A man managed to con a Tory council and bought a private jet amongst other super luxury goods.
He went on a spending spree that would make a Kardashian blush.
He even landed himself a private jet and yacht using council money, and argues they were ‘permissible’.
The story has left people bemused how this could happen.
An investigation by the BBC has found that this effectively made Thurrock Council bankrupt after they invested £655 million in his solar farm business.
In 2015, the council started investing money with Liam Kavanagh’s business, Rockfire.
The investment came just after the Audit Commission was scrapped. They were in place to keep an eye on the spending of local authorities.
By 2018, Thurrock had already invested more than half a billion pounds in his business.
The council planned to get regular interest payments with its cash safe in the investment.
However, this didn’t go to plan for Thurrock Council – the interest payments stopped,
It was then estimated that the value of Kavanagh’s solar farms was far less than it had expected.
Tory Council private jet
A ledger of payments shows £12m went to a company that bought Liam Kavanagh’s private jet.
There are also payments totalling £2m for his Bugatti Chiron car and £16m for his yacht Heureka.
A further £40m disappears into a bank account labelled “other”.
Where is he?
The businessman is no longer living in the UK, the solar farms are being sold by administrators and the council faces a £200m shortfall on its investment.
An email Mr Kavanagh sent in 2020 suggests he always planned to spend council cash on himself. It says: “These funds… will be used to create a new family investment office and to create wealth for years to come. This has always been my plan.”
Thurrock Council had no choice but to cut services, put up council tax and the Government says it has offered it financial help.