Thursday, August 03, 2006

Scotland descends into a land of fraud and contempt for social values

Looking through the papers or watching the news today, one could be forgiven for thinking out country has changed into a land of criminals and those who have contempt for social justice and respect for the common man. If you came to such a conclusion, you would be correct

Here in Scotland, when referring to ourselves, or how business is doing - we are told by our once great and impartial newspapers, that everything is fine .. the outside world admires us for our accomplishments ... justice and law are uppermost in the minds of people, trade is great ... everyone is wealthy, house prices are booming and everyone can afford what they want.

How very far from the truth that is.

Scotland has become a land enslaved to the professions who are only out for one thing - profit - at any expense. Social values - do they exist these days ?

Certainly not in the minds of those who are in business, that's for sure ... Banks encouraging people to take out huge mortgages & loans they know will never be repayed ... hoping of course to get their properties as quickly as the bank can to sell on .. lawyers and accountants ripping off their clients - from the individual to companies, without fear of any retribution, local authorities giving out Common Good land owned by communities, to favoured individuals as backhanders for political and business support, politicians taking that wee bit on the side ... which has now become a BIG big on the side ... you name it .. it happens here in Scotland.

To see some of the news of the rising levels of fraud by professionals in Scotland, read this item from BBC News :
Levels of fraud 'reach new high'

Fraud in Scotland has reached record levels, figures have shown.
Accountants KPMG said the value of frauds committed between January and June had topped £47m, almost double the total for the whole of 2005.

It is the highest level in 19 years and has been increased by major cases such as that of an Edinburgh bank manager convicted of a £21m loans scam in June.

Donald Mackenzie was jailed for 10 years after he swindled the money from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Twelve major fraud cases went to court between January and June, compared to 15 in the whole of last year.

Fraudsters are characterised by greed, determination and ingenuity -
Ken Milliken KPMG

Ken Milliken, head of KPMG Scotland's forensic team, said: "Alarmingly, there was more than twice the level of fraud committed in the last six months than we saw throughout the whole of the 2005, although we can take some comfort from the fact that more cases are being successfully brought to court."

The KPMG "fraud barometer" records cases of more than £100,000 being heard in UK courts.

A total of £653m has come under prosecution since January, with Scotland outdone only by the London area for large-scale frauds.

The research found that managers were the biggest perpetrators.Insider fraud
Cases included a Perthshire hotel manager who was convicted in March of stealing more than £200,000 from his employees by writing himself cheques.

Insider fraud within banks accounted for a large proportion of the record fraud figures.

The biggest victims were investors, followed by the government, which lost out through tax evasion, VAT and benefit fraud.

Mr Milliken said: "Fraudsters are characterised by greed, determination and ingenuity.

"It is not easy to stop them which is why companies need to keep on reviewing and refining their systems of controls.

"As individuals we all need to take care in making sure that we know who we are dealing with when asked for personal information and data."He added that the true cost of fraud was "borne by us all".

We then get window dressing programs from the Executive .. one of thefavourite jokes recently is the 'attracting people to Scotland' drive .. trying to get foreign students and workers to come to Scotland ... while families and their children, some as young as 5 are being woken up in the early morning, handcuffed, and led away to detention centres awaiting deportation ... what kind of an advert is that for such a policy ? ..

Here are two stories which show the arguement well ... and the first - where a housing landlord ran a sick advertisement in the Scottish Borders, looking for someone with "the guts to kick someone between the legs as we evict them and their two-year-old child onto the street" ... is but a testimonial to how things have slipped in our once great country.

Mr Kennedy Stewart regarded his actions as a sick joke. I say he should be investigated by the Police and charges brought for his conduct.

Certainly the Advertising Standards Authority should investigate his advertisement too .. and housing organisations which campaign for the rights of tennants hrought the country should make this case and his business practices well known ... if his attitude to advertising is such as this ... perhaps tennants of his proerties should beware of dealing with such a business.

Scottish Borders Council should get of it's fat behind and do something about it too .. but let's face it, SBC aren't the most honest of organisations either, when it comes to dealing with local housing issues .. just look at the questionable behaviour which surrounded the sell off of local housing stocks by SBC to the Scottish Borders Housing Association - an organisation formed from Scottish Borders Council's own Housing Department ... what a crooked deal that was .. just need to go to the local papers such as the "Southern Reporter" of the Scottish Borders, and some articles in "The Scotsman" to see some of that.

Should such attitudes be present in areas of housing ? something everyone needs - and something which has become increasing out-of-reach for lots of local people, being priced out of the market in their own towns by the antics of lawyers, real estate agents, and the banks in their neat creation of extortionate prices for properties, which frankly, aren't worth even a quarter of the asking price ... but since the banks and the lawyers say so .. it must be right .. mustn't it ? ... banks and lawyers are such honourable professions .. have to trust them ... to rip us off .

If I were to draw up an advertisement - seeking that those who disrespect the public, by embezzling their money, stealing their properties, driving them out of their communities, and being generally, corrupt ... should be fed to the lions ... what would people think of me ?

Well, perhaps, I might get a medal, considering some of the emails I get telling me about what lawyers, banks and the like have done to people .... ruining lives and creating false markets .. for personal greed.

Of course, I would never condone feeding people to lions ... but are there enough hungry lions ?

Read the article, from BBC News
... where you can also see a picture of Mr Kennedy Stewart, link at :

'Sick' joke job advert defended

A housing landlord has been criticised over the wording of a job advert for a part-time manager in Hawick.

Caduceus Investments Ltd wanted someone with "the guts to kick someone between the legs as we evict them and their two-year-old child onto the street".

The candidate requirement was on the website of the Falkirk-based firm.

The company said it was trying to inject some humour into the advert but a leading official on Scottish Borders Council described it as "despicable".

The firm was seeking a part-time manager, with a £12,500 pro-rata salary, to handle a proposed expansion looking after 200 properties in Hawick.

The fact of the matter is that there are sides to the business which can be unpleasant and we often deal with people at the lower end of the social spectrum
Mark Kennedy-Stewart Caduceus Investment Ltd

Mark Kennedy-Stewart, who runs the company, defended the use of the phrase in the job advert which has now been removed from the website.

"I do not regret this at all," he said.

"The wording was in italics which I believe makes it clear that the reference to violent eviction was humorous but this has been misinterpreted."

Mr Kennedy-Stewart said he has a "sarcastic sense of humour".

"But the fact of the matter is that there are sides to the business which can be unpleasant and we often deal with people at the lower end of the social spectrum," he said.

"I, myself, have been assaulted on three occasions by tenants.

"The advert was designed to humorously convey that a wide range of people skills are required and that, yes, the successful candidate could be sworn at and abused and to infer otherwise could be misleading."

The advert would appear to betray an utter contempt for tenants and if this is indeed a joke, it is a very sick one
Lesley CrozierScottish Borders Council

Mr Kennedy-Stewart, who founded the firm in 2002, added: "The vacancy has been filled, that is why the advert is no longer on the website."

Speaking from their Edinburgh home, his Russian-born wife Anna, who is a partner in the business, said: "The problem here is that some people in this country do not have a sense of humour."

Lesley Crozier, the senior officer for social justice, equality and diversity with SBC, described the advert as "despicable".

She said the wording of the advert cast serious doubts on the firm as a "fit and proper" landlord.

Police role

"The advert would appear to betray an utter contempt for tenants and if this is indeed a joke, it is a very sick one," she said.

Under new anti-social behaviour legislation all private landlords and properties must be registered with the council.

"Part of that process involves determining if a landlord is a fit and proper person and our partners in the police have a role to play in that assessment," said Mrs Crozier.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said they were aware of the situation.


Anonymous said...

yeah feed them all to the lions

Anonymous said...

sounds like the fuckin third world. never coming to scotland after reading this.
why waste urself there ? get the hell out of the place and let them rob each other.

reader said...

thanks for highlighting this company. will take a look into it. sounds, as you say, bent. said...


I am Mark Kennedy-Stewart. I think I should correct a few things. You should check out what you are posting as most of what was in the papers is completly out of context.

Let me start I am a Land Lord. I posted the advert not as a joke, nor to be in any way funny. It was to scare people away who are not able to deal with aspects of the job. The wording followed a line that clearly stated that the company followed the law and that any person doing the job would be expected to follow the law. However as has not been reported allthough I made the fact aware to journalists is that in the last two years I have been seriously assaulted twice and one person found guilty of consipacy for murder. Simply trying to provide housing.

I was in a meeting with Borders Council. Ms Crozier dows not work in the dept that deals with landlords and was only answering the phone as the woman who does was on holiday. Her boss (name and details on my blog at explained that they had been quoted out of context and had been severly misquoted.

Caduceus Investments is not being investigated by Borders Council. Has been passed as a fit and proper Landlord by other councils where we have properties.

The Police do not have us under investigation as no laws have been broken.

I find Scotland to be a great place to live and do business. It is filled with many honest people who are hard working. Why are you so negative? Also the recent iummagration has brought many people into the country who have a work effic that many in this country have lost.

Many people in the third world would give everything thay have to come here.

Mark Kennedy-Stewart.

Anonymous said...

mk-s is full of BS, I will tell you a few truths of his outfit for you to pass on.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @6.39pm & 6.57pm

if you want to make information available on this matter which may be of interest to people who will do something,email it to myself or post a comment to this blog and mark it "Do Not Publish" and matters will be attended to.

Thanks for your input.

MarkKS said...

If some one is accusing me of breaking the law then I would ask them to make the accusation to the appropriate people. I am now asking that these accusations are either backed up or removed. As far as I know I have not broken the law, ad as a member of the institutes of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and the Chartered Institute of Bakers of Scotland I should know if I were committing mortgage fraud. There appears to be some one here who is making very personal accusations and I would ask that they either identify themselves to give me the opportunity to address what they are saying, apologize or remove.

I do have Russian relations and they have certainly never broken any immigration laws. I am known to the immigration authorities and they trust me enough to have released one of our tenants into my custody previously. He was subsequently deported and I returned him to the authorities.

I have clearly stated in a previous post here that I am a Landlord. And regrettably that means at times tenants who break the lease agreements have to be asked to leave. However there is a legal procedure for this which is followed. Such as a tenant who is about to have the bailiffs visit her in January. I do not run a charity I am afraid! This means that I often have ex tenants who have tried to live rent free who would describe themselves as my enemies. I would not dignify them with that description as enemy implies that I am actively putting effort into fighting them, after they have vacated the property with the exception of recovering any money owed to the company they are ignored.

As for have ing friends in the police and legal profession yes I have co-operated with the law in the past. If I find a tenant dealing in drugs which is not uncommon for a Landlord I report it. I stated in my last post that someone was once convicted with conspiracy to commit murder, unlike anonymous I am not about to start to name people, but I was assaulted seriously whilst trying to deal with repairs that were made on one of my properties where the tenants was being driven out of her home by what I can only describe as scum. As I was her land lord and I refused to move her out I became the target. This is all a mater of public court records if you want to do your own research. Oh she was the widow of an ex police inspector if that is what you mean by I have friends.

As for having a surveyor overvalue a property? Please provide me with details of this and I will take the action myself. I buy property as an investment and am not stupid enough as you are suggesting to be over geared. You do not have to be a prophet to work out what happens if property values fall.

So I am asking Peter either to remove these remarks or provide some details to back them up or pass them onto the authorities. Please notify me so that I can fully - and I mean - fully co-operate with any investigation as I have nothing to hide.

Mark Kenedy-Stewart BA CA MCIBS

Peter Cherbi said...

Ok Mark, I note your comments.

So what is it exactly you want me to remove ?

Give me the links or a note to the precise comment, and I will look at it and act accordingly.

Peter Cherbi said...

Ok folks, I have had a look at the comments relating to Mr Kennedy Stewart.

If you feel there are issues worth reporting to the appropriate authorities, please do so, and please bear in mind that no official, no matter how friendly you might think they are with someone, or how high up the chain they appear to be, are indispensable or above suspicion in modern day UK.

If anyone wishes to make further comment to me privately, please mark your comment "Do Not Publish".

Perhaps Mr Kennedy Stewart in turn will enlighten us with a full report, names, what the deported subject was doing, the whole story of his involvement with the immigration authorities he details in his comment, or perhaps a newspaper can follow that one up, for the sake of being thorough.

Please be sure that any information I receive of a nature meriting reporting to the authorities will be so reported.

MarkKS said...

Peter my comments were posted in response to a post which has now been removed where accusations were made with no specifics. You have removed this post so lease also now remove my post as it looks stupid. I was answering specific accusations where no detail or evidence was provided by the Anonymous poster, which you have properly removed for which I thank you. As sated there is no point having my post here now as you have responded to my post request.

Mark Kennedy-Stewart