A company used by ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte to help businesses walk away from debts is being wound up after a Record investigation.
We handed evidence to the Insolvency Service on Whyte, a banned director, and his dodgy dad Tom over dealings with Fortress Restructuring Ltd.
After a probe by the watchdog’s Company Investigations branch, the UK’s Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng lodged a petition at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to wind the company up in the public interest.
The action is a direct consequence of our stories, which revealed the services offered by the Whytes, all aimed at cheating creditors, including small businesses, out of cash.
An Insolvency Service spokesman said: “Following confidential investigations, we can confirm that we have issued a petition in court to formally wind-up Fortress Restructuring Ltd in the public interest.
“We cannot comment until court proceedings have concluded.”
The petition, lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Monday, will also be served on the company, giving Thomas Whyte, the sole officially listed director, eight days to lodge answers
If the court believes any director or key agent of the company was guilty of misconduct a liquidator will be appointed to formally wind it up.
The liquidator will then file a report back to the Insolvency Service.
That could spark a more detailed investigation which could lead to potential disqualification or even criminal charges.
The Record’s revelations in August told how we taped phone calls with Whyte, passing himself off as his 74-year-old dad, telling our undercover reporter he could kill off debts to creditors and still be able to trade as normal, all for a fee.
Our reporter recognised the voice on the phone instantly as Craig Whyte, who sounds nothing like his elderly dad.
A separate Police Scotland Economic Crime Unit investigation, which could lead to a two-year jail term for Whyte, is at an advanced stage.
A decision is expected soon on whether charges will be brought against the shady wheeler dealer, who is currently serving the maximum 15-year ban from being a director.
Under the punishment slapped down after his shameful ownership of Rangers brought the club to its knees in 2012, Whyte is barred from acting in a senior management or controlling manner for a UK company.
Investigators have looked into the Record’s further revelations about Whyte holding a directorship of a Dutch company that appears to have close links to the Whytes’ UK firm, using an identical website.
Our stories told how both Whyte and his dad Tom were involved in the operations of Fortress Restructuring.
Tom later claimed at a face-to-face meeting it was he who had earlier spoken to our man on the phone, laying down details of the debt-busting scheme.
Fortress Restructuring tells unscrupulous bosses of companies how to deny staff redundancy payments and pay no bills to creditors.
After our stories about Fortress Restructuring, the Whytes moved their company’s registered office from Bath Street, Glasgow, to a low-key office in Paisley.
They had used the Bath Street office of accountant Charles Moore, who was advising their enterprise, for many years.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Our inquiries are continuing.”
Neither Tom nor Craig Whyte answered the phones registered to Fortress Restructuring or its sister site Rescue Capital, tailored for London.
The Insolvency Act enables the Secretary of State to wind up companies in the public interest “if the court thinks it just and equitable”.