The Royal Mail Case
with a special introduction by Alan Dershowitz
ONLY A FEW LEFT
The Royal Mail Case presents the British version of the Enron case, set during the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. One of the British Empire's premier corporations - the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company - went belly-up, leaving its shareholders empty-handed. The aristocrat who headed the company, the very distinguished Lord Kylsant, was indicted, along with London's most distinguished accountant. The charges were larceny under an 1861 act, but the gravamen of the offense was fraud by omission. Lord Kylsant and his accountant were accused of willfully misleading investors, not by what they said in the prospectus but by what they didn't say. In fact, everything they said was literally true, but by omitting crucial information, the net effect of the prospectus was to convey a false impression of the financial situation of the company and specifically about its likely future profitability.