MP’s, Lawyers, Councillors, Ex-Councillors, Land Developers, Charities, Gangsters and the Labour Party – An Abuse of the Scottish Electorate – Part 5 – £600M – Ponzi Frauds




£600million Ponzie Scheme – Glasgow and West of Scotland –  Mathon Ltd – Heather Hedge Fund – Gregory King –  Aarkad PLC – Peter Watson – Scottish lawyer and Sheriff –  Rea brothers – Lanarkshire gangsters – Steven Purcell – Allan Stewart & Stephen McKenna – Lanarkshire fraudsters – Lawrence Gillick – Bankrupt and fraudster – King & Co – Private Bank – Cannon’s Law Practice, Glasgow


Heather Capital: How a £600 Million Hedge Fund Vanished – Big named Investors Ripped Off

In September 2008, Gregory King, a Scottish lawyer turned hedge-fund entrepreneur, celebrated his 40th birthday at a clubhouse near his Spanish villa. Several hundred of his friends, family and business associates descended on the Mediterranean for an elaborate party. As the night wore on, Mr. King got up and thanked his guests. He was riding high. After all, his hedge fund, Heather Capital, had swelled to $600 million, according to fund literature.

The fund had pulled in money from some big-name investors. The £141 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and a fund run by Nicola Horlick, a London asset manager once known as the city’s “superwoman,” were investors. And so were what reads like a who’s who of the Swiss private-banking world, as well as several major specialist hedge-fund investors and even two doctors in the U.S., according to a share register of a Heather feeder fund from December 2009 and internal Heather documentation.

Heather aimed to profit from lending directly to companies—stepping into the void created as big banks pulled away from making loans themselves. Within months of the birthday bash, however, Heather itself had folded—another apparent victim of the global credit crisis. When a hedge fund fails, its manager is usually able to return at least something to investors. Not this time. A look through the wreckage of Heather yields a surprising discovery: There is almost nothing there. Many of the loans to companies are non-collectable. Many of the commercial properties against which the fund said it lent were left lying derelict.

Fund liquidators who have been working for years to salvage some assets now allege in court filings that many of the loans to property developers were in fact “a fabrication and a sham.” No criminal cases have been brought. An examination by the Journal shows that behind Heather’s rise and fall lies a murky tale. How did Mr. King persuade investors to part with their money? And where did it all go? Heather Capital lent money secured against Scottish real estate, but investors lost everything when it collapsed. Liquidators said many of the loans amounted to “a sham.”

Mr. King hails from a family of Glasgow bookmakers and moneylenders. His cousin is Stefan King, one of the country’s most prominent bar and nightclub owners. His father is Hugh King, chairman of a bookmakers’ trade group, who drives a silver Bentley. Gregory King trained as a lawyer in Scotland and went to the University of Chicago’s business school. He came back to Glasgow and started a car dealership, which is still in business. The dealership made headlines in 2002 when Mr. King’s business partner was brutally murdered in what is one of Scotland’s most notorious unsolved crimes.

In 2004, Mr. King decided to try to start a hedge fund. He travelled across North America and Europe to find clients. He dressed smartly and gave polished presentations to prospective investors in a gentle Scottish accent. One investor described Mr. King as “friendly and engaging” and “completely down to earth.” Documents shown to investors included a 17-page due diligence questionnaire answering hundreds of potential queries about the fund.

Mr. King made investing in the fund sound “bulletproof,” said the investor, who lost money. “He knew how to say the right thing,” said the investor, adding that “he made it sound like he had this little niche.” Mr. King would talk openly about his family’s background during investor meetings. In a video posted on YouTube in late 2007, Mr. King talked of the Kings’ more than 90 years in money-lending. “There’s no projects that we’ve lent on, which you wouldn’t want to lend your own money on,” he said in the YouTube interview. “We see ourselves as a very low-risk lender in these markets.” He said Heather dealt with “property professionals.” He had a big-name executive, Santo Volpe, co-founder of hedge-fund firm Eden Rock, advise Heather on how to raise money from institutional investors.

Mr. Volpe says Mr. King was a personal friend who “didn’t know anything about hedge funds. That is why he asked me to help him set up his fund.” “I never had any input on the investment activities of Heather,” Mr. Volpe said, adding he was never remunerated by Heather. He said he doesn’t know where Mr. King is now.

One of Mr. King’s funds hired as a director Peter Watson, a high-profile Scottish lawyer and part-time judge who has been on a committee debating press regulation in Scotland.

Mr. King talked up Heather on CNBC and, in an interview published in March 2008 in the Financial Times, said Heather had only had one loan default in three years. Heather’s performance figures were the stuff of hedge-fund investors’ dreams. Heather said it made money every single month between January 2005 and August 2008, averaging slightly more than 1% a month, or about 13% a year, according to a September 2008 presentation. That summer, Vatican records show, Mr. King became a knight of the Pontifical Order of Pope St. Sylvester.   Cash poured in.

But there had been signs of trouble, including highly unusual statements in Heather’s accounts. In the 2006 and 2007 accounts, auditor KPMG had flagged around £150 million of loans that Heather had made to Gibraltar-based companies, some of which, according to the accounts, were connected to Mr. King. KPMG said it didn’t know what the money had been lent out for. Meanwhile, another investor was troubled that Heather said it couldn’t reveal who it lent money to because of debtor privacy laws. In an internal memo, the investor described that reason as “trite and unconvincing.”

Major financial Investors in the fund included, Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe, Bordier & Cie, Peak Partners, Bank Julius Baer & Co., Quilvest, Union Bancaire Privée a unit of HSBC Private Bank, Bramdean Alternatives and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Mr. King ran Heather for years from an office in Gibraltar. Now he lives in a villa in a country club whose members include corporate chief executives. It has two golf courses and stables and describes itself as “possibly the most beautiful site in Europe.” The club sits behind a guardhouse a short drive into hills above the town of Marbella, Spain. The Mediterranean stretches out below.

In late 2008 and early 2009, amid the financial crisis, worried investors pulled their money out of hedge funds across the board. Heather’s clients were no different. Heather quickly stopped giving them their cash, and it was put into liquidation in 2010. Liquidators took control of Heather and began looking for investors’ money. It was identified that some of the money ended up back in Glasgow, far from the world of high finance.

A chief beneficiary appears to have been Mr. King himself. According to Heather’s financial reports filed at the Isle of Man’s companies registry, he personally took nearly £52 million in fees between 2005 and 2008. The money was paid to a British Virgin Islands company controlled by Mr. King, and the amounts were in large part justified by Heather’s supposedly sterling performance.

But performance turned out to be anything but. In 2008, according to the accounts, Heather wrote down £76 million on its loans and £92 million on foreign-exchange losses. There was a pattern. Heather would make large loans, ostensibly for property development. The loans often wouldn’t be paid back, leaving the beneficiaries with the cash. Over the years, much of the cash Heather raised from investors appears to have been disbursed this way.

Heather made many loans through a British entity called Mathon Ltd., which was also controlled by Mr. King. But an examination of lending and land records shows that Mathon often lent money against poor-quality properties. They include rundown churches, derelict pubs on the outskirts of Glasgow and a former garden centre in a Scottish port town.

At many of the sites, there is no sign that Heather’s borrowers carried out development. Industrial land in a village outside Glasgow had rubbish strewn around its rusting, broken gates. A pub called The Winning Post had, after being vandalized, been demolished and now consists of nothing more than a few rocks on a vacant lot. And a site on the banks of the river Clyde in the working-class district of Yoker lies strewn with litter, with its remaining buildings boarded up. Mathon’s liquidators say in a court filing that they have minimal documentation of the loans it made.

An examination revealed that some of Mathon’s borrowers—the purported developers of the sites—were unusual. Five companies that received 10 loans from Mathon listed boxing promoter Mario Rea as a director or secretary. Another loan was made to a company of which Mario’s twin brother, Carlo, was director and cousin Anthony was secretary. Regulatory filings show that 9 of these 11 loans are still outstanding.

In 2008. Scottish authorities charged Mario and Carlo Rea with money-laundering offences unrelated to Mathon, but the charges were later dropped. Mario Rea was found guilty last year of assault at a cinema near Glasgow and sentenced to 200 hours of community service. The U.K.’s Insolvency Service barred Mario Rea from serving as a director for seven years in 2011 and cousin Anthony Rea for nine years in 2010 for unexplained money transfers, involving in part companies that borrowed from Mathon.

Other beneficiaries of Mathon loans were firms part-owned by businessman Lawrence Gillick. Two firms each borrowed money from Mathon in 2006 and 2007. Regulatory filings show that none of those loans have been paid back. Mr. Gillick was declared bankrupt in 1980, according to government records. And in the 1990s, the Salvation Army obtained a court judgement against him, forcing him to sell a property, after the charity lost £8.8 million in an alleged fraud.

Companies controlled by Scottish businessmen Allan Stewart and Stephen McKenna also received at least 11 loans from Mathon. Most of these were not paid back, according to regulatory filings. According to government notices, Mr. Stewart had been banned by a court from serving as a company director for seven years in the 1990s.

By December 2010, liquidator Paul Duffy of Ernst & Young had realized that the quality of the real estate that Heather had seized when loans defaulted was “very poor,” and he told investors they were unlikely to get anything at all, according to a letter to investors. A spokesman for Ernst & Young said the liquidation of Heather and its feeder funds is complex and progress had been hampered by “the initial dearth of information.”

With so few answers, liquidators are now turning up the heat. Civil proceedings in the High Court in London have raised the possibility of fraud. In a case in which Mathon’s liquidators sought disclosure of documents, the liquidators said properties valued on Mathon’s books at around £161 million had been sold for just £8 million. They alleged that the loan book was a sham concocted to hide the fact that money may have been embezzled.

The High Court judge hearing the dispute concluded there is strong indication that “fraudulent conduct exists even though the precise nature of the fraud and the identities of those involved still needs to be ascertained.” Investors, meanwhile, have been left with few answers.


2010-2011 – Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency

In 2010, the Law Society of Scotland received allegations that Cannon’s Law Practice, in Glasgow was involved in the embezzlement of millions of pounds of cash linked to Heather Capital and Gregory King, a director of Mathon Ltd and Heather Capital’s founder. The society completed a financial audit of the company and submitted a report to the Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency, who obtained search warrants and recovered documentation from the company in July 2011. Information recovered identified that millions of pounds had passed through Cannon’s client account in relation to a series of offshore transactions involving their client, Gregory King.

Police Scotland submitted reports to the Crown Office. The Lord Advocate – Frank Mulholland – is still to decide on whether any prosecutions will take place in relation to the collapse of Heather Capital and the hundreds of millions of pounds lost to private investors. A legal insider said it would be a difficult proposition for the Crown Office to deny any knowledge of the SCDEA raid on Cannons Law firm in 2011 or knowledge of what would have likely been a lengthy SCDEA investigation prior to warrants being served.

14 Feb 2015: Suspension of Sheriff Watson

In February 2015, Sheriff Peter Watson was suspended by Scotland’s top judge Lord Gill, after the Judicial Office received enquiries from the media in relation to a multi million pound writ naming Watson among a slew of allegations in the £400m collapse of Heather Capital, a hedge fund set up by Spanish based Gregory King. It has since been reported Watson held a number of directorships in firms linked to the collapsed hedge fund – directorships including Aarkad PLC, based in the Isle of Man. Mathon – another company linked to the collapsed hedge fund, and a directorship of King & Co, a private bank set up by the Hedge Fund’s founder – Gregory King.

18 Aug 2015: Heather Capital (Hedge Fund) collapse – Court of Session – Lord Woolman Presiding

Lord Woolman:: Heather Capital Ltd (‘HC’) was incorporated in the Isle of Man in 2005. Prior to its liquidation in 2010 it had received investments exceeding $400 million. The present action has been raised in its name by the liquidator. The first defender is the firm of Levy & McRae. The other defenders are individuals, who were partners in the firm in the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2008.

The liquidator contends that the company was defrauded of a sum of about £90 million. The scheme involved the transfer of funds to companies incorporated in Gibraltar that were owned or controlled by one of Heather Capital’s directors, Gregory King. A firm of solicitors in Gibraltar, Hassans, acted in these transactions. According to the liquidator, in early 2007 Heather Capital’s auditors raised queries about these transactions. Subsequently, Mr King sought to conceal their true nature.

One of the transactions concerned a company called Westernbrook Properties Limited. On 4 January 2007 the sum of £19 million was paid into the first defender’s client account. It was paid out 5 days later to an account with HSBC Private Bank in Monaco held by a Panamanian company. On 24 January 2008 the sum of £9.4 million was paid into the first defender’s client account. It was paid out on 28 March to the client account of Hassans. On 23 December 2008 a payment of £200,000 was made to the eighth defender, Mr Peter Watson, from Hassans’ client account. The case was continued.

Comprehensive analysis of Watson’s activities here:


MP’s, Lawyers, Councillors, Ex-Councillors, Land Developers, Charities, Gangsters and the Labour Party – An Abuse of the Scottish Electorate – Part 4 – Murder & Drug Trafficking



Infamous Red Rose Dinner Motherwell 2002 – Jack McConnell, Frank Roy, John Reid & the labour Party in Scotland – Murder of Justin McAlroy. Trial & conviction of William Gage – Robert Wright & Les Brown Drug Traffickers


March 2004: William Gage jailed for 20 years for killing of gangster Justin McAlroy

On the 3rd of March 2002 convicted drug dealer, Justin McAlroy co-hosted, (with his father) a charity fundraising dinner for the Labour Party, at his father’s Motherwell based, golf and country club . A number of Labour Party dignitaries, including Frank Roy, MP for Wishaw, Jack McConnell, and John Reid, the former home secretary attended. Also present were a number of Special Branch bodyguards, senior police officers and a surveillance team from the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency (SDEA) who maintained a 24 hour surveillance on drug dealer, Justin McAlroy. The event was one of the now infamous “Red Rose Dinners”, which raised funds from businessmen, (including the building firm run by Labour Party supporter Tommy McAlroy who donated thousands of pounds to the Scottish Labour party.) for Jack McConnell and other Labour election campaigns .

The SDEA had recently tailed Justin McAlroy to and from Europe, at the time he travelled to Estonia where he held meetings with a number of local businessmen (who were arrested at a later date, while trying to smuggle a multi-million pound consignment of heroin into Scotland.) McAlroy had been openly boasting about various meetings between himself and senior figures within the Russian Mafia and claimed he had previously travelled out to meet them and had also entertained them in a Glasgow hotel.

On 7 March 2002, four days after the charity dinner Justin McAlroy stepped out of his Mercedes jeep outside his house and was shot dead. The SDEA, asked why they had not witnessed nor filmed the incident said that (after four years of 24 hour surveillance and despite Justin McAlroy’s serious criminal activities and associates) they had decided that McAlroy was no longer a person of interest and removed the surveillance. It transpired after that the surveillance operation on McAlroy had been lax since he had been fully aware, (for many months) of the SDEA surveillance of himself (confirmed by his widow Tracy to the Jury at the High Court in Glasgow.)

It was revealed later that Justin McAlroy had slipped more than ten thousand pounds into the Labour party coffers during the charity dinner. The revelation was serious since it would be difficult to announce publicly that McAlroy, a suspected gangster and heroin importer, with links to the Russian Mafia had donated to the Party. So the donation was not declared. In an amazing twist the local party secretary, who worked in the Wishaw office (shared by Jack McConnell and Frank Roy) was subsequently jailed for misappropriating the money!

While it is clear that major heroin barons do amass millions of pounds, that money comes from ten-pound deals. Every tenner comes from someone finding their house burgled or some poor pensioner being kicked to death for their meagre pension money.

On the 2nd of May 2002, two full months after Justin McAlroy murder (it was alleged by solicitor Bob Kerr) that the MP for Wishaw Frank Roy had been contacted by a person connected to Justin McAlroy.

Kerr claimed that one of the police officers involved in the murder enquiry told him that the MP for Wishaw Frank Roy had contacted a senior officer in charge of the murder enquiry and somehow put pressure on the officer to make a bogus arrest in order that Justin McAlroy case would be closed quickly. The very next morning William Gage was arrested and charged with the murder.

Follow up: Gage was tried and convicted of the murder of McAlroy on 7 February 2004 and sentenced to 20 year’s without remission. He is still in Shotts Prison. He has consistently denied the offence but despite two appeals he remains in jail.

Full story: Part 1 Gage speaks from prison Part2 Gage speaks from prison


Justin McAlroy had been under surveillance for many months. He had contacts with figures in Glasgow’s underworld and was also owed someone £50k. Jack McConnell must have been aware of  this well before attending a fundraiser at Justin’s dads club. McConnell had signed a police warrant allowing them listen to phone calls. Police drug agency officers visited Jack days before the dinner. Police say they was no surveillance on the night of the murder due to being “short staffed”. In a largely circumstantial case, when did the crown ever care about proof?

What is unbelievable is that Willie Gage was charged with putting six bullets into Justin. This does not fit the profile of Gage who had been convicted of armed robbery some years earlier. The jury were not told that he was not armed at the time of the robbery. He had been recruited as the getaway driver and  his co-accuse, (the gunman in the jewellery robbery) had brandished a toy pistol. There was no armed robbery. Anyone arranging a contract killing would have the sense to hire a competent hit-man not someone who had never carried a weapon. And there is the unresolved question about the lifting of the surveillance. Why was it removed? There is also the matter of the man that had visited Justin just 4 days before his murder to tell him he was running out of time to pay his debt.

The McAlroy Link to Estonia was later confirmed when it was revealed that Tommy McAlroy, and his son Justin secretly visited the country and were seen meeting drug smugglers in Estonia. He claimed they were discussing a bakery business with Robert Wright and Les Brown, businessmen friends of Justin and himself.

16 October 2005: After 70 court hearings costing the Scottish taxpayer £1Million, drug smuggler set to walk free from Estonian jail.

A heroin trafficker whose four- year battle to stay in the country cost Scots taxpayers £1million was finally extradited last week – only to be told he could walk free. Millionaire Les Brown, 49, admitted trying to flood Scotland with heroin when he appeared in court in Tallinn, Estonia. But prosecutors said he could be free in two weeks as he spent so long in jail fighting extradition.

Brown, of Bearsden, Glasgow, and associate Robert Wright, 38, of Bathgate, West Lothian, were accused of trying to bring huge amounts of heroin into Scotland in 2000. Their car and driver were snared in the Baltic with a fuel tank stuffed with the drug after a cross-border police operation.

Brown made a mockery of the justice system by repeatedly appealing against extradition and clocked up more than 70 court hearings. The duo’s various excuses included: They were secret agents for MI5. The jail in Tallinn was not up to standard. The Russian Mafia were out to get them. Brown had a dodgy heart.

Brown was flown to Tallinn and pleaded guilty to being involved in a drugs syndicate. He admitted his part in the scam and was remanded while prosecutors prepared papers for the sentencing judge. The Estonian justice system takes into account the length of time spent on remand in other countries and it is expected that Brown will be set free and told to leave the country.” (Sunday Mail)

Robert Wright

20 Jan 2008: Heroin Smuggler Robert Wright Turns Security Tycoon

One of Scotland’s biggest drug traffickers has reinvented himself as a security tycoon selling advice to police and the Disney Corporation. Heroin smuggler-turned-security consultant Robert Wright welcomed undercover reporters into his steel lined, bomb-proof offices and bragged about his big-money contracts. His change of career has fuelled claims that the new security industry watchdog, The Security Industry Authority (SIA) are failing to root out criminals.

Wright, convicted in Estonia in 2005 describes himself as a consultant to Sheffield-based Feba Custodia. He and another Scots gangster, Lewis “Scooby” Rodden, boasted of raking in cash from South Yorkshire Police, Asda and Disney stores.

Wright said: “I am working in security again. Believe it or not, I am working with the police in Sheffield on an advisory capacity – on the CCTV liaison unit.” Showing off the fortress-like building where he works, he said: “It’s completely bomb-proof, all steel-structured – you can see the pillars in the corner. There’s a membrane around it. It’s phenomenal.” Bragging about his high-profile clients, Wright said: “There’s all the Asdas. We do Disney stores. The M1, Sheffield city centre.” And he boasted that Feba have even been awarded the SIA’s industry gold standard which strengthens contract bids

He said: “The security firm I have started have just been approved by the SIA Approved Contractors’ Scheme.” But he warned: “Just to reiterate what I’ve said – everything we’ve been talking about, everything I’m doing, is completely confidential.”  (The Record)

8 Apr 2008: Drug Smuggler to Lose Art Collection in Crime Seizure

Drug trafficker, Robert Wright, convicted of attempting to traffic heroin worth a potential £2.8m into Scotland agreed to part with his art collection to pay for a crime profits seizure. He will lose an oil painting by leading Scottish artist Peter Howson along with works by painter Frank McFadden. (The Herald)

13 Feb 2011: Convicted Heroin Dealer Robert Wright Allowed to Sell £610k Mansion Despite Drugs Plot

A major heroin smuggler is free to flog his £610,000 mansion … as it wasn’t targeted under proceeds of crime laws. Security firm boss Robert Wright, has put sprawling home “Ten Acres” on the market. The house has six bedrooms, snooker room, cinema and is set in 10 acres of land. Buyers are told the driveway is big enough to park a fleet of 20 cars. At one time Wright owned his own Formula One racing car and a fleet of other expensive motors. Wright’s wife Gillian paid £275,000 for the property in the village of Westfield, near Bathgate, West Lothian, 12 years ago. (The Record)



MP’s, Lawyers, Councillors, Ex-Councillors, Land Developers, Charities, Gangsters and the Labour Party – An Abuse of the Scottish Electorate – Part 3 – The Lanarkshire Connection





The Rea brothers – Major crimes in Lanarkshire – fraud – money laundering – Multi Million £ Ponzie Scheme – Glasgow City & North Lanarkshire labour Councils – Greg King Glasgow Tycoon – Imran Hussain


14 Dec 2008: “Red Rose” Twins Arrested in Money Laundering swoop

Two boxing promoters have been arrested in a massive dirty money investigation. Twins Carlo and Mario Rea, 30, were among six men held in a Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency swoop early on Friday. The millionaire brothers were arrested at their homes shortly after 6am and charged with money laundering offences. The Lanarkshire businessmen also face charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Reas are former friends of wanted VAT fraudster Imran “Immy” Hussain who is exiled in Dubai. Customs officers want to question Hussain in connection with a £500million carousel scam.

The twins took charge of Dalziel Park, in Motherwell, six years after it was at the centre of the Red Rose Dinner controversy. The then First Minister Jack McConnell was embarrassed when it emerged he had attended a fundraising dinner with suspected drug dealers and gangsters.The Reas Dubai-based firm Flyright bought the club from tycoon Tommy McAlroy for £2.5million.

A SDEA spokeswoman said: “Six males, between 20 and 54 years, were arrested and charged for money laundering and Misuse of Drugs Act offences. “They were released from custody and a report is being submitted to the procurator fiscal. This is part of a long-running SCDEA investigation.” (Daily Record)

18 Jul 2010: Cash probe brothers lose hotel after going bust with £2.5m debts

A Luxury hotel and country club linked to the Rea family (at the centre of a dirty money probe) has gone bust with debts of £2.5million. The Dalziel Park and Conference Centre, was forced into the hands of administrators after they failed to pay their creditors.

In 2008, Mario and twin Carlo were arrested as part of an investigation by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SDEA) into money laundering and drugs offences. It has now emerged that Mario Rea, 31, has had his assets frozen by Crown prosecutors. The hotel, in Motherwell, is set to be sold after banking bosses called in the administrators to take charge of the firm, Dalziel Assets Limited. Under the terms of the Licensing Act (Scotland) 2005 any business which goes into administration automatically loses its permanent drinks licence.

The family took charge of the hotel in 2007 after buying it for more than £2million. Banking group Santander, who provided security for the purchase, claim they are owed £2.5million from Dalziel Assets Limited. The administrators KPMG have admitted they are unlikely to recoup the money. (Daily Record)

1 Jan 2012: Dalziel Park Country Club Championship Golf Course Destroyed – Property markedly Devalued

Last week, Anthony Rea and Nadia Wright were banned by the Insolvency Service for a total of 16 years after £4million went missing from the club, which is now in administration.

Half of the 18 holes at Dalziel Park (linked to a money laundering probe) have been ripped apart and.are unplayable after thieves stripped out tons of valuable topsoil from fairways and greens – leaving an ugly lunar landscape.The systematic vandalism – using plant equipment – has been reported to police three times.

Administrator Blair Nimmo, of KPMG, has drafted in security to prevent more damage at the hotel and conference centre in Motherwell, Lanarkshire. He said: “We’ve never had anything like this before. “Usually, we wouldn’t have 24-hour security on a bit of land. “We’ve heard several rumours and are worried about damage done to any assets we control. It’s very disappointing.”

A club insider said: “Some of the damage was done last year and it’s on an industrial scale. “The members were furious. A deal was done to sell the topsoil for a football club’s new training ground but that fell through. “It was once a championship course. Now you can only play nine holes. “One theory is that whoever was responsible was trying to drive down the price that the administrators KPMG will be able to charge.” (Daily Record)

Jan 8 2012: A millionaire boxing promoter at the centre of a drugs and dirty money probe has been banned from being a company director.

Mario Rea, 33, landed the seven-year directorship ban for failing to explain where £578.4k paid into the bank accounts of property firm DMR Assets came from. Rea, who ran DMR with twin brother Carlo, also refused to reveal to Insolvency Service investigators why £776.5k was withdrawn from the firm. Of that, £637.9k was taken from the company’s accounts between November 2007 and December 2008. Another £138.6k was withdrawn from the client account of the firm’s lawyer between July 2008 and January 2009. The twins were directors of the Coatbridge-based firm, which went into administration in January 2009 with debts of £3million.

Mario Rea, previously one of the owners of the plush Dalziel Park hotel and conference centre in Motherwell, was disqualified from holding a directorship at Airdrie Sheriff Court last month. He lives in one of Scotland’s most expensive streets – Countess Gate in Bothwell, Lanarkshire. The Insolvency Service said: “We take steps to remove individuals whose conduct is not in the public interest. The disqualification means he will be banned from acting as a company director, or in any way controlling a company, until December 26, 2018.”

It was recently revealed that the Rea twins – along with four other men – had been arrested and charged with drugs and money-laundering offences by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. (Daily Record)

Mario Centre
22 September 2013: Thug Tycoon Twins Convicted of Vicious Attacks on Members of the Lyons Crime Clan

Thug tycoon brothers Mario and Carlo Rea have been found guilty of assaulting members of the Lyons crime clan.

The latest attack was in front of terrified kids at a cinema pick ‘n’ mix counter. Failed businessman Mario, 34, was accused of pulling a knife on Liam Boyle, 32, in front of terrified kids at a cinema pick ‘n’ mix counter. He admitted assault but the charge was altered to say he used a key and not a blade. He is now awaiting sentence.

Days earlier, both twins were convicted of a street attack which put another Lyons hood in hospital. Eddie Lyons Jr was severely beaten at the birthday party of Rea associate Barry Cushley in August 2011. The Rea twins were arrested for the attack, which was caught on CCTV in Coatbridge town centre.

Lyons was previously shot twice in a drugs war with the rival Daniel gang, and has also been cleared of attempted murder. He was not named on the charge sheet in the Reas’ case, suggesting he did not co-operate with police. The charge said the Reas assaulted an unknown male by repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body. They were both handed 18-month restriction of liberty orders at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Tuesday, and told to do 200 hours’ community service.

On Thursday, Mario’s jury trial for the assault on Boyle began at Hamilton Sheriff Court. He carried out the attack in August 2012 at the Vue Cinema in the town while on bail for the assault on Lyons, but said he acted in self-defence. Cinema manager Alison Dryden told the court the venue was busy at the time with children going to afternoon screenings. She said she saw Mario leaving a queue and going towards the pick ’n’ mix area, where he punched Boyle, who was with a small boy.

Ms Dryden told the court she saw Rea holding what appeared to be a five-inch knife to his victim’s face. After she was cross-examined, Rea, of Bothwell, Lanarkshire, pled guilty to an amended charge which replaced “knife” with “key”. He also admitted repeatedly hitting Boyle before pushing him through a fire escape. Sheriff Joyce Powrie deferred sentence until December 17.

The twins’ convictions delighted detectives who have seen them walk away from serious probes involving drugs, money laundering and violence. One source said: “The Reas love to strut around posing as successful young businessmen, but the reality is they’re just a couple of neds.”

In 2007, we revealed that the twins were targeted in a major probe by the now defunct Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. They were among six men charged over drugs and money laundering, but the Crown dropped the case.

Mario and a sacked North Lanarkshire Council planning official were reported to the Crown for alleged corruption over a land deal, but that case was also dropped. And both twins were arrested in connection with a street attack on ex-boxer Craig Windsor snr. Again, prosecutors did not proceed.

As well as the Lyons fall-out, the Reas have been at the centre of a feud with drugs ban boxer Craig Windsor jnr, who police have told to back off. Mario is serving a seven-year ban from being a company director. He failed to explain where £578.4k in a property firm’s accounts came from, or why £776.5k was withdrawn from it. In June last year, we also told how Mario had been warned that his life was in danger from a crime gang with links to the Real IRA. (Daily Record)

1 Nov 2015: Cops fail in bid to stop controversial businessman operating as a landlord

Former boxing promoter Carlo Rea was on North Lanarkshire Council ’s register of accredited private landlords. Police tried to block the renewal of Rea’s ­registration but the bid was thrown out by ­councillors in North Lanarkshire at a meeting held in private. A source said: “The police told the council they thought Rea’s ­application should be rejected. “The fact their request was rejected is disappointing but not surprising.”

The 37-year-old twins have also been linked to the ­£600million collapse of offshore hedge fund Heather Capital, run by Glasgow lawyer Greg King. His fund loaned DMR Assets Ltd, which was run by the Reas, £4.8million to develop plots of derelict land across central ­Scotland. When DMR went bust, administrators were able to claw back just £1.8million.

The Rea twins were at the ­centre of a 2008 ­Scottish Crime and Drug ­Enforcement Agency probe and charged with drugs and money laundering offences. But Crown Office prosecutors dropped the case in March 2012 due to insufficient evidence.

In 2013, Carlo and Mario were ­convicted of attacking Eddie Lyons Jr – a member of the Lyons crime clan – at the birthday party of Rea ­associate Barry Cushley in ­Coatbridge in 2011. Both Reas were handed 18-month restriction of liberty orders at Airdrie Sheriff Court and told to do 200 hours’ ­community service.

Also in 2011, the twins were arrested in connection with a street attack on ex-boxer Craig Windsor snr but prosecutors did not proceed with charges.

North Lanarkshire Council said a ­sub-committee considered whether Carlo Rea should stay on the register. A ­spokesman said: “The ­committee decided that Carlo Rea remained a fit person to be on the register.” Police Scotland said: “We can confirm we did raise an objection in relation to this matter. However we note the council’s decision.”

In 2009 North ­Lanarkshire Council planner Danny Welsh, 43, was sacked for ­taking gifts from Mario. Charges against the pair were dropped but Welsh lost an unfair sacking claim.

The Insolvency Service barred Mario from serving as a director for seven years in 2011 for ­unexplained money transfers.

He was sentenced in 2013 to 200 hours’ community service for assaulting Lyons associate Liam Boyle with a key at a cinema.  (Daily Record)

10 Dec 2015: Dalziel Park Used as an Illegal Waste Dump

A businessman has been ordered to do unpaid community work after he admitted illegal dumping in Motherwell. Carlo Rea had waste including stones and soil sent to upmarket Dalziel Park where he owned the hotel and golf course.

Rea appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court last week and admitted acting as an unlicensed waste carrier between March and July 2011. He was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work as a direct alternative to prison.

The court heard that throughout the four-month period Rea’s company OTL Plant & Haulage Contractor transported more than 5,000 tonnes of waste soils and stones to Dalziel Park although no waste management licence or exemption was in force at the site. Carriers are supposed to ensure that waste is taken to a suitably licensed facility which can accept and treat waste appropriately.

Rea also failed to register his company as a licensed waste carrier or produce notes describing the waste type and where each waste load had been taken to. The rules are in place to ensure waste is disposed of correctly and to deter illegal dumping.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency was alerted to the breaches following an investigation into illegal dumping at Longriggend, near Airdrie. A SEPA spokesman said: “The unravelling of this case has been a long process, involving a number of different companies and individuals from the waste industry. “Dumping waste illegally is not only reckless, it can cause serious harm to the environment which over time could start to contaminate the surrounding landscape if left unchecked. “Providing business to unlicensed groups or individuals is not only illegal, it undercuts legitimate waste carriers, promotes bad practice and starts to impact on the wider industry.”

Rea ran the Dalziel Park hotel and leisure complex for a number of years and promoted boxing events there. He is no stranger to the courts. He and his twin, Mario, were given community service for assault in 2013 and last year Carlo, of Coatbridge, got another unpaid work order for driving while disqualified. Two months ago North Lanarkshire Council allowed him to stay on its list of accredited landlords despite a police objection.The twins were targeted in a police drugs and money laundering probe a number of years ago, but the case was dropped.(Motherwell Times)


mps-lawyers-councillors-ex-councillors-land-developers-charities-gangsters-and-the-labour-party-an-abuse-of-the-scottish-electorate-part-2- the Lap-Dancer Clubs



Lap dance club owner Steven MacDonald  – Mortgage Arranger – Iain Mulholland, (brother of Scotland’s top prosecutor Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland )



14 Jun 2014: Immigration Raid on Lap Dance Club
Immigration officers raided a Glasgow city centre lap dancing club. Home Office enforcement vans arrived at Diamond Dolls in Mitchell Street at around 6pm yesterday. Officers from Police Scotland were stationed at the door for several hours. A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Officers were in attendance supporting the UK Border Agency.” Diamond Dolls was the focus of the first episode of recent Channel 4 documentary series. (

15 Jun 2014: Police Blitz Tycoon’s Dirty Dance Empire:

Police launch a massive, synchronised operation against a tycoon’s lap-dancing empire. Scores of officers swooped on three clubs and the home of businessman Steven MacDonald. Officers from Police Scotland, the Security Industry Authority and the new UK Visas and Immigration unit hit Glasgow’s Diamond Dolls club, Baby Dolls show-bar in Edinburgh and Club Earth nightclub in Livingston. Macdonald was on holiday when investigators arrived at his Livingston home as part of the raids at 6pm on Friday. Officers were looking for victims of human trafficking, illegal workers and drugs. (

6 Nov 2014: Lap dancing Club Tycoon Has His Assets Frozen amid Probe

A ban on the sale of properties housing two well known lap dancing clubs has been made as part of an investigation into proceeds of crime. Prosecutors have secured court orders preventing the sale of the buildings containing Glasgow’s Diamond Dolls and Edinburgh’s Baby Dolls in a civil proceeds of crime action against adult entertainment tycoon Steve MacDonald.

The Crown Office’s Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) confirmed it was pursuing Mr MacDonald, who fronts the body that lobbies for most of the country’s strip clubs, because it believes his assets are the product of illegal activity. A Crown spokesman said: “The CRU has ongoing civil recovery proceedings against Steven MacDonald. (

7 Dec 2014: Strip Joint Bosses Booted Off Holyrood Task Force

Two lap dancing bosses have been booted off a Holyrood taskforce investigating human trafficking. Steven MacDonald and Tony Cochrane were told they were no longer welcome less than six months after joining the group. Joint conveners MSPs Christina McKelvie and Jenny Marra decided the pair should no longer be members of the all party taskforce that also includes experts, campaigners and individuals. Labour’s Marra, whose Private Members’ Bill will result in tough new trafficking laws, informed the men’s lawyer Janet Hood of the decision. Hood, convener of the Scottish Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Committee, was also axed as a group member. (

9 Nov 2015: Police Clamp Down on Dirty Dance Clubs

Lap dance bosses say police have launched a secret war on their industry after five more venues were raided. More than half Scotland’s 17 clubs have now been targeted in the crackdown. In Aberdeen, Private Eyes, Silhouettes and Number Seven Club were swooped on by a four-man police team on the same Saturday night. Dancers were interviewed individually and fingerprinted in the unannounced raid – but no arrests were made. Another target was Fantasy Palace in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh. Around a dozen investigators from Police Scotland, the Border Agency and the Security Industry Association spent an hour questioning staff including dancers. (

15 Mar 2015: Lap dance Club Boss in MSPs Probe Call

A lap dancing tycoon has asked watchdogs to probe two MSPs who kicked him off a human trafficking taskforce. Steven McDonald was removed from the cross-party group just months after joining. Fellow lap dancing boss Tony Cochrane and lawyer Janet Hood were also told they were no longer welcome by Labour’s Jenny Marra and SNP’s Christina McKelvie. All three were locked out of a Holyrood summit on trafficking last year. Now McDonald wants the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life to investigate. He claims Marra and McKelvie breached MSPs’ Code of Conduct. (

27 Mar 2016: Scottish Law Chief, Frank Mulholland’s Brother, arranged the £550k loan (Which is the Subject of a Dirty Money probe by the Prosecutor’s Office)

The brother of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland is at the centre of a dirty money probe into a lap dance tycoon’s business empire.

Iain Mulholland, the younger brother of Scotland’s top prosecutor who announced he was standing down last week, helped prepare paperwork that secured businessman Steven MacDonald a huge loan now being probed by the Crown Office. Prosecutors hunting assets linked to organised crime claim MacDonald conned bank bosses into lending him enough cash to buy his Diamond Dolls strip club.

Investigators at the Crown Office, led by his brother, who seize dirty money, property and other assets linked to organised crime claim the businessman lied on a mortgage application to get a £552k cash injection from the Bank of Scotland to purchase the property in Glasgow city centre. Mortgage broker Iain Mulholland arranged MacDonald’s loan application through his First to Mortgage firm. The loan is now the focus of a major investigation by the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU). In 2012, Mulholland opened a new company building contractor Inglis PM Ltd of Glasgow. He is the sole director.

Chartered Accountants RES Associates also prepared documents for the Bank of Scotland application before the money was paid. Mulholland has been spoken to by CRU investigators scouring the documents around the purchase of Diamond Dolls. They say paperwork claimed MacDonald earned between £193k and £272k a year. But he told HM Revenue and Customs in his tax return that he earned just £19k in 2007-8.

His lawyers said the application was based on cash he could have taken from all his businesses including Edinburgh lap dancing clubs Baby Dolls and Big Daddy O’s, which is now closed. During proceedings, he was asked about property in Dubai. He told the court that he no longer spoke to Mulholland. (

29 Jan 2017: Lap dance Club Boss Plans to host a £1K table dinner for Nigel Farage
A controversial lap dance tycoon at the centre of a dirty money probe is behind a fat cat dinner for Brexit mastermind Nigel Farage. Steven MacDonald is trying to organise a black-tie Q&A night with the former Ukip leader. Macdonald, who owns clubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh – met the politician at a private event last year. Now he wants to bring Farage north of the Border to talk to entrepreneurs about Britain’s divorce from the EU and Donald Trump’s White House victory. Those attending the dinner would be charged about £1k a table. (