It’s High Noon at the Grand – Folkestone

A major confrontation between the Insolvency Service and the ‘new’ management of the Grand is brewing and could result in both civil and criminal proceedings.

On one side we have MacIntyre Hudson, appointed by the Official Receiver (The Insolvency Service)  to locate, secure and then sell all the assets that belonged to Michael and Doris Stainer and the various companies wound up in 2018. The cash raised will go to pay off the creditors who include HMRC and the service charge account of the Grand, and quite possibly others. On the other side we have the bankrupt Stainers (pictured below), and the new management of the Grand in the guise of Robert Graham Moss from Rye, and the ever-present loyal Stainer gofer  Robert Richardson (pictured below), who still works – when actually around — for and under the direction of Michael Stainer, according to our Grand sources.

 So what is the battleground? It is the cash-cow of the 18 leasehold flats previously owned jointly and separately by the Stainers prior to their bankruptcies. Their use as holiday flats underpins/subsidises the whole commercial operation at the Grand according to Michael Stainer and his former solicitor, Andrew Duncan. It is claimed they gross around £350,000 per annum. It has been argued by Stainer and his acolytes, that the Association of Residents in the Grand, and in particular their chairperson, Peter Cobrin, are hell-bent on destroying the commercial interests in the Grand. We have trawled all the extensive submissions, evidence and decisions relating to the Grand over the last 8 years, and can find no evidence to support this other than the  claims of the Stainers. In fact, the evidence suggests the contrary. The residents, in the words of one long standing resident, “need the commercial arm of the Grand to succeed and prosper” to pay the 25% contribution to maintenance imposed by the Property Tribunal and upheld on appeal.

The battle is in fact for control of these 18 flats. These now vest in the Trustee in Bankruptcy, and he wants the lettings to cease, the keys handed over and to get on with valuing and selling them. He might of course discover that they are mortgaged to the hilt, but this won’t deter HMRC from pursuing every penny wherever it may be found — or hidden, even if abroad…………

How this recovery process was to take place was shrouded in confidentiality. Luckily for us, Michael Stainer filed some very interesting documents in the High Court in an attempt to secure Judicial Review of the Tribunal decision referred to above, and to secure an injunction to shut down the efforts of the new manager, Alison Mooney, to do her job.

Let’s forget that the Stainers do not have the legal capacity as bankrupts to litigate except in regard to their own bankruptcy. Luckily the Insolvency Practitioner didn’t forget and blew the whistle on that escapade. But buried amidst some emails was one from the Insolvency Practitioner to Robert Moss, sent immediately after a meeting on Monday, January 28th. The reason for using this in Court was to try and suggest that Mrs Mooney was pressurising the Insolvency Practitioner to shut down the flats, therefore exceeding her powers. This ignored the fact that this usage was in breach of the leases, and that the tribunal appointed Manager, Mrs Mooney is obliged to enforce lease covenants.

Here is the email in full, courtesy of Michael Stainer:

So how did Mr Moss respond? Clearly the first thing he did was hand this email over either to Michael Stainer or gofer/lackey Robert Richardson (pictured below), judging from the speed with which it went into the document bundle. As to the second thing he did, if you were hoping to hear the clink of keys being handed over, you’d be profoundly disappointed. His response was a polite refusal to comply. We assume it was polite as by all accounts, Mr Moss is both polite and charming. But a refusal it was.

So clinking keys remains on the agenda, if not courtesy of Mr Moss, but quite possibly by virtue of the authorities exercising their powers. Non-cooperation with the Insolvency Service is no laughing matter. Acting under the directions of a bankrupt in the management of the companies of which the bankrupt was once a director is a criminal offence. While we are not suggesting this is in fact the situation, we would counsel great caution on the part of those ostensibly in control of the Grand.

As a final note, our thoughts go out to the staff of the Grand. A lot of blame, opprobrium and downright malicious abuse is thrown at those who speak up for, represent and report the goings-on in the Grand. If the commercial arm closes and jobs are lost, the sole address for this is as follows:

Michael Stainer c/o The Grand.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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12 Comments on It’s High Noon at the Grand – Folkestone

  1. I’m sure Alison Mooney will be a match for any shenanigans

    “I have worked at senior level in the industry for over 10 years, managing everything from two or three unit conversions to complex 300+ unit Estates.

    My team at Westbury Residential have over 20 years of property management experience.

    In addition to our core services we specialise in swift and effective dispute resolution, including collection of service charge arrears and breaches of covenant”

    (Although “swift” may not fit into the Grand scheme of things)

  2. It’s hard to see how the insolvency practitioners will produce any revenue for the unpaid service charges when you consider that their own fees and HMRC have first dibs on the proceeds from sale of mortgaged – up – to – the – hilt flats in a building under such commercial distress where the property values are,consequently, drastically diminished.

    I fear a phoenix – like rise from this mess of yet another carpet bagger entity who, hidden behind a corporate veil and disguised as a white knight, will emerge to claim all the spoils. Who knows ? His name may already have been mentioned in the above article !

    Meanwhile the long suffering residents and staff continue to suffer. Nothing achieved at all !

  3. A Grand Employee // February 8, 2019 at 12:46 // Reply

    Mr Stainer is directing the business, as an employee I and many others have witnessed it first hand. Both Moss & Richardson know it is wrong to carry out his orders, but they do it nonetheless. They have no excuse and are as guilty as he.

    Many of us except Stainer has freeloaded of the residents for far to long and they are right in bringing the legal cases they have. Nobody likes a parasite and that is what Stainer, Moss & Richardson are.

    • It’s an offence under section 11(1) of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for an undischarged bankrupt to “ directly or indirectly…” take part in the promotion formation or management of a company.”

  4. Another Grand Employee // February 8, 2019 at 15:00 // Reply

    I have always found the residents friendly and approachable. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about my boss Robert Richardson. We are all much happier when he is far far away.

    Mr Stainer & his wife have been polite to me personally, but are certainly directing the day to day business of The Grand. I note that Cllr Russell Tillson’s forays to the Grand have become a lot more discreet.

  5. It is interesting how none of this finds its way into the local papers. Clearly the spirit of Woodward and Bernstein is absent from the local hacks.

  6. Wine lover // February 8, 2019 at 18:20 // Reply

    I’ve just received a circular from FAPAC, the local vigilante service to which I have subscribed, attacking Mr.Cobrin with some pretty foul accusations. I checked this out and the claims are nonsense and clearly are part of the Grand’s ‘fight back’. Is Stainer or Richardson part of FAPAC?

    • FYI, Richardson is the vice chairman of FAPAC. It was totally orchestrated by Stainer and Richardson! There’s barely a shred of truth in it . I’m glad that you have identified it. In Mr. Cobrin ‘s position as the chairman of Association of Residents In The Grand , he acts whole heartedly in the interest of the residents at The Grand. Such personal attcks by Stainer and Richardson seem to be intend on inflicting as much personal damage as possible. They wish to perpetuate and aggravate a conflict situation between the commercial and residential areas, at the moment through the vehicle of FAPAC .

      My question : Does FAPAC ( Folkestone Area Partnership Against Crime ) do a proper job against genuine crime or are they corrupted in some way?

  7. Former resident // February 8, 2019 at 18:31 // Reply

    Can’t see who are the owners of Penthouse flats ie Petworth and Penshurst as well as the apartment housing the water tank supplying The Grand. There is also another accommodation created from the garage with access from the back yard of The Grand. All of the above are mortgaged but don’t seems to appear anywhere. Can anybody enlighten me?

  8. Business as usual in The Grand? Yesterday met a woman in her 70’ with pink coloured hair bringing in luggage for 1 week conference / stay .

  9. Business as usual at the Grand? Trying to pervert the course of justice as well….. and what’s this about a bag lady with cash in a case going through the wrong lane at customs? I’ve heard a major user of the holiday flats has cancelled out….

  10. Formerlymeganthelibrarian // March 9, 2019 at 21:29 // Reply

    I’m wondering if FAPAC is legit too…. I tried to arrange a discussion privately with Robert to discuss some very serious illegal activity I have witnessed, but feel the need to keep my family safe, therefore hesitant in going to the police. He is away till Wednesday and will check his diary…… he could of suggested someone else for me to talk to…
    The plot thickens, what other charitable roles does Robert use for his own agenda?
    I love a good read, though I prefer happy endings 😉

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