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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    Long time,no hear.



    I canny promise,and I’m sure that if it works the transaction is well worth taking on trust-!-but mail me at





    and I’ll do my best. Or rather,I’ll contact someone else who will do their best.



    Best of luck,and grateful thanks for spreading the word.

  2. BSR



    Tea drinking with the bag still in…tut tut



    Another fully paid up member of the brown teeth club then.



    In Amurka the shallow folk snigger at our brown teeth and non generic smiles.



    Part of the dentrification process.



    That they are using toxic chemicals to remove the protective coating on their teeth so that they can have a pepsodent smile evades them.



    Fangs aint wot they used to be





    No offence intended,but £5m is a crazy sum,unless it is brought in via non-commercial sources.



    The club simply cannot afford that level of donation. To bring it in via bucket collections would require every attendee to hand over a fiver.



    Even for Wee Oscar,which I believe was the biggest bucket collection we ever had,it came to much less than £40k. About 70p a head.



    Shameful,aye. But there you go.



    I really don’t want to p on your chips on this one,but ideal worlds just don’t exist now.



    (Difficult admission from me,btw…)

  4. I think Madmitch should ask Sevco for a donation. Interesting name, Madmitch. Colonel of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Aden in the 50s/60s, not sure which. Fondly remembered by the locals.

  5. Well it’s begun. Lies and obfuscation. The SMSM say Stockbridge wanted by police for questioning. He says no I’m not.

  6. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’d say that was an optimistic but reasonable target. Currently, the CFC Foundation generates around £1.7M of income each year, around 10% of which is used for running costs.



    Trebling that over the next, say, 10 year is a viable target. Certainly doubling in 5 years is do-able provided it gets more innovative in how it goes about its work.



    Go for it, I say.

  7. Margaret McGill on

    “The players are disappointed, but they have given everything in the dressing room after the game”

  8. Years ago, prior to thems going bust, in the days of minty, I said then, and was ridiculed for it, that I could see things getting political, and there would be mega court cases.


    Little did I know then how it would turn out, and I must admit, it’s better than I had hoped for.


    As for the SFA, nothing will happen to them for overseeing this clusterfeck, if needs be, they will just wheel out another LNS to assist Sandy Bryson, and the smsm will lap it up.


    The same goes for the likes of minty, teflon coating till the day he dies.


    And I really have to thank the smsm for all their diligence during the troubled times over at the bigot dome, without their head in the sand approach, things might have turned out so much better for them, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  9. The sad thing about places like Africa, is the need for charity.


    Band Aid was how long ago ? and there have been countless others, CQN is also doing it’s bit, and it is worse today than it ever was.


    Tinpot dictators installed by the money men from the west just so they can loot the assets of a wonderful continent.


    It’s a shame on humanity.

  10. F.A.B. Virgil (WATRC) on

    Mr Pastry on 4th September 2015 12:33 pm



    A very eloquent post explaining why the Labour Party is close to death. What’s that I hear? Sounds like Hardie, Bevin, Wheatley, Maxton et al turning in their graves…



    or was it Lord Darling picking up his expenses…




  11. Is there no poverty or starving, deprived, neglected children in Scotland?



    If so, can we spend a few bob on them too.

  12. The Battered Bunnet on




    Any idea how much a Lords Ermine-collared robe is these days?*



    *Asking for a friend

  13. leftclicktic on 4th September 2015 2:11 pm ,



    Cheers Mate, sorry for the late reply, was off line there for a bit.



    Good to see Armstrong and LG get a call up, maybe we will see Armstrong in a different set-up which is what I like about the internationals






  14. The migrant situation in Europe at the moment is unbelievable. The pictures of thousands walking 150 miles from Budapest to Austria are really poignant.



    Poor buggers, we don’t know we’re born.

  15. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    I’m going to the game on Sunday and anticipate a 5,000 crowd. At £12 from each adult supporter, that’ll total £60,000 split between Celtic and Dunfermline. The dinner later for the heavy hitters might double that. That’s just a guess though as I’ve never been to a charity dinner.



    I say it’s incumbent on the club, having now put itself forward as a leading contributor to the refugee charity initiative, to augment the week-end contributions of football supporters from its own club/foundation reserves or look a bit silly.

  16. The Battered Bunnet on 4th September 2015 3:58 pm




    Do you think the SNP’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 would have made it through the House of Lords?



    * Asking for all the Celtic fans affected by it, (ie subjected to harassment, dawn raids, arrests, criminal trials, imprisonment, that sort of thing).

  17. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I am not interested in following Scotland but I am sure I read that Armstrong had been withdrawn from the Scotland squad a few days ago. H.H.

  18. There’s a massive difference between a migrant who travels to find better economic conditions and a refugee fleeing from war but then the MSM are calling them migrants so lets just conform to how the meeja want to portray people fleeing for their lives.

  19. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    How will the Scots line up?



    Posted at 16:05


    Scotland: Marshall, Hutton, Robertson, R. Martin, Mulgrew, Maloney, Morrison, Brown (c), S. Fletcher, Naismith, Anya.



    Subs: Gordon, Ritchie, Griffiths, McArthur, Whittaker, Forrest, Russell, D. Fletcher, Greer, McGregor, C. Martin, Hanley.

  20. Does not matter about all of the shenanigans about the death and miraculous rebirth of a certain club and the criminal case now going on, the club now operating from Ibrox despite being three years old will be seen by Scotlands media as having a previous history.

  21. TBB @ 3.23



    We seem to be looking at £1.5mill + without breaking sweat / putting our thinking caps on.



    Consequently I think £5mill would be possible if we really got stuck in.



    Probably start with two big games.


    Sunday with bells on / Sept International football weekend.


    Season finale with loads of celeb appearances, hopefully some silverware and some boy band pretties for any passing AV forward to half in two with a slightly mistimed tackle.



    You could sell some “sorry I can’t make it” tickets and post them out the match programme.


    Try and extend the game into a week of events.


    Bit of a concert?



    How about the third strip being a charity strip with some NGO logos?


    Some clothing added to the NB catalogue using guest designers doing some pro bono work.


    Emotional blackmail on the club sponsors to put in some money and publicity effort.



    Financial — Money for some good causes.


    PR — Good publicity for the club.


    Political — Putting issues into the public domain.



    We were born because of charity.


    We should never forget that.

  22. Ron Bacardi on 4th September 2015 4:19 pm



    Does not matter about all of the shenanigans about the death and miraculous rebirth of a certain club and the criminal case now going on, the club now operating from Ibrox despite being three years old will be seen by Scotlands media as having a previous history.




    Pretty much. Another new club could be started up at any point and as long as they call themselves “Rangers” and play in blue strips will be accepted as a continuation of the club that were liquidated. It’s straightforward denial fro people struggling with reality.



    “The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality.” – Wiki

  23. Choon alert-



    A truly great / rare as as Hen’s teeth Dub LP has finally been reissued by those lovely chaps at Dub Store Records –



    Tommy McCook -Sannic Sounds



    Highly recommended!

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