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New forensic accountants to provide ‘fresh eyes’

Member: Nifa

The ex-wife of the late, bankrupt property tycoon Scot Young, who tragically fell to his death earlier this month, is looking for a “fresh pair of eyes” to search for the millions she is convinced were hidden during the couple’s divorce.  Michelle Young accused her ex-husband of stashing away more than £400m during their bitter struggle over his assets and has been allowed to apply for a creditors’ meeting to get new bankruptcy trustees to look for the money.

Mrs Young, who is the estate’s largest creditor, is convinced that the current trustees were “biased against her” and criticised them for not finding any of her ex-husband’s assets. She therefore wants them replaced so that “fresh eyes’ will find the cash.  Under the 1986 Insolvency Act, creditors have a democratic right to remove a trustee in bankruptcy at a creditors' meeting, although the courts can intervene to stop a meeting being convened.

The judge who handed down the order this week allowing Mrs Young to apply for a meeting said that, before she can do so she will have to pay outstanding costs in relation to "unnecessary and hopeless" applications she had made to stay or annul the bankruptcy, plus the additional costs for a document production exercise carried out by the joint trustees.

So far, Mrs Young has changed solicitors and forensic accountants several times but must believe she will find some money now, as the judge in the final hearing accepted that Mr Young had retained assets valued at £45m but could not say where they had been secreted.

Whoever takes over the forensic investigation will have a mountain of evidence to sift through and, if there are any assets out there, it is likely that they will find them, given the expertise these accountants bring to the exercise, which should finally bring some satisfaction to Mrs Young after a very distressing year.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 22 December 2014

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