December 20th, 2013
In June and August 2010 I reported on the business relationship between the EADS (UK) chief executive Robin Southwell (pictured right) and David Mills — a “business turnaround” specialist and former NatWest banker who was charged with conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and money laundering on 8 January 2013.
The charges followed “Operation Hornet”, a major fraud inquiry into the activities of HBOS’s Reading branch led by Thames Valley Police, which kicked off in June 2010. The criminal probe, described as the largest ever fraud inquiry of its kind in the UK, was not welcomed by the Financial Services Authority, apparently because of the fundamentally supine regulator’s 2007 attempt to bury the scandal.
Well, Private Eye has today picked up on the story, outlining further links between Robin Southwell and David Mills. I hope that you can read the article below. If you cannot, it appears on page 32 of the current issue of the Eeye (No 1356; 21 Dec — 9 Jan 2014).
What the Private Eye article does not mention is that Southwell and Mills also coincided on the board of the serially-phoenixed office products manufacturer Concord Filing Products, a company which, according to industry, sources is poised to go through its third prepack in six years. While David Mills was Concord’s company secretary and major shareholder with a 37.5 per cent stake until 3 September, Southwell remains a director of the Liverpool-headquartered firm. As Private Eye makes clear, there is no suggestion of criminal wrongdoing on Southwell’s part.