PracticeConsultingNo ban for Bhagwan devotee

No ban for Bhagwan devotee

Accountant jailed for conspiring to kill lawyer can continue to practice. Lawrie Holmes reports.

A Bristol chartered accountant convicted of plotting to kill a lawyer in the US has been allowed to retain membership of the English ICA but was severely reprimanded and fined #1,000 for discrediting the profession.

Sally-Anne Croft was convicted of attempting to murder Charles Turner in 1985 after he investigated the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh cult in Oregon where she lived. She returned to England in May after being released on grounds of compassion and good behaviour.

The tribunal allowed her to carry on practicing after accepting the US judge’s view that Croft ‘posed no future threat’ and would continue to be a useful member of society. The tribunal said that in the light of the facts, it ‘felt that the normal order of exclusion for a disciplinary offence of this nature was not appropriate.’

Croft told the tribunal she hoped to begin work shortly.

In other disciplinary hearings at Moorgate Place, company director Christopher Bradley of Maidenhead was excluded for four years and ordered to pay costs of #2,200 for operating an insolvent company with no prospect of being able to pay creditors.

He was also found guilty of failing to keep accounting records, paying himself a loan of #177,000 from the company and failing to declare his earnings to the Inland Revenue.

Peter Powell, of Tweedsmuir Close, Derby, was found guilty of failing to petition for bankruptcy for a debtor who failed to comply with an Individual Voluntary Agreement after defaulting on payments for more than 30 days.

He was severely reprimanded and fined #3,000 with costs of almost #2,000.

Ramniklal Sodagar, of Foxbourne Road, London, was severely reprimanded and fined #250 with costs of #741 after failing to provide information requested by the investigations committee about several client returns.

Company director David Ashworth, of Breightmet Street, Bolton, was fined #500 with costs of #1,000 after failing to deliver company accounts to the registrar at Companies House.

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