From this week’s edition of Private Eye:
Between early 1983 and the end of 1986, Private Eye raised questions about the Polly Peck accounts and dealings in its shares more than a dozen times.
The man behind Polly Peck, Asil Nadir, had previously breached the UK’s Companies Act, and featured in two Stock Exchange investigations. Despite this, the Eye was on its own. The mainstream media bought into the continuing fantasy (ie the lies) until it was too late; the whole shebang collapsed in 1990.
Nadir, after fleeing to Cyprus, returned to the UK in 2010 to face trial. It appears to have been a glorious gamble; a combination of vanity, stupidity, and desperation that went spectacularly wrong. Last month, Nadir was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing £29m. Some details are available here.
As the Eye points out:
Despite the Eye’s warnings, Nadir and Polly Peck remained City and media darlings until October 1990, when a £300m “black hole” in the accounts caused the collapse of a company once worth £2bn. Ironically, that collapse was precipitated by discovery of Nadir’s illegal share deals.
So, far at least four years, Nadir and Polly Peck continued to do damage they should not have been able to do. However, at least followers of Private Eye would have known not to touch the business or the shares with the proverbial barge pole. It’s more proof of the investigative journalism lead that Private Eye had, and still maintains.
The moral of the story? Read Private Eye!