FORMER Rangers owner Craig Whyte conspired with future administrators and the former club secretary to defraud creditors as the business fell into insolvency, prosecutors have claimed.

Indictment details have revealed for the first time the extent of the alleged conspiracy aimed initially at allowing Mr Whyte to buy The Rangers Football Club plc back from the administrators free of debt.

But charge details claim that consortium leader Charles Green would then later "falsely present" himself as an "independent purchaser" with £292,823 transferred from the Rangers Youth Development Ltd to enable Sevco to purchase the business and assets.



One charge alleges that Mr Green appropriated for his own use and purposes the sum of £5.5 million which he had obtained by fraud.

Prosecutors claim that he purchased the "business and assets of the club through its corporate entity Sevco Scotland Limited with money provided by investors to Sevco 5088 Limited without their knowledge and agreement."

The details emerged as the six men involved in the alleged multi million pound fraudulent acquisition of Rangers assets appeared in court.

Mr Whyte, 44, and former chief executive Mr Green, 62, attended a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh before judge Lord Bannatyne.


Gary Withey, 51, who worked for Mr Whyte's London law firm, Collyer Bristow, before he took on the post of club secretary appeared along with David Grier, 54, David Whitehouse, 50 and Paul Clark, 51, who worked for administrators Duff and Phelps. They were employees of MCR Partners, prior to its acquisition by Duff and Phelps, in October 2011, four months before the firm acted as Rangers administrators.

The 15 charges in the case cover fraud, conspiracy and serious organised crime surrounding the purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray by Whyte in May, 2011 for a nominal sum of £1, and the buying of the assets by the Sevco consortium led by Green four months after the business fell into administration in Feburary, 2012.

The Crown claim that in the months before and after the 2011 takeover, Whyte, Withey, Grier, Whitehouse and Clark illegally obtained a total of £28,262,094 from ticket company Ticketus over the rights to future season tickets and a business called Merchant Turnaround PLC, to fraudulently persuade representatives of Mr Murray that they had the means to purchase Rangers.

HeraldScotland: Flashback: Paul Clark (right) and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps during a 2013 press conferenceFlashback: Paul Clark (right) and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps during a 2013 press conference

It is claimed the men said the Ticketus money, used to help fund the Whyte purchase, came from their own funds.

Prosecutors say that subsequently between May 6, 2011 and March 19, 2012, Mr Whyte, Mr Withey, Mr Grier, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were engaged in criminal activity claiming they "were knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of The Rangers Football Club plc with intent to defraud creditors of the said company."

The charge states that the men "did fail to pay VAT, PAYE, National Insurance and other debts due by the company.  

They also allegedly received £6 million from Ticketus and are claimed to have used the money to pay sums due from the ticket purchase agreement.

The charge stated this enabled MCR Business Consulting (now Duff and Phelps) to be appointed administrators and Mr Whyte to buy back the Rangers business "free of debt."

Another charge alleges that between February 14 2012 and October 30 2012,Mr Whyte, Mr Whitehouse, Mr Clark and Mr Green fraudulently acquired Rangers for a sum below its true market value.

HeraldScotland: Ex-Rangers chief executive Charles Green, centre, arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh before an October hearingEx-Rangers chief executive Charles Green, centre, arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh before an October hearing

Prosecutors claim that on March 19 2012, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark falsely pretended that they would perform their function as administrators in the interests of Rangers' creditors.

They also allegedly agreed that Mr Green would "falsely present" himself as an "independent purchaser of the club."

It is claimed that in June 2012, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark permitted the transfer of £291,823 from Rangers Youth Development Limited.

It is alleged that between February 1 2012 and December 31 2012, Mr Whyte, Mr Whitehouse, Mr Clark and Mr Green agreed "to do something that you knew or suspected or ought reasonably to have known or suspected would enable or further the commission of serious organised crime."

It is claimed the men participated in a "conspiracy the purpose of which was to purchase the business and assets of the Rangers Football Club plc (in administration) from the administrator..  for a consideration significantly below the true market value and thereby deprive the creditors of the club, then in administration, of the rightful sums due them."

It is also claimed Mr Whyte and Mr Grier fraudulently obtained £409,320 by sending invoices to Rangers that should have been sent to Whyte's Liberty Capital business.

The pair allegedly attempted to fraudulently obtain £253,800 earlier between January 31, 2011 and June 14, 2011 when MCR Business Consulting agreed to provide services to Liberty Capital.

HeraldScotland: Craig Whyte arriving for the latest preliminary hearingCraig Whyte arriving for the latest preliminary hearing

It is claimed that on May 11 2011, an invoice for £253,800 was sent to Rangers when it should have been sent to Liberty Capital. 

Prosecutors say that the two men did this to fraudulently obtain the sum from Rangers. The indictment states that they did this to  "further your own financial interests and to the detriment of the club, its supporters, shareholders and creditors."

A procedural hearing is expected at the High Court in Aberdeen on January 21, 2016.