Duff & Phelps partner arrested in Rangers takeover probe

DAVID Whitehouse, one of the senior partners at insolvency firm Duff&Phelps in Manchester, has been arrested along with three others, amid an investigation into the takeover of Scottish football club Rangers.

Mr Whitehouse from Cheshire and colleagues Paul Clark and David Grier and corporate lawyer Gary Withey were arrested at their homes early on Friday. They have spent the weekend being questioned in Glasgow.

Police in Scotland have been investigating the sale of Rangers from Sir David Murray to businessman Craig Whyte for more than a year.  

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Following a Police Scotland operation on Friday November 14, four men have been detained as a result of the ongoing investigation into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers Football Club.”

Rangers went into administration in February 2012 less than a year after the acquisition by Craig Whyte from long-standing owner The Murray Group. The club was later sold to a consortium led by Yorkshire businessman Charles Green in June 2012. It was subsequently floated on the AIM market.

Marty Dauer, a spokesperson for Duff&Phelps said: “Duff&Phelps has become aware that three employees in the United Kingdom have been detained for questioning in connection with work performed for Rangers Football Club.  This work was commenced while these employees were part of MCR Partners, prior to its acquisition by Duff&Phelps in October of 2011.

“Duff&Phelps has performed an internal investigation and commissioned an independent investigation of the related matters.  As a result, we believe that our work for Rangers was conscientious, thorough, and properly performed in every respect.  

“Duff&Phelps has actively cooperated with all relevant investigating authorities throughout this process. In addition, we have provided thorough reports on our role in the administration of Rangers Football Club to the Court of Session and the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association.

“Notably, the liquidator’s amended pleadings in English High Court proceedings commenced on April 8, 2011 validate the conclusions of our internal investigation and the independent investigation we commissioned.   In addition, our assignments in this matter were comprehensively examined by the Insolvency Practitioners Association (“IPA”), in 2013.  The IPA’s review cleared the firm of any wrongdoing or conflict of interest, affirming the position of the firm.”