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Company linked to former Rangers owner Craig Whyte made false claims to pocket £ 50,000 in Covid bailout money

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A business used by the former owner of the Rangers Craig whyte to help companies cheat, the tax authorities took £ 50,000 coronavirus government bailout loan – then spent it on mostly personal use.

This led to the business being wound up after falsely claiming to have massive turnover to get the money to help struggling businesses.

A Daily Record investigation last year into the company – Fortress Restructuring Ltd – sparked Insolvency Service (INSS) and Scottish Police investigations and their shameful business dealings which were being carried out by Whyte and his father OAP , Tom.

But we can reveal a damning petition submitted by the INSS to the Session court explains how:

● Fortress was awarded the maximum of £ 50,000 after giving misleading details of a turnover of over £ 250,000.

● The company has never declared a penny of profit and has not been affected by the coronavirus.

● The £ 50,000 was not used for company business and a “substantial proportion” was allocated to personal expenses.

● Fortress has no money to repay the loans.



Tom Whyte leaves his house

The latest scandal has prompted further calls for Whyte and his father to be investigated for potential fraud offenses.

Scottish Police are believed to be set to finalize a decision on a separate investigation into suspicions of Whyte acting in a managerial role at a company while being banned from being a director.

An interim liquidator appointed by the INSS will now prepare a conduct report on the people who, according to him, control the company.

This could lead to a recommendation on criminal proceedings to be initiated either by the police or by the INSS investigation department.

After hearing the details of the INSS tribunal’s petition, Scottish Labor Economics spokesperson Monica Lennon said: ‘It is evident that there has been widespread abuse of the loan scheme. Bounce Back and this is maddening to the many honest people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“If the ongoing investigations find any evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing, I hope the full force of the law will be applied.”

Fortress Restructuring would have been wound up anyway due to the Record revelations in August, which was a significant part of the INSS petition.



A previous story from the Daily Record about Craig Whyte

The petition noted that Fortress websites contained deceptive material that undermined licensed insolvency practitioners.

He found no evidence that anyone employed by Fortress “or in a position of control over it” had any expertise in insolvency matters.

And it also reports a wide range of “misleading and / or objectionable marketing material” as documented in the file. Shameful services offered include writing off debts and transferring assets from one business to another.

The INSS also accuses the company of having encouraged the directors not to cooperate with the insolvency practitioners.

And his court document disputes how the Fortress website suggests admins can circumvent disqualification orders and how he can use shadow directors to distort what’s going on.

The winding-up order was granted by the sessional court after the petition was not challenged by Tom Whyte – the only director listed at Companies House for Fortress.

An INSS spokesperson said: “Following confidential inquiries, we asked the court to dissolve Fortress Restructuring Limited after finding examples of misleading marketing materials regarding their insolvency-related services.

“The company had also requested financial assistance from the government under false pretenses.

“The petitioner was concerned that the company is operating with a lack of commercial probity, including: 1. Abuse of the coronavirus rebound loan program. 2. Misleading and / or objectionable marketing material.

Craig Whyte was banned from being a corporate director for up to 15 years after owning the Rangers, which brought the club to its knees in 2012.



Our reporter in front of Tom Whyte’s house

It was discovered that he had used the proceeds from future membership sales to purchase the club.

Whyte’s autobiography, published last year, revealed contempt for an earlier seven-year ban for being a UK director imposed on him.

He wrote: “Anyone with half a brain can bypass it and that means the authorities cannot monitor them. Judgment was bulls ** t. It didn’t affect me one iota.

Despite being banned from becoming a director, he added, “I’m back in business and rebuilding my financial situation, which is a relief considering how devastating it has been. “

Neither Tom nor Craig Whyte answered phones registered on Fortress or its sister site Rescue Capital, which is designed for London.

When the Daily Record approached Tom Whyte at his home in Lanarkshire and asked him why he requested a rebound loan, he closed the door on our reporter.

A police spokesperson said: “Our investigations are continuing. “


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