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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS: Wolf 359 Conventions Limited
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/23/2000 12:55:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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>I was considering attending a forthcoming Wolf Events convention
>over here in England, and being a suspicious person, checked the
>company out on the companies house web site before sending my
>registration off. The site said that the accounts for Wolf 359
>Conventions Limited were overdue since November 1998.

Just for my own understanding, can you clarify what this means, what accounts
are you referring to here, and what is a "companies house?" Does this have
something to do with being a supposed charitable convention?

> I then sent
>an email to the enquiries desk at companies house asking if this
>was normal, or whether I had reason to be concerned.
>They replied within 3 hours saying that the company was "in default"
>and was "in danger of being struck off".
>

I have to say that I'm not surprised that this is the case.

>Presumably if this happens, they will not be able to hold events,
>and people like me who had sent money stand a good chance of
>losing the lot.
>Is there anything that can be done over on your side of the Atlantic
>to warn the stars who might be thinking of attending one of these
>events to make sure they don't get dragged into the mess when it does
>all go bust?
>

I don't have much day to day contact with the cast, I'm afraid, since
everyone's pretty much gone on to do their own things after B5 concluded.
Perhaps others can relay this to the fan clubs of the various actors.

I also try not to get between the cast and their activities.

>Sorry if this is not really your territory, but you are the only
>approachable person in this business that I could think of.
>
I try.

>The companies house web site is http://www.companieshouse.co.uk -
>check under "free information" and search for "wolf359". Please do
>not take my word for this - feel free to check it out with Companies
>House yourself.
>

Thanks for the info.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS: Wolf 359 Conventions Limited
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/24/2000 9:27:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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No, I have no problem with this continuing to be mentioned here, as long as the
moderators are okay with it, since it does refer to a B5 related situation, and
it mainly a fact-finding situation that relates to many folks in the group who
might be affected by it. So yeah, keep me in formed, thanks.

jms

>Since I am *far* from an expert in UK company law, I have just sent
>the following email to companies house asking for some clarification.
>I hope they don't mind me asking what must be fairly basic questions
>(it would be expected that if we were interested in stuff like this
>that we'd hire a lawyer / accountant) but here's hoping...
>
>Quote:
>
>Sirs,
>
>There has been some speculation on the internet concerning the ongoing
>viability of Wolf 359 Conventions Limited (company no. 03198158) which
>has been in default in posting its financial statements since November
>1998.
>
>Since nobody on the forum in question is an expert in UK company law,
>I would very much appreciate it if you could clarify a few points for
>me?
>
>1) In the case of a company like this which has defaulted on its
>accounts for a significant period of time, what is the process from
>this point? Is there an automatic legal procedure that gets triggered,
>or does someone have to make a complaint before action is taken?
>
>2) Where accounts have not been submitted, to what extent are the
>directors personally liable for amounts paid to the company in advance
>of goods or services being supplied?
>
>3) Does the company secretary (as listed in the companies house
>register) have the same financial and legal responsibilities as the
>directors?
>
>4) If someone has a suspicion that money collected in the name of
>charity has been used for other purposes, what should the procedure be
>to get this investigated?
>
>5) If an official of a company has been spending the company money on
>trips abroad that might be considered in excess of those strictly
>required for company business, is there a personal tax position for
>the company official?
>
>Finally, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these
>questions.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Paul Harper
>
>p.s. I have posted this message onto the forum, and would like your
>permission to post your response to it as well. If you would prefer I
>did not do this, please feel free to let me know.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS: Wolf 359 Conventions Limited
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/26/2000 7:49:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>>4) If someone has a suspicion that money collected in the name of
>>charity has been used for other purposes, what should the procedure be
>>to get this investigated?
>
>Contact the Charity Commissioners, who will perform a preliminary
>survey before placing the matter in the hands of the police or the
>Attorney General (depending on whether criminal fraud is suspected)
>if so advised
>

That's interesting, because at the very last Wolf convention I attended, I
pulled Brian Cooney aside at a gathering just as the con was starting. We went
out on an open walkway to talk, and I told him I was concerned that no
statements or books had been forthcoming on charity contributions, despite
promises made to that extent.

He then stated to me, quite openly, that of the first two or three such B5
related conventions, very little of the money got to charity, unless the check
was specifically written out to the charity by the con-goer. (During the
Vorcon gathering, I heard from many folks in email that they were not allowed
to make out their checks to the charity in question, they had to make it out to
Wolf or it wouldn't be taken.) He said it went to pay actors fees and other
expenses.

Which, for me, was when the alarm bells began going off, leading to my decision
not to get involved with any further Wolf conventions. I also heard from some
folks who had been involved with the cons who said that the books were either
badly kept or not kept at all, though I have no way of personally confirming
that.

That's the extent of my knowledge on the situation, so perhaps someone over
there can contact these Charity Commissioners to get a clearer picture in case
anything changed or if those statements, as presented to me, were not correct.
Obvioulsy I cannot personally state them as fact, I can only pass on what was
stated to me.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS: Wolf 359 Conventions Limited
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/27/2000 7:52:00 AM  

Message 4 in thread 

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>I appreciate the time you've taken to listen - maybe I should copy
>these notes to the UK discussion groups for B5, Star Trek and SG1 to
>let people start asking their own questions?
>

Certainly there's nothing much that can be done on this side of the pond; it
really is a UK-based problem, so that may be the best solution in terms of
getting more information.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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