Wrekin Construction's uncertain future was saved two years ago thanks to a take-over offer from David Unwin.
Unwin produced a certificate вЂ“ which was assumed to be genuine вЂ“ valuing a piece of precious stone at ВЈ11m.
Wrekin took ownership of the stone and handed Unwin ВЈ11m-worth of preference shares. At a stroke WrekinвЂ™s credit worthiness was restored as the balance sheet was transformed into asset.ADVERTISEMENT
That transaction was based on a certificate of valuation, originating in Italy and dated as being 2007. Doubt surrounds its accuracy.
Also, a previous certificate which attempted to establish the stoneвЂ™s worth at ВЈ11m dating from 2004, now looks to be a further illusion.
But the jewel had a colourful history even prior to that.
The Shropshire Star newspaper reports: вЂњIt emerged today that the uncut stone once belonged to a businessman exposed as being behind a ВЈ100m scheme selling a вЂcure for AidsвЂ™.
вЂњOfficial documents supporting the ВЈ11m valuation for the gemstone in 2004 show it was owned by Trevor Michael Hart Jones, also known as Michael Hart Jones.
вЂњThe documents include an appraisal of the stone's value in 2004 for Hart Jones, who was later exposed by the BBC Newsnight programme as running a scheme, apparently backed by the Swaziland royal family, selling вЂgoat serumвЂ™ as a cure for Aids.
вЂњThe scheme was brought to the attention of the BBC by Swazi-born actor Richard E Grant, who had seen a brochure from Hart Jones' company, Commercial African Resources Development, which showed African patients being injected with the serum and showing marked improvement within 20 minutes.вЂќ
Grant called Newsnight after discovering that Hart Jones had allegedly been involved in diamond deals with the military junta which took power in Sierra Leone in 1997.
Gem expert David Davis, who undertook a valuation, records the stone as being a ruby from Tanzania, of "very fine red colour" which could be cut into many gem stones.
Hart Jones is thought to have sold the ruby to another party who later did a deal with Unwin вЂ“ he parted with a package of land in exchange for the ruby and вЂsome Rolls Royce carsвЂ™.
Unwin owns five other trading operations in addition to Wrekin which is now in administration. UnwinвЂ™s activities all come together under a holding company called Tamar.
An unnamed gemstone is listed in the TamarвЂ™s accounts in 2005, with a value of ВЈ300,000.
Peter Greenwood, a Wrekin director told CJ that after acquiring the ruby for ВЈ11m in 2007, Wrekin subsequently had it valued вЂњannuallyвЂќ.
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