The Grand: “The Merry Go round stops”

With those words, Michael Stainer knew that his final appeal against personal bankruptcy was doomed. Appearing before Chief Bankruptcy Registrar Briggs in the High Court on January 9th, Stainer was trying to reverse the November 8th decision of Insolvency and Companies Judge Barber that bankrupted both Stainer and his wife Doris. It was therefore fitting that it was Judge Barber’s words used in November that were quoted again.

The battle between HMRC and the Stainers (pictured) has been running for several years with the famous July 15th 2015 “Dawn Raid”, in  which the Stainers and their loyal henchman Robert Richardson  were all arrested, and several appearances before the Tax Tribunal, ending with the final appeal against the HMRC debt being thrown out on December 8th 2018.

Both Registrar Briggs, and HMRC’s barrister were at pains to point out that the debt was a statutory debt. The phrase statutory debt is used to describe any debt that may be owed to a statutory body such as a government department, local authority or court. As such, the debt was now beyond challenge. Stainer then sought to argue that the claim against him and his wife related to a partnership known as the Grand Folkestone Partnership that had never existed and therefore could not have any liability. He claimed that the Official Receiver encouraged him in this view when he was formally interviewed.

However, the October 12th 2017 appeal In The Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Chamber before Judge Greg Sinfield and Judge Timothy Herrington had already given this argument short shrift.

However not to be deterred, and even after hearing the decision, Stainer protested to Chief Registrar Briggs that he had additional evidence to submit and that he was still being denied access to essential documents by HMRC. He should have remembered that he had repeatedly, during multiple previous adjournments, been given the invitation to attend at HMRC’s offices in Croydon to seek out these documents. It was his repeated failure to do this that caused Judge Barber to finally lose patience with his prevarication and to make reference to the merry-go-round stopping.

In response, Chief Registrar Briggs very politely re-affirmed his decision and Mr Stainer left the Court.

So what happens next? Until the appeal was heard, the Insolvency Practitioner was limited in taking any action to recover assets. Now, his statutory duty is to identify, secure, value and dispose of of all the Stainer assets for the benefit of all creditors, who include HMRC, the service charge account of the Grand, Folkestone and Hythe Council and quite possibly others. The principal asset would be the holiday-flat empire consisting of 18 flats in the Grand.

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8 Comments on The Grand: “The Merry Go round stops”

  1. About F***ing time, he is a lying, bullshitting w****er. I personally think he’ll either abscond or pay someone to burn it down. Hope the insurance is up to date and stay alert residents.

  2. He elevates self delusion to unrivalled heights!!! Wait till they sell his furniture ……. sad thing thing is he’ll feel no pain, he leaves that for others

  3. I assume JP has his tongue firmly in his cheek, otherwise if he has any reasonable suspicions, he should let the authorities know. There are elderly and vulnerable residents who cannot evacuate the building unaided and the main staircase to the north wing is a disaster waiting to happen. Yet again, the accumulation of years of wilful neglect.

  4. When Westbrook House was closed down over night, without prior warning, and letters were sent via taxi to all the parents from Roger De Haan, Mr Steiner was the only person in the town to offer those distraught children a ‘free’ place to continue their education!!! Whilst others were behaving ruthlessly and without compassion, Mr Steiner offered to open his doors!! So please be kind to a man who has made mistakes, who is now paying the consequences, and be careful that the rug doesn’t get pulled from underneath you in Folkestones’ regeneration project!!
    Please put the wolves to bed!

    • Being kind to children is always praiseworthy…… meanwhile leaving elderly residents struggling to pay their maintenance bills because he’s cash-strapped — year after year after year — unforgivable. The man is a racist bully prone to the odd joke about gas ovens and concentration camps whose been warned twice for his bullying and abusive behaviour. Don’t be fooled by the image of a benign old gent.

  5. Like all the apartments in the Grand the principle asset of the holiday flats will be at a depressed value thanks to all the shenanigans over the years. The values driven down largely by the Stainers not paying their share of the maintenance / service charges and the consequent mayhem around this otherwise magnificent building. If the holiday flats are mortgaged there is likely to be no net gain from selling them off and so no achievable benefit for HMRC and other creditors. All part of the cunning plan probably.

  6. Very Angry // January 11, 2019 at 18:08 // Reply

    How come the business rates register still shows long bankrupted companies as liable for the rates on his private flats? How much in rates does this crook leave unpaid while he still rents out these flats yet our services are cash starved?

  7. Apparently he is now emailing all and sundry claiming a conspiracy between residents and HMRC, falsification of court documents, fraudulent manipulation of the maintenance fund at the Grand etc etc………….. lucky he’s bankrupt so he’s not worth suing, or is he?

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