Liquidator will not pursue £1m claim against director Chris Stoddard

MET Bowen has concluded in its report that pursuing the claim against the former director of CSDM Fundraising would not be commercially viable

Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

The liquidator will not pursue a claim of more than £1m against the director of the defunct fundraising agency CSDM Fundraising because it considers the claim would not be commercially viable.

A report by the liquidator MET Bowen, published on the Companies House website this week, says it considered pursuing a claim of £1,030,049 against Chris Stoddard, director of the company, but after receiving no response to its correspondence concluded that the claim did not warrant the investigation and litigation that would be required to follow it through.

The £1m claim would have included £374,075 of what the liquidator’s report calls unexplained bank account transactions and £68,253 of unexplained credit card transactions "for which there is no reasonable explanation and which do not appear to be for the purposes of the company’s business".

It says: "I requested explanations from Mr Stoddard on several occasions and in the absence of the requested information there is a suspicion that these are private transactions relating to Mr Stoddard."

The £1m claim would have included further sums relating to other Stoddard companies. These include an inter-company debtor balance of £458,258 owed by Listening People and £129,463 from Cleardata Media, both of which are in liquidation, and £201,991 to Lean Marketing, which reported an insolvent position in its balance sheet at the end of 2014, according to the liquidator’s report.

It says the positions of the three companies mean that making claims against them would be unviable.

The report says the liquidator considered the merits of making claims against Stoddard instead, but concluded that the cost of further investigation, litigation and evidence gathering meant it would not be viable.

"It is not therefore my intention to pursue any of the claims," it says.

Asked to comment on the report and to clarify the nature of the unexplained transactions, Stoddard said in a statement: "I have read the liquidator’s final report in detail and am very grateful to him for his diligence and also for taking independent legal advice in respect of this matter.

"I welcome the liquidator’s advice and his conclusion that any potential claims are not viable.

He said he had commented fully on the matter previously and "responded openly to questions and for that reason do not now have anything further to add".

According to records at Companies House, Stoddard is the director of 15 companies, of which six are active, five are in liquidation and four have been dissolved.

His other companies include Lean Digital, Clearlight, CSDM Strategic Fundraising, Our Place Online and a non-trading company called the Pony Refuge. 

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