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Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been banned from being a company director for 15 years.

 

The 43-year-old was handed the maximum ban possible after a judge heard his conduct in dealing with Rangers was "shocking and reprehensible".

 

Whyte was previously banned from being a director for seven years.

 

A second ban was sought by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable after Rangers' liquidation in 2012 and the subsequent liquidation of Whyte's firm, Tixway.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-29429752#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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I'd suggest this is quite a big development.

 

The language used is very strong and I'd fancy it won't only be Craig Whyte that won't enjoy this verdict.

 

Quite, I hope he isn't being used as a scapegoat for all.

 

Has SDM been in the station to have a chat ?

Just to help piece some of the jigsaw together. :thinking:

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Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been banned from being a company director for the maximum period of 15 years.

 

On Tuesday a court heard his conduct in his dealings with the Ibrox club was "singularly shocking and reprehensible".

 

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh said the case for imposing a period of disqualification on Whyte was "overwhelming".

 

Lord Tyre said: "He deliberately placed his own interests before those of the company."

 

The judge said it was necessary and appropriate for him to impose as lengthy a period of disqualification as he was empowered to do on Whyte who was previously banned from being a director for seven years.

 

David Thomson, counsel for the Secretary of State for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable, said: "He preferred his own interests to those of Rangers."

 

Mr Cable raised a petition seeking to have Whyte, 43, holding a directorship following Rangers going into administration and then liquidation in 2012 and the liquidation of a second firm Tixway.

 

The legal move left him facing a disqualification for a period between two and 15 years. Mr Thomson told Lord Tyre: "It is my submission that this is a case falling within the top bracket of ten years or more."

 

He maintained that Whyte's conduct as a director had made him unfit to be concerned in the management of a company.

 

Whyte, formerly of Castle Grant, Grantown on Spey, in Morayshire and Rue De Tenao, in Monaco, did not appear at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to defend the action.

 

Lawyers previously acting for him withdrew from the case.

 

Mr Thomson was granted an amendment to the court document to state his current place of residence is unknown.

 

Whyte bought the Ibrox club for £1 following discussions with Sir David Murray but with it came terms that £27m was to be introduced to Rangers which owed the Lloyds Banking Group £18m.

 

The club was also involved in tax disputes with HM Revenue and Customs - known as the big and small tax cases.

 

During negotiations Whyte had a meeting with the independent board committee at Rangers where he was asked how he proposed to fund the purchase. Mr Thomson said he was asked if the funding was coming from him as an individual and confirmed it was.

 

A subsequent email sent on his behalf indicated that the source of the money was funds generated by Liberty Capital, a British Virgin Islands company wholly owned by Whyte.

 

But he had been negotiating with Ticketus for the provision of funding by the sale of season tickets over a three-year period.

 

Mr Thomson told the court: "His acquisition of Rangers was entirely predicated upon an untruth and the untruth was he would be funding the acquisition using his own personal wealth or that of his company.

 

"The Secretary of State alleged in the action that Whyte failed to act in accordance with his duties as a director of Rangers, including in particular his duties to act in the best interests and promote the best interests of Rangers and to avoid conflicts of interest.

 

"It was alleged that by causing Rangers to enter the Ticketus contract and using the funds received to repay the debt due to Lloyds he caused Rangers to give financial assistance in breach of Campanies Act legislation.

 

It was said in the petition: "The effect of the Ticketus contract was that RFC effectively funded the purchase of its own shares.

 

"Quite apart from the unlawful nature of such a transaction the Ticketus contract was not on any view a transaction into which RFC should have entered."

 

It was maintained that it was not in RFCs best interests to borrow so substantially against its future income simply to enable Whyte, through another firm Wavetower, to fund the acquisition of the shareholding.

 

The Secretary of State alleged Whyte had "deliberately and dishonestly" concealed the way in which he had arranged to fund Wavetower's acquisition of the Rangers shares from board directors and its financial controller."

 

On any view, the directors and financial controller of RFC required to know that such a substantial amount of its future income had already been borrowed against by RFC," it was said.

 

It was said that he had denied other directors access to information about Rangers management and financial affairs.

 

In the petition it was said Whyte caused Rangers to sell shares it held in Arsenal Football Club through a firm, Pritchard Stockbrokers, where he was company secretary.

 

He was told in January 2012 that the sale proceeds were held by Pritchard ready for his instruction ready for his instruction yet he failed to take steps to recover the funds although he knew Pritchard was in financial difficulties and Rangers was in need of funds.

 

Administration

 

When Rangers went into administration in February that year it had not received the proceeds from the share sale.

 

Pritchard was placed in administration in March that year and Rangers received about 50% of the proceeds resulting in a loss of more than £100,000.

 

It was said Whyte failed to get Rangers to use any part of the £5m of funding for expenses over the playing squad which Wavetower was obliged to provide under the share purchase agreement.

 

The court heard Whyte denied RFC access to substantial sums of money which were due to it at a time when it had a pressing need for funding.

 

By conducting the affairs of RFC in that manner, the respondent placed his own interests (as the beneficial owner of Wavetower) in conflict with those of RFC.

 

In that conflict of interest, he preferred his own interests to those of RFC, it was said.

 

Mr Thomson said the conduct involving Rangers was extremely serious and had catastrophic consequences for the company. In the case of the other firm where he was a director, Tixway, it was ordered to be wound up in July 2012.

 

He said: "Over £2m of assets have either disappeared or if they still exist simply cannot be found by the liquidator."

 

It was alleged that Whyte failed to ensure that Tixway maintained adequate accounting records and failed to cooperate with the liquidator and Insolvency Service.

 

Whyte was previously banned for a period of seven years in a case concerning the misapplication of money and property to the detriment of creditors. The Secretary of State was awarded the expenses of the proceedings.

 

Following the hearing Business minister Jo Swinson said: "The court has disqualified Craig Whyte for 15 years for the harm he caused to Rangers Football Club, and to the many football fans who believed in his promises.

 

Mr Whyte bought a much-loved club, and promised fans that he would provide further cash to bring success.

 

However, he caused the club to use this money to fund the purchase of its own shares, reducing funds for investment. He also failed to consult other directors on important decisions meaning that his behaviour went unchallenged.

 

Such blatant lack of regard for proper corporate behaviour and control does not have a place in modern society.

 

Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies are run properly, for the benefit of the creditors, shareholders and, in this case, fans who believed in him."

 

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/294048-former-rangers-chief-craig-whyte-banned-from-running-companies-for-15-years/

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