The former chief executive of failed company E-Clear, the controversial credit card processing firm widely blamed for the collapse of Flyglobespan, has been declared bankrupt.
Elias Elia’s credit card firm was forced out of business in January 2010 after Pricewater-houseCoopers took action in the High Court in a bid to recover £35 million that E-Clear was said to owe the Scottish firm.
E-Clear’s administrators, BDO, later uncovered debts of £127 million and linked the firm to the collapse of several other airlines, including Zoom.
Travel Weekly has learnt that Elia has been declared bankrupt and that Ian Defty, a partner at Kingston Smith & Partners, has been appointed his bankruptcy trustee and will investigate his insolvency. Defty was not available for comment.
Several industry figures called for an investigation of E-Clear after Flyglobespan’s collapse. The firm came under scrutiny from the Serious Fraud Office but it dropped its investigation last year due to “insufficient evidence”.
It was reported in January that BDO was set to go to the High Court to try to retrieve millions of pounds from Elia, and a spokeswoman said this was ongoing.
Ian Oakley-Smith, director at Flyglobespan administrator PwC, said: “The administrators of E-Clear were concerned that Elia was not a man of wealth and this confirms that’s the case. It doesn’t change a huge amount as no one was pinning hopes on recovering large amounts of money from Elia.”
Oakley-Smith said Globespan claims were still being worked on and added: “Other investigations are still in the pipeline.”
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