The liquidator chasing over £1m in debts left by the latest business failure of controversial charity agency boss Chris Stoddard has given up the ghost on reclaiming the money after concluding that it would not be commercially viable.
In a report by liquidator MET Bowen, published on the Companies House website, the firm said that after receiving no response to its correspondence it had concluded that the claim did not warrant the investigation and litigation that would be required to pursue it.
The £1,030,049 claim against Stoddard is in relation to CSDM Fundraising and includes £374,075 of “unexplained bank account transactions” and £68,253 of “unexplained credit card transactions”, which MET Bowen said “do not appear to be for the purposes of the company’s business…there is a suspicion that these are private transactions relating to Mr Stoddard”.
Most of the balance of the claim is made up of sums relating to companies already owned by Stoddard, which have also folded. These include an inter-company debtor balance of £458,258 owed by Listening People and £129,463 from Cleardata Media, both of which are now in liquidation, and £201,991 to Lean Marketing, which reported an insolvent position in at the end of 2014.
In a statement, Stoddard said: “I have read the liquidator’s final report in detail and am very grateful to him for his diligence and also for taking independent legal advice in respect of this matter. I welcome the liquidator’s advice and his conclusion that any potential claims are not viable.”
Stoddard’s companies have specialised in managing direct mail fundraising campaigns for charities which do not have the internal resource to do it themselves. He claims to have been contracted by a number of charities over the years, although has never named them.
In 2010 Stoddard’s company CSDM went into administration, leaving some creditors unpaid. Its assets were acquired from the administrators by his next company, CSDM Fundraising, which also went into administration, in 2013, again leaving some creditors unpaid.
According to Companies House, Stoddard has held 21 director appointments; Stoddard is the director of 15 companies, of which six are active, five are in liquidation and four have been dissolved.
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