Did Michael Ashcroft Conceal his Ownership in Johnston International?

Tory Lord Ashcroft ‘concealed link to Caribbean firm’

Lord Ashcroft in 2003 Lord AMshcroft was made a peer in 2000
Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft concealed his involvement in a business that went bust with debts of around £19m, the BBC’s Panorama has alleged.

The programme alleges that Lord Ashcroft misled the stock market and the media about his links to a Caribbean-based construction company.
Lord Ashcroft has given more than £10m to the Conservative Party.
He said he has had no “economic beneficial or legal interest” in the firm since he sold it in 1999.
But the programme has obtained evidence that shows Lord Ashcroft continued to secretly control the company, Johnston International, long after that date.
Faxes exchanged Johnston was one of the largest construction companies in the Caribbean, until it closed down without warning in June 2010.
Panorama has spoken to 14 former employees, who all say they were told, long after 1999, that Lord Ashcroft was their boss.
One former employee, who did not want to be identified, said that Lord Ashcroft was often mentioned during meetings in the Johnston office.
“They used to refer to him sometimes as Michael Ashcroft and they would also refer to MAA, which are his initials.
“And they would refer to running things past MAA. And no-one was under any illusions as to who that was. It was very clear that that was Lord Ashcroft.”
The programme has also obtained dozens of faxes that were sent to Lord Ashcroft by the Johnston chief executive after the 1999 sale.
They cover a seven year period and were all addressed to “MAA”.
The faxes update Lord Ashcroft on company business and ask for his instructions on major building projects.
Lord Ashcroft then wrote his instructions on some of the faxes and sent them back.
Creditors are owed around $30m (£19m) following its collapse 19 months ago. They include many former employees who have been left thousands of dollars out of pocket.
George “Mason” Seymour, who worked for Johnston for 30 years, said the workers had been kept completely in the dark.

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