Group signs deal to settle fraud case

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OFFSHORE services group Cosalt has agreed to settle a legal dispute over an alleged fraud.

The Grimsby-based group revealed a black hole in the accounts of its Aberdeen-based offshore division almost two years ago. The division’s head, Calum Melville and his brother Stuart, its operations director, resigned.

The company said it uncovered “doubtful transactions” with Meapac Ltd. It said of all the money paid to “alleged supplier” Meapac, 95 per cent “found its way almost immediately into Calum Melville’s bank account or the bank account of companies directly controlled by him”.

Cosalt said it was approached by the brothers’ representatives shortly before the trial with an offer to settle, but a trial started on Tuesday and was adjourned until October 2. Cosalt said in the meanwhile, the court granted a decree in favour of its subsidiary GTC Group against Meapac for £2.5m, plus interest and expenses.

The group said while it previously rejected offers to settle, it has now agreed in principle to accept the latest offer, signing heads of terms.