The Poulson Corruption Scandal & The Kenyon Legacy

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The Poulson Corruption Scandal & The Kenyon Legacy

The Poulson Corruption Scandal & The Kenyon Legacy

  • An article by amateur fraud investigator David Clark, reviewing the historical background to a case that is sure to make national headlines early in the New Year.

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John Garlick Llewellyn Poulson (14 April 1910 – 31 January 1993) was an architect based in Pontefract, West Yorkshire in the nineteen-sixties. Among buildings designed by Poulson are the City House (1962) and International Pool (1965–1968), both in Leeds, and Forster House, Bradford, which was demolished in 2005 as part of the Forster Square redevelopment. He was a Freemason.

His practice employed architects, planners, lawyers and project managers – though Poulson himself never qualified as an architect. The company was responsible for a number of city-centre developments throughout Yorkshire and the North East.

poulson_staff

During the latter part of the nineteen-sixties, the practice ran into financial difficulties, resulting in bankruptcy trials in the early nineteen-seventies.

Between 1966 and 1968, working for the firm was one Sir Bernard Kenyon (knighted in 1967), another Freemason, who in fact became chairman of Open Systems Building and two other Poulson companies. At the same time, Sir Bernard Kenyon was also employed by the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council as Clerk (equivalent to Chief Executive Officer in today’s parlance), thus finding himself working for the Council and the Poulson group of companies at the same time. A year later, in 1969, he was dignified with an Honorary Doctor of law degree by Leeds University. At 20-stone, he was a giant of a man, known to use his massive physical presence to dominate and intimidate his Councillors and staff.

But during the bankruptcy hearings on 1972, it became clear that bribes had been paid to secure lucrative local government and other government contracts. The Metropolitan Police pursued an investigation and, on 15th March 1974, Poulson was found guilty of fraud and jailed for seven years.

Others were also convicted, including trade union baron Andrew Cunningham, the former Chair of the Durham Police Authority, and T. Dan Smith (Lab.), the flamboyant Leader of Newcastle City Council – widely known as “The Mouth of the Tyne”.

J_POULSON_& _T_DAN_SMITH copy

Sir Bernard Kenyon managed to avoid a custodial sentence.

One of the key witnesses at the trial was the mysterious ‘Miss X’.

Who was ‘Miss X’?

Where has she been for the past forty years?

Over the pond

Moving on to the activities of a short-lived Scarborough company – Belvedere Computer Services (Scarborough) Ltd (Reg.No.1407311 – struck off 22nd October 1976), and from there, on further to the west coast of the United States, to a California corporation with a very similar name, Belvedere Computers Inc. (Reg.Mo.CO9994000 – incorporated on 11th August 1980), of which the two main  officers were of British nationality (and well-known to readers of Real Whitby):

  • Mr Thomas William (‘Bill’) Miller – President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Miss Jane Margaret Kenyon – Chief Financial Officer, Company Secretary and Agent for Service of Process.

851_Hinkley_Road_Burlingame_SF_Cal

Some time between its incorporation on11th August 1980 and 2nd August 1982, Belvedere Computers Inc. was suspended by the Franchise Tax Board, Sacramento, Cal., USA, culminating in a hearing for unlawful detainer at the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of San Mateo (Case.No.248256), which ruled in favour of the Plaintiff, Christensen Properties Inc. The officers of Belevedere Computers Inc. were not present for the hearing, having absconded to the UK.

With regard to this current and on-going suspension of Belvedere Computers Inc., the corporation can return to good standing if – and only if – officers of the corporation settle all outstanding ‘delinquencies’ (debts) owed by the corporation. Only when that is done can the corporation finally be dissolved – or continue trading.

Back to Blighty

Throughout the nineteen-eighties and nineteen-nineties, Mr. T. W. (‘Bill’) Miller and Miss Jane Margaret Kenyon secured election and/or appointment to a number of local government bodies including North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority. Mr. T. W. (‘Bill’) Miller became the National Chairman of the Independent Custody Visitors Association (ICVA). In 1992, Miss Jane Margaret Kenyon was appointed to the North Yorkshire Police Authority, and assumed the Chairship of that body in 2002, until its abolition on 22nd November 2012.

And all this while being officers of a suspended California corporation – suspended for debt, and still suspended to this day, thirty-one years later.

Miss Kenyon – Councillor Kenyon – is presently the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Procurement & Legal Services at Scarborough Borough Council. Go figure!

PrivateEye

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. kathleen parker October 20, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Why is Jane Kenyon allowed to carry on in her position with SBC? And what has she got over them for them to allow it??

    • Tim Hicks October 21, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply

      Dear Kathleen,

      I think you make a very important point. It appears from the above article and the Private Eye article that:

      1. Councillor Kenyon is Chief Financial Officer, Company Secretary and Agent for Service of Process for a bankrupt suspended company.

      2. That this is a) not declared on her Register of Interests and b) was presumably not declared to her party when she sought nomination to be a Conservative Party Councillor.

      3. That in not declaring her nterest in Belvedere Computers Inc in her Register of Interests, Councillor Kenyon is knowingly committing a criminal offence on an ongoing basis.

      Councillor Kenyon has had ample opportunity to answer these allegations and have them put to rest. However, other than abusing her position as Chair of the Police Authority by trying to have me arrested for raising them, she has simply maintained her right to silence.

      Quite apart from the fact that if she had declared her position with Belvedere Computers Inc, I suspect that she would never have been acccepted as a Conservative candidate; her current position is alleged to be criminal and completely incompatible with Conservative Party policy of openness in local Government. This is absolutely central to the Conservative Party manifesto she was elected on.

      Under these circumstances I cannot understand how the Conservative Party allow her to carry on as a Conservative Councillor.

      I would call on Councillor Kenyon to make a full and comprehensive personal statement on these allegations, or alternatively if she is unable or unwilling to resolve them, to resign.

      Tim.

  2. James Miller October 20, 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Thank you David. I am well old enough to remember the Poulson scandal but had forgotten most of the corollary information despite much of it being mentioned in other topics and threads on Real Whitby.

    This article really does help people to get a proper view of Miss Kenyon’s shenanigans and pulls everything together clearly and succinctly.

    • Tim Hicks October 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      Hi James,

      I can also just remember it. The Home Secretary Reginald Maudling -who was thought to be a future Prime Minister- had to resign and it caused enormous fall out. I think he died as a destitute alcoholic as a result.

      Can’t remember much about Miss X, whom I understand was a key prosecution witness. I wonder if she still lives in Yorkshire. Does anyone know her whereabouts today?

      Tim

  3. David Clark October 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    The key to situation lies between the Poulson trial of 1974.and the situation which arose in the USA between 1980 and 1982.

  4. David Clark March 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Saturday 15th. March 2014 brings the 40th. Anniversary of the ending of the Poulson Corruption Trial. A shame to say that similar wrong doings are going on to this day.

  5. stan hart August 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I was told many times that crime didn’t pay! I suppose it all depends who you are and the contacts you have!

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