Carruthers lecture cancelled after debt mountain exposed
Tomas Carruthers: lavish lifestyle
A lecture by the founder of the failed Scottish Stock Exchange project has been cancelled after Daily Business published details of his string of unpaid debts.
Tomas Carruthers burned through more than £1 million in an attempt to launch the new exchange which collapsed before Christmas under a mountain of bills. He is being pursued by former staff and contractors for non-payment.
He was due to address Stirling University Management School today about his plans to launch a similar project, a Social Stock Exchange for a Global Scotland, but organisers said it will not go ahead following intervention by Daily Business.
The lecture was scheduled by the university’s Management School as part of its 2019/20 Student Managed Investment Fund series.
Mr Carruthers struck a deal with Euronext as part of the plan to revive the Scottish Stock Exchange and enlisted speakers including Scottish Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn and Springfield Properties chairman Sandy Adam to address events during a roadshow.
However, new documents show how Mr Carruthers lived a lavish lifestyle travelling to the US and around Scotland promoting the project. Expenditure included £170,000 on travel, £117,000 on recruitment agency fees, £71,000 on marketing and £36,000 on entertaining.
A further £20,000 was spent fitting out offices in George Street, Edinburgh. Having moved in only last summer the Crown Estate issued an eviction order at the end of the year for unpaid rent.
Former staff and contractors are taking legal action to recover unpaid salaries and payments for work done and are yet to receive any response from Mr Carruthers.
Bourse Scot Ltd, the company behind steering group Project Heather, is late filing its accounts but as Daily Business reported yesterday a threatened compulsory strike-off has been suspended by Companies House pending the filing of documents.