Determined as ever, and undeterred by the refusal of District Judge Luthfur Rahman in Canterbury County Court on June 17th, to halt the June 22nd auction of the Grand itself, Michael Stainer (pictured) then applied to the High Court in London on Tuesday 22nd. He was again refused, and in fact the auction had already been and gone by that time. The Grand was sold for £448,000 in was a remarkably low key affair, with only four bidders.
Also ‘been and gone’ were just about all the fixtures and fitting within the commercial areas as on Wednesday and Thursday, as auction buyers from far and wide came to collect their purchases. Standing and watching, our public face saw massive kitchen appliances, loads of pots and pans, glassware, coffee machines, tables, sofas, chairs, being swallowed up by vans who at times blocked the Leas. One of these vans belonged to the local Tory party, who once enjoyed free hospitality at the residents expense. They bought around 50 chairs and a few tables at the auction, and were collected by the new Chairman of the local Tory Party Stephen James and Cllr Dylan Jeffrey.
We also hear that just about the same time, Robert Moss, the sole director of the various ‘Grand’ companies with staff, Eastons Management and Seaside Hosts, was telling his employees that their employment had ended, so no more furlough, no more wages, and almost certainly no redundancy or severance pay. Two former employees with many years of service will be around £10-15,000 out of pocket, unless these companies are liquidated. In this case, the National Insurance Fund holds monies for statutory payments, such as redundancy and the state pension. It provides the funds when redundant members of staff cannot claim their full entitlement from the insolvent employer. Employee claims are made through the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS), which is a division of the Insolvency Service, and are usually dealt with by the liquidator or administrator initially.
The problem is, someone has to pay to wind up the company, around £1,600, unless Moss himself does the honourable thing.
In the meantime, Doris Stainer, currently residing in Germany was due to ‘appear’ in Southwark Crown Court this week in connection with the charges against her and Michael Stainer of cheating the public revenue and false representation. We are not yet aware of any outcome of this ‘mention’ hearing.
Next week also sees the auction of the 48 garages adjoining the Grand, formerly owned by the Stainers and now in the hands of receivers. These generated, when fully occupied, some £45,000 per annum for the Stainers.
And last, but not least, Michael Stainer will be up before ICC Judge Burton on Monday afternoon in the case case brought by the Official Receiver to secure an order disqualifying
Stainer for a period of up to 15 years which means that he can’t:
be a director of any company registered in the UK or an overseas company that has connections with the UK be involved in forming, marketing or running a company
A person who breaches such an order could be fined or sent to prison for up to 2 years if he or she breaks the terms of the disqualification.
Many have send it’s an end of era, but we’d rather see it as a new chapter for the residents and the building.
Life without Stainer committing fraud, be it the public purse or covid grants, will be a happier place at the Grand for all the residents.
To all those who have given blood, toil, tears and sweat, you now have your reward. Congratulations.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful