Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Minutes of Evidence

Examination of witness (Question 200-219)



  200. Yes.
  (Mr Robinson) The merger was in May 1991.

  201. It was in May?
  (Mr Robinson) The principle was agreed. We knew there would be one about November/December.

  202. When did it actually occur?
  (Mr Robinson) May.

  203. So when we are actually talking about this cheque, we have got all these companies which therefore are linked in, are they not?
  (Mr Robinson) This cheque?

  204. Yes. We are actually trying to find this out.
  (Mr Robinson) Where the cheque went, yes.

  205. We are trying to find out about this cheque which you say you never received. You say none of the companies you were associated with ever received the £200,000?
  (Mr Robinson) Absolutely.

  206. So you can say with certainty that, for example, Apex, Dunn, Sarclad, Roll Centre, Lock—all these companies which are now more or less pulled together because of this merger, and subsequently still calling themselves Transfer Technology—
  (Mr Robinson) Subsequently calling themselves.

  207. They are nothing to do with this £200,000?
  (Mr Robinson) Absolutely. No company—I have always said—I own, no company I know about. The issue we have before the Committee is where did that cheque go? That is what it all comes down to.

  208. Yet you would agree that Transfer Technology—you are a private company—did give loans to your other company, Roll Centre, in the USA?
  (Mr Robinson) Yes.

  209. And there is this amount of £200,000—
  (Mr Robinson) Yes.

  210.—linked between these two companies somehow?
  (Mr Robinson) Yes, the one owed £200,000 to the other.

  211. Can you see how the Committee, as we go through the documentation here, keep finding several references to £200,000?
  (Mr Robinson) Yes. No, I think the most compelling thing—that is the word that the Commissioner uses, I do not—the problem, is that we have this cheque paid in at Tavistock, going to Colmore Row, which is where we banked, at around the same time as Roger makes an entry, but unfortunately, of course, two things: one, there is a day between the two possible—I think, on any realistic assumptions—amounts being the same, because it would have arrived on the 11th and Roger's entry is the 10th, to which the Commissioner says, "Well perhaps Roger was putting it in in anticipation of." Of course, that could be right, but her other supposition—and some of these things are highly offensive—is that I was working for somebody else to put it through a third party account, which would have delayed it even more, it would not have been then the 11th, which everybody assumes it was, it could have come in on the 14th or 15th into the TransTec account. When the Commissioner raises the issue that he could have anticipated it, of course it does raise the issue, did it ever come? I do not raise this issue, the Commissioner herself does. What I can assure you is that the two are totally unrelated. I did not have that cheque, neither did TransTec, absolutely not.

  212. The Roll Centre debt, the £200,000, is not linked in with that?
  (Mr Robinson) No, absolutely not. Whatever happened there, it is absolutely not linked in with this cheque of £200,000 being paid.

  213. If we could go on to Annex CC, this is the cashbook voucher with a payment payable to Orchards, again for £200,000, Orchards being your home?
  (Mr Robinson) Yes.

  214. Having looked at your invoices, I can see how, as you have written "Orchards" at the top in capitals, people could possibly interpret that as a company and thus pay a cheque to Orchards. Is that what you think happened in this case?
  (Mr Robinson) No, no, because they could not pay a house.

  215. But they could actually have written a cheque out to Orchards which then obviously would not go anywhere?
  (Mr Robinson) You mean send it home to me?

  216. Yes.
  (Mr Robinson) No, the evidence is that we know that is not the case, because we know the cheque was paid in over the counter, as we said before. This was reconstructed, if I may say so, in 1991. You see the date "31.12.91". It is just reconstructed by the receivers. I do not think the Commissioner refers to this, but it is done by Arthur Andersens trying to make things come together, that is all.

Mr Levitt

  217. It is a different cheque number as well, is it not?
  (Mr Robinson) Yes.

Shona McIsaac

  218. Yes, it is a different cheque number, but you can see again it is another amount for £200,000?
  (Mr Robinson) You can see at the end of that, certainly. It is unrelated.

  219. This amount of £200,000 keeps cropping up, and we cannot find where any of it goes.
  (Mr Robinson) We know where it comes from when we go back to that statement that it was paid in the management accounts in October—which is totally incorrect—1990. That is where it all starts, and it has all followed through from there. The same people who did those accounts prepared the statutory accounts, and that is how it got carried on into them.

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