Corporate Services Group

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Corporate Services Group

In 2003 Roger Eden and Geoffrey Brailey - former directors of Corporate Services Group Plc - were found guilty of charges relating to accounting irregularities aimed to overstate profits. The circumstances (which predate the management of the company under its present board) revolve around the company's financial statements for the years ending 31 December 1997 and 31 December 1998.

"The defendants conspired with others to defraud existing and potential investors in the company. The defendants dishonestly caused and permitted the company's financial statements for 1997 to be prepared in such a way as to overstate the true extent of its profitability and that they sought to do so in 1998. In 1997, the overstatement amounted to just over £3 million. In 1998, the accounting irregularities came to light before the statements could be published. The potential overstatement of profit for 1998 is estimated to exceed at least £25 million."[1]

Charles Earl in the Libertarian Alliance stated:

"CSG was involved in contracting labour and in training people in the computer field. The company had received grants from the government for each person it trained and who qualified, and this had led to widespread fraud at a lower level. This is well-documented, indeed a while back there had been a national scandal when it was revealed that the Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) the government had set up to widen computer literacy amongst the workforce and general population had been milked by sundry training organisations."

CSG (owner of the Blue Arrow employment agency) was once the subject of a takeover attempt by former Conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft.[2]

The Evening Standard reported:

After the concerns surfaced, Ashcroft, then Conservative Party treasurer, launched a last-ditch attempt via his Carlisle Group which offered to buy Corporate Services for £286m. Other investors rejected the offer and instead brought in new chairman Michael Davies and chief executive Peter Owen to rescue the company.[3]

CSG's auditor at the time was Arthur Andersen, which changed its name in the wake of the Enron scandal. The three directors left the group early in 1999, along with then chairman Jeffrey Fowler who was not charged.

People

  • Norman Blackwell was appointed a director of the Corporate Services Group in 2000.

Notes

  1. Serious Fraud Office Company directors conspired to falsify profits Press Releases 17 September 2003
  2. Jill Treanor Former chiefs found guilty of fraud The Guardian, Thursday September 18 2003
  3. Former bosses on fraud charges By Brett Arends This is london, Last updated at 00:00am on 24.04.02