Days of wine and lilies on Capri for Polly Peck receiver

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL JORDAN, one of Britain's best known accountants, who is responsible for selling the collapsed empire of Asil Nadir, accepted goods and services from a company in his charge without fully paying for them.

One of Nadir's former companies, while Mr Jordan was its administrator, provided cases of wine and bunches of flowers as well as an air-conditioned car, for a holiday in apparent breach of regulations governing insolvency.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants said that administrators, who are appointed by a court, are not allowed to derive any personal benefit from an administration. It asked the Independent for full details of this alleged breach of regulations.

Mr Jordan, who formally retired late last year as head of the insolvency department at Britain's largest accountancy firm, Coopers and Lybrand, was appointed as one of three joint administrators of Nadir's Polly Peck International following its collapse in 1990. It is a personal appointment and Mr Jordan is still working as an administrator, pursuing and selling company assets on behalf of creditors.

The Independent has learnt from City sources, who have provided documents, that Mr Jordan used a Polly Peck subsidiary to procure goods on his behalf for which he did not fully pay. Three cases of dry white wine (on one fax, the supplier is told to ensure it is 'the best') and 20 white lilies, plus an air-conditioned car were provided during a holiday on board a yacht off Capri in August 1991.

The goods were obtained by executives at PPI Lines, which ran the shipping component of Polly Peck's business, through its Italian agents. Mr Jordan asked for advice on obtaining the wine and lilies. The invoice was, however, paid by PPI Lines. It amounted to 2,130,000 lire, or pounds 971 based on spot exchange rates on 22 August 1991, the day the bill was settled.

Rowland Swain, a former executive of PPI Lines, who was responsible for arranging provision, said yesterday: 'I was asked to arrange for delivery of lilies and wine to a yacht in Capri, which I did, and I never heard anything more of it.' Mr Jordan confirmed last week that he had allowed PPI Lines to arrange the supply of these goods.

Asked why he did not make arrangements independent of a company he was administering, he said: 'I don't know but there is nothing sinister. I had asked Captain Koutrakos (managing director of PPI Lines) to give me the name of a ship's chandler to arrange these things, but he said he would organise it. I didn't want him to do it.'

He said that, after PPI Lines was sold in 1992 he made a personal cheque out for pounds 590 to cover the cost of the wine, lilies and car. The cheque, which he said he estimated to be correct, was paid into a general Polly Peck estate fund.

Mr Jordan said that he did not pay for so long because 'I was never sent a bill'. He said he asked Capt Koutrakos, who was not available for comment, for an invoice but did not receive one. 'I told him originally that I am not allowed to have any sort of present. I did the right thing.'

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