THE taxpayer faces a bill of over £110m for the malicious prosecutions scandal over the failed Rangers fraud case as a new £25m claim has landed with Scotland's most senior law officer, the Herald can reveal.

Duff and Phelps, the company responsible for the administration of Rangers during its financial collapse is pursuing a £25m compensation claim against the Lord Advocate over the collapsed case which alleged fraud over the sale of Rangers.

It is the latest twist in an 'abuse of power' scandal which has already seen millions of taxpayer-funded damages payouts to those wrongly prosecuted by the Crown Office and Police Scotland.

Administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of finance firm Duff and Phelps were the first to receive sums, having settled out of court in December to the tune of more than £24m.


READ MORE: Rangers sold for a fifth of its 'fair value' with brand worth £16m snapped up for nothing

The Crown Office confirmed both men were awarded £10.5m damages, while legal costs will be at least £3m.

Mr Whitehouse, Mr Clark and five others were subjected to detention and criminal proceedings in relation to fraud allegations in the wake of Craig Whyte's disastrous purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011 and its subsequent sale before a judge dismissed all charges.

The fraud case arose after the club under Mr Whyte went into administration nine months after he bought it, with debts soaring over £100m, while the team ended up relegated to the bottom rung of the Scottish football pyramid.

Now the Herald can reveal that Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse's employing company Duff and Phelps is pursuing a compensation claim of £25m from the Lord Advocate James Wolffe over the prosecutions which the authorities have admitted were malicious and without probable cause.

Five of the seven men charged in relation to Rangers fraud cases have been pursuing compensation complaints over wrongful arrest against either Police Scotland, the Crown Office or both with a collective claim now standing at £113m.

One Rangers supporters association source said: "It is an unbelievable turn of events.


"Before we went into administration it was touted that a bill of around £100m including a massive amount owed to the taxman would fall on Rangers. We were the villains.

"Ten years after the club being placed through so much turmoil without reason with the taxman's huge claim falling apart, the result is that the villains appear to be the Crown Office and the police and instead of the £100m being club debt, the same amount and much more, incredibly, has become the cost to the public purse of this scandal.

READ MORE: 'Crown Office must face up to scandal': Ex-Rangers administrator pursues criminal action over malicious prosecutions

"Right now, though, anyone like me who is Rangers through and through is just sitting back and enjoying the fact that we have come from that awful period, consigned to the bottom of the Scottish football heap, to become the champions this season."

Court of Session judge Lord Tyre has also ruled that David Grier, a Duff and Phelps executive that there was no “probable cause” to prosecute Mr Grier who is also seeking £5m damages from the Lord Advocate and £9m from Police Scotland.

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green, whose Sevco consortium, bought the assets of the club business in liquidation nine years ago is also to receive compensation after Crown lawyers accepted he too was subjected to a malicious fraud prosecution.


A full hearing in his £20m damages claim over wrongful arrest to decide how much should be awarded is due later this year.

He was arrested six years years ago for charges connected to the “alleged fraudulent acquisition” of the club in 2012 but the prosecution was later abandoned.

In August, last year it was confirmed former Rangers director Imran Ahmad is to receive a public apology from the head of Scotland's prosecution service.

READ MORE: Scotland's top law officer admits malicious prosecution over Rangers fraud case

Mr Ahmad will also receive significant damages, and is pursuing an amount also believed to run to £30m, after he was wrongly prosecuted on fraud charges.

He was prosecuted in 2015 over the takeover of the Ibrox club in 2012 but all charges were dropped in 2018.

Only two of the seven that were originally charged with offences relating to the alleged Rangers fraud do not have active compensation claims.

Mr Whyte ended up being the last man standing in the fraud conspiracy case and was acquitted of taking over the club by fraud at the end of a seven-week trial.

Both Mr Withey and Mr Whyte had at the time been accused of deceiving Rangers board members about the takeover.

Gary Withey, the Surrey lawyer with Collyer Bristow who advised Mr Whyte during his ill-fated takeover at Rangers ten years and who saw conspiracy charge dropped, died two years ago.

HeraldScotland: Rangers fans – Ibrox Stadium

Seven years ago the BDO, the liquidators of the Rangers oldco secured a £24m settlement payment from Collyer Bristow after initially launching a professional negligence claim for more than £50m.

Details of the malicious prosecutions scandal started emerging four years ago when the Herald revealed that London-based legal firm Holman Fenwick Willan, who were acting for Duff and Phelps, was awarded £500,000 costs after police and prosecutors were found by the High Court in London to have "abused state powers" by carrying out an illegal raid and seizing privileged documents in connection with the failed Rangers fraud case.

The police investigation was launched against a backdrop of the controversial nature of Mr Whyte's nine-months in charge after his 2011 takeover.

He agreed to take on Rangers' financial obligations, which included an £18m bank debt, a potential £72m 'big tax case' bill, a £2.8m "small tax case" liability, £1.7m for stadium repairs, £5m for players and £5m in working capital.


But he controversially helped fund his takeover by setting up a loan in advance from London-based investment firm Ticketus against rights to three to four years of future club season ticket sales in a bid to raise £24 million and pay off bank debt as part of a share purchase agreement with Sir David Murray.

Mr Whyte ended up being the last man standing in the fraud conspiracy case and was acquitted of taking over the club by fraud at the end of a seven-week trial four years ago.

The new action comes as the liquidators of Rangers oldco BDO sue Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse of Duff and Phelps for £56.8m claiming a seriously flawed strategy in raising money for the thousands owed millions after the business fell into administration under the ownership of Mr Whyte.