Search for tycoon’s ‘hidden cash’

p14909UK-News-5-1

Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

The ex-wife of Scot Young, the bankrupt property tycoon who fell to his death, is seeking “a fresh pair of eyes” to search for the fortune she believes he kept from her during a bitter divorce battle.

Mr Young, 52, was jailed for six months for contempt of court during his high-profile matrimonial row with his former partner as she accused him of hiding away more than £400 million.

Last week he fell on to railings outside a luxury flat in Montagu Square, Marylebone, central London, in what witnesses described as a “grisly” and “brutal” scene.

A High Court judge said in a ruling handed down today, following a hearing in November, that Michelle Young, 50, was entitled to apply for a creditors’ meeting to press for the appointment of new bankruptcy trustees to carry out the search.

But first she must pay outstanding costs bills, including those owed to the current joint trustees.

The judge said Ms Young wanted the pair – David Ingram and Richard Hicken, two partners in professional services firm Grant Thornton – replaced because they had identified none of the late Mr Young’s assets.

The judge said she was also accusing the trustees of “lacking neutrality and being biased against her”.

The Youngs separated in 2006 after starting a relationship in 1989.

Andrew Hochhauser QC, a deputy judge of the High Court’s chancery division, said Ms Young had two daughters with her former husband and was his largest creditor.

Under the 1986 Insolvency Act, creditors have a democratic right to remove a trustee in bankruptcy at a creditors’ meeting, although the courts can intervene to stop a meeting being convened.

Judge Hochhauser said the current trustees had applied for a direction that a meeting should not be convened.

Ms Young wanted them replaced by Ian Cadlock, from Quantuma LLP, and Louise Brittain of Wilkins Kennedy LLP.

The judge said during her divorce proceedings Ms Young had changed her solicitors and forensic accountants several times. She was now on her 14th firm of solicitors, with her total litigation costs around £6.4 million.

The judge said: “Ms Young believed the bankrupt (Mr Young) to be hiding more than £400 million and certain well known, exceptionally wealthy people were helping him to conceal his money”.

He described how Family Division judge Mr Justice Moor had found the former husband had retained assets valued at £45 million, but could not say where they had been secreted.

Judge Hochhauser concluded: “Whilst I accept that, in all the circumstances, it is understandable that to date there has been no identification of assets belonging to the bankrupt, and I wholly reject any suggestion of reluctance or intransigence on the part of the joint trustees to identify or recover assets, Ms Young is entitled to invite the other creditors to consider replacing the joint trustees with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’.”

A letter from the trustees had indicated no appetite for change, but Ms Young should have the chance to put her case, said the judge.

However, the meeting would not take place until she had paid outstanding costs orders in relation to “unnecessary and hopeless” applications she had made to stay or annul the bankruptcy, plus the additional costs for a document production exercise carried out by the joint trustees.

Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search