Accountants Baker Tilly refused to sign off the accounts of Crown
Corporation, a company now renamed as Langbar International, which is currently
facing a £365m SFO investigation.
The mid-tier firm resigned the audit of the group last year because of its
concerns with the extensive role Abraham ‘Avi’ Arad, an Argentine-born Israeli,
was playing in the company, The Sunday Times reports.
Arad, a terrorism expert and former Israeli government adviser, set up the
original £150m funding for Crown Corporation in 2003, arranged Langbar’s main
deals and invested in the company via Jewish pensioner investment vehicle
Lambert, which manages funds for 2000 pensioners in Germany, Argentina and
Israel, was held a 59% stake in Crown, believed to be the largest cash shell on
As reported in Accountancy Age, small Spanish firm Gironella Velasco
replaced Baker Tilly as auditors. Chilton Taylor, a member of AIM’s advisory
board, was the partner leading the Crown audit.
It is believed that Arad put forward Gironella Velasco, who signed off
Langbar’s accounts shortly before the group’s shares were suspended after it
emerged that Langbar could not confirm the existence of its main asset, a £365m
cash deposit in Brazil.
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