Online extra – Polly Peck accountant expelled

Polly Peck?s disgraced former group accountant has been thrown out of the English ICA after admitting 10 charges of false accounting, a Joint Disciplinary Scheme report reveals today.

But the JDS? four-year investigation into Polly Peck auditor BDO Stoy Hayward, which received a record #150,000 JDS fine this week for its mishandling of the Astra audit, is still rumbling on and not due to be completed until next year.

Criminal charges against John Turner, 59, were dropped by an Old Bailey judge five years ago when Polly Peck?s boss Asil Nadir skipped his #2m bail and fled to northern Cyprus. But the English ICA refused to accept Turner?s resignation last year, preferring to unleash the Joint Disciplinary Scheme on him instead.

Turner admitted 10 charges to the JDS which all centred on allowing Nadir to plunder the company?s Jersey bank account for his own benefit.

Polly Peck, a FTSE 100 company and worth #1.7bn at its peak, collapsed in October 1990 with borrowings of #522m after Nadir pilfered #439m from a Cypriot packaging subsidiary Unipac. A 32-page JDS report out today reveals the extent of Turner?s inadequacies. Disciplinary tribunal chairman Sir John Bailey said the accountant?s actions amounted to the equivalent of ?clapping the glass to the sightless eye?.

On 10 occasions between 1988 and 1990, Turner allowed ?highly unusual roundabout? transactions involving Unipac?s NatWest Jersey account. Funds were remitted from Polly Peck to the account and almost immediately back to London.

Turner admitted inaccurate completion of accounting records and was personally responsible for the withdrawal of large sums of cash. He claimed he thought that equivalent amounts of money were paid to Unipac by Nadir, but did not seek confirmation. Turner even failed to check the company accounts when he met its auditor in Cyprus.

The case against Stoys was put on hold until the civil actions against Polly Peck are settled.

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