The head of MG Rover used “Evidence Eliminator” software to delete documents from his computer within hours of the government announcing it was appointing inspectors to look into the collapse of the car company in 2005.
In a report published today, inspectors slam the “Phoenix Four” who bought the car company for £10. They went on to award themselves £42 million in pay and pensions, before the company went bust leaving creditors £1.3 billion out of pocket and putting 6,500 on the dole.
MG Rover was the last UK-owned volume car maker.
The report found one of the four, Peter Beale, “bought, installed and ran Evidence Eliminator with a view to deleting material from his computer before it was accessed by us.
“It is clear, too, that Mr Beale ran the program despite being aware of our intention to image and then review the contents of his computer for documents relevant to our investigation.”
The inspectors could not be certain that the deleted docuemtns were of imprtantce to the I inquiries, but believe they were. They also said, “we consider that Mr Beale gave untruthful evidence during his interviews that there was no connection between our appointment and his installation of Evidence Eliminator.”
Evidence Eliminator’s marketing promised to “… purge [your] PC of hidden computer data which could later be recovered with Forensic Software to be used as evidence against [you].”
The report said MPs inquiring into the collapse of the carmaker were given "inaccurate and misleading" information by one of the Phoenix Four.
The four, who have called the report a “witch hunt,” could now be barred from acting as company directors in future.