Football stadium developer banned over missing millions

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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A property developer has been banned from running companies for 10 years after millions of council cash earmarked for Northampton Town’s new football stadium went missing.

Howard Grossman, 57, was sole director of 1ST Land Limited which was incorporated in August 2013 to act as the contractor for the club’s plans to redevelop the Sixfields Stadium.

Between December 2013 and July 2014, 1ST Land received at least £6m from Northampton Town towards the costs of redeveloping the stadium.

The football club in-turn received the funds from Northampton Borough Council.

In January 2015 1ST Land entered into administration following the petition of a creditor before entering into Creditors Voluntarily Liquidation in December 2015.

Northamptonshire Police and the Insolvency Service carried out an investigation into the collapse of 1ST Land and Grossman’s conduct while a director.

Investigators discovered that Grossman failed to ensure the company maintained adequate accounting records or deliver a sufficient amount of records to the administrators.

As a result, it has been not possible to determine the exact nature of more than £5.6m worth of payments made to various parties from 1ST Land’s accounts.

The Secretary of State has now accepted a 10-year disqualification undertaking from Grossman.

Sue MacLeod, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Howard Grossman, like all directors, had specific duties as a company director but he blatantly disregarded them.

“The company’s insufficiencies when it came to record keeping means that we are unable to determine the exact nature of payments worth millions of pounds of tax-payers money, who along with supporters of the football club are the real victims here.

“We have been able to secure a substantial ban for Howard Grossman and if he breaches his disqualification, he risks being sent to prison.

“Northamptonshire Police is continuing their nationwide investigation into the missing Northampton Borough Council loan money and is working with other prosecuting authorities to recover public funds.”

 

 

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