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Apple fails to account for itself

APPLE Corps, the private limited company which receives royalties from the Beatles' music and films, has fallen foul of Companies House for not filing its accounts on time.

Under the Companies Act it should have filed its accounts for the year ending 31 January 1997 by October of last year. The company received an extension allowing the information to be filed by February but the accounts have still not materialised.

Apple has already incurred fixed penalties of pounds 250 and faces further penalties, but Companies House says it has had no reply to its reminders and if accounts are not filed the directors - who include George Harrison, Yoko Ono, John Eastman and financial consultant Hilary Gerrard - could ultimately face prosecution and fines of up to pounds 5,000 under the 1985 Companies Act.

The company was set up to exploit the Beatles' music and film rights, and in 1996 it made a group profit of pounds 3.8m on a turnover of pounds 38m. The company's shares are split between Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, George Harrison and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr).

A spokesman for Apple dismissed the issue, saying simply: "There's not a problem. Everything is in hand."