properly acquire the information that will set the record straight and in doing so start to restore some of the lost trust which is essential for the wellbeing of Scottish football.

John Macnab

TSFM

Trisidium

Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,448 Comments
  1. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    StevieBC says:
    November 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    “This is not the End, or even the Beginning of the End,
    but, it is the End of the Beginning”

    Puffs contentedly on cigar, while contemplating a large Scapa.

    Couldn’t resist, I’ll get ma coat :mrgreen:

    View Comment
  2. Castofthousands


    Martin says:
    November 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    “Mr Grier: “Now, the fact is that we probably did know what was going on with Ticketus. There’s no email traffic whatsoever.””
    ——————————
    I think that’s the crux right there. In order for Whyte to get a mortgage on Ranger’s season tickets he needed to own the clumpany. In order to fund the acquisition of the clumpany Whyte needed Ticketus funds. The only way to bridge this paradox was through fraud.

    Given the characters mentioned we must be talking about the sale by (S)DM/Lloyd’s to Whyte in May 2011.

    Betts had joined Whyte as a director of Wavetower, the acquisition vehicle used to buy Rangers, a couple of months previously.

    Grier had been in play back in the days of early RTC which is before my time. However Charlotte did drop a note detailing a discussion involving Whyte, Betts, Grier, Withey, Lloyd’s and Ticketus concerning circa £24M funds back in January 2011.

    Others have mentioned Withey’s ‘proof of funds’ role concerning the Collyer Bristow pension fund money.

    What still bemuses me is that Whyte would appear to have had correspondence, despite what he tells Grier, that would have illustrated the prior knowledge of Ticketus that the mortgage was being made against assets Whyte did not own at that point. Why did Whyte take the £24M hit for the Ticketus debt when he could have argued that it was never a legally enforcable contract? The season tickets were the security for the deal effectively but at the time of the agreement Whyte didn’t own the season tickets.

    I could agree to sell you the Empire State Building but if I didn’t own it at the time of forming the contract then I think you might have difficulty enforcing the terms.

    The entrainment of Paul Clark and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps has likely been enabled in their dovetailing with David Grier. Even setting aside the Grier link, there has been enough audio to illustrate the cosy relationship between Whyte and D&P.

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  3. twopanda


    Whyte seems to have been left exposed at various junctures. Not clear if he was really controlling the big picture. Add to that the CF stuff and CW not only felt the need to tape conversations, these seemed to have reached the public domain. Add to that he seems unworried by writing a film script. Odd actions for someone who`s blamed for the lot.

    So after detentions this morning once again the bogey man seems to have hit the headlines.

    My guess is our oft SMSM headlined bogey man (SMSM have no problem plastering his name) has no intention of being the scapegoat to cover up the actions – of those who made real money – he didn`t.

    Polis could have swooped on CW over the last two years, but instead chose today`s lot to action
    But we`ll see
    mtp

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  4. Bryce Curdy


    I’ll hold my hands up and recognise immediately that there are several finer legal minds than mine on this site.

    My question is this. Assuming some sort of illegality is confirmed, what are the likely implications? The cynic in me believes that a big part of the overall strategy has been to create a massively complex narrative and sequence of dodgy deals that is simply impossible to unravel.

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  5. Finloch


    I love the irony of Ireland being one down to a Shaun Maloney goal.

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  6. Martin


    Sounds like we have moved on from being detained to being arrested.

    Martyn McLaughlin ‏@MartynMcL

    Four men aged 49, 50, 50 & 53 detained in connection with Rangers FC acquisition in 2011 have now been arrested, say police.

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  7. woodstein

    woodstein


    ecobhoy says:

    November 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Anyone with info they don’t want to post publicly can PM me

    You have mail

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  8. ecobhoy


    Interesting emails at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-18175731

    Paul McConville dissects them and raises pertinent points about them at: https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/some-questions-for-david-grier-and-the-administrators-of-rangers/

    What a result for Scotland ❗

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  9. neepheid

    neepheid


    Bryce Curdy, if anyone is successfully prosecuted, then the complex web will already have been unravelled by the investigators. I wonder how Whyte will respond to today’s events? I’m guessing that a fair few folk are sweating on the possibilty that he delivers himself to the authorities, offering his full cooperation backed up with a juicy selection of emails and audio clips. Of all the players, Whyte is the one who has nothing left to lose, having been comprehensively shafted by the rest of them. He might as well take as many down with him as possible. He owes them no loyalty. His next move will be critical- for a lot of people, I suspect.

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  10. John Clark


    Bryce Curdy says:
    November 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    ‘.. Assuming some sort of illegality is confirmed, what are the likely implications? .’
    ———
    I have tried to find any kind of precedent where a company has been fraudulently purchased and then sold on.Haven’t found any so far.

    But it’s absolutely mind-boggling to contemplate the possibilities.
    RFC would still belong to SDM.
    The Administration/Liquidation nullified, and the ‘status quo ante’ before the ‘sale’ restored.
    Creditors and debenture holders of RFC piling in to get some kind of payment.
    Fresh Administration with no hint of jiggery-pokery,
    A failed CVA, genuine liquidation ( no private selling-off of the assets), but with no possibility of any kind of buyer prepared to risk the big tax case.
    Spiv ,and also, of course, the honest, shareholders of RIFC plc absolutely stuffed, with their ‘shares’ totally worthless.
    MA a ‘victim’, having to go after individual spiv directors to get his loan and other monies back.

    Could our legal and commercial and Sporting systems handle that kind of mess?
    It would probably require a special Act of Parliament to re-write whatever the legislation might currently say about contracts and company law, so as to allow a crime to be overlooked because not to do so would pose impossibly conflicting claims on rules of equity and justice etc etc.
    Any commercial lawyers on here to give us a steer?

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  11. oddjob

    oddjob


    Martin says
    November 14 2014 @ 9. 26pm

    If they were detained under Scots Law, and then arrested, I believe that they will now be charged.

    I believe the earlier post by mungobhoy was a good summation of the procedure under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). This Act does not apply in Scotland, hence the usage of “detained” as opposed to “arrested”, in this case. Police Scotland would appear to be in charge of this case.

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  12. Squiggle


    Do we understand who and what time period might have come unstuck here? Is the 5 way master plan vulnerable? If so, expect the establishment to start building escape routes. Eyes peeled

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  13. Smugas


    Joking apart if I was green or Ashley for that matter I would be offering up whyte and co on a stick to try and keep all matters post deal off the radar. And if it needs a formal liquidation to give everyone closure, well we know the grounds been well prepared.

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  14. jean7brodie

    jean7brodie


    Squiggle says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm
    __________________________________________________

    I, for one, don’t understand any of it or the implications 🙄 However my, now dead, mother in law used to say ” Trust in God and the heat of the weather and you’ll be fine”
    Since I am in a very hot place just now I’ll settle for that 😀

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  15. John Clark


    oddjob says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    ‘If they were detained under Scots Law, and then arrested, I believe that they will now be charged..’
    ———
    I was prompted by mungobhoy’s summary to have a look at the progress of the Criminal Justice( Scotland)Bill ( a result of Lord Carloway’s Review). The minutes of the Parliamentary Committee ( 4th Feb 2014) make interesting reading on the subject of doing away with the distinction between ‘detention’ and ‘arrest'( which distinction is apparently unique to Scotland).
    And I am much taken by and, frankly, surprised at, the way that the parliamentarians in committee really do get right into the serious business of questioning ‘witnesses’ and the recommendations made by Lord Carloway. I get the impression that our MSPs, like the rest of us, are aware that they too might one day get their collars felt, and don’t want the Law to give too much power to the constables to bang people up on spec!
    The Bill has a long, unspecified way to go, and meantime, as you say, there is ‘detention’ and ‘arrest’ as too different things.

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  16. CanuckBhoy


    Essex or other bean counters:

    What is the timeline for gratuitous alienation in respect to subsequent insolvency?

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  17. twopanda


    What will be interesting is what the SMSM know and knew over the past two years.
    Off course they`ll claim they couldn`t print for all sorts of legal BS
    But we`ll know, Bears will know, that they sat back whilst working Bears were ripped for millions
    Instead Bears were fed PR`d drivel by the bulldozer loads
    Where this could get interesting is if the current lot now under Her Majesty`s Custodianship – employed and paid PR to misinform everyone

    This PR nonsense has to end
    What’s wrong with straightforward plain facts?

    Why is PR allowed to tilt the balance of public opinion in favour of crooks, thieves and liars?
    mtp

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  18. mungoboy


    Oddjob,
    You are right that I referred to the arrest under PACE but I did refer to the caveat about the difference between Scots and English Law.
    A lot will depend on where the offence took place.
    Was it entirely within Scotttish jurisdiction or was it in England as per shenanigans at Companies House?
    There will be a lot of cross border issues here as I suspect it will revolve round the paperwork whereby Sevco5088 suddenly were replaced by Sevco Scotland in the purchase of RFC.
    PACE may well apply hence the ‘arrests’.
    Let’s wait and see.
    Either way, bums will be twitching north and south of the border and let’s be grateful that the European Arrest Warrant is still well in play. (Cheers Theresa)
    If I know where Charlie Boy lives just outside Argentan then so do the good guys.
    I’m still stocking up on the popcorn!

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  19. John Clark


    mungoboy says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm
    ‘..(Cheers Theresa).’
    ———–
    Aw, mungobhoy, there’s a limit! 😀

    View Comment
  20. oddjob

    oddjob


    John Clark says

    November 14 2014 @ 9, 53pm

    I like your summary of what is likely to be a new series of “Soap” or for us older grey beards, “Peyton Place”, you never know what is coming next.

    However, I did post some months ago, that I did not believe the truth would come to light until all people involved were interviewed under caution. When that happens, the way forward may be clearer.

    I am sorry that I cannot pinpoint my earlier post, but I’m sure the experts on here can so do.

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  21. Long Time Lurker

    Long Time Lurker


    Looks as if the #Sevco4 are banged up for the weekend, with a Court appearance in Glasgow on Monday morning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30053692

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  22. mungoboy


    JC,
    John, I can give Theresa some credit as she is in charge of my old Department.
    Mind you, so was John Reid and I’d rather not even start on that one!

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  23. Martin


    mungoboy says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    The police report (police Scotland) is being submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

    It is then up to the Procurator Fiscal to determine the course of events in respect of the public interest.

    And to determine which Scottish court is appropriate should prosecutions be pursued.

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  24. stifflersmom


    Has anyone developed a ‘ family tree’ type organogram of the fall and fall of the ‘team of lost souls’? Time to get one up and start striking them off as the boys in blue move in.
    Just askin!

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  25. mungoboy


    Martin,
    Happy with that. You guys north of the border can get on with it.
    Let’s just hope ‘not proven’ is the end result.

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  26. Squiggle


    jean7brodie says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    3 3 Rate This

    Squiggle says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:09

    Jean, I was very conscious of your approx location and really didn’t expect you, or your mother in law to respond to my quizzing.
    For me, and for what it’s worth, if the legal focus reverts back to other milestones, the ‘potential’ must exist for various regulatory ‘witnesses’ to become prone. Regardless of contractual arrangements.
    Remember your SP Jean.

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  27. oddjob

    oddjob


    Mungobhoy says

    November 14 @ 10.32 pm.

    I appreciate your caveat, and as one who has experience of cross border offences totally agree with your question regarding jurisdiction.
    I think, however, the decision vis-a-vis which Companies House address was the locus, was decided by the address in Edmiston Drive. Good you agree!’

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  28. mungoboy


    Oddjob,
    Take the point but I was going on the fact that in all the paperwork the relevant addresses seemed to be lawyer’s offices in London: eg Collier Bristow, FFW et al.
    It’ll keep the legal beagles in loads of dosh for years to come, that’s for sure.
    Either way, popcorn tastes the same north or south of the border!

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  29. twopanda


    Should be a big scoop day for the SMSM – Instead
    Usual SMSM nonsense
    McCosit `shocked` and so on…..as per fed by lowlife PR
    (Pure manufactured BS)

    Bears should note `Ibrox` (The mystery Board) stum on
    Not a word on `detentions`
    Not a word on SFO
    Not a word from SFA
    Nowt on AGM or `Accounts` happening any time soon or ever

    But we`re getting there at last – Polis on the case 😉
    mtp

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  30. oddjob

    oddjob


    Mungobhoy says

    November 14 2014 @ 11.18 pm.

    True, but we don’t know what the charges will be.. conspiracy or what?

    Anyway things are on the move and I have no doubt that many more doors will be knocked on before long.

    Have a good weekend, liked your PACE post, brought back memories.

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  31. Barcabhoy

    Barcabhoy


    When Craig Whyte acquired Rangers for £1 who benefitted from the transaction

    1 Potentially Whyte himself , although that did not materialise to any significant effect

    2 Advisors on both sides of the transaction would have earned significant fees. Advisors come in all shapes and sizes and include legal, accounting , tax and PR . In the words of one such remember the key phrase ” Jack always gets paid ”

    3 Lloyds Bank. This acquisition could not have happened if Lloyds had not consented, and it appears that the key condition, possibly the only condition, was that whoever acquired Rangers they would have to fully pay off all Rangers debt to the bank.
    So Lloyds got what they wanted

    4 David Murray . He got his overall debt to Lloyds reduced by £18 million and he was not in charge when the big tax case decision was delivered . Remember MIH had previously offered £10 million to settle, so any claims of confidence of winning have to be taken with a huge pinch of a salt lake.

    https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/scottish-football-murray-hmrc-tax-case-destroyed-rangers-150256969.html

    The finances of Rangers meant that unless someone of genuine wealth, i.e . Not Murray or King or The Blue Knights , stepped in pre Whytes involvement , then administration and liquidation was inevitable. Murray no longer had his pet banker on The Mound prepared to keep throwing cash at him. So regardless of whether Whyte came along or not Rangers were destined to go into administration, unless a genuine Oligarch/ Sheikh appeared .
    Alistair Johnston’s claims of righting the ship seemed hollow at the time and designed for reputational protection rather than any element of financial reality. It’s lucky he has Chic Young around to regularly misrepresent the position under the pre Whyte biard, but Young isn’t a credible commentator , and i doubt anyone with a financial background takes Johnstons posturing seriously.

    So there we have the potential beneficiaries of a deal being done between Murray and Whyte . Some of these have now been arrested , and there is apparantly an arrest warrant out for another. Will these be the final arrests made , or will it turn out that this is only the beginning.

    Whats for sure is that nobody who has been guilty of an offence should assume their tracks are covered or that they will be protected. The Police appear to be very thorough indeed on this case

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  32. redlichtie


    Cripes, what the heck are we going to talk about when this all goes sub judice? 😆

    Scottish Football needs a strong police force doing a proper job on this scandal.

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  33. Galling fiver


    😆
    😆

    I’d have a sphincter like a rabbits nose if I was involved but not lifted, coz it’s likely I’m the target, sleep tight, they won’t rat. 😆

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  34. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    As I get older and wiser [?] and more cynical…

    I just can’t see anyone getting charged/convicted of anything…for a multitude of reasons…. 😕

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  35. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    In my local with the wife to watch the game – surrounded by our Irish cousins. Great craic, as they say and they were magnanimous when we screamed out loud at the goal.
    And the drink flowed… :irony:

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  36. EKBhoy


    Probably makes more sense for the police to round up all the alleged perpetrators across both transactions and grill them at the same time.

    Not speaking from personal experience , just recalling tactics used in the BIll

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  37. Smugas


    Tin hat on HP. You’ve no idea the stick I took yesterday for saying precisely that. It is the nature of the collar for Clarke and whitehouse that will dictate this going forward and whether it starts to outgrow the original 2011 purchase.

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  38. ecobhoy


    redlichtie says:
    November 15, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Cripes, what the heck are we going to talk about when this all goes sub judice? 😆
    ==============================================
    Ah but when is it sub-judice? Some would argue it’s from the time they are charged which apparently they were last night after arrest.

    I tend to go with the line that it only becomes sub-judice after a first court appearance when those in custody are formally charged in public and asked how they plead.

    Accused might not appear in open court but in private under petition and usually there is ‘no plea or declaration’ at the first hearing under solemn procedure where IIRC they become the ‘panel’. Reminds me of a doc’s sickie and some I have seen empanelled cerainly look like they need urgent medical assistance.

    The information publicly released at that point by the procurator fiscal is very very limited if, indeed, any is actually given.

    So it comes down to the accused’s lawyer as to whether he says anything or not. In a high-profile case involving accused who are of media interest a lawyer can get a nice wee advert on the back of his clients.

    However where the clients have money and influence either the lawyer zips-it or the start of the PR campaign begins with some tailored info being released.

    None of my comments should be taken to apply to any specific case but are merely a generalisation, probably out of date, of court procedures and those who pass through the Halls of Justice – blindfolds are always available just inside the door btw 😎

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  39. ecobhoy


    Smugas says:
    November 15, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Tin hat on HP. You’ve no idea the stick I took yesterday for saying precisely that. It is the nature of the collar for Clarke and whitehouse that will dictate this going forward and whether it starts to outgrow the original 2011 purchase.
    =====================================================
    If I was a clever cop or indeed an ambitious fiscal I would view things differently.

    I’m not referring to this case as I have no knowledge of what evidence was gathered before the arrests and what, if anything, the arrests added. And obviously there is likely to be further arrests as the modern-day Lord Lucan is hunted-down. I don’t know whether homes and offices have been searched either.

    Oh yea that’s right they never got the first one did they 🙄

    However back to dreaming. Let’s imagine a long-running complex alleged criminal scam which spans a number of decades but which splits into various distinct sections which have persons of interest common to more than one section.

    If I was a cop then I would start with the bit I had good evidence on and rattle a few cages. Even hardened and experienced criminals start to worry when they end-up in the slammer.

    It doesn’t actually matter whether they are guilty or innocent. Their whole focus is in getting-out and if that means dropping a fellow low-life in the brown sticky stuff then so what? If they have info to trade which is more important to cops than their miserable fate then they have a wee bit of a lever and hey presto they walk and a bigger fish gets fried.

    Let’s then think of a scenario where fairly wealthy, shakers and movers, whose profession, wife, family and home are in damger of disappearing with all the stashed-away cash. Add to that spectre the fact that this once paragon of society has never previously faced pooing in a potty or spending years with Big Bubba as a cell mate.

    As the cops say in all the best detective soaps: ‘You got one chance here. Fess-up before your mates ot the offer’s withdrawn’.

    When your previousl life is collapsing around you then animal survival instincts tend to take over. Prisoners talk and police are experts at making this happen.

    And in the info released then often the path is opened to move further along the chain and into another phase of the case which inevitably draws others into the net and more tightly enmeshes those already there. Then further charges and arrest can be made and so it continues.

    However, I repeat this isn’t an observation on a specific case but just a generalisation from watching black and white movies and listening to ‘An Inspector Calls’ on steam radio.

    For those not familiar with this classic 3-act-drama you might detect my drift at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inspector_Calls

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  40. ecobhoy


    Martin says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    13

    0

    Rate This

    mungoboy says:
    November 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    The police report (police Scotland) is being submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

    It is then up to the Procurator Fiscal to determine the course of events in respect of the public interest.

    And to determine which Scottish court is appropriate should prosecutions be pursued.
    ———————————————
    I think the decisions on this one might be at the top levels of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh rather than at a PF level.

    If media reports are correct I would imagine that the accused will appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday. In view of the seriousness of the charges as related in media reports I can’t see this being dealt with under summary criminal procedures.

    I think it’s almost inevitable it will end-up – at least initially – under the more serious Solemn Procedure.

    These cases can end-up in the High Court with a jury trial. I have wondered though whether the involvement with Rangers might lead to a change of venue away from Glasgow and even the West of Scotland.

    Normally cases like this can be switched between Glasgow and Edinburgh to reduce any suggestion of bias and possible problems in jury selection.

    But with Rangers in direct competition to Hearts and Hibs for promotion then that’s a bit of a poser.

    All quite fascinating. It might mean a decision being taken to avoid a jury trial by having a Sheriff sitting alone as it is taken that a Sheriff is free from bias.

    No mutterings in the back row of the court ❗

    In some ways this solution could work because there is a possibility of all sorts of claims of misreporting and bias in court repoorts of the proceedings influencing a jury.

    It’s a real gamble for the prosecution and defence as to which way they jump. Juries can get lost in financial cases and switch-off. But can an impartial jury be found for this case?

    Fun and games to come on this front methinks 😆

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  41. ecobhoy


    With no connection to anything down Ibrox Way this link is well worth a read: http://www.copfs.gov.uk/media-site/media-releases/897-470-000-confiscated-from-caroline-laing-after-money-laundering-investigation-on-global-scale

    Big success for Scots cops the other day in a global money-laundering carousel scam.

    £470K confiscated under Proceeds of Crime Act from a Denny female following an 8 year investigation. Looks as though we have some real muscle when it comes to investigating financial matters.

    Probably comes from the former Strathlyde ‘fraud squad’ nucleus which has been doing good work for quite a long time.

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  42. Smugas


    I think I see the point you’re making. The knicking of Grier and Whithey for the 2011 transaction order and clark and whitehouse for, well as yet unknown, may not actually be connected or need to be. It’s just to get them in four cells in a corridor in the full knowledge big bubba is in the fifth.

    This assumes of course that the four haven’t been caught red handed having a wee pre admin meeting in 2011 as to be fair the original D&P release stated they had.

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  43. ecobhoy


    Hi TSFM

    Can you have a look at my undernoted post in mod – I think I must have inadvertantly used a ‘trigger’ word. But as the post is on sub judice then I think its relevant to blog discussions.

    ecobhoy says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

    View Comment
  44. Smugas


    Does anybody know how to get on a jury list? Just asking!

    Your honour I believe some members of the jury may well be bampots. Really, how do I know which ones? Em they’re the ones with the black caps sir.

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  45. grecian urn


    Should Shaun Maloney not show some loyalty to the country of his birth, Malaysia 😀

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  46. yourhavingalaugh

    yourhavingalaugh


    I just hope for these guys sake that Big Bubba is not a disgruntled servo fan

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  47. Trisidium


    Folks,
    The developments yesterday caused a new blog to be shredded 🙁

    That aside, it is also a test of our temperance. IF any criminal charges arise out of yesterday’s events, we will have to be circumspect, and respectful of anyone’s right to proper due process unfettered by wild accusations. Lives are literally at stake here, and any sniff of a Murdoch-style witch-hunt will have the potential to damage people – and ourselves.

    Often on this blog – as with other forms of media – conjecture becomes fact after a couple of repetitions. We really need to qualify opinions heavily in that situation.

    If we are to be seen as a truthful, responsible and credible alternative to the corruption and vested interest of the MSM, now is our chance to put our credentials on show.

    I’m sure we will observe what after all only amounts to common decency.

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  48. Dutchmul


    Well, looks like this is the first domino to fall, i’m sure there are now a lot of very nervous spivs.

    What’s interesting about this quote from Duff & Phelps re the arrests “He said this work “was commenced while these employees were part of MCR Partners, prior to its acquisition by Duff & Phelps in October of 2011” is the very careful phrasing.

    It looks to me, to use a Woodward/Bernstein quote, a non denial denial, ie the D&P spokesman doesn’t say “work they did” or “work they completed” he uses the word “commenced” which to me means work that was still ongoing when MCR was acquired by D&P.

    Squeeky bum time at D&P perhaps?

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  49. ecobhoy


    Smugas says:
    November 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I think I see the point you’re making. The knicking of Grier and Whithey for the 2011 transaction order and clark and whitehouse for, well as yet unknown, may not actually be connected or need to be. It’s just to get them in four cells in a corridor in the full knowledge big bubba is in the fifth.

    This assumes of course that the four haven’t been caught red handed having a wee pre admin meeting in 2011 as to be fair the original D&P release stated they had.
    =================================================
    I’m afraid at this stage it’s all supposition and personally I’ll be very careful about commenting on detail as I have no wish to make internet legal history by becoming a test case on the operation of the sub judice rules.

    This is a whole different world from commenting on civil procedures. It’s serious and I wouldn’t knowingly do anything to harm an accused’s right to a fair trial.

    In the old days when newspapers used to have actual journalists and plenty of them it was common to use a reporter – who had not previously been involved in reporting on the alleged crimes – to report on the actual court proceedings.

    This reduced the risk of the reporter ‘importing’ information which hadn’t been disclosed to the jury or the court into his report. It’s really easily done as there’s a lot of pressure on a court reporter no matter how skilled and professional they are.

    I don’t actually know if any are left these days and court coverage is left to freelance agencies to provide and they only cover the bits that they know will earn them cash. So they pop in and out when they get the nod. They don’t have the luxury of sitting-in covering one trial all day.

    The problem about the agency way of working is that important and critical things can be totally unreported and what is reported ends-up favouring one side or the other. Not by design I’m sure but that’s what can happen.

    However – I have to say that there are more than enough Big Bubbas in the system to allocate 1 per cell. Are you listening ‘tiny’ ❓

    I was also quite surprised to see the elevel of detail released by the media last night as to the charges allegedly faced by those arrested.

    It struck me as very strange indeed and wonder what lies behind the move. Of course it may be as a consequence of the cross-border arrangements.

    At the end of the day I think it’s fair to assume that these are ‘holding’ charges which move the process along a bit and let lawyers speak with their clients about the best way of extricating themselves from this very unfortunate state of affairs that they find themselves in.

    I make no assumption of guilt or innocence wrt any of those involved in what is primarily the mincing machine of the criminal justice system which simply grinds along no matter whether it’s lamb or gristle that’s fed-in.

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  50. ecobhoy


    Bryce Curdy says:
    November 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    My question is this. Assuming some sort of illegality is confirmed, what are the likely implications? The cynic in me believes that a big part of the overall strategy has been to create a massively complex narrative and sequence of dodgy deals that is simply impossible to unravel.
    ===========================================
    I’m afraid it’s not a ‘fine legal mind’ you require to answer your question at this stage but a ‘mystic’.

    There is simply no answer and even those arrested and those pursuing them don’t have one at this stage. There is also the problem that speculation from now on – whether informed or not – runs the risk of breaching sub judice rules.

    I personally assume nothing and most certainly not that some ‘some sort of illegality is confirmed’ as I have too much respect for the maxim of innocent until proven guilty.

    That’s not to say that you can’t comment but rather than state: ‘a big part of the overall strategy has been to create a massively complex narrative and sequence of dodgy deals that is simply impossible to unravel’ it might be safer just to more generally observe that very complex cases can be harder to prove.

    At the end of the day it’s up to the police initially to find the evidence to support the prosecution case and it’s up to the prosecutor to present his case in such a way that it can be understood by a jury or judge.

    It can be argued that a judge would be more at home with detail and intricacies in a complex case but in my experience the basic common-sense of a jury often allows them remarkable insight as to what has gone down no matter how many layers of obfuscation varnish has been applied by a honey-tongued and highly-paid defence QC.

    They are often so far detached from reality that they actually believe the ‘little people’ are eating out of their hand.

    But if we knew the answers to your questions where would the interest be and, dare I say, ‘fun’ for some in following the trial on a day-by-day blow-by-blow basis.

    What will be will be and all our speculating won’t make it come quicker and will probably be a million miles off target in the final analysis.

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  51. Bryce Curdy


    Ecobhoy 11:20

    Unintentionally lazy wording from me. I’m not assuming illegality either, but merely asking the question what are the consequences in the event of criminal act(s) having taken place.

    And when I described the situation as complex I was specifically referring to the fact that there have been a series of subsequent events (5088/Scotland, the IPO to give two examples) of questionable legality which would make any resolution potentially very challenging IMHO.

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  52. ernie


    Ecobhoy, a respectful question: you say “But with Rangers in direct competition to Hearts and Hibs for promotion then that’s a bit of a poser.” We’re not seriously suggesting that a prosecuting body would take any account whatsoever of the hugely trivial league status of a fitba team involved with a prosecution and the equally trivial status/location of their nearest rivals are we? Or have I been whooshed?

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  53. Hoopy 7


    Good Afternoon

    In my opinion all contributors should exercise caution when discussing the alleged criminality at this stage. No crime has been proved

    I myself have been guilty in the past of commenting with a knee jerk reaction.

    What has or has not been done in relation to the acquisition of Rangers will eventually come out in the High Court.

    My only hope is that the complicity of the blazers in the SFA will also be revealed.

    Just my opinion but I think that anyone who has a tape will use whatever is on it to bring down others.

    In the meantime I still feel that TRFC may not last till the end of the year.

    If, and it is a big IF, there have been shenanigans which impact on the IPO then those who have been less than frank may also be called to question.

    Good result for Scotland last night.

    Condolences to the family of the young fan who passed away.

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  54. mungoboy


    Was thinking about this overnight.
    One man alone has been on the inside track in all of this fiasco (no, not wee Stevie the ITman/Chief Scout), has worked with all the characters involved and yet all he can say is he’s ‘shocked’.
    The rest of us bampots just went, ‘about time, who’s next?’ And we never even gave our backing to any one of them.
    Got a feeling that a few more shocks might just be heading Alistair’s way.

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  55. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    mungoboy says:

    November 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm
    has worked with all the characters involved and yet all he can say is he’s ‘shocked’.
    ————————————————————————–
    He said: “Obviously I can’t or wouldn’t comment on a current police matter, but I would have to say I’m shocked

    It never stopped him when there was a current police matter when the bus went on fire…..just saying 😕

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  56. mungoboy


    Excellent point, Cluster.
    He wasn’t slow in pointing the finger over the bus fire
    Not the first time that the blessed Alistair gets caught out with his selective memory of things.
    Just as well all you guys are out there with better memories and can remind him of his previous stance or comments relating to specific subjects.

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  57. ecobhoy


    Changed days at Ibrox with the official response to the Burton Zombie shirt?

    While Bears express disgust at the alleged ‘mockery’ created by the humourously macabre adaptation of an iconic Rangers team photo from 1877 the club is apparently more interested in the financial side of things.

    An official response states: ‘The club has instructed its lawyers to investigate this matter and take whatever action is appropriate to protect the club’s rights’.

    I wonder if that means that ‘the club’ rather than TRFCL or any external company or individual owns the Rangers’ image rights?

    Another day another puzzle – Seems to be a way of life down Ibrox Way 🙄

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  58. Martin


    You never can tell where potential problems are going emerge. File under sugar-daddy troubles.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30066568

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  59. ecobhoy


    ernie says:
    November 15, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Ecobhoy, a respectful question: you say “But with Rangers in direct competition to Hearts and Hibs for promotion then that’s a bit of a poser.” We’re not seriously suggesting that a prosecuting body would take any account whatsoever of the hugely trivial league status of a fitba team involved with a prosecution and the equally trivial status/location of their nearest rivals are we? Or have I been whooshed?
    ===============================================
    @ernie – you disappoint me 😆 Now would I ever make such a comment about a Prosecuting Authority?

    Venue for any future trial and jury selection I would imagine will already have exercised some minds or will soon.

    Of course the investigation could collapse or indeed anyone who ends-up going to trial – which might not even include those currently under arrest – could plead guilty and remove the need for a trial.

    But this potential court case really strikes me as a bit unique in terms of jury selection especially when so much of it has already been extensively reprised and dissected for years on the internet and even, to an extent, in the SMSM.

    And it’s not just the prosecution with a potential interest in location and jury selection but also the Defence.

    However I’m sure the Jambos and Hibees would do their civic duty with total impartiality if picked as jurors. I’m afraid I can’t be quite as confident about Bears and my fellow Celtic supporters 😆

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  60. Martin


    STV update.

    “Four men arrested over sale of Rangers due in Glasgow court”

    http://news.stv.tv/west-central/299745-four-men-arrested-over-sale-of-rangers-due-in-glasgow-court/

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  61. ecobhoy


    Bryce Curdy says:
    November 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Ecobhoy 11:20

    what are the consequences in the event of criminal act(s) having taken place.

    And when I described the situation as complex I was specifically referring to the fact that there have been a series of subsequent events (5088/Scotland, the IPO to give two examples) of questionable legality which would make any resolution potentially very challenging IMHO.
    =====================================================
    If an accused is found guilty of a criminal act then they will be subject to the sentencing ‘tariff’.

    We don’t know yet whether anyone will ever be tried or, indeed, what charges they might face. We don’t know whether any mitigating circumstances will be taken into account. As I said in my previous post only a ‘mystic’ could answer your question.

    When I speculate I try to do so on solid evidence but as I only have a fraction of the evidence likely to be presented in court I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time with my essentially uninformed speculation.

    There is also the very important issue – as other posters have also pointed out – that sub judice rules must be observed not just for self-protection and that of the blog but most importantly to ensure the accused has a fair trial. They are innocent until preoven guilty after all.

    As to other matters you refer to and their ‘questionable legality’ as you phrase it they may or may not be a part of the current proceedings. I don’t know whether they do or not and I doubt if anyone ouwith the police or prosecution knows the answer to that one.

    So I will pass on comment as I don’t feel there is anything that I can usefully add. And if I could I wouldn’t as we end back at sub judice implications and interfering with an active police investigation.

    I know it’s frustrating but that’s just how it is. We will see what we will see in due course and not before it I’m afraid. As we don’t have any say or control of the timetable then patience is the order of the day 😐

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  62. ecobhoy


    With the repeated ‘shocks’ being inflicted on McCoist the electrical wiring insulation at Ibrox must be deteriorating at warp speed.

    Or perhaps the rusting steelwork isn’t providing a strong enough earthing bond to keep the manager ‘grounded’.

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  63. South0fThe Border


    ecobhoy says: November 15, 2014 at 11:02 am:
    In the old days when newspapers used to have actual journalists and plenty of them it was common to use a reporter – who had not previously been involved in reporting on the alleged crimes – to report on the actual court proceedings.
    ____________________________________

    As long as they don’t use journalists from the sports department unfamiliar with court protocol. In Harry Redknapp’s tax evasion trial, a reporter not only named a potential juror undergoing the selection process (he had a name identical to a well-known footballer) but also reported on evidence given by a witness when the jury had been sent out!
    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/node/48623

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  64. Bryce Curdy


    ecobhoy 1:17 pm

    Think our wires are still crossed.

    I’ll use an anology to avoid any sub judice issues. If you steal a car from Goosy Goosy and sell it to me, and I then advertise it dishonestly and TSFM buys it from me but using forged bank notes, and Goosy Goosy then steals it back again, how does any legal process resolve this?

    I suppose what I’m saying is that yesterday’s events have made me pose a question I have had in my head for some time, namely how can such a complex chain of events be unravelled?

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  65. John Clark


    I am genuinely intrigued in the question of what would happen if the sale of a company was declared fraudulent, after its assets had been further sold on to a new entity.
    So, household duties variously attended to, lunch taken, and Stuart and Tam just signing off, I have sent this email to the email address of the Financial Times newsdesk:

    “Are you having a wee look at the story that broke yesterday, about the arrest of Paul Clark and David Whitehouse ( of Duff and Phelps),and the issue of a warrant for the arrest of Craig Whyte, in connection with the sale to Craig Whyte by Sir David Murray of the then Rangers Football Club in 2011?
    My interest is in understanding what would be the effects on current shareholders in Rangers International FC plc if, and it may be a very big IF, it were to be proved that the sale of the club to Whyte had been based on a huge fraud, and had to be declared null and void by the Courts?
    Would this put them in the category of purchasers of, in effect, stolen property (albeit in perfect good faith), which still in law belongs to Sir David Murray and the pre-sale shareholders ?
    Is there any actual precedent of a company having been fraudulently purchased, run into administration and liquidation, its assets sold to fraudsters , who set up a new company, go public, raise millions from institutional investors ?
    How would such a mess be sorted out? On the face of it, and presumably, the ‘goods'(the assets as they were immediately before the sale) would have to be returned to the pre-sale owners as legally belonging to them. But this would mean that every investor in the ‘fraudulent’ new club would lose all their investment!
    Has this ever happened?
    Looks like a good story, and the major shareholders in RIFC plc must surely be worried? Have they been contacted?

    Yours in intense curiosity

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  66. ecobhoy


    Bryce Curdy says:
    November 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    ecobhoy 1:17 pm

    A question I have had in my head for some time, namely how can such a complex chain of events be unravelled?
    ========================================================
    I have no idea whether what has recently unfolded forms part of a complex chain of events or something easily exposed and understood once the necessary evidence is assembled.

    Hopefully we will have the answer to your question once the unravelling is completed.

    I have learnt in life not to jump to final conclusions too hurriedly before most of the jigsaw is in place as that’s a sure recipe for making mistakes and often BIG surprises.

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  67. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    Bryce Curdy says:
    November 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    See Jarndyce v Jarndyce, in Bleak House or I suppose in this context it would be Ursa Major v Ursa Minor in Big Hoose

    Either way, the world’s second oldest profession would give everyone a master class in how to make good money for years, out of Rangers misery :mrgreen:

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  68. martin c


    @Bryce curdy,

    The car belongs to goosy goosy, everything in between is immaterial, its how goosy goosy gets his car back that matters? But what if goosy sells the car and is paid with a dud pound. And then henny penny steals the car from Chicken licken (who used the dud pound)The car is not even worth a pound, it leaks had no tread, goes through petrol faster than a jump jet and only does 20mph at its best. The police are on the case they know about the dud pound and the theft – does goosy goosy want the car back?

    Has this happened before (see john clark above)?

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  69. highfibre


    It is very unlikely that the outcome of any criminal trial involving those who hav ebeen arrested will have any effect whatsoever on RIFC or TRFC as they currently exist.

    Consider the parallels with mortgage fruad. If Mr W lies to mortgage company T in order to buy a property R, then Mr W has commited fraud. If discovered, this means that mortgage company T can immediately call in the mortgage. If they have a security over property R then they can take posession of that property in order to recover their money. If they do not have security over the property (which may have been part of the fraud) then they must go to the courts to make claims over any assets belonging to Mr W. This would include property R if he still owns it, but cannot include property R if he no longer owns it. That is the civil side of the affair.

    The crown may also prosecute Mr W for the fraud. This can result in a fine, a jail sentence, and the seizure of any of Mr W’s assets which were gained as a result of the fraud. Again, the crown can only take property owned by Mr W. If he has sold it, then it is beyond their reach, but they can take what was gained through the sale.

    This is all very different from theft of property where it should be returned to its rightful owner. In this case the property transactions were perfectly legal – the crime involves the money. Once the property has been sold to someone with no involvement in the fraud, it is out of reach of the court or the mortgage lender T. Now if the original owner or subsequent owners of property R (Mr. M and Mr G) were also involved, they can also be pursued for anything gained out of the affair.

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  70. Trisidium


    New post up ….

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  71. ecobhoy


    South0fThe Border says:
    November 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    ecobhoy says: November 15, 2014 at 11:02 am:

    In the old days when newspapers used to have actual journalists and plenty of them it was common to use a reporter – who had not previously been involved in reporting on the alleged crimes – to report on the actual court proceedings.
    ____________________________________

    As long as they don’t use journalists from the sports department unfamiliar with court protocol. In Harry Redknapp’s tax evasion trial, a reporter not only named a potential juror undergoing the selection process (he had a name identical to a well-known footballer) but also reported on evidence given by a witness when the jury had been sent out!
    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/node/48623
    ==============================================
    Back in the day football journos – except for a very few exceptions – were failed news reporters and would never be allowed anywhere near a court.

    They also tended to have no shorthand and as they made-up stories out of thin air they tended to be something of a liability covering a court-room 😆

    But at least they knew their limitations and kept well away. Now they are experts in law, finance, feudal tenure, geology, economics, insolvency, AIM regulation, complex business issues, overseas tax shelters, bus company operations, EC State Aid regulations and international extradition procedures. They still know nothing about football right enuff

    Some things never change 😆

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  72. upthehoops


    Listening to Sportsound today and they have live coverage from Ibrox. They have Rob Mclean commentating, Willie Miller summarising, and Chick Young trackside. There are two issues here for me as a licence fee payer. One is why so much money is being shelled out on a lower league match. Two is why BBC are providing so much coverage to a club who refuse to deal with them and don’t afford them full media rights.

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