KPMG 'knew of pension deals' deals'
The Maxwell Trial Day 48
Thursday 10 August 1995
Robert Maxwell's use of pension fund investments was so lucrative that a trustee once said: "If a horse keeps winning you don't break its leg", the Old Bailey was told yesterday.
The alleged statement was reported to the fraud trial, at which it was claimed yesterday that acountants at KPMG Peat Marwick had known about Mr Maxwell's pension fund dealings. The court was told that the firm was aware for years before the media tycoon's death that he used company pension assets to finance major business transactions, but never objected.
Alun Jones, QC, defending Mr Maxwell's youngest son, Kevin Maxwell, who faces fraud charges along with his brother, Ian, raised the point while cross-examining Ian Huntington, a partner at KPMG.
Mr Jones presented an internal memo written in 1988 in which KPMG said Maxwell pension-fund assets were being used to finance acquisitions in a way that would have drawn disapproval from government authorities had they known.
The memo said Robert Maxwell discouraged staff from opening their own personal pension plans because he liked to have a large pool of pension assets at his disposal.
KPMG was not Maxwell's main accountancy firm, but was asked in 1988 by one Maxwell company to review its pension department. The memo said pension trustees apparently approved of Robert Maxwell's control over and investment of pension funds because he made a lot of money for the funds.
It said one pension trustee told KPMG "the trustees were happy to go along with this situation because the returns which have been achieved have been very good". The memo said the trustee told one KPMG partner: "If the horse keeps winning, you don't break its leg".
The partner, who was not named, was told that Robert Maxwell liked to have control of the pension funds in takeover activity. The KPMG partner said in the memo that he told an outside banker that British authorities would not approve of pension funds being used to assist company takeover activities.
Mr Huntington, a KPMG expert in corporate fraud, said he was aware neither of the memo nor the issues raised in it, even though he spent one and a half years at the Serious Fraud Office investigating missing pension money after Robert Maxwell died in November 1991. The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...