This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Redcentric Shareholders to Get Their Day in Court

This article represents the views of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc.

Four years after defects in the published accounts of Redcentric plc (RCN) came to light, a trial of those accused of false accounting and other offences is finally to take place. Law360 reports:

…Fraser Fisher, former chief executive of Redcentric PLC, and the company’s ex-chief financial officer, Timothy Coleman, denied charges that they had falsified financial documents and lied to an auditor between 2015 and 2016 when they appeared at an arraignment at Southwark Crown Court. The Financial Conduct Authority has accused the men of misleading the market about the IT company’s deteriorating financial picture by issuing false board reports and financial statements, costing investors millions of pounds.

Coleman pled not guilty to 10 counts of false accounting and fraud charges at Tuesday’s hearing, while Fisher denied the four counts he faced. Their trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 25…

See this for a history of this case.

Sadly, it is all too rare for those implicated in accounting scandals to be brought to book. Even rarer that affected shareholders received some limited compensation from the company for their losses. So, credit is due to the FCA on this occasion for exercising their powers and seeking justice for those affected. ShareSoc encourages the FCA to do so on a more regular basis and address the many cases of shareholders being misled that we and our members observe.

Enforcement is essential to deter others from committing the type of offence of which the defendants are accused.

I attended a pre-trial hearing last year and understand that the trial itself is scheduled to last 3 months. My chief concern now is whether counsel will be able to adequately explain the intricacies of the charges and evidence to a jury that is probably not qualified or experienced in accounting matters.

I expect to attend the first day of the trial but, clearly, will not be able to sit through all of it.

Mark Bentley, Director, ShareSoc

The author was a shareholder in Redcentric at the time this scandal occurred.

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