Yesterday, 21 November 2017, a jury convicted Runcorn based PCS Events Limited which trades under the names PCS and PCS Chauffeurs of fraud.
The court heard how PCS Chauffeurs was the company behind Emirates UK chauffeur service and provided high-profile clients such as the X Factor with chauffeur services.
To the outside world PCS appeared to be a reputable company, however, it was a company run by a criminal gang that turned back the clocks on over a hundred vehicles. Even though the true scale of the fraud may never be known, trading standards calculated that the company conspired to remove at least 7.5 million miles from vehicles.
The trial which was expected to last two weeks lasted less than two days after the PCS chose not to send any representation from the company or defence counsel.
The company which pleaded not guilty resulted in the Richard Pratt, QC, for the prosecution out lining the case against PCS, whilst the dock remained empty.
Earlier this year John Murphy and Paul Arslanian along with PCS Events transport manager and in-house mechanic were convicted of conspiracy to defraud. Also, Simon Williams, an MoT tester who provided the company with bogus MoT’s for vehicles which were used to transport high-profile clients was also convicted following a two and a half years investigation by trading standards.
In the last audited accounts filed by PCS Events Limited for the year ending 31 July 2015, the auditor provided a statement on the “pending litigation”, stating: “The company is presently engaged in strenuously contested litigation. After taking legal advice the directors are confident of a favourable outcome and do not see these events as likely to compromise the future trading operations of the company.”
However, the company extended its accounting period to 31 January 2017 and according to companies house PCS have failed to file accounts which were due on the 31 October 2017. If, as expected PCS Events Ltd collapses, this will be the third company in seven years associated to the “prestigious” Emirates chauffeur service to have done so.
Sentencing was adjourned until today by judge, Brian Cummings, QC, to allow a company liquidator to attend court. It is believed that in cases of company fraud an unlimited fine can be given to the company.
Report by Chris Hargreaves.