Resort's founder to stand trial

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The Independent Online
Robert Feld, the founder and former managing director of the collapsed Resort Hotels group, will go on trial this week on 16 charges of fraud in the latest prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Mr Feld faces 13 counts of forgery and three of making misleading statements in respect of a pounds 20m rights issue and Resort's results announcement in 1992.

The south of England hotels group collapsed in May 1994 with losses of pounds 71m and debts of pounds 95m, leaving 6,000 shareholders high and dry.

Mr Feld, 43, was arrested and charged seven months later after a 16- month SFO enquiry following suspension of Resort's shares the previous July.

At Middlesex Guildhall crown court tomorrow, prosecutors will allege that Mr Feld misled investors with a pounds 6m profit forecast in the rights issue, one of three that saw shareholders stump up pounds 34.6m from 1989.

He also stands accused of giving a false debt position for the troubled group and deception over pounds 6.1m of profits declared four months later.

In the allegations, which Mr Feld denies, the SFO accuses the former hotels chief of widespread forgery to deceive Resort's auditors, Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte.

The allegedly forged documents include letters purporting to come from National Westminster and Midland, the group's bankers; Johnson Fry Corporate Finance, Resort's advisers; the Alliance & Leicester Building Society and from owners whose hotels Resort managed.