Prosecution go into second day outlining how Paul Asplin and David Kearns concealed their ownership of companies DAS handed work contracts to
A court has heard further details about how the former CEO at DAS was accused of concealing his involvement in companies the insurer was directing business towards.
The prosecution was looking to finalise the outline of its case today against Paul Asplin, along with the five other defendants David Kearns, Sally Jones, Robert Dalley, Karen Asplin and Jayne Kearns.
Prosecuting, QC Richard Whittam this morning focused on the actions Mr Asplin and former DAS claims manager Mr Kearns took to conceal from DAS each of their 33% ownership in Med Report Limited. The business was jointly founded by the men and Mr Asplin’s friend Dally in 2000 and received over 12,000 instructions from DAS while Mr Kearns worked for DAS until 2004.
Today he went into detail on the tactics he alleges Asplin used to conceal their ownership when DAS began taking a greater interest in potentially purchasing the company around mid-2003. He gave examples of several meetings and correspondence between Mr Asplin and senior DAS staff where he had failed to reveal his interest in the company. Instead it is alleged he convinced colleagues to continue renewing contracts with the company, downplaying concerns with the firm’s work and shutting down suggestions of putting the contract out for open tender.
As part of discussions Mr Asplin was required to declare if he held any interest in the company, to which he only declared that his then wife Sally Jones worked for them.
Whittam told the court: “Asplin failed to declare the far greater conflict of interest around his ownership in Med Report. And he was rather economical about the role of Sally Jones at Med Report and didn’t reflect the sum she was being paid annually of £240,000.”
Another example of Mr Asplin’s supposed concealment was given when whistle-blowing emails in 2004 suggested that David Kearns and Paul Asplin owned Med Report through a secret trust.
Whittam said: “In March 2004 the DAS company secretary David Allen directly questioned Paul Asplin about whether he did have any dealings in Med Report through a trust. He emphatically denied it and this was a straightforward lie.”
An audit into the running of Med Report was commissioned by DAS, and here too Whittam said there was concealment, as agency Solomon Hare were given verbal assurance that the company was wholly owned by Ken Walker, who had bought out Dalley for £1.5m in September 2003. In fact, both men continued to hold a beneficial interest in Med Report until selling up - Mr Kearns in November 2007 and Mr Asplin in mid-2008.
All defendants except Mrs Asplin are standing trial accused of conspiracy to defraud DAS through Med Report.
Mr and Mrs Asplin and Mr Kearns are also accused of conspiring to commit fraud in regards of CW Law.
The trial continues.