Cliff Stanford, the multi-millionaire co-founder of Redbus Interhouse, is under police investigation following accusations that he hacked into the London-based hosting firm's email systems.
Following a second police interview, Stanford yesterday issued a statement through his solicitor denying hacking into Redbus Interhouse's network or illegally intercepting company emails, The Times reports. Police questioned Stanford over alleged offences covered by the Computer Mis-use Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
Stanford co-founded Redbus Interhouse in 1999 but resigned last year, along with two other directors, following a boardroom row with John Porter, Redbus Interhouse's then chairman. Two subsequent attempts by Stanford to oust the board failed, and he recently sold his stake in the company.
After Porter (son of Dame Shirley Porter, the disgraced former Conservative leader of Westminster council) discovered his emails were being bounced via a Hotmail address, he made a complaint to the police.
Police first arrested George Liddell, a corporate trouble-shooter who worked for Stanford, and then Stanford himself for questioning over the re-directed emails, The Times reports
Police have made no charges in the case, and Stanford remains free on bail. He is due to return to London’s Belgravia police station on December 16.
Stanford strenuously denies any improper behaviour on his part and questions whether any offence has been committed by anyone.
He said: “It’s one thing to be arrested for a crime you didn’t do, but it’s doubly frustrating to be arrested for a crime that never took place. The email re-direct was put in place by an employee of Redbus Interhouse acting of their own volition.”
Stanford is a high-profile and charismatic figure in the UK Internet business. He used the £33 million he obtained from the sale of Demon Internet in 1998 to establish investment outfit Redbus Group, which funded the establishment of Redbus Interhouse and a number of other businesses. ®