Revealed: The £400,000 debts of Barnet’s blogger banning private security firm

MetPro's fine lads: Owed £20,000 in unpaid wages

Documents filed by Mike Solomon, the liquidator of MetPro Rapid Response, the private security company accused of covertly filming and monitoring the borough’s bloggers, reveal that it went belly up owing over £400,000 ten days ago.

The biggest creditor is Revenue and Customs who are owed a cool £245,611.57, for unpaid tax, national insurance contributions, corporation tax and VAT.

 The company which took over £275,000 from the council taxpayers of the Tory borough to provide security and was used by the  council leader, Lynne Hillan,  to enforce a ban on bloggers filming or reporting the council’s big cuts meeting, could have been involved in tax avoidance.

The break down of the figures show that over £139,000 owed  is in PAYE and national insurance contributions and another £99,000 is VAT.

Employees are also owed over £21,000 in unpaid wages – and are top of the list to receive £8800 in payments if any money can be raised.

 The two directors of the company Kevin Sharkey and Luigi Mansi have put themselves down as creditors – saying they are owed £92,500 for loans they gave to the company. Other unpaid debts include £3400 to  their accountants, Bond Partners, the address where the company was last registered and a £4972 credit card debt to Barclaycard.

Total debts are over £400,000 while assets are just three motorcycles valued at £11,850; computer and office equipment worth £475 and security uniforms worth £1400. As a job lot Mr Solomon estimates he could sell them for £6000 plus a goodwill sum of £13,500 for anybody wanting the business.

The scale of the scandal raises questions about the due diligence employed by Barnet Council in appointing them in the first place, particularly as records show that voluntary liquidation involving the same directors has happened before. There could be a case for an investigation if a complaint was made to the district auditor about how the council tendering procedures handled their original appointment.

Since Barnet have been unable to answer a lot of questions from the public about this whole unhappy saga – may be they will feel they have to co-operate with auditors. Or may be not.

5 thoughts on “Revealed: The £400,000 debts of Barnet’s blogger banning private security firm

  1. David, What about MetPro Emergency Response who seem to have sprung up in their place, a new company registered in January 2011 and with the sole director living in N20. They seem to have taken over the old website but have simply changed the logo. Very stinky.

  2. The government supposedly changed the law a few years ago to stop companies going bust and then starting up again 5 minutes later using a similar sounding name, but leaving behind a string of unpaid creditors.

    Barnet Council leader Lynne Hillan was not averse to using a similar trick herself.

    It seems quite clear that Barnet did not carry out due diligence – but when did it ever?

  3. I was an employee of Metpro. I was treated very well with the company. Due to unfortunate reasons i left the company as they were messing me around with payment. My money was never on time and sometimes took upto 7 weeks to recieve my Months pay. I didn’t know that there was so much owed and i’m very sorry for what has happened. The staff that i was working with are professional are a great set of guys. I have started my own company in the meantime on security and have a fantastic team around me.

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