ATTN JMS: Wolf 359 Conventions Limited

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sun Feb 27 04:33:11 EST 2000

From: Paul Harper <paul at>
Date: 26 Feb 2000 11:27:37 -0700
Lines: 77

I did, however, get a letter from an ex-lawyer. It said, in response
to my list of questions:

>1) In the case of a company like this which has defaulted on its
>accounts for a significant period of time, what is the process from
>this point? Is there an automatic legal procedure that gets triggered,
>or does someone have to make a complaint before action is taken?

I believe that the Registrar initiates striking-off procedures where 
statutory requirements aren't met. Even if this is so, it does no 
harm to point out any such default to the Registrar, who would be 
obliged to take action once informed of such default.

>2) Where accounts have not been submitted, to what extent are the
>directors personally liable for amounts paid to the company in advance
>of goods or services being supplied?

I don't think default in filing statutory returns of itself triggers 
legal liability as regards the company's debts and defaults; a 
compulsory winding-up by the Registrar would, of course, lead to the 
normal scrutiny of the company's liabilities by the liquidators, who 
would (in the case of insolvency) notify all known creditors and 
place advertisements in the London Gazette citing a date 
by which all creditors' claims must be registered with them

As regards personal liability of directors and company officers; it's 
at the heart of the limited liability system that the shareholders of 
a company aren't liable for the company's debts on failure beyond the 
extent of their capital investment.

However, where directors and officers of a company have allowed the 
company to continue trading, either knowing or having reason to 
believe that the company is insolvent, they are liable to both civil 
and criminal penalties, and may be held personally liable by

>3) Does the company secretary (as listed in the companies house
>register) have the same financial and legal responsibilities as the

The company secretary is an officer of the company and therefore 
subject to liability in the case of a company knowingly trading while

>4) If someone has a suspicion that money collected in the name of
>charity has been used for other purposes, what should the procedure be
>to get this investigated?

Contact the Charity Commissioners, who will perform a preliminary 
survey before placing the matter in the hands of the police or the 
Attorney General (depending on whether criminal fraud is suspected) 
if so advised

>5) If an official of a company has been spending the company money on
>trips abroad that might be considered in excess of those strictly
>required for company business, is there a personal tax position for
>the company official?

If the officer has been receiving benefits in kind (ie trips abroad) 
as part of his emoluments of employment, these will be subject to
income tax.

Hope this helps,

End quote.

PCH:  Well - plenty of food for thought there...

A .sig is all well and good, but it's no substitute for a personality

"                       . . . SFX is a fairly useless publication on just
about every imaginable front.  Never have so many jumped-up fanboys done so
little, with so much, for so long."    JMS.

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 26 Feb 2000 16:49:59 -0700
Lines: 49

>>4) If someone has a suspicion that money collected in the name of
>>charity has been used for other purposes, what should the procedure be
>>to get this investigated?
>Contact the Charity Commissioners, who will perform a preliminary 
>survey before placing the matter in the hands of the police or the 
>Attorney General (depending on whether criminal fraud is suspected) 
>if so advised

That's interesting, because at the very last Wolf convention I attended, I
pulled Brian Cooney aside at a gathering just as the con was starting.  We went
out on an open walkway to talk, and I told him I was concerned that no
statements or books had been forthcoming on charity contributions, despite
promises made to that extent.  

He then stated to me, quite openly, that of the first two or three such B5
related conventions, very little of the money got to charity, unless the check
was specifically written out to the charity by the con-goer.  (During the
Vorcon gathering, I heard from many folks in email that they were not allowed
to make out their checks to the charity in question, they had to make it out to
Wolf or it wouldn't be taken.)  He said it went to pay actors fees and other

Which, for me, was when the alarm bells began going off, leading to my decision
not to get involved with any further Wolf conventions.  I also heard from some
folks who had been involved with the cons who said that the books were either
badly kept or not kept at all, though I have no way of personally confirming

That's the extent of my knowledge on the situation, so perhaps someone over
there can contact these Charity Commissioners to get a clearer picture in case
anything changed or if those statements, as presented to me, were not correct. 
Obvioulsy I cannot personally state them as fact, I can only pass on what was
stated to me.


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Replies to messages go to the list maintainer,
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply elsewhere, adjust
-*** the "To" field.  See for all
-*** other information about this list.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list