E-Clear administrators uncover just £72,000

E-Clear administrators have uncovered just £72,000 after months of investigations into the controversial credit card processing firm and said the situation was “looking bleak”.

However, BDO business restructuring partner Malcolm Cohen said he expected “the coffers to swell”.

Various avenues and assets such as E-Clear chief executive Elia’s Kensington flat, worth an estimated £3 to £4 million and bought with E-clear money, are still potentially to be realised.

An E-Clear creditors’ committee was formed today at a meeting between BDO and the company’s major creditors, which include Globespan Group and Canadian operator Sunwing.

Elia was not at the meeting but has had several conversations with BDO throughout the course of the administration.

BDO will report its latest findings to the newly-formed committee in six to eight weeks.

Cohen will also be submitting a directors’ report to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform within six months of administration, which that department will use to determine if a criminal investigation should take place.

BDO has amassed costs of £300,000 so far and Cohen said creditors may have to contribute if litigation was necessary.

Cohen said the administrator had not had any recent conversations with the Serious Fraud Office, which is still considering launching an investigation into the firm’s dealings.

It also emerged this week that customers of collapsed Scottish airline Flyglobespan will receive just 5% of their lost money.

PricewaterhouseCoopers told passengers at a meeting in Edinburgh on Tuesday that it could take two years to settle the claims. PwC said average bookings were £250 to £400 each, which means passengers could get only £20 back.

The 5% figure is based on administrators receiving nothing from E-Clear. Administrator Ian Oakley-Smith said: “We knew E-Clear had cash flow problems but we were shocked to find out there was no money at all.”

He said even if more funds emerged, the maximum Flyglobespan could reclaim from E-Clear was £20 million.

A separate meeting for the creditors of Globespan Group, the airline’s parent company, will be held in Edinburgh on April 1.

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