'Show us colour of your money'

The Maxwell Trial; Day 62
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The Independent Online
NIGEL COPE

Two days after his father's death, Kevin Maxwell told a top American banker, who was asking for money, to stop talking "bullshit", the Old Bailey fraud trial heard yesterday.

The remark came during a transatlantic telephone "hook-up" conversation between Kevin in London and Joe Gregory and other executives of Lehman Brothers in New York.

Kevin had listened to the bankers without saying much when he suddenly interjected to tell Mr Gregory to stop talking "bullshit", and to stop apologising. "This is all about cash," Mr Maxwell said, adding that the suggestions made were "dead simple".

Mr Gregory replied that he had not intended his remarks to be seen as an apology. When Kevin said he needed as much time as possible to meet the bank's demands, Mr Gregory told him: "You must show us the colour of your money."

The conversation became heated again when Mr Gregory insisted that a formal sale agreement needed to be drawn up for securities Lehman's were holding. He wanted it done in case things "went awry".

Kevin snapped: "It's a complete waste of time," adding: "It's completely unnecessary and almost insulting."

The court heard that Mr Gregory had called Kevin on 7 November 1991, two days after the tycoon's death, about the Maxwell group's failure to honour a stock-lending agreement and discussing how the Maxwells were to deal with a default notice Lehman's had issued. The notice gave Lehman's the right to sell securities held as collateral.

Told that Robert Maxwell was on his yacht in the Atlantic, on 31 October, Lehman's expressed surprise and wondered why he was not back in London sorting out the problems.

Kevin, his brother Ian, and former Maxwell aide, Larry Trachtenberg, all deny conspiracy to defraud the pension funds by misuse of investments.

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