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SCOTLAND'S newspaper can exclusively reveal the contents of the secret dossier prepared for Rangers directors on Craig Whyte's dodgy business dealings.

A PRIVATE investigation commissioned for Rangers showed Craig Whyte had a record of tax avoidance, failed companies and double dealings – before he was sold Sir David Murray’s majority shareholding.

The Record has obtained a copy of the report. It was presented to Murray and some of the directors meant to monitor the sale, including chief executive Martin Bain and chairman Alastair Johnston.

Our revelations come as the Insolvency Service investigate the actions of Rangers directors during Whyte’s takeover.

The report, prepared by private investigators Titon, described Monaco-based Whyte as a “fuyant” – French slang for an evader or manipulator.

It warned there was no evidence to back claims circulated by Whyte’s spin doctors that he was a billionaire with plenty of cash to finance Rangers.

In fact, it said, there was no evidence he was even a multi-millionaire. The report talks of “the questionable source and extent of his reported wealth”.

This should have raised concerns that Whyte could not keep his pledge to spend £27.5million on the takeover.

That in turn should have sparked fears that the cash would have to come from elsewhere– either from debt, or from cash raised on future season ticket sales.

Titon also found that Whyte had used a false birth date when registering as a director of 16 separate companies.

He registered using the date of January 18, 1969, instead of his true date of birth, January 18, 1971.

This would make it look like Whyte was involved with fewer companies than was actually the case, since a search of records at Companies House would not show up all his directorships.

Titon said: “It is possible that these entries were made in error

“However, one would question how there could be 16 such discrepancies, and of these businesses all but one have since dissolved.”

The report gave detailed information on Whyte’s string of worthless directorships and failed companies.

Titon found that Whyte was appointed secretary and director of a company called Zemfill plc on August 31, 2010, then resigned as director the

following day.

They also found clear evidence of Whyte’s methods when it came to tax.

The report highlighted how his failed companies put money into other Whyte businesses – instead of paying the taxman.

This tax avoidance should have been a clear warning that Whyte might fail to meet his tax obligations at Rangers.

The investigators said one of Whyte’s companies, Vital Holdings Ltd, owed £500,000 in corporation tax when their final accounts were filed in 1997.

According to Titon, the bill was not paid. Shares were instead bought in two other Whyte companies, Hire Access Group Ltd and Vital Plant Services Ltd.

The five men told to vet the deal

Titon wrote: “It would seem that the company avoided meeting its tax liability by divesting funds elsewhere across Craig’s other businesses.”

The investigators said Whyte arrived in Monaco in 1999, amid reports that he was facing a probe over non-payment of PAYE bills for staff at one of his businesses in Britain.

Rangers were forced into administration, then liquidation, after Whyte took the decision not to pay the club’s PAYE bills.

The investigators also found that a string of Whyte companies had not filed tax returns. Again, he would use the same tactic at Rangers.

Titon wrote on the first page of their report: “Our findings to date raise some clear areas of concern, which range from alleged billionaire fortune that is in no way substantiated through business, to commercial relationships associated with financial anomalies.”

The investigators highlighted complaints about Whyte’s business dealings in Monaco.

They wrote that he never bought any real estate or registered companies in the principality.

To do so, he would have had to register as a permanent resident, which would have meant enrolment in the local police database and due diligence and credit worthiness checks.

Titon said there were rumours that Whyte had left his luxury Monaco apartment without paying the last month’s rent, but the claims “could not be formally substantiated”

The report said Whyte acted on behalf of a company called First Capital Securities SA, seeking clients from France, Switzerland, Germany and Russia, without authorisation and without declaring it to the Monaco authorities.

First Capital were “based in Switzerland, but officially declared bankrupt by the Swiss magistrates court”.

Titon said Whyte had also operated under the name Liberty Capital Ltd.

The investigators added: “A series of financial complaints and civil disputes have been raised against Craig operating under these company names.

“The complaints are based on finding the owner of these business entities, in order to recover funds.

“In the local French lingo, he has been described as a ‘fuyant’ – evader as well as a clever manipulator.”

Titon listed a string of companies Whyte either controlled or was involved in which had been “struck off” or “dissolved” soon after being formed.

They warned: “Some of the companies dissolved as quickly as they had started, such as CSS Ltd and USG Ltd, ISS 1996 Ltd, VPS 1996 Ltd and HAG 1996 Ltd.

“Such company management does not reflect the success Craig is reported to have achieved.

“Some of the companies still had outstanding charges on file at the time of dissolution.

“Some refer to the subject as a ‘billionaire’ or ‘multi-millionaire’. However, it could not be possible that he amassed such a large personal fortune from these companies alone.”

Rangers boss Ally McCoist advises former owner Craig Whyte to stay away from Ibrox

Whyte was disqualified as a company director for seven years in 2000, but the investigators made no mention of the ban.

Rangers directors had access to the findings of the due diligence probe into Whyte at least two weeks before the sale was agreed.

Sir David Murray last night declined to comment on the Titon report.

Sources close to Murray emphasised that there was no legal reason not to sell the club to Whyte.

They said both Whyte and his lawyers had provided proof that they had the funds needed to clear the club’s debt, and that Murray had not known Whyte had financed the deal by giving the rights to future season ticket sales to London-based firm Ticketus.

The Insolvency Service have confirmed that their Investigations and Enforcement Directorate are considering the conduct of Rangers directors.

They are looking at the actions of the board ahead of the sale to Whyte, as well as what went on after the takeover.

A spokesman said: “Each case has its own merits and complexities.”

He said the Service had no knowledge of the Titon report, and he could not comment on anything which could form part of any investigation.

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Sorry, but while it is highly plausible they saw such a document, i won't believe a fucking shred that the tabloids write unless the evidence is shown to me and Murray comments.

I'm not a "fanboi" but the fact is the papers are constantly using sensationalism against our club every week to sell their rags.

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Sorry, but while it is highly plausible they saw such a document, i won't believe a fucking shred that the tabloids write unless the evidence is shown to me and Murray comments.

I'm not a "fanboi" but the fact is the papers are constantly using sensationalism against our club every week to sell their rags.

So you think the Record (who have been surprisingly reliable about the whole fiasco) just made this report up?

No comment from Murray when he could easily rubbish the report tells its own story.

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I believe this. All this info was out there. A now ex rangers director all but told me quite a bit of this before he bought the club and it was the main reason all along that I was anti-Whyte.

The independent board recommended a non sale due to this info but Murray was long gone by that stage and was being pressured by Lloyd's ON THE MIH side of things. (tu)

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This is old news and came out months ago - it was covered in the judgement issued by the SFA tribuneral that led to thew transfer ban etc. It was also the reason the Independent Board Committee made up of Johnston, Grieg and others were so opposed to Whyte.

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The quote "no legal reason not to sell to Whyte says it all" IMO, this would seem to prove Murray knew fine well what he was doing to Rangers and either didn't care or couldn't do anything about it.

Murray knew about his past and I would say it was more that he had no option on a business front though ultimately it was his decision.

I still maintain that he didn't know about how it was funded though. (tu)

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The quote "no legal reason not to sell to Whyte says it all" IMO, this would seem to prove Murray knew fine well what he was doing to Rangers and either didn't care or couldn't do anything about it.

That part was very telling and worthy of a weasel politician.

This is just another one to add to Murray's list of lies - "I'll only sell to someone if it's in the best interests of Rangers."

David Murray only ever does what's in his own interests.

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AJ has mentions this on a number of occasions, so there's really nothing new in this story. As for what SDM knew, well it doesn't matter as LTSB wanted their money and applied all the preasure they could to force through the sale even though there was no good banking reason due to Rangers paying their bills and reducing the debt. AJ has also mentioned the fact that the bank pushed SDM into this sale.

Rather than going on about what SDM knew, why are there no questions about what LTSB knew? We all know that the people they had handling Rangers were not minded to be of help, indeed a case can be made that they had their feet well and trully planted in the camp of our biggest rivals. I would hesitate to say they were feeding them information on Ranger's finances as that would be accusing them of something I for one cannot prove. However it does raise the question of who made the desicion to put them in there when it could look like a conflict of interests.

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AJ has mentions this on a number of occasions, so there's really nothing new in this story. As for what SDM knew, well it doesn't matter as LTSB wanted their money and applied all the preasure they could to force through the sale even though there was no good banking reason due to Rangers paying their bills and reducing the debt. AJ has also mentioned the fact that the bank pushed SDM into this sale.

Rather than going on about what SDM knew, why are there no questions about what LTSB knew? We all know that the people they had handling Rangers were not minded to be of help, indeed a case can be made that they had their feet well and trully planted in the camp of our biggest rivals. I would hesitate to say they were feeding them information on Ranger's finances as that would be accusing them of something I for one cannot prove. However it does raise the question of who made the desicion to put them in there when it could look like a conflict of interests.

LTSB's responsibility was to get their money back for the shareholder/taxpayer. With the uncertainty of the cases it's only natural they would apply pressure. LTSB employees played a blinder (from their point of view) in recovering all their liabilities.

Whatever way you look at this, all roads lead back to David Murray, an inveterate liar.

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I've never really been happy with how AJ and MB have been treated since this nonsense began. They only ever had the best interests of Rangers at heart IMO. They did everything they could to prevent the takeover and were told to shut up basically.

I suspect/hope a lot of people will view them differently in hindsight.

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I've never really been happy with how AJ and MB have been treated since this nonsense began. They only ever had the best interests of Rangers at heart IMO. They did everything they could to prevent the takeover and were told to shut up basically.

I suspect/hope a lot of people will view them differently in hindsight.

I can see where you are coming from with AJ at the time i hold my hand up and say i thought it was sour grapes even at the counter offer stage. MB different kettle of fish that cunt was worse than useless at his job costing us upwards of £5m in cancelled players contracts.

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How is that?

I remember him as the guy who led Rangers in unprecedented financial times, winning 3 consecutive titles, reducing their debt by circa £50M in five or six years. Not bad statistics IMO.

How much of this was down to Martin Bain?

As far as I could see, he was responsible for negotiating contracts and transfers. He never appeared great at either.

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So you think the Record (who have been surprisingly reliable about the whole fiasco) just made this report up?

No comment from Murray when he could easily rubbish the report tells its own story.

not at all. sensationalise a report - yes.

Anyone buying a business would have someone prospect and evaluate the business prospects. Whyte would have done this and I would guess that the scenario of possible administration was on that report, which the seller would also have seen.

Could it be that the record have sensationalised this to say that he report was solely a plan to enter administration??

Anyone who thinks Murray thought anyone coming in could turn the club around, given he could not do it, has the blinkers on. We were doomed unless a multi millionaire wanted to put as much in as Murray had spent over the years and that was never going to happen. Murray wanted rid so he would not have to put us into administration, it was always inevitable.

But i don't believe that Whyte simply told him that he would do this, he would have at least suggested he could turn us around, the Daily Rhebel will of course miss that part as it doesn't sell as well.

end of the day, none of this matters, Whyte put us in the shitter, Murray had us circling the drain before he entered the scene.

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he was responsible for negotiating contracts and transfers

He was the CEO, leader of the organisation. In business it's all down to them, so football is a little different wrt mangers identifying targets, picking the team etc.

However to say the CEO of Rangers "just" negotiated contracts "badly" at a time of such austerity combined with on the field success and excellent financial results is doing him a huge injustice IMO.

How did he negotiate contracts badly, what was your point about costing us £5M in contracts, how is that down to him?

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AJ has mentions this on a number of occasions, so there's really nothing new in this story. As for what SDM knew, well it doesn't matter as LTSB wanted their money and applied all the preasure they could to force through the sale even though there was no good banking reason due to Rangers paying their bills and reducing the debt. AJ has also mentioned the fact that the bank pushed SDM into this sale.

Rather than going on about what SDM knew, why are there no questions about what LTSB knew? We all know that the people they had handling Rangers were not minded to be of help, indeed a case can be made that they had their feet well and trully planted in the camp of our biggest rivals. I would hesitate to say they were feeding them information on Ranger's finances as that would be accusing them of something I for one cannot prove. However it does raise the question of who made the desicion to put them in there when it could look like a conflict of interests.

Was Celtic friendly Manus Fullerton not ultimately the guy who pushed Lloyds TSB into demanding Murray sold Rangers to googly eyes?

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So you think the Record (who have been surprisingly reliable about the whole fiasco) just made this report up?

No comment from Murray when he could easily rubbish the report tells its own story.

You know how it works on here.

Positive stories are believed without question, while anything remotely negative simply cannot be true without quotes.

'Head in the sand', I think it's called.

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He was the CEO, leader of the organisation. In business it's all down to them, so football is a little different wrt mangers identifying targets, picking the team etc.

However to say the CEO of Rangers "just" negotiated contracts "badly" at a time of such austerity combined with on the field success and excellent financial results is doing him a huge injustice IMO.

How did he negotiate contracts badly, what was your point about costing us £5M in contracts, how is that down to him?

Sorry but that is just pish he was CEO in name only Lloyds TSB drove our debt down in the shape of Donald Muir, nothing to do wiht Bain, Bain still raised his own wage and took bonuses when Mr McCoist and Mr Smith were working for nothing. He did not stand up for the club and left our contracts so open that useless signing such as Capucho and Ostenstad were handsomely paid off for little return - I'd say this is his fault wouldn't you? Onyl stood up for Rangers whjen he and SDM wre getting flack - shown up on numerous occasions by Lawwell.

Signing negotiations escalating where the seller ended up getting more than they originally asked for - se SEBO and Jelavic.

I seriously could go on an on but won't.

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