Category Archives: Downloads

Podcast Interview with USDAW Legal Department about Bookshop Tribunal

Matt Wardman writes:

Last week we reported that a negotiated settlement had been reached and now implemented in the Employment Tribunal action between 32 ex-employees of the former-SPCK bookshop chain, and the Society of Saint Stephen the Great, now controlled by the Charity Commission through an Interim Manager.

I have done a podcast interview with Christine Peacock of the USDAW Legal Department, who has handled the employee cases (and the cases of paperwork) for the last couple of years. This interview aims to show some of the complexity of the case, and to give an inside view of the process. Here it is:

For new visitors, the background to this interview is that I’ve been involved with others in a campaign to place a spotlight on the mismanagement and asset-stripping of the chain of 25 bookshops which used to go under the name of SPCK, by the brothers J Mark and Philip Brewer. This blog has a very detailed account.

A community of campaigning bloggers, and a wider international network based mainly on Facebook and other social media sites, has had a role in this over a period of more than 2 years – gathering information, helping to expose a fraudulent bankruptcy attempt, keeping the Charity Commission on the case, and maintaining a spotlight on the case.

But this still has a long way to run – notably because there are still many small businesses who were simply never paid, and because compensation payments still have to be made – though that can be expected now that the Brewer Brothers no longer control the charity. There are more complex aspects such as what happened to pension and national insurance contributions which the Brewer Brothers never passed to the correct recipients.

And then there is the matter of bring Mark and Philip Brewer to some sort of justice, and making sure that those who need to learn the lessons from this debacle do just that. It is one more signifcant step forward, however.

The two Facebook groups are We Support Dave Walker (who was “Cease and Desisted” after 18 months of objective reporting; his blog is here), and A group for all those people who mourn the tragic demise of SPCK Bookshops, which still have a combined membership of well over 500 activists and supporters.


Advertisements

Electronic Bankruptcy Notice for St Stephen the Great LLC, Case No. 08-33689-H1-7

asingleblog posted the following summary of this document as a comment back on July 22nd:

Most creditors will have received this but I’m posting a summary on this site just in case.

Basically there has been a Chapter 7 Trustee’s motion to dismiss SSG’S file for liquidation. Randy W. Williams has based his case for dismissal on these points (again a summary):

– There are a number of inconsistencies in the filing and a number of practical factors that favor dismissal of this case. The inconsistencies are that the Debtor’s legal name is not St Stephens the Great LLC.

– There is no St Stephens the Great LLC or a dba for anyone to operate under that name. The legal name of the entity alleged to be the Debtor in this case is St Stephens the Great, which is the same name as a registered in the United Kingdom. And while there do appear to be two separate St Stephens the Great entities, the information provided to the Trustee is that the taxpayer identification number given for the Debtor is the same number for the registered charity.

– The petition states that the Debtor is not for profit entity under the Internal Revenue Code, but the Debtor has no Internal Revenue Service Employee Identification Number.

It then goes on to argue the case of SSG operating in England and Wales and the practical considerations of creditors attending hearings in America.

Wish I could scan the whole thing but I can’t.

The entire document can now be downloaded here: electronic-bankruptcy-notice-ssg.pdf — as the filename indicates, it’s a pdf so you’ll need a pdf reader to open it. At just under 752kb it’s a fairly hefty file: if you’re on dial-up you’re in for a bit of a wait…

Comments Now Open

My thanks to Phelim in particular and to everyone else who has continued to post comments here since Dave Walker found himself in too deep. Solidarity, Dave: you’ve done an excellent job over the last couple of years keeping us all up to speed: grace and peace to you.

This site remains open and comments are welcome, but please comment with courtesy, truthfully, responsibly and respectfully bearing in mind that if push comes to shove I may call upon you to testify to the veracity of your comments in court. This site is explicitly and specifically for news, notes and info along with related discussions: if you wish to post anything other than this, please follow asingleblog’s example and open your own blog.

Should you wish to import the contents of this site to your own blog, please download, unzip then upload this file*, but whilst this site remains open it would be best if you turn comments off on the uploaded posts, please, and refer your visitors to this site: far better, I think, if we can keep comments on the same post all together. As and when time permits, the file will be updated so that you can include the latest posts and comments: please bookmark this page if you wish to take advantage of this.

Thank you.


* Download problems? Windows users: right-click on the link; Mac users: ctrl-click on the link; then choose “Download to…” (or similar) from the pop-up menu. It’s a standard .zip file so should unzip with a double-click.

Still having problems? OK: link to the plain text .xml file below, but be aware that it’s bigger and will take a tad longer to download: spckssg.2008-07-28.xml — if it opens in your browser, come back and try the right-click/ctrl-click trick described above…