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THE Crown Office will today issue a warrant for the arrest of disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte, the Daily Record can exclusively reveal.


Whyte is wanted in connection with alleged fraud over his purchase of the Ibrox club in 2011.


The sensational news comes after it was revealed that police forces in England, acting on warrants from Police Scotland, made dawn arrests today in connection with a long-running inquiry into Rangers.


Four men were arrested at addresses in Thames Valley, Surrey and Cheshire.


The first of the four is Paul Clark, London managing director of former Rangers adminstrators Duff & Phelps.


The other three are former Duff & Phelps north of England managing director David Whitehouse, David Greer, a former partner in the business, and Gary Withey, a solicitor who worked with Whyte’s law firm Collyer Bristow.


The arrests came at 6am today.


Whyte, who has a flat in Monaco, is believed to be out of the country.


It is thought the allegations over which the men have been detained centre on claims that Grier and Whyte were known to each other before Duff & Phelps were appointed as Whyte’s choice of administrators for Rangers in 2012.


HMRC had at first opposed Whyte’s choice of administrators. Whyte bought the club from Sir David Murray in 2011 for £1 promising to wipe Rangers’ £18 million debt to Lloyds Banking Group.


It later emerged he had sold future season ticket sales to London firm Ticketus to finance the deal.


In 2013 financial industry regulators cleared Duff & Phelps of wrongdoing over the Rangers’ administration, though they said the company had left itself open to criticism.



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I see it's now been confirmed within the past hour that Whyte's arrest warrant has been issued.



Craig Whyte arrest warrant issued


An arrest warrant has been issued for former Rangers owner Craig Whyte following an investigation into the club's sale in 2011.


The development came after four men were detained in England.


David Grier, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse worked for Duff and Phelps, who were Rangers' administrators.


Gary Withey worked for law firm Collier Bristow, which represented Craig Whyte before he bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in 2011.


The four men were held during early morning raids at addresses across the UK in an operation that involved officers from Police Scotland, Surrey Police, Cheshire Police and Thames Valley Police.


Police Scotland have been investigating the sale of Rangers from Sir David Murray to Craig Whyte for more than a year.

'Ongoing investigation'


A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "Four men have been detained as a result of the ongoing investigation into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers Football Club.


"Around 6am on Friday, Police Scotland officers, assisted by officers from Thames Valley Police, Cheshire Police and Surrey Police, attended a number of addresses in England and detained four men."


Duff and Phelps spokesman Marty Dauer said the firm was aware that three employees in the UK had been "detained for questioning in connection with work performed for Rangers Football Club".


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".


He added: "Duff & Phelps has performed an internal investigation and commissioned an independent investigation of the related matters.


"As a result, we believe that our work for Rangers was conscientious, thorough and properly performed in every respect.


"Duff and Phelps has actively co-operated with all relevant investigating authorities throughout this process."

No wrongdoing


Mr Dauer said a subsequent review by the Insolvency Practitioners Association in 2013 had "cleared the firm of any wrongdoing or conflict of interest" over its involvement with Rangers.


Rangers manager Ally McCoist said: "Obviously I can't or wouldn't comment on a current police matter, but I would have to say I'm shocked.


"Obviously I can't pre-judge what is going to happen.


"Our concern has always been for the staff and supporters. What's happened to us in the last two-and-a-half, three years has been very tough, particularly on the staff and supporters.


"We just want to continue with our attempts to get the club back to where we feel we belong."


The development is the latest twist in a three-year saga involving Rangers.


Mr Whyte bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011 and gave an undertaking to settle its £18m Lloyds Bank debt.


It later emerged he paid the debt by selling three years of season tickets to finance firm Ticketus for £25m.


Rangers entered administration on 14 February 2012, while under Mr Whyte's control, over non-payment of tax totalling about £14m.


Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse from Duff and Phelps were appointed as joint administrators.


HMRC subsequently rejected a creditors agreement which would have allowed Rangers to exit administration.


That resulted in Charles Green's consortium taking control and Rangers being accepted to play in the Scottish Third Division.


The administration and subsequent liquidation of Rangers resulted in Mr Whyte's deal with Ticketus being declared void. The finance firm successfully sued him for £18m over the failed deal.


Mr Whyte was later banned from being a company director for the maximum period of 15 years after a judge heard his conduct in dealing with Rangers was "shocking and reprehensible".



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I remember that guy Di Stefano ( not the Real centre forward) saying we had been the subjects of a massive fraud


And that the oldco was never insolvent. Well with HMRC's continuing failure with their EBT tax case and today's news he is certainly looking spot on with at least one of them

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