Saturday, June 12, 2010

Iffy and whiffy

Andrew Greystoke, lawyer and entrepreneur, has just been fined £200,000 and given a lifetime ban from working in financial services for helping "boiler-room" share scammers to rip off 130 unsuspecting punters to the tune of at least £3m. Eye readers will recognise that the lifetime ban is well overdue.

Atlantic Law, the legal firm of which the fomer bankrupt is the senior partner, has also been fined £200,000. "Atlantic Law and Andrew Greystoke acted recklessly, without integrity and with a complete disregard of the risks to consumers," tutted Margaet Cole, the FSA´s director of enforcement and financial crime. What a surprise!

Greystoke, 68 and unfondly known as "Tarzan", also faces action by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for bringing the profession into disrepute.

"What no one seems to have noticed," the
Times commented last week, "is that Greystoke already has a bad record in the City." No one, that is, except regular readers of the Eye, and since 2003 the Mail on Sunday's Tony Hetherington, both of which have been sounding the alarm - the Eye for almost a quarter of a century - about this serial spiv and financial fantasist, who was also a Tory councillor in Westminster during the Shirley Porter era.

Since the mid-1980s we have been chronicling the various corporate disasters with which he has been associated - Slater Walker America, Maddock, Bremar Holdings, Castle Mill and City & Westminster Group, which collapsed in 1991. By 1995 he owed more than £5m to creditors, including Lloyd's of London, which received a letter from Tarzan's psychiatrist pleading "mitigating circumstances".

Greystoke was made bankrupt in June 1996. The Department of Timidity & Inaction had started efforts in 1993 to disqualify him as a director over the City & Westminster fiasco - his company City & Westminster collapsed within months of being injected into what became City & Westminster Group - but these were presumably rendered unnecessary by his bankruptcy and never pursued.

Having failed at business he reinvented himself as a lawyer, but he couldn't kick the spivvy habit - representing, among others, the iffy and whiffy Brain Games Network plc, run by chess impresario Raymond "the Penguin" Keene and fronted by Tory grandee Sir Jeremy Hanley.
- Slicker, "In the City", Private Eye, No. 1263, 28 May 2010.

[Ray Keene index]

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