Prognosis for trading with criminally acquired assets


So you buy a business and then find that the entire structure and assets of company are subject to a police investigation, where it is alleged that the assets were criminal acquired. That’s a serious problem, but one which will take several years to manifest. Let’s call that Problem A.

Problem B is that you have also established that the business needs to raise cash. This is an acute problem which will manifest in a matter of months.

What’s the prognosis?

It could be 2018 before a verdict on Problem A, the criminal trial, is reached. If it’s not guilty, there are no consequences. If it’s guilty, the rightful owners of the criminally acquired assets can apply to the court to recover them. This doesn’t mean they will apply, but if they do, it’s highly likely that the court will make the award in favour of the rightful owners.

For our example, the rightful owners are creditors of a failed business, represented by a liquidator. It’s the liquidators job to get as much money for the creditors as possible, and in this instance, HMRC is the creditor with overwhelming influence.

There’s an added complexity. Although none of your directors are contaminated by the criminal investigation, there’s a concern that some of the accused are beneficiaries of shares in the company, or commercial contracts which the company has entered into. In short, the accused have left the stage, but they could still have a considerable financial interest in the success of the business, which may steel the resolve of the most influential creditor, HMRC. HMRC know such tactics well and would be reluctant to allow a convicted criminal to profit from their enterprises.

As far as Problem A is concerned, you have to allow the law to take its course and hope for a not guilty verdict. Should a guilty verdict transpire, you then have to hope to cut a deal with the liquidator (representing HMRC et al) to allow you to continue to retain title to the assets.

If the creditor was malleable, willing to come and go with you, this would be possible. Especially as the liquidator may have the opportunity of pursuing the professional indemnity (PI) insurance of some of the accused, who provided professional services relating to the transaction. Grab the PI money for the creditors and allow you, your shareholders, and the beneficiaries of your commercial contracts, to continue to benefit from ownership of the assets.

A great deal of uncertainty surrounds this, however. You would make it your business to get as close as possible to the liquidator. Make sure there’s no limit to the hospitality on offer, but ultimately, HMRC will decide how matters proceed. It may even be the case that PI money is pursued, and the assets are recovered and put on the market. There will, after all, be an eye-watering level of professional fees to cover.

Problem B is, as I said, more acute. Raising money for a business which is losing money and burning cash is difficult enough, but if there is a possibility the business has been built upon criminally acquired assets, the challenge is herculean.

The criminal trial may not conclude until 2018 (or later), and it could take a couple of years thereafter for the liquidator to petition the court for the assets and then dispose of them. In short, the assets could come back onto the market around 2020.

Problem B is for you to fund a trading deficit until 2018, then hibernate for a couple of years, and bid enough to buy the assets at auction in 2020.

In the short term all you can do is try to convince as many people as possible to become co-investors. Or put the money in yourself, of course (sorry, I know how you feel about that prospect). Then you could shower the liquidator with the kind of corporate hospitality illustrated in The Wolf of Wall St, and hope you’ve got enough credit with them to have them batting for you at the creditors’ meeting.

The prognosis? It’s not the fact that you are possibly trading with criminally acquired assets, or that your entire enterprise could be shut down with the drop of a sheriff’s gavel, that would worry me. There’s nothing you can do about that, so ignore it. The big worry is how raise the £25m to keep the lights on until you discover if you’re business’s founding fathers acted within the law.

Good luck with that.

This is an absolute minefield. No one is in control. Three years ago I suggested the best thing to do was to start from scratch at another location, this is the only way to proceed with certainty.

Share premises in Paisley, or Cowdenbeath or wherever will take you. Hope that you can carry some brand affinity (although clearly you’ll not be able to use any disputed IP, including brand names). Appoint reputable people to your board and get back to doing what you really want to do.

Behold to no one contaminated by the decades of misrule. Cut loose those who hold the onerous contracts. Allow the assets to come back onto the market in due course, knowing that by then you have all the customer goodwill you need to ensure there is no point in anyone bidding against you at auction.

The future will be nothing like the past, but at least you’ll have a future.

Celtic are the first UK club to react to the refugee crisis

“This is absolutely the right thing for us to do. Our club was formed by immigrants, many of whom had escaped the devastation of the great famine.” Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation CEO.

Proceeds from Sunday’s Jock Stein 30th Anniversary game will go to alleviating suffering of the refugees. The club will appoint a charity with expertise to ensure the assistance is productive.

I know we go on about the Foundation a lot, but it’s the most important part of our club, today and every day.  Never let this change.

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  1. Gordon_J on 4th September 2015 12:23 pm



    Since there’s no market you’d need to find a buyer privately. Who would buy shares in them at this stage?

  2. When Celtic needed cash in the mid nineties , the Celtic fans flocked to the share issue


    Fans dipped into their savings and we’re proud to hold shares Celebrity fans and ex players bought shares



    In all the farce of the deid club. Their fans and their ex players like bfdj bought nothing


    Their fans protest and buy nothing


    They had 20 years of free money from the bank of scotland and expect the same


    It will be interesting come jan when they need cash after they have run out



    Ps Celtic are a creditor. Should we apply to BDO for our cash

  3. Lots of positive news on the Huns in the press today with re appointment of auditors and access to a new market………………………..Look!!!!!!……….Squirrels!!!!!!!!

  4. .






    At a Q&A You and Phil attended 3 Years Ago..One of the Questions from the Floor was..



    How long would ‘the rangers’ drama take..LNS Decision etc..



    I Cant remember You or Phils Exact answer..But i was Sitting with Your Dad..TBJ.. and a Couple of other CQNers..and l Said it would be at Least 16 Years..



    a Couple of them Looked at me as if l was Daft..



    But as i have Said from the Start..The SFA and UEFA had the Chance to act and put this to bed within other codes have done Worldwide..



    Neither acted..Then it became ‘Legal’..and ‘how long is a piece of string’ became the Answer..




  5. JAMESGANG on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2015 11:11 AM Canamalar Actually no. My argument is well and truly afloat and has sadly bobbed along since the advent of socialism as a political concept!


    Show me a truly socialist nation?



    The reality of life, commerce, industry and humankind complicate this fine theory to the point that it can never exist in a pure form. Best we can hope for is a benign capitalist system with high levels of state support and provision guaranteed for all citizens.



    And a ‘flat’ system of power and wealth where PMs go to work on public transport, not Jags on the way to the palace. Scandi model.




    HH jamesgang ————————————————————————————————————————-



    Agree 1000% – you make the enlightened point most eloquently.



    These poor unfortunates looking for a better life for their families are not desperate to get into Russia, Hungary, Poland, or indeed any of the former Soviet Bloc nations – no, they want to live in fully-fledged capitalist economies, such as the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. Why? – because there they treat people well and have legal systems which are the envy of the rest of the world – of course if the Atlantic Ocean could be traversed, the USA would be their number one destination.



    Every day, in almost every third-world and Islamic country, the American embassies and consulates are inundated with queues for visas, – round the block and round the clock.



    Everyone in the world, save maybe for Jeremy Corbyn and his ‘fellow travellers’ knows that Communism, and all its offshoots, are failed systems – no one, except an unreconstructed zealot, would choose to live under a Communist regime, ever again.



    Of course there are many failings and structural unfairness within in the capitalist system, and therefore, we all should be voting for empathetic politicians and parties, who have VIABLE proposals and policies, to address these issues.



    The Scandinavian system is always held up as a role-model, but what we must remember that taxes are very high, albeit to provide a good standard of health and welfare, and, there is a much stricter approach taken to the ‘British disease’ of a lifestyle choice to live on benefits, immediately after leaving school.



    The banks and the city must take almost all the blame for the global downturn/recession/depression – however as a country, we must never forget that 25%/33% of the total taxes we collect, and that are need for all our health and welfare sector, come from the financial services industry.



    I know certain people on here will shout me down on this – but may I suggest that anyone interested in the FULL story of the Global collapse and how it affected the UK – read Alistair Darlings book “Back from the Brink”





    Best wait till they play us if they ever do at their place.



    Trash the toilets,destroy the seating area,and meet their bill with ours.



    Just for the hell of it,and it might save some money when the wrecking ball arrives.



    See? Everyone’s a winner!

  7. Paul. your piece is concise and very carefully penned – however there is no way that all the establishment institutions and the Scottish media, would allow anything other than a ‘business as usual’ outcome, in your hypothetic scenario.

  8. The cheat insists David Weirs dignity has been soiled.The same cheat who presented David with an etched crystal bowl when leaving the dead club.yup you guessed it,guess which crystal company is on creditors list?



    dignity eh!



    have a great day Celts.




  9. .



    ‘I had a chat with the manager. He would have loved me to stay and I was happy to stay, but me and the gaffer don’t make the decisions – there are people higher up.



    One Week Later Neil Lennon Walked Away from Celtic FC..



    Summa of SamarasCSC

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Should a guilty verdict transpire, you then have to hope to cut a deal with the liquidator (representing HMRC et al) to allow you to continue to retain title to the assets.”




    Can’t see this being a problem somehow.

  11. Mr Pastry on 4th September 2015 12:33 pm


    You wrote……….”a lifestyle choice to live on benefits”



    Are you completely nuts?


    A flaky sausage roll short of a picnic. For sure!




  12. FourGreenFields on 4th September 2015 11:58 am






    Did you see the clip posted on here where Green and Whyte are escorted out of court ( front entrance ) into the waiting clan , just before Green ( I think ) gets into car someone tries to land a blow .



    Do you think anyone was arrested or had their door knocked in the early hours , no me neither .



    That only seems to happen if you sing a song that offends imaginary people .




    Yeah mate – I saw that. Other posters on here have asked the (valid in my view) question – why are the authorities starting this like a show-trial by taking these guys through the front door fo the court? Not that I have any real sympathy for them, but with all the BS about not commenting on social media to ensure a fair trial, why start it in this manner?

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on





    Have you ever read anything about the current State of Mexico?



    No offence,but life there is untenable. The U.S. offers life and hope. No doubt you’ll politicise that,but most aren’t escaping to a capitalist dream,they are escaping. Period.






    Believe me.I know all about Mexico,the harabe tapatio and the tragic state of affairs in that beautiful country.


    I do understand your point and I take.


    The question is why are they not streaming South to the worker`s paradise of Venezuela or Ecuador?


    To take in the benefits of socialism where wealth is distributed evenly .


    Which was where this conversation started.


    It`s `cos they ain`t loco.

  14. pastry/horridhurtinghenry/thompsonsomething/Alfie/Carstairs



    jeesuz Alistair of Dyscalcias book being recommended!!






    1+1+1 =?



    socialism guised as neoconservatism tony the liar!!!





    A fair old number of those fleeing their countries,for whichever reasons,speak languages such as English,German,French.



    That may be a deciding factor in where they aim for.



    FYI,it is only an EU statute that refugees claim that status in their first safe haven. Under international law,since 1951,IIRC,a refugee can claim safe haven anywhere he makes it to.



    We have a deeply unpleasant situation on our doorstep,and I don’t know how we deal with it. But calling them economic migrants when they are fleeing from hell on earth is not an option.

  16. An Tearmann on 4th September 2015 12:02 pm







    re the floating Charge- does Mike have that as collateral?





    paragraph5 point 1?.-is the club asset yon big hoos?




    One of the major problems with this whole omnishambles is knowing who has rights to what. Perhaps in the course of the legal process to come we will find out more on stuff we’ve previously had to make inferences about?

  17. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I’m more likely to ask Darling about his seat in the lords


    Another political money grabbing self serving labour man


    And I voted for his kind


    Hangs his head in shame

  18. Good luck to all the guys and gals doing the John Thomson Paradise to Cardenden charity cycle ride tomorrow.





  19. Summa, aye, we’re a long way from the finish line.



    lltfoa67, you’re welcome.



    Mr Pastry, aye, I heard that the same establishment would never allow Rangers to be liquidated. Wonder how that turned out.

  20. There is no way you can run a business that way they are over at Narnia, it is just one big Cluster F… After another, it needs heavy investment, and who in their right mind would put one brown penny into that place.



    Business men are rich either because they are clever, or where in the right place at the right time, spivs are what they are, SPIVS, the place is going down the toilet and that is self inflicted, they wouldent change, and what has come to pass was inevitable.



    It’s been a shell and pee game since the start, and helped on by a desperate crowd of supporting lug nuts who are the people, and have no contrition, and think they have done no wrong because a guy who was at court for fraud yesterday told them that.



    They may hang around like a bad smell for a wee while, but it will come to a head at some point and things won’t be as bad as they would have been had the done this three years ago, then they would have rioted, now the drip feed that they have been getting for three years has more or less got the ready, not all that is, but a big majority of them, the sooner it comes the better, the longer it goes on the suffering will get worse and as far as I’m concerned that’s not a bad thing either.


    Lurking Huns GIRFUYs.

  21. PAUL67



    dont know where you get your info from.



    I am getting mine from reliable source IBrox noise



    What actually going to happen is Ra peepul are going to sue



    HMRC BDO Whyte Green SFA and even Our Peter





    Glad to see he doesnt get blamed for everything bad


    exclusively here.

  22. A piece of interesting but useless trivia.


    Jo Nesbo ( he of the excellent Harry Hole detective books) used to play for our Europa opponents Molde.


    He was on the verge of signing for Spurs when a cruciate injury finished his footballing career and the rest is history.


    They reckon that one of his books is sold somewhere in the world every ten seconds!


    In a recent interview he intimated that he would forfeit all his millions to be able to run onto Wembley to play in an FA Cup Final.


    Who knows, with noney being god in football circles, a few million might still enable him to come on as a last minute sub for some team in an FA Cup Final!


    Hail! Hail!



  23. Paul67,


    I would expect HMRC would be wanting their own forsenic auditors on the case to untangle this tangled web that was weaved.


    I had to laugh at the vitriol that was thrown at chuckles in the video leaving court, the clowns don’t even know what they are shouting for as it will take years to identify the villains.


    Maybe it was all a bit of PR, they should have been more vocal during the days of wine and lamb






  24. Looks a lot like Che Guevara on

    That CW and CG have been arrested together with the Whyte appointed administrator does that not suggest that the whole “£5.5Million to you Mr Sevco / Mr Whyte. Of course we will ensure Mr Green, acting on your behalf, will complete all the details under another name to ensure you are free and clear”


    Where does this end? When does this end? Is there no end to this?


    Surely a great opportunity for the RRM to plough some serious cash into this ailing business??? :)

  25. .



    TOMMIE20 on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2015 1:05 PM


    Tamboy i am with you all the way 73 this month would like it to die before end of month






    Sorry Tommie..But You will be at Least 89 Years and Tam will be 81 Years before the Murray Maze is worked out..







  26. Afternoon, what a week….this trial will take years and to be fair how they gonni get a fair one, nae chance in the west coast, maybe a better chance in the east with a Neil Lennon assaulted not, type jury.



    I think both of them would have been requested to go out a back door, but their ego’s wouldn’t allow it, what harm could they come to, they are both God’s…!



    Beer time



    Ayrshire is Green and Whyte..

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