PracticeConsultingFormer Versailles finance director hit with £50m writ over fraud allegations

Former Versailles finance director hit with £50m writ over fraud allegations

Frederick Clough, former finance director at the collapsed trade finance company Versailles, is to face a claim for £50m after the serving of a writ by receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers.

According to reports in the Times the claim is for breach of fiduciary duty, deceit and fraud connected with the collapse of Versailles after a Stock Exchange inquiry last December.

An investigation of Versailles has been underway since mid January with Serious Fraud Office and forensic accountants from PwC attempting to trace fraud.

Clough, 62, has maintained a low profile since he was suspended from his position on 19 January, though he has issued statements through his solicitor David Orchard. Despite the low public profile Orchard is reported as insisting Clough has made no attempt to abscond.

The claim against Clough also names Optel Technologies, an optics company asked to disclose information about the suspended FD.

Clive Leach, management director at Optel, is quoted in the Times saying: ?I have known Mr Clough for eight or nine years but he never worked for Optel. Optel never had any connection with Versailles.?

Versailles chairman Carl Cushnie has emphatically denied knowing anything about the allegations of fraud and continues to help the authorities with their inquiries.

The SFO is reported to still be in the early stages of their investigation though Clough is expected to respond to the PwC writ at a hearing on 14 February.

Troubled finance house Versailles suspends finance director

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