A few moments ago we handed over a 200-page dossier to the Insolvency Practitioner investigating Stephen Lennon’s (aka Tommy Robinson) bankruptcy.
In it, we set out the evidence that we believe shows his claim of bankruptcy is a fraud, designed simply to avoid paying Jamal Hijazi the damages and legal fees that were awarded against him last year.
In October 2018, Lennon produced a video accusing Jamal of being a violent school bully. This came shortly after a video went viral of Jamal being pinned to the ground and having water poured over him. Jamal vehemently denied the allegation and instructed lawyers to begin legal action against Lennon. In April 2019, papers were served.
Lennon doubled down and continued to make the false allegations against Jamal. His legal team urged him to settle, explaining to him that his chances of winning the libel case were slim. Lennon refused their advice, sacked them and publicly announced that he would stand by his original claims but also stated that he had no intention of paying Jamal a penny if he lost.
In a video posted online in March 2020, Lennon crowed “They’re not getting paid ok. I don’t own an asset. I’m asset … I’m a straw man.”
Over the past few years, he has made numerous videos claiming he has no assets so any attempts by Mr Hijazi and his legal team to recoup what they are owed would be fruitless. Unfortunately for Lennon, in his own book, he explained that he placed assets in his wife’s name as “Those old credit problems of mine made it easier just to do the paperwork through her name.”
Among these assets in his wife’s name were six of the seven houses he owned at the time and the Tanning salon that was again in his wife’s name but he made clear in his book that he ran.
With legal costs mounting and a strong likelihood that he would lose the libel case, Lennon set in motion a plan to avoid pay up. On 3rd February 2021, he and his wife divorced. A month later, and just six weeks before the case was due to be held in the High Court, he declared himself bankrupt.
As predicted, Lennon lost the case and the judge ordered him to pay Jamal £100,000 in damages and all reasonable legal costs. Meanwhile, as is the case in any bankruptcy, the Official Receiver’s office began an examination of Lennon’s finances to determine whether he did indeed not have any money.
Furious at Lennon’s refusal to accept the judge’s ruling and gloating that Jamal would not see a penny, HOPE not hate started its own investigation into his assets.
After six months of secretly investigating Lennon we were confident we could prove he was hiding assets. We worked with creditors to trigger a clause in the Bankruptcy Act which transfers the investigation from the Official Receiver’s office to Independent Insolvency Expert which meant a more thorough investigation, using our evidence, would be launched into the validity of Lennon’s bankruptcy.
To accomplish this, we launched a crowdfunder to cover the costs of under-writing the investigation and associated legal costs. We are doing this because this is the only way Jamal will get any justice for the hurt and upheaval Lennon has caused him.
Thanks to a remarkable response we now have the finances in place to cover the required legal costs and our ongoing investigation. What we have found already has shocked even us, with the levels of wealth accrued by Lennon, off the back of his supporters, totalling millions of pounds. He’s the best paid far-right extremist we’ve ever come across.
Our basic premise is simple: Stephen Lennon is in control of assets worth millions. The properties and business investments might not be in his name, but they are being held for him.
Going back over a decade we have found numerous properties worth millions and a series of companies that we strongly believe Lennon is secretly involved with. We have already exposed his 5-bedroom palatial home worth over a million, and there’s more properties to come.
Armed with our dossier, the Insolvency Practitioners (who have now become the Trustee of Bankruptcy in this case) will undertake their own investigation into the validity of Lennon’s bankruptcy. They will have the powers to interview witnesses under caution, scrutinise bank accounts and company records and even apply for arrest warrants and search orders.
With the powers to examine Lennon’s financial dealings over the six years prior to the point that bankruptcy was declared, we are extremely confident that the Insolvency Practitioners will be able to unearth the truth.
Once a report has be completed it will then be the job of a barrister to give his or her view as to whether Lennon has the assets to pay his debt and the likelihood of recovery. If this bar is met, then legal action will begin to recover assets to the value of his debts – which currently stand in excess of £2m.
We are not releasing the full dossier at this time as we do not want to alert Lennon to the extent of our knowledge regarding the whereabouts of his hidden assets. Far better the Insolvency Practitioners investigate freely without giving Lennon the ability to try to cover his tracks. We will, however, be publishing a series of articles over the next few weeks revealing some of his assets, his business investments and his ludicrously lavish lifestyle (for someone who is bankrupt!).
Last week, we sat in the grand surroundings of the Royal Courts of Justice waiting for Stephen Lennon to come and answer questions from Jamal’s legal team about his finances and his ability to pay his debts. Lennon didn’t turn up. Instead, he sat at home and made video attacking Hope not hate and claiming he didn’t know he was due in court.
Looking rattled, he encouraged his supporters to bombard the court with phone calls, a tactic that no lawyer would recommend. This came off the back of several short videos where he joked about how much money he was spending despite being bankrupt, again, not the cleverest move for a man in his situation.
In a highly unusual but perfectly legal move, Lennon has been ordered to present himself to the High Court next month so Jamal’s lawyers can finally ask him their questions. The gravity of the situation has clearly finally dawned on Lennon. “Their strategy is to get me sent to prison”, he angrily announced in a livestream earlier this week.
Of course, whether he is sent back to prison is largely down to him. With potentially several hours of questioning under oath about the validity of his bankruptcy, his hidden assets, his divorce and his lavish lifestyle since declaring himself bankrupt, his fate – and potentially his liberty – will be in his own hands.
If Lennon stands by his bankruptcy in the High Court then he risks being caught lying as evidence gets placed in front of the judge. If that happens, or indeed if he is forced to admit the statements he gave to the Official Receiver are not correct, then he could find himself prosecuted for making a fraudulent bankruptcy claim. Behind the brash self-confidence and dismissive approach, Stephen Lennon must realise that our devastating dossier could bring him serious trouble in the months ahead.
It has taken months of covert research and intelligence gathering to get to this stage. We can only do this long term work because of our HOPE Action Fund members. Thousands have joined us, and without those members we couldn’t do the work we do.
Most members give £5 a month. There’s no free tote bag for joining, just the knowledge that you’re sustaining our antifascist work. If you’re not already, will you become a member of the HOPE Action Fund today?