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Volume 10 No. 25


A string of business leaders, sports stars, entertainers and other investors "were told on Monday to prepare for tax demands" totalling at least £520M ($891M), in a crackdown by U.K. tax authority HMRC, according to Vanessa Houlder of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Ingenious Media, an investment company, "issued a warning to 1,300 past and present investors," who include Dame Clara Furse of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, financier and former media boss Lord Hollick, and sports stars such as David Beckham. The investors are caught up in a £7B ($12B) Treasury "crackdown that will force taxpayers to make immediate payments of disputed tax bills relating to investments in alleged tax avoidance schemes over the past decade." Ingenious told its clients that "they are likely to be asked to repay all the tax they saved, possibly with interest." Bills "ranging from tens of thousands to millions of pounds will be issued, possibly before the end of the month" (FT, 7/7).

Scottish League 1 Rangers on Monday "issued a statement admitting they had issued inaccurate accounts to the Stock Exchange," according to Mark McGivern of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The club revealed that accounts "drawn up by controversial former club secretary Brian Stockbridge did not disclose a huge windfall was coming his way." Last week, Stockbridge "snapped up" around £215,000 ($368,300) worth of shares for just £7,000 ($12,000). But the club accounts compiled by Stockbridge for the 13-month period up to June 30 last year -- when the deal was struck -- did not refer to "any such arrangement." Following the "revelation of Stockbridge's deal, the club last night released a fresh statement, which stressed there were no further 'penny share' giveaways in the pipeline." The announcement "sparked fury among supporters' groups." Rangers Union of Fans spokesperson Chris Graham said Rangers Nominated Advisor Daniel Stewart and auditor Deloitte "would be incredulous at this turn of events." Graham: "If I recall correctly, Brian Stockbridge was actually the company secretary when these accounts were being produced. ... Are we expected to believe that the man in charge of the finances of the club forgot about his own share options?" (DAILY RECORD, 7/8).