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Archive for the ‘FINANCE MONEY SHARES’ Category

ONE of Britain’s most prestigious companies and banking groups is in crisis after police raided the home of one of its former executives secretly filmed buying crystal meth, crack cocaine and hiring rent boys on company funds.

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Rev Flowers was allegedly caught on camera buying drugs

And the scandal now threatens to engulf the Labour Opposition with questions over how much the party knew about the man they appointed to their finance and industry board.

The Co-operative Group, founded in 1844, runs sprawling interests in the UK from supermarkets and pharmacies to funeral homes, car dealerships and financial services and has more than 100,000 employees.

But it’s the Co-op’s banking arm that has thrown its operations into crisis with accusations levelled at its former chairman Reverend Paul Flowers.

The Methodist Minister was secretly filmed allegedly buying crack cocaine, crystal meth and ketamine from a trafficker before texting “turning into a two-day, drug fueled gay orgy” and “have 2 bags of Charlie here and have ordered another 5….enough? Px.”

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The buying and texting was about the time the 63-year-old was giving evidence to Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee about the Co-op Bank’s finances after the Bank of England identified a AUD$2.6 billion black hole in its accounts.

The Bank – described as one of the most ethical in Britain – lost $1.2 billion in the first six months and Rev Flowers struggled to answer why.

Indeed he struggled to get much right before the committee and said he thought the bank’s assets totalled $4.8 billion when in fact they were closer to $76 billion.

On Wednesday, the home of Rev Flowers, who is believed to have left for Europe to avoid the controversy was being searched by police.

 

Rev Flowers' house has been raided by police

Rev Flowers’ house has been raided by police Source: No Source

A spokesman for the West Yorkshire Police confirmed the home was being searched following the drug buying revelations first made by a Sunday newspaper last weekend. At the time he was forced to quit the bank this week, Rev Flowers was on $230,000 a year salary.

Shortly after revelations of a police inquiry Prime Minister David Cameron said Treasurer George Osborne was in discussion with financial regulators as to the form of a formal inquiry into the scandal.

At Question Time in Parliament, Mr Cameron said there were clearly questions that needed to be asked.

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“Why was Rev Flowers judged suitable to be chairman of a bank, why weren’t alarm bells ringing earlier, particularly by those who knew him?” he said.

The news was also bad for Britain’s Labour Party with leader Ed Miliband facing growing questions to discuss the former bank boss’s links to the party.

Tory Chairman Grant Shapps has demanded to know if the Labour leader and Shadow Treasurer Ed Balls knew of past scandals involving the “Meth Minister”, explain why he employed him onto the party’s business advisory group and admit how many donations were made and private informal dinner parties the pair had.

“What we can now see is that this bank, driven into the wall by this chairman, has been giving soft loans to the Labour Party, facilities to the Labour Party, donations to the Labour Party, trooped in and out of Downing Street under Labour, still advising the leader of the Labour Party,” Mr Cameron told Parliament.

Branches Of Co-operative Bank To Be Cut By 15 Percent

“And yet, now we know, all along they knew about his past. Why did they do nothing to bring to the attention of the authorities this man who has broken a bank?”

The Co-operative Group chairman Len Wardle was yesterday forced to quit amid the deepening scandal, acknowledging that he led the board that appointed Rev Flowers three years ago.

It is known Mr Balls received a $75,000 donation from the Bank in 2011/12. It was also revealed on Wednesday that Rev Flowers was forced to resign as a town councillor two years ago after being caught using a work computer to watch gay porn. He also allegedly stayed in top hotels to have sex with rent boys, with one now 21-year-old male prostitute confirming he was paid more than $1000 a night for drug fuelled “debauchery”. At the time he resigned from the council, he cited workload at the Co-op Bank.

Rev Flowers was also convicted for gross indecency with a trucker in a public toilet in the 1980s. The church forgave him and he continued preaching.

The reverend has this week been suspended by his church.

The Co-op Bank markets itself as an ethical bank, avoiding investing in any company that has been shown to use sweat shops, fossil fuel extraction, genetic engineering and animal testing and its customers choose to become Co-op members thereby indirectly having some ownership of the bank and earning a dividend. It has 4.6 million customers.

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A former stockbroker is charged for 16 fraud offences in allegedly fleecing $8.8 million from overseas clients.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission claims Jonathan Kur hid trading losses he accrued on three overseas client accounts while working as a stockbroker at Hogan and Partners Stockbrokers.

He illegally provided advice on options trading and dealing in options trading to several overseas-based clients between May 2005 and December 2008, ASIC claims.

An 18-month investigation led to Mr Kur being charged with 16 counts of fraud and one of dishonestly using his position as a stockbroker.

In Perth Magistrate’s Court last week, Mr Kur pleaded not guilty to the 16 fraud charges and guilty to the dishonesty charge.

He was bailed for $50,000 and ordered to surrender his passport.

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