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£8 MILLION of YOUR MONEY spent on ‘BULLY BOY’ agents as papers to MSP reveal Accountant in Bankruptcy secretly seize benefits of disabled, trashing lives of Scots on the brink

27 Oct

Accountant in Bankruptcy KilwinningPlush offices of Accountant in Bankruptcy, based in Kilwinning, who target disabled benefits cash. AT THE END of a week when the Scottish Government announced there have been 4,063 personal insolvencies in the past year, it may well come as a surprise to learn that papers now in the hands of MSPs and an MP, reveal that Scotland’s Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB) is conveniently looking the other way while its highly paid, ‘bully boy’ agents routinely seize Scots benefits cash in attempts to force unnecessary payments out of even the long term sick and disabled victims of the current recession.

It can also be revealed the same ‘bully-boy’ firms of private accountants who go on to seize the bank accounts of sequestrated individuals, are being paid millions of pounds of public money by the AIB to do it, and when victims are forced to complain about their benefits being withheld, contrary to laws put in place to prevent this, the Accountant in Bankruptcy and their agents refuse to allow external investigations by banking & finance regulators.

Journalists from Diary of Injustice who have been looking into this huge bankruptcy scam on the public purse, recently made Freedom of Information requests to the Accountant in Bankruptcy, asking for details of expenditures of public money on private accountants acting as the AIB’s “agents” and the numbers of complaints made against each of the AIB’s agents.

In it’s response. the Accountant in Bankruptcy revealed that at least EIGHT MILLION POUNDS of taxpayers cash (£8,021,756.62) has already been spent on private accountants working for the already overstaffed multi million pound budgeted public body in charge of sequestrations. The AIB have also revealed a litany of complaints made against its agents but it refused to release any details of the actual complaints and confirm whether matters were in fact resolved.

The AIB ‘s FOI response, available to view online HERE, states :

I can confirm that Armstrong Watson is one of those Providers. Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, Armstrong Watson has been paid £1,051,627.12 for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 2062 cases. I can confirm that there have been 11 complaints made to AiB in respect of Armstrong Watson, from 1 April 2009 to date, 2 August 2012.

I can confirm that Hastings & Co are one of those Providers. Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, Hastings & Co have been paid £608,605.96 for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 1040 cases. I can confirm that there have been 8 complaints made to AiB in respect of Hastings & Co, from 1 April 2009 to date, 2 August 2012.

I can confirm that Invocas is one of those Providers. Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, Invocas has been paid £284,346.77 for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 875 cases. I can confirm that there have been 6 complaints made to AiB in respect of Invocas, from 1 April 2009 to date, 2 August 2012.

I can confirm that KPMG is one of those Providers. Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, KPMG has been paid £3,706,744.79 for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 6585 cases. I can confirm that there have been 28 complaints made to AiB in respect of KPMG, from 1 April 2009 to date, 2 August 2012.

I can confirm that Miller McIntyre & Gellatly (now mmg archbold) is one of those Providers. Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, MMG have been paid £303,745.48 for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 710 cases. I can confirm that there has been 1 complaint made to AiB in respect of MMG, from 1 April 2009 to date, 2 August 2012.

Since the commencement of this contract in April 2009, until 31 March 2012, Wylie & Bisset have been paid £2,066,686.50, for the administration of cases on behalf of The Accountant in Bankruptcy. To date they have been allocated 3703 cases. I can confirm that there have been 18 complaints made to AiB in respect of Wylie & Bisset, from 1 April 2009 to date, 27 July 2012.

After looking into cases brought to the attention of Diary of Injustice, it has now been confirmed several of the firms identified in the above FOI response have been subject to serious complaints relating to how sequestrations have been handled, including matters involving the freezing of bank accounts and access to state funds.

Papers relating to one such case now in the hands of Perth MSP John Park confirm that agents acting on behalf of the Accountant in Bankruptcy have blocked access to disability benefits payments made to individuals who have suffered sequestration under highly questionable circumstances, for up to SEVEN MONTHS at a time.

The case being handled by MSP Mr Park, involves a Mr William Gordon of Perth who’s plight has previously been reported by the Herald newspaper, online law news websites and Diary of Injustice, featuring the case here :

An investigation of Mr Gordon’s case on Scots law website Scottish Law Reporter identified a firm Glasgow accountants, Wylie & Bisset who have been acting for the Accountant in Bankruptcy against Mr Gordon.

The Herald newspaper & Scottish Law Reporter have previously reported that Wylie & Bisset, who have been paid a whopping TWO MILLION POUNDS of public money to act for the AIB in sequestration cases, had also attempted to seize Mr Gordon’s home  (which he does not own) and the home of an unrelated family in another town in order to pay off questionable debts claimed by a Perth based law firm, Kippen Campbell.

Diary of Injustice has previously reported on Mr Gordon’s case, after Kippen Campbell decided to bankrupt Mr Gordon, their former client, over a fees dispute, even though documents produced to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission revealed Kippen Campbell had left their client on the doorstep of the Court of Session without legal representation after a long battle to bring a personal injury claim.

It has shockingly turned out that since the last report on Mr Gordon’s case, where his accounts were unfrozen, the agents acting for the AIB along with Lloyds TSB, Mr Gordon’s bank, froze his accounts again, and have since refused to offer any explanation for their conduct.

Earlier this week, Diary of Injustice was handed copies of papers now in the hands of John Park MSP, and the SNP’s Pete Wishart MP at Westminster, which show the AIB’s agents, Wylie & Bisset have even refused requests from the Financial Ombudsman to investigate complaints made about the case by Mr Gordon, a move which suggests private firms acting on behalf of the Accountant in Bankruptcy are effectively unregulated, and can do as they please to victims of the credit crunch, brought about by the antics of corrupt, greedy bankers & their colleagues.

Speaking to Diary of Injustice yesterday (Friday), an official with one of Scotland’s Consumer protection bodies condemned the treatment of Mr Gordon and others at the hands of the AIB.

She said : “It is a disgrace that firms of private accountants who are apparently being paid millions of pounds of public money by the AIB are freezing benefits payments made to the sick & disabled and those who can ill afford any further expenditure after being made bankrupt.”

She added that the matter was so serious it must be raised in discussions with a view to making amendments to the coming Bankruptcy Bill, proposed by the SNP to be brought before the Scottish Parliament at a later date.

After Mr Gordon’s plight became public, Diary of Injustice received numerous emails from individuals caught in similar circumstances where agents acting for the AIB have also blocked access to state benefits payments, in what appears to be a popular policy of holding the poorest in society to ransom, in an effort to extort unnecessary payments back to the AIB’s agents who are already raking in millions of pounds of taxpayers money.

No one from the Accountant in Bankruptcy has answered or explained why it has not acted over complaints about bully boy tactics by its own agents in cases where bank accounts and state benefits payments to victims of disabilities have been frozen for such long periods of time.

If you have encountered difficulties with the Accountant in Bankruptcy or their agents, please let us know via scottishlawreporters@gmail.com. Anyone in such a situation should also ask for help from their MSP, in the light of the planned new legislation on bankruptcies in the Scottish Parliament.

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