Scary Stuff About Greenwich Inc


I’ve just been sent a link to a feature in Propel magazine that certainly makes it seem as though Greenwich Inc probably deserve to sit on the Inland Revenue’s naughty step. If you can’t click through to the link from this, go to, check the archives and search ‘Greenwich Inc’ – you’ll find the piece dated 31 Jan 2014.

Basically it would seem that, seeing the empire going down in flames, INC incorporated a number of new companies in Scotland to hand over the healthy businesses to (i.e. the pubs and restaurants not losing money) without any payment to Greenwich Inc. This meant that when the liquidator came in, he was only seeing the failing businesses, the others having been already hived off. Trouble was, this was done so close to the actual failure that it actually looks extremely dodgy and it’s all a bit of a mess.

When the liquidator looked at the figures Greenwich Inc owed HMRC £3,920,502 in VAT and £2,108,696 in PAYE. The staff had not been paid for their work in November – something they were, apparently, ‘not unaccustomed to.’ It doesn’t help that INC went for advice about the potential insolvency well over a year ago and despite the advice to call in the liquidator, continued to trade for over twelve months, which I’m told is an offence.

It’s all beginning to stink – and I don’t just mean the mouse droppings and raw sewage found in the sinks at the Trafalgar Tavern last March, for which the company was fined nearly £20,000.

10 Comments to “Scary Stuff About Greenwich Inc”

  1. Jon says:

    In my view, people too readily jump on business owners who have not managed to make it work. Companies go bust – that’s why we have them. But my sympathy comes to an end very abruptly when anyone thinks the way out of difficulty is to defraud the Revenue, ignore professional advice and shaft the staff. Being a relative newcomer to Greenwich, I don’t know enough about the history to have a view on what went on in the past, but if those paintings are hanging on a wall in Park Row while the staff go unpaid, there’s something very wrong in the world.

  2. Jack Cross says:

    Jon -
    I agree totally -

    It would appear that Frank has been a very naughty boy indeed (not to mention very silly). Now we know what “Truth Only” was talking about when he was saying on that The Traf and The Hardy didn’t belong to Inc. – Frank transferred them to shell company’s in Scotland, without payment.
    That’s fraudulent, especially since you’ve been advised that your company is insolvent.

    As a former Examiner in the Official Receivers’ Office, I can tell you with confidence that that is a very stupid thing to do, because it will really look to the Official Receiver like you’re a fraudster, and an incompetent one at that.

    Also very stupid is trading for over a year with knowledge of insolvency (unsurprisingly, it’s an offence).
    As is clearing out the safes in all the premises (really, really dumb – incredible).
    As is not paying your staff (most judges will take a very dim view of that).Not handing over their PAYE deductions could have damaged their pension rights – outrageous.
    As is ripping off your (mainly small firm) suppliers to the tune of £15 million.

    It’s not just HMRC (and us as taxpayer/citizens) who are losing here – it’s the little guys – Franks’ (low paid) staff and (often small) suppliers.

    Fascinating that it was Greenwich Council who presented the petition for winding-up – Frank really hasn’t got any friends now.

  3. Dave says:

    The fact that Greenwich Council presented the petition for winding up , might have something to do with him owing a large amount of money for business rates

  4. Jack Cross says:

    Dave -
    Well of course, I had worked that out for myself, but I had, je m’excuse, assumed that the Council were all in his pocket.
    You know, for example, what with everything he’s got away with, planning-wise.

    Hence my comment that he really has no friends left now…………

  5. FingalsCave says:

    I am staggered at the sums owed.

  6. Capability Bowes says:

    Couldnt have happened to a nicer person.

  7. Capability Bowes says:

    I see their website is still up and running.

  8. Jack Cross says:


    It is, indeed, staggering that a relatively small company, operating a few pubs and bars in very good locations, should have lost, on current reckoning, something like £21 million pounds (probably plus bank loans – I have seen no figures for these).

    This is not an ordinary business failure.

  9. Craig Oaks says:

    What I want to know is – ‘where are all the works of art that have been stolen (or rather put in one of Down and out Dowling’s garages or caves) that really should be given to the Maritime Museum for safe keeping and people to view???
    He probably has struck a dodgy deal already, alas, with some overseas pal!!

  10. Sedlmayer says:

    Craig Oaks -

    Why on earth should the missing pictures be given to the Maritime Museum? They either belong to Greenwich Inc (in which case they are assets in the liquidation) or they belong to Dowling personally (in which case he can do what he likes with them) – where does the Museum enter into it?