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Real-Time news about Crown Corp (London Stock Exchange): 0 recent articles
|elephants drunk: Where is that gink who said that ADVFN were about to be fined £££m for contempt of court, which (allegedly) hit the share price, is he in custody yet?|
Former Coca-Cola accountant lost 1.5m in cash fraud
Wednesday April 23 2008
A Sligo-based accountant formerly employed by Coca-Cola is unlikely to immediately recoup any significant amount of a 1.5m investment he made via contracts for difference in an AIM-listed cash shell.
Dan Leahy was one of hundreds of investors in Langbar International, whose former chief executive has just been ordered to hand over £30m (37.5m) as part of a settlement of a civil case relating to the company's collapse.
A London court was told that the firm and its shareholders were the victims of the "largest fraud ever perpetrated on the Alternative Investment Market". Headed by Polish-Canadian Mariusz Rybak, Langbar claimed in 2005 that it had as much as £360m (450m) in deposits which pushed up Langbar's share price after investors piled into the stock.
Langbar's shares were suspended as it appointed risk-consulting firm Kroll Associates to verify the cash deposits purportedly held with Banco do Brasil and a unit of ABN Amro. Kroll said it wasn't able to find any evidence that Langbar had any entitlement to relevant assets and the British police were informed of a suspected fraud.
It was alleged that Mr Rybak sold millions of pounds worth of shares at a sizeable profit prior to the stock being suspended.
The Serious Fraud Office began an investigation, while a group of Langbar shareholders joined a legal action against Mr Rybak and a number of other former directors, whose assets were frozen by the courts.
In 2006, Mr Leahy and another Irish investor, Ted Maye, were arrested in Monaco after flying there to confront Mr Rybak at his home. Although Mr Leahy did not directly buy any shares in Langbar, he claimed that the money he used to buy the CFDs should have been returned to him. Activist-investor Nigel Smith, who led the campaign to retrieve the shareholders' money, and Langbar's current chairman, corporate recovery specialist David Buchler, told the Irish Independent yesterday that legal proceedings may also be taken against a number of Langbar's professional advisers. Mr Smith said legal action may also be taken against the London Stock Exchange.|
Ex-boss to pay Langbar £30m
By David Litterick
Last Updated: 12:57am BST 22/04/2008
Investors in Langbar, the AIM-listed cash shell that collapsed in 2006, could finally see some of their money returned after former chairman Mariusz Rybak and his family agreed to pay the company £30m.
The settlement, which was approved by Mr Justice Blackburne in the High Court yesterday, came after 56 days of evidence in the case which dates back to early 2006.
The £30m consists of Mr Rybak's cash assets, estimated at £25m, plus the likely proceeds from the sale of his house in Monaco. Legal costs will be deducted.
Sion Richards of Jones Day, the law firm pursuing the case on behalf of Langbar, described it as a "terrific result".
He said he had asked for a 21-day adjournment to the case to decide how to proceed against the remaining defendants, including Abraham Arad Hochman and Jean-Pierre Regli, Langbar's former finance director.
Langbar floated as a cash shell in 2003, although there is no evidence that it had any cash.
The case centres on July 2005, when the company announced it had £300m on deposit in Brazil, prompting investors to buy in and push the share price up.
The defendants then sold their shares at a substantial profit and the money was later allegedly found not to exist.|
|pomp circumstance: COURT 56
Share Price 56p ?|
|wiganer: An interesting exercise is to look through the transcript of Pearson's testimony and focus on whether there are any incongruous assertions by Pearson about whether he cared or did not care about the share price, and to what extent that dictated his actions.|
|lord santafe: Be one of the best dreams come true if Langbar get a big pot of compensation and deciede to relist with the all the proceeds. The new management should know what is needed to make a big success out of the money.
After all that has happened, in years to come it could be possible for the Langbar share price to overtake it heighs of the year 2005.
Now that to me would be the greatest recovery story ever on the LSE.|
|the hairy gorilla too: Rybak is trying to blacken Pearson's name by accusing him of misleading investors and failing to do due diligence.
He picked his Patsy very well, because Pearson did make some major mistakes.
He did not independently check the money. He did not even contact ABN to see if the money had arrived before making the transfer RNS. He encouraged shareholders to ignore the BB rumours as chatroom gossip, when in fact the information was true.
He could face prosecution by ther FSA for making the misleading statements. The FSA were also investigating the share transactions ahead of the announcements, because it appears to them that there was considerable leakage of inside information. We know for certain that Townsley was shorting the share as that was stated in Court.
What is clear and admitted is that Rybak did communicate with Pearson and although Rybak claims that he was not directing the company or involved in strategy, Pearson will most likely say otherwise.
From what I've been told, Rybak and Arad were both pushing Pearson to make the announcements to boost the share price. Arad may even have been pushing Pearson at Rybak's instigation.
Rybak claims that he carefully considered his RNSs before he made them and checked with the advisors first - which Pearson did not, but it should be noted that the Crown Oil and Crown Pharma deals never came off. So Rybak's announcements might also be categorised as misleading.
During the session on Friday, Mr Wardell had another hard time with the Judge before lunchtime. You see, Mr Wardell tried to explain to the Judge that Rybak did not make any shares sells (or any major ones) before he went to the AGM and heard that Lambert (and Arad) was selling through Arden.
He says that it was after the AGM that he started his 'aggressive' selling campaign through Weglin and that this was not 'dumping' shares - which it actually was. After all when you consider that he was also trying to sell all the shares as a block or in large quantities to the Institutionals - then that is technically 'dumping'. I agree that it is not selling at any price, but when you divest your entire or significant or declarable holding into the market - then that is 'dumping'.
The Judge pulled up Wardell by reminding him that Rybak made major sells BEFORE the AGM. So his 'excuse' that he sold because Lambert was selling - after the AGM - was rubbish and the Judge spotted it immediately.
This was the important exchange:
There was an important conversation between Pearson and Rybak at the AGM. He told Pearson about the offer and Pearson was alarmed at losing control. Secondly it was agreed that similar offers would be made to Arden. Also at the meeting Pearson told Rybak that Lambert had sold 10m shares and that prompted Rybak to tell Weglin to start the 'aggressive' sales campaign, but prior to that the share sales after leaving the company had been minimal.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "Just remind me of the particular paragraphs?"
MR WARDELL: starts at 496 and goes onto My Lord ignore that reference...
May I take you to the next reference confirmation on 25 July, Lambert sold 3m shares.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "What is this document?"
MR WARDELL: internal record by Arden
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "So Lambert were selling through Arden?"
MR WARDELL: Yes - we mentioned that earlier
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "So the price was 85 85 what?"
MR WARDELL: 85p
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "Any significance in the counterparty?"
MR WARDELL: no
What is significant is that this was not announced to the market and Arden the Nomad. It is said that Rybak was offloading shares when he knew he should have done but Arden was offloading and not announcing.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "But Arden's duty is what?"
MR WARDELL: duty to comply with AIM rules
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "But it might be different if you have someone with controlling interest and at this stage they had more than anyone in their."
MR WARDELL: the obligations arises from an section of the bye laws.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "They are also the brokers are they?"
MR WARDELL: Yes, but they cannot simply ignore that and Chinese wall themselves well there it is it puts the criticism of Rybak in perspective.
Rybak emails Arad, cc Pearson and Regli the end of Crown?
You asked me not to sell shares and then you go to the market and sell through Arden and put us at risk on the market. If this is your strategy then Crown is finished. It undermines the valuation issue. There was a lack of openness and the only person responsible is you Avi.
This is a perfectly reasonable stance to take if you have as many shares as Rybak has that the value was being damaged.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "What is said about this is 'pot calling kettle black' because they are both selling shares."
MR WARDELL: the share selling is not in dispute but there is a world of difference between selling some and selling 10m
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "What is said is that Rybak sold 6m shares before he had this meeting."
MR WARDELL: I had forgotten that allegation and will come back about that
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "There had been a careful campaign of sales"
MR WARDELL: I had overlooked that point
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "It is an important part of their case that he is saying one thing and doing another."
MR WARDELL: I was about to take you to the transparency issues and what I had not understood was that this allegation was made in share sales before the AGM
MR QUEST: to be fair the allegation was made in respect of all share sales.
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE: "But in particular those before 23 July 2005."
What comes out of this is that Rybak (through Wardell) tried to mislead the Judge that Rybak had NOT sold any major amounts prior to the AGM where he learnt that Lambert were selling through Arden. But the Judge knew that Rybak HAD sold already and therefore the misleading statement was exposed for what it was and Wardell had no answer.
As on Thursday, there was another 'uncomfortable' moment, where Wardell was caught out by the Judge and everyone in the court knew that he had exposed Rybak's weakness.
I would say that the Judge has two reasons to question Rybak's defence
1. That he tried to use the documents instead of waiting for maturity - and the only reasonable answer is that he knew that they would not mature and that they would be dishonoured - therefore he was passing on fake financial instruments
2. That he said that he was not selling major amounts till he learnt that Arden were selling Lamberts shares at the AGM - but he was selling major amounts of shares BEFORE the AGM, which indicates that he was misleading the Judge. It also suggests that he was misleading Pearson, as Pearson says that he was not told about the share sales and despite the evidence that Rybak has proffered that he did tell everyone, there is no positive proof that Pearson was told. Therefore, Pearson's statement that Rybak was saying one thing and doing another does sound true.
Certainly if Rybak was willing to mislead the Judge about the share transactions, by claiming that he made no major sells before the AGM, then it must appear to the Judge that Rybak is lying and Pearson is telling the truth.|
|karn evil 9: From Nigels Langbar Action group website relating to the current High Court proceedings. I trust he doesn't mind.
In response to Mr Rybak's insistence that Mr Pearson should be making positive market announcements in order to bolster the share price, Mr Pearson responded later the same day relaying the news that he had received from Mr Arad earlier. In his email Mr Pearson stated that: I do have lots of good news and will start next week to release. We should have USD 294 million into ABM Amro tomorrow - Europe. !!! Please keep confidential until I have personal confirmation".
This information was given to Mr Rybak on the basis that he was an insider. Mr Rybak responded later the same day (21:56) by emaiI entitled
"CONGRATULATIONS". In his email Mr Rybak stated as follows:!!!
"Go to the market asap. The stock is falling down"
Surely this last sentence must have been warning enough for Pearson bearing in mind Rybak's urgency to keep the share price bolstered. The alarm bells in Pearson's head must surely have started ringing !!!|
|batman9: SP said within 4 weeks - his time is up - no details of Euroclear hence drop - This is in need of RNS update if we are to belief share price is serious about CCO share price|
|clond: I can't call 10p or 5p in a week bozzy or AMG becasue it's both unlikely and very un - nerving. If it did go up 10p in one day it would come down by 10p the next and it's false projecting.
If you want me to stick my neck out , and I do it without setting myself up with a head bashing , I always call under projection to be somewhat safe
January 2006 CCO share price will be 135p
January 2007 CCO share price will be 200p
Have a good weekend , set up the sand bags and dig yourself in for the ride.|
Crown Corp share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange