I was born in 1967, the youngest of seven children of my parents Dennis and Ann Earley. We have always been a close and loving family. Between 4 and 7, I was educated at my local primary school, and between 7 and 13 I went to Howsham Hall School near York. Typical school days included getting up at 7am, followed by a 2 mile run and a cold bath immediately after, literally run with cold water only (except Nov 1st, All Saints Day, when the cold bath was replaced by a swim across the River Derwent). Discipline was tough, with liberal use of the cane for talking in the dormitory or any other relatively minor offence. But the School toughened us up, and in 25 years of Cross Country competition we were unbeaten, as well as being one of the North's top performing rugby schools. I was the School Cross Country captain, as well as triple colour for Rugby, Cricket and Cross Country, one of only a dozen boys to achieve all three. I also received separate supplementary colours for outstanding Rugby tackling, and I was also Northern Schools Cross Country champion for two consecutive years. Any form of illness at the school was very infrequent and school meals were healthy but pretty basic: more in keeping with food at a military camp in the 1940s desert. The headmaster had been a naval officer in the Second World War, and he brought that level of discipline to the School. I mention these things because, looking back, the toughness and the stamina that Howsham Hall instilled in me from a very early age has been a key bedrock that has enabled me to deal with the astonishing tests and difficulties that I have faced since age 21.
At age 13, whilst in my final months at Howsham, my father died. Although I had spent half my short life at boarding school, I still missed him very much. Four years later, my best friend was killed in a car crash when we were both only 17. I was utterly heartbroken to lose such a close friend so young and so unexpectedly. I still think of him today.
From a young age I had always been immensely self confident and ambitious. It seemed to me that there was nothing I couldn't do if I put my mind to it and was sufficiently determined. It was whilst I was in my final year at senior school that I read a book "How the Stock Exchange works" and determined to take a gap year before going to University in order to try my hand at stock market trading. Although I had been sent to private school when I was seven years old, my parents were actually very poor. We couldn't afford many of the things people take for granted; we didn't have proper heating and the walls in several of the rooms were damp. The only family holidays we had were a trip to Filey and a holiday with my Auntie in Oxford. Both a delight, but also very inexpensive. My schooling had actually been paid for by a trust that my grandfather had set up many years before when he had a successful coal merchant business. In order to commence trading on the stock market, therefore, I needed to earn some money. This I did working at a corn merchant in order to save the £800 that I felt I needed to begin trading. Still only 18, I commenced trading and, by age 21, I was trading over £1m per day on what was then the fortnightly stock market trading account. My four brothers joined me in this trading business and we set up a family company "Earley Enterprises Limited". I was responsible for trading and my brothers dealt with the administration.
I had developed a trading method which took advantage of the way that traders in smaller company shares bought at the start of the trading account and sold at the end of the trading account, so that they did not have to pay for them. I would buy at the end of the trading account into this selling and sell into the buying at the start of the account. By monitoring how stocks had moved during the fortnightly account, in many cases I was able to predict which stocks would be most affected by this particular trading pattern, and was able to show family and friends it happening in real time. These particular stocks would often move double-digit percentages in less than an hour or two of trading as investors piled back into the stocks concerned and market makers moved the prices back up. This led to me coming to an arrangement to borrow money from family and friends at relatively high rates of interest, but which ensured that I would benefit from the gains over and above the fixed return.
Unfortunately the stock market crash of 1987 caused this kind of trading in smaller stocks to disappear, literally overnight, and my attempts to find a new trading method were much less successful. Furthermore, I had acquired a large position in a stock market listed company, MBS, that I needed to sell in order to buy a successful private company engaged in wholesale food distribution that I wanted to then float on the junior market in London: taking advantage of the difference between private and public company valuations. At the time that I needed to sell the MBS shares, the company's results were due to be published. I had no reason to doubt that these would be in line with stock market expectations, but the market did not want to take on my large holding until the results were known. I therefore tried to "cash and new" the position so that I could sell the holding on the existing account (to release immediate cash), buy it back on credit on the new account and dispose of it after the results were known. However the broker through which I had bought the large holding was a very small stockbroker at the time (and was actually 15% owned by us. It subsequently merged with another broker and went on to be one of London's most successful brokers). Because it was such a small stockbroker, and the holding that was due to be rolled over onto the new account was so large, the market maker did not want to accept the broker credit risk. We therefore needed to bring in our large Japanese stockbroker, Yamaichi, to buy the holding whilst the small broker sold it. I should have ensured that the market maker was informed that the buying broker and the selling broker were the same party or that it was a matched trade. I assumed that the market maker would automatically match up two such large trades, but in fact the market maker found a sale from elsewhere so that Yamaichi did not buy the holding from the small broker but from somewhere else entirely. Thus I ended up with twice the holding in a company where I had wanted to dispose of my interest and had no means to pay for the double holding. The not wanting to lose face, or pride, had prevented me from disclosing that I was both the buyer and seller of the holding and that I needed to raise the money to complete the purchase of the food company, until I was able to sell the MBS shares once its results were known. When MBS declared its results they were far worse than the market had been expecting and the shares collapsed in value, with my losses being twice as great as they would have been but for the double trade.
This disaster lead directly to my personal bankruptcy and I felt great distress that I had let down many family and friends as well as other creditors. Not only was I personally bankrupt, but I pleaded guilty to failing to keep adequate accounts (as opposed to false accounts). Even though I had nothing to do with the accounting function, it was my business and I took responsibility for it. In sentencing me to serve 8 weeks in prison the Judge said that the case before him was "not one involving dishonesty". Had it been, the sentence would have been far higher. Nonetheless, the stigma of spending time in prison has lived with me ever since.
I resolved that I would repay my creditors no matter how long it took, and stated on the radio at the time "I know this is much easier to say than to do but I will repay my creditors in full no matter how long it takes".
Keeping that promise, despite having no legal obligation to do so, is the subject of a book I have been writing these past 28 years. It is called "In Full and Final Settlement". Amongst various themes, it charts the transformation, through multiple trials and humiliations, of my original vast and unjustified self confidence into a firm and justified faith in Christ instead.
I had intended to keep all of this private until I had paid all my former creditors and published my book, in keeping with the command that in doing good "your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing". However the unprovoked, malicious and completely libellous campaign of various parties on the Internet and social media in trying to undermine what I am doing, as well as attacking anyone in any way connected with me, leaves me with no alternative but to be more public. In particular, the attacks on Worthington, where Olympus Trading holds an interest for my former creditors (and anyone else who could justifiably claim that I have been the cause of them losing any money over the years), are acting as a road block to my fulfilling my promise and then commencing full-time evangelism.
It is therefore necessary for me, along with others who have been on the receiving end of such a malicious campaign, to take appropriate action against these parties, and this website is intended to act as a reference point for a series of actions that are being launched.
As readers may be aware, I had begun legal action against Mr Tom Winnifrith in relation to his publishing a series of stolen emails. At his request, I met with him in order to come to an out of court agreement. That agreement is published here. It is clear that Mr Winnifrith is manifestly in breach of the terms of that agreement and he has clearly misrepresented what took place in Court and afterwards. I had agreed not to proceed against him, if he stuck to these terms, because litigation is highly distracting and there was a need to concentrate on vitally important commercial work. Furthermore, the Christian imperative is to try to be kind to one's enemies and not to try and take revenge. I therefore agreed the terms for "dropping hands" but he has broken that agreement. I have given him fair warning of the consequences if he failed to do what was required to make adequate remedy, and he has not done so. Therefore, not only will I be proceeding with legal action for breach of contract, but also resuming action in respect of his involvement in the theft and publishing of the emails concerned (together with the other parties involved). Various other actions in relation to malicious libel, racketeering and unlawful interference in business (aka corporate sabotage) are being launched against Mr Winnifrith and others in the coming days, details of which will be published on this website.
In all the difficulties I have experienced, I have never engaged in any activity designed to line my own pockets at the expense of any one else. Indeed, even when I was disqualified from acting as a director, opposition counsel described me as "well meaning and sincere" and the Registrar hearing the case described me as a "clear and cogent witness" and that there was "no suggestion of dishonesty". This is because, of course, to be spending my life honouring a promise to repay former creditors - without having any legal requirement whatsoever to do so - by defrauding new investors would be completely self defeating and negate my entire life's work. This can be further seen by my refusal to get involved in anything that would knowingly risk losing investors money (see here). This letter was sent at the time that Worthington's shares were in the middle of active trading when there was no expectation of suspension. Despite all this, Mr Winnifrith and others have gratuitously thrown allegations of fraud around like confetti in a deliberate attempt to undermine the company. If the concerted campaign of sabotage perpetrated by Mr Winnifrith and others is not a criminal offence, it certainly should be, because of the huge damage such false allegations cause, particularly in the Internet age. Proper legal deterrence, to prevent this kind of abuse, is yet to catch up with the digital era. For example, taking an abuser to court to stop gratuitous lies that are multiplied on the Internet involves a lengthy libel process that can take up to 2 years to get to trial. Obtaining an injunction in libel is notoriously hard to achieve: apparently only three being granted over the last few years, two of which were actually for harassment and the third was struck out. Not only that, the defendant at the end of the two year period may not have the means to pay any damages but in the meantime is free to up the ante of abuse pending trial. It would be fairer if the claimant was able to demonstrate that any part of the coverage was manifestly false and, having done so, to require the removal of all material pending trial. This would ensure that those making allegations had to take great care to tell the truth.
I have been fortunate to work with some very honourable people at Worthington who are also deeply committed to ensuring that Worthington investors are successfully protected from the damaging campaign of Tortious Interference that was launched against the Company. This campaign is summarised here, and a summary of the plan for ensuring that Worthington shareholders are protected is here. This website will be constantly updated with news about these and other relevant matters. It is somewhat ironic that the last chapter of my book looks like being played out in public, when I would have preferred it to remain private, but I suppose it has the benefit of enabling people to see a genuine miracle take place, whilst it is still possible to deny that it will.