Cross-post from the Wardman Wire: Matt Wardman writes:
In the second half of 2008, I devoted a lot of time and space to a campaign to expose the way in which a a pair of Texan Brothers, J Mark and Philip Brewer, had been despoiling and asset stripping the chain of bookshops that used to be owned by the SPCK Christian Charity.
Their activities include bullying, sackings by email, large property transactions that appear to be fraudulent, having an attempt to take a UK-based charity into liquidation in the USA “dismissed with prejudice” and much more. You can read about it in great depth at the SPCK/SSG News Blog. There are also in excess of 30 Employment Tribunal claims – from a previous workforce of only a couple of hundred. The questions in this post only scratch the surface of a 2 year saga.
I been off this campaign for several months, due to family complications as I mentioned previously.
Now, however, Unity from the Ministry of Truth, who has been working on this campaign as well, has discovered that someone has pushed Google into delisting one of his key articles.
This is the full text of the article excluded from Google, which is a set of questions Unity sent to J Mark Brewer asking him to account for his actions.
I’ve noticed that a few bloggers have taken to sending “I am Dave Walker” e-mails to J Mark Brewer at his office e-mail address. I’m not sure quite how wise a move that is on its own, although his rather santimonius comments in reply are quite amusing.
That said, I’ve taken the liberty of send Brewer an e-mail of my own, as there are a few questions I’d like him to answer:
Dear Mr Brewer,
Having reviewed the documents filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in relation to the chapter 7 application by ‘SSG LLC’?
1. It has been suggested that St Stephen the Great LLC, the company name used in the chapter 11/7 application does not exist as a legal entity – is this true and, if so, why was the application filed in this name, which was also used in the redundancy notices issues to employees of SPCK?
2. It has also been suggested that the actual legal entity to which the application relates is St Stephen the Great Ltd/St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust, a UK registered company/charity. Is this the case and, if so, can you explain why you are seeking to liquidate a UK registered entity in a US bankruptcy court?
3. The schedule of creditors indicates that the largest creditor of ‘SSG LLC’ is the Orthodox Church Mission Fund of Houston and that, in addition to payments of around $325,000 to this organisation from the funds of ‘SSG LLC’ since September 07, including $75,000 or so just prior to announcing that it would go into chapter 11, there is still an outstanding balance of $494,000. How is that that a charity running a chain of Christian book shops in the UK can come to owe a US-based private grant making foundation over $800,000?
4. Assuming that the ‘SSG LLC’ named in these papers is the UK registered charity, were the Charity Commission notified that it has incurred debts of this size and have they been notified that you are seeking to liquidate the charity in the US?
5. The schedule of payments made in the 90 days prior to the bankruptcy application shows payments of around $110,000 to your law firm, with an outstanding balance of £56,000. Given that you are a trustee of the charity, did you obtain the assent of the Charity Commission as a trustee of the charity before contracting out legal work to you own law firm or confirm with them that this would not be considered an unlawful trustee benefit?
6. I note that responsibility for those SPCK stores that remain open in the UK has transferred to a company called ENC Shop Management, but for two shops in Durham and Chichester Cathedral which operate as separate entities. In all case, however, you remain a director of these companies having been a director/trustee of SSG/SSGCT. Were any of the assets of SSG/SSGCT transferred to these companies and, if so, when did the transfer take place and what authorisation, if any, did you obtain for the Charity Commission for such a transfer?
7. Given that that you issued a ‘cease and desist’ notice to cartoonist Dave Walker on the same day that Randy Walker filed a motion to dismiss this application which note a considerable number of serious discrepancies in the application, is it not reasonable to infer that that the notice sent to Mr Walker was prompted by a desire on your part to prevent him from commenting on and publicising the content of the motion to dismiss?
If I get a response from him, you’ll read it here first