Sampson breaks silence to claim innocence over 'misappropiated' TalentNation funds

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

September 16, 2011 | 2 min read

Steve Sampson has claimed that he has done nothing wrong, after Scottish Enterprise said that he ‘misappropriated’ over £500,000 of funds from his company TalentNation, by moving them into his own personal account.

Scottish Enterprise this week was successful in liquidating the sporting website TalentNation, launched by the former Scottish Sun editor, which it had invested £1m in.

According to papers held in the Court of Session, and seen by The Drum, Sampson and his wife are accused of moving £575,000 out of the business and into their own bank account.

Sampson has broken his silence to deny these accusations.

A spokesman for Talent-Nation told The Herald: “The £500,000 referred to was raised privately in addition to the Scottish Enterprise investment, formed no part of the matched funds, and was subsequently fully invested in the company.

“Company records and bank statements show those transactions in full and are in the hands of our accountants and lawyers.

“Any suggestion otherwise or that any investment in the company was not properly used on behalf of the company is very wide of the mark.

“The founders also invested close to £1m of their own private capital which has now been lost as a result of TalentNation’s closure.

“The management team gave their every efforts to make it a success and everyone concerned is bitterly disappointed for the investors and staff.”

The Herald also reports that ‘a source’ close to the case said that Sampson moved the money ‘legally’ in order to protect the company’s tac benefits and that there are banking documents which can show the repayment of £500,000 and the £75,000 which were both originally moved in December 2009.

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A spokesman for Scottish Enterprise said: “Pursuing this court action was unprecedented for Scottish Enterprise and came after many months of investigation and professional advice.”

TalentNation is currently in the hands of liquidator Grant Thornton.

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