Saturday, September 06, 2008

More on the SSG 'bankruptcy'; Dave Walker/SPCK roundup

The Wardman Wire has a round up of this weeks main developments in the ongoing SPCK saga. Without repeating all of it, lets just remind ourselves that Dave Walker would be posting this....

The Bookseller reports on the application for Bankruptcy by SSG in the Southern Division of the Texas Court in Houston. They have been in contact with Randy Williams, the Trustee in Bankruptcy :

“The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed by Christian bookseller St Stephen the Great was dismissed because the case was filed “in bad faith”, according to a court official.
Courtroom minutes show that the case was dismissed “with prejudice” during a hearing at Houston Bankruptcy Court last Thursday.

The ruling has a number of restrictions on it, including a set period when Mark and Phil Brewer, who run the chain, cannot submit another bankruptcy filing in the US. Randy W Williams, trustee for the Chapter 7 case, told The Bookseller that “the motion to dismiss was granted with prejudice and the judge found that the filing of the case was in bad faith”.

“Bad faith means in this case that it was done for a wrong or improper purpose,” he said.
In June, Williams filed a motion to dismiss it, claiming “on its face, there is nothing to liquidate and nothing available to fund an investigation in the UK”.
The brothers told suppliers in June that SSG had filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. The court later converted this to Chapter 7, leaving the retailer in liquidation.

Mark Brewer told The Bookseller last week that he did not have enough money to file for bankruptcy in the United Kingdom. He was unavailable for comment this week.”

...but because Dave has been sent a 'Cease and Desist' letter by Mark Brewer, threatening him with libel if he posts any more about the SPCK story, you're reading this on my blog, instead of his. As a legitimate news story, it should be getting reported on the Church Times blog as well, but since Dave authors this, we effectively have press censorship by the back door. Even though the bankruptcy application was thrown out earlier this week, and the date for preliminary hearings for the 30 former SPCK employees has also just been set (Sept 18th), there again doesn't seem to be any reporting in the Church Times this week. I'm disappointed.

Other developments at the Wardman Wire link, and on the SPCK/SSG blog, including:
- meeting in London on Sept 10th for those in the area with an interest, more details here.
- more digging around the apparent non-payment of pension contributions, which have gone out of people's wages, but not appeared anywhere else.
- Matt W is compiling a list of bloggers keeping an ongoing eye on the spck saga, if you're one of those, then let him know via this page.

You can also follow things via the 'We support Dave Walker' Facebook group, inching ever closer to 500 supporters, and the SPCK bookshops Facebook group.

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