Elliot Lane says the law has caught up with The Accident Group founder, so he can expect an Al Capone-style holiday
About five years ago, I was proud to join a small but unique club of individuals who were threatened with violence for writing unflattering articles concerning The Accident Group's (TAG) financial performance.
Its flamboyant founder, Mark Langford, explained in no uncertain terms that if Insurance Times carried on publishing reports of TAG's dubious accounting, he and some friends would make the trip down the M6 to London and "break a few legs".
It left me unfazed because, as the old saying goes, "they only shoot at you if you are doing something right".
This was the unsavoury side to the man who could charm the pants off the high and mighty at charity balls, and smooth talk underwriters and solicitors into believing his business model was sound.
He and his publicity-seeking wife hid behind the glare of their good works in the Manchester area, even paying ex-US president Bill Clinton £250,000 from their own pockets to speak at a children's charity event. Untouchable, they thought.
So it is apt that two weeks ago Mr and Mrs Langford were finally caught by the Al Capone-like charges of tax evasion to the tune of £4.1m, and their sunny solace of Costa del Crime haunts such as Marbella and Puerto Banus will hopefully come to an end.
Ironically, Langford will face a bankruptcy hearing at the High Court in London on 6 March, roughly the same time as the Department of Constitutional Affairs announces the details of its new claims regime, instigated to clear up the mess he and others like him left behind.
Last year saw the jailing of Scottish broker John Walker over the £10m scam surrounding Tribune Risk and Insurance Services.
This year the industry will witness further red letter days with Langford, Independent Insurance's management and certain individuals involved in the Preston Whiteside sub-broking debacle, facing the courts.
On the 6 March, I look forward to giving my legs some exercise by taking a leisurely stroll from my office to the High Court to join a throng of ex-TAG employees hoping to get a glimpse of Langford.
Then again I could always text him. IT