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Kevin Maxwell
"If I'm in a position to make a contribution I would like to"
 real 28k

The BBC's Sancha Berg
A look at Kevin Maxwell's latest enterprise
 real 28k

Thursday, 18 November, 1999, 09:35 GMT
Maxwell pledge to pensioners
Brothers Ian and Kevin Maxwell were cleared of pensions conspiracy

Kevin Maxwell has pledged to compensate victims of the pensions scandal uncovered by the collapse of the business empire run by his father Robert.

Mr Maxwell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he was not in a position to be able to do so at present, but that when he was, he felt he was under a "moral burden" to do what he could.
Robert Maxwell's empire collapse: "a debacle"

He said he felt for the Maxwell pensioners who lost money in the collapse of his father's business empire.

Any future payment on his part will depend on the success of his latest venture. He has built up a new business, Telemonde, which sells telecommunications capacity.

The company is to be launched shortly on the New York-based Nasdaq hi-tech stock market.

"The moral burden that I bear, I will bear for the rest of my life. It doesn't go away," he said.

"The fact that technically, my bankruptcy has been discharged, and I'm not legally responsible, in no way minimises the moral burden that I carry.

"At the present moment I'm not in any condition to make a contribution, large or small, but obviously I hope that in the future I may be ... in a position to do something."

Mr Maxwell acknowledged that the collapse of his father's business empire was a "debacle and catastrophe" which had hurt thousands of people.

Body found floating

Robert Maxwell's business empire started falling apart after his body was found floating in the Atlantic off the Canary Islands in November, 1991.

Less than a month later, the Serious Fraud Office began investigating the management of the Mirror Group pension fund and the company's finances.

As much as 400m was thought to have been diverted from the pension fund as unauthorised loans to Robert Maxwell's private companies.

In April 1992, payments to the 240 members of the Headington Pension Plan, which was linked to a private Robert Maxwell company, were stopped.

A month later, the trustees of the Mirror Group pension scheme started legal proceedings against five banks and financial institutions to try to recoup 88m diverted by Robert Maxwell.

The government announced a review of Britain's 400,000 occupational pension schemes and promised 2.5m to ease the plight of Maxwell pensioners.

Four years later and after an eight-month trial, Kevin Maxwell and his brother Ian were cleared of charges of being involved in a 122m conspiracy to defraud company pensioners.

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