Isaac Kaye

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Person.png Isaac Kaye
(businessman)
Perpetrator of Isaac Kaye/Business activities
Wikipedia page Isaac Kaye
Subpage(s)Isaac Kaye/Business activities

Background

Isaac Kaye was born in South Africa and came to Britain in 1985[1]. He is an Irish citizen[2] with Non-domicile status and has been a registered voter since 1991[3]. He lives in a luxury apartment in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London[4] [5] (since 1990[6]). In 2002, he is described by the Guardian as being a 'seventysomething multi-millionaire' who 'moved to Britain in 1985, took Irish citizenship and salted away a small fortune in a Channel Islands trust fund from a US business deal'[7]. According to The Express, Kaye moved to Britain shortly after his partner Bernard Miller who arrived in 1982[8]. In 2008, Kaye is reported to be 78 years of age[9]

Kaye has a long history of involvement in drug companies. In South Africa in the 1970's his companies were CE Electro-Medical and Continental Ethicals[10]. His first company in Britain was Harris Pharmaceuticals[11], which was later sold to the IVAX Corporation. Kaye's involvement continued with IVAX, where he held several senior positions, until his retirement in 2003[12]. He was also the second largest shareholder of IVAX (as reported in 1998), with a stake worth $136 million[13].

Kaye's career has been riddled with scandal. From as far back as the 1980's 'gifts for influence' has been a recurrent theme[14](In both South Africa and Britain). His company also stands accused of price fixing through a cartel of drugs companies which is estimated to have defrauded the NHS of an estimated £400million[15] and violation of workers rights have also featured through the barring of union activity (as unions are "not in line with company philosophy"![16]). See Isaac Kaye business activities for more details.

South Africa's Apartheid regime

Kaye was a supporter of the South Africa's Apartheid regime[17], the Afrikaner-led National party[18]. Such claims are reported to be contested by Kaye’s lawyer. However, as Osler states[19], 'it was admitted that Kaye did back one National Party candidate on grounds of childhood friendship' (John Erasmus[20]). Kaye is reported to have met Erasmus whilst he was in Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), however little else is known about Kaye's time there[21]. According to The Express, 'Erasmus served in the Rhodesian security forces after the whites-only government of Ian Smith declared UDI in 1965'.

Osler reports[22] that Kaye also offered National Party minister for health Dr Lapa Munnik the 'use of cars to transport supporters to the polls at a crucial 1979 by-election'. Munnik is described as 'an apartheid stalwart who threatened to close Catholic schools if they dared to admit non-white pupils'. Kaye also served on the board of South African Druggists (1977-1982) whose 'executives were also seconded to assist the election efforts of the Afrikaaner-led National Party'. According to Peter Goldberg ('Kaye's right-hand man') Kaye had personally approved every gift or payment given, yet Kaye is reported to have 'no recollection' of supporting Munnik or Bornman (another National Party candidate who received support by Kaye). Kaye's laywer, Warren Roiter, states that the only South African political party Kaye had "financially aided" was the opposition Progressive Party and that Kaye 'is a warm supporter of the peaceful transition to a multi-racial democracy in that country'. yet claims to the contrary continues to mount[23].

An award-winning investigation by the South African journalist Martin Welz, also alleges that Kaye seconded one of his company's executives to campaign for another candidate, Gerrit Bornman[24]. Bornman is reported to have told the Express that Kaye had been a "substantial" backer of the National party[25].

In The Express[26] in 2000, Welz is quoted as saying that Kaye 'lived in the best suburbs, dined in the best restaurants and socialised in the best circles'. The Express article continues by reporting that Kaye 'had a large and beautiful house in the upmarket Sandton suburb of Johannesburg. It was obscured behind a large garden at the end of a long, gated drive'. Kaye is reported to have been careful to avoid personal publicity whilst in South Africa. Even in 2000, IVAX's company documents make no reference to his previous business activities in connection to South Africa[27].

Kaye appears to have moved from Rhodesia to South Africa in the 1970's with his partner Bernard 'Dusty' Miller. They are reported to have 'built up their Alumina Development group into a major supplier to hospitals' before selling it for £8.5million to South African Druggists in 1977[28]. The Chemist and Druggist report that Kaye undertook his initial training as a pharmacist in the Rhodesian township of Bulawayo[29]

Kaye the 'veteran supporter of Israel'

The Jewish Chronicle describes Kaye as 'a veteran supporter of Israel'[30].

In 2006, a Guardian report by Jerusalem correspondent Chris McGreal drew parallels between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa stating that “as in white South Africa,” there was in Israel “a world of discrimination and oppression that most Israelis choose not to see.” 'There were few places where governments constructed “a web of nationality and residency laws designed for use by one sector of the population against another. Apartheid South Africa was one. Israel was another.”' Israeli Ambassador Zvi Heifetz then convened a 'gathering of leaders' to discuss a response to the article. This included Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Lord Janner, Bicom chair Poju Zabludowicz, Isaac Kaye, Gerald Ronson and Henry Grunwald. Ronson and Grunwald then met with the papers editor, Alan Rusbridger where they 'conveyed communal anger' over the article. Following this, Benjamin Pogrund (former deputy editor of the Daily Mail) published a rebuttal[31].

Labour Friends of Israel

In 2002, Isaac Kaye and David Garrard sponsored the Labour Friends of Israel Annual Lunch. Amongst those in attendence were Jack Straw and Israeli Ambassador, Zvi Shtauber. In his speech at the event, Straw thanked Michael Levy for his work on behalf of the Jewish community in Britain[32].

Financing Labour

Kaye spent £5,000 in 1997 and 1998 on tickets for Labour gala dinners and donated £100,000 to Labour in 1999[33]. He also gave £10,000 to the London mayoral campaign of Frank Dobson, the former Labour health secretary. According to The Guardian, the Labour party has declined to comment on its relationship with Kaye. He gave the Labour Party more than £5,000 in 2000.[34]. The Express highlights the 'hypocrisy at the heart of New Labour', by reporting that Nelson Mandela addressed the Labour Party conference in 2000, a hypocritical move after receiving substantial funding from Kaye since 1997. According to the Express 'To accept even a penny from such a figure reveals a shocking lack of principle among the party hierarchy'[35].

In 2008, The Independent reports[36] that Kaye donated nearly £15,000 to Peter Hain through the Progressive Policies Forum (PPF) think tank (which was set up three months after the launch of Mr Hain's campaign) to finance Hain's failed deputy leadership campaign. The Progressive Policies Forum was set up by John Underwood (former director of communications for the Labour Party, founder of Clear Communications and Business Development Director of Freshwater UK[37]) in 2006 and 'channelled over £50,000 in donations and loans to Peter Hain's deputy leadership campaign'[38]. The report continues by stating that the PPF 'has no staff, no board, no website and no published research'. Hain appeared as a guest of honour at Freshwater's table at a Labour fund-raising dinner and publicly praised Freshwater as a "modern, dynamic company" that he wanted to see go "from strength to strength"[39]. He is reported to have "absolutely no regrets" over his links to the company.

Hain is reported to have been an anti-apartheid campaigner, yet Kaye's support of the pro-apartheid National Party did not stop him from taking the money[40]. This leads us on to a crucial question when it comes to the financing of political parties, a question of whether morals and ideals can be swept aside in the process of securing finances. According to Monbiot, 'money trumps principle every time'.[41] As Monbiot states:

'You enter politics with the highest ideals and end up grovelling to multi-millionaires. Campaign finance is not the only reason for the corruption of leftwing political parties. But any system without a cap on individual donations encourages the mass abandonment of political programmes. You need to spend much less time and effort and money to secure thousands of pounds from a rich man than to shake it out of the piggybanks of hundreds of new members. Who can blame you if you adjust your programme to please the millionaires?'[42]

In 2006 and 2007, 27% of Labour's money came from individual donations of more than £100,000. As Monbiot describes, 'Aside from the largesse of Lord Sainsbury and Lakshmi Mittal, almost all of this is City money, much of it from men who run private equity companies. To what extent this influences Labour's failure to tax the super-rich, we will never know - which is, of course, the problem'[43].

Kaye is also reported to have 'paid for new tennis courts at Chequers'[44]

Kaye, the 'Smooth Talker'

Peter Goldberg, who is reported to have been Kaye's 'right-hand man', describes Kaye as having "pizzazz, fantastic gut feel for a gap or a deal. He's a people's man, a smooth talker. He knew everyone in Pretoria. If he needed to get to know someone he got to know them, even if he had to go through a ten foot wall." [45].

Gifts for influence

The Guardian reported that[46]...

'Kaye was caught up in a "gifts for influence" scandal in South Africa during the early 1980s amid claims that doctors were being rewarded with everything from cars and TVs to swimming pool equipment and chandeliers for prescribing drugs made by his then firm. He denied any impropriety, saying the giving of presents was not an inducement but an appreciation'.

However the official inquiry into the scandal found that Kaye had "no scruples about applying dishonest or unethical methods"[47]. As his former employees claim, such 'gifts' were 'an essential part of an aggressive campaign "to win friends in high places"'[48]. It was not only doctors who received 'gifts' but also academics who sat on the South African government's advisory panels, the head of the Medical Research Council and the minister of health[49].

This behaviour continued when Kaye came to Britain, as the Express report, 'Kaye's success in Britain, the row over Norton's sales tactics and his support of the government in power mirrors exactly what happened in South Africa'[50].

Norton Healthcare (Part of IVAX) has been condemned by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry for offering "unnacceptable inducements"[51]. Also the awarding of a £990,000 grant to Norton to set up a new plant in London (to boost employment and promote investment) one week after it was revealed that Norton was to cease manufacturing in the UK and relocate to Ireland (cutting 500 jobs in the process) certainly raises some questions![52]

See Isaac Kaye business activities for more details.

NHS £400m rip-off?

In 2002 Kaye's company Norton Healthcare Ltd (a subsidiary of IVAX Corporation) was 'raided by police investigating an alleged £400m rip-off of the NHS' and was 'one of six firms suspected of being involved in a price fixing cartel to push up prices charged to the NHS'[53]. After initial enquiries carried out by the Counter Fraud Directorate of the Department of Health, The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began an investigation 'into a suspected conspiracy to defraud the NHS in relation to prices charged by suppliers' between 1996 and 2000[54]. One of the antibiotics (called amoxycillin) is described as 'one of Britain's most commonly prescribed drugs' which the companies allegedly conspired to raise the price of, 'by up to 260 per cent'[55].

Norton Healthcare is reported to be 'the biggest supplier of generic drugs to the NHS'[56]. Frank Dobson, whom Kaye donated £10,000 to for his London mayoral campaign, was behind a call for the NHS to switch from brand named drugs to generic ones. This was intended to save the NHS money, yet phenomenal price hikes meant huge profits for Norton instead[57]. The alleged conspiracy of 260% increases appears almost modest compared to the example of Norton Healthcare Thyroxine tablets which rose from £6.84 a pack in 1998 to £44.89 in 1999![58]

It is alleged that senior representatives of the firms met secretly to negotiate a sophisticated scheme to manipulate and control the market by raising prices and restricting supply, an arrangement designed to reduce competition in the UK which included lying about supplies to force prices up[59][60][61].

It appears that the case is to go to trial in September 2008[62] in what The Guardian describes as 'the biggest prosecution for alleged fraud ever launched in the United Kingdom'[63]. Norton has, without any admission of liability, compensation 13.5million to the NHS in England and Wales[64], and £2.8 million in Scotland[65].

See Isaac Kaye business activities for more details.

Tax Loophole

In an article in 2002 on the subject of how 'Rich people are costing Britain millions in lost tax by not registering their houses in their own names', the Guardian reports that Kayes home in Grosvenor Square was owned by a company which in turn was owned by a 'family trust'[66]. The article claims that through the exploitation of legal loopholes 'wealthy individuals... appear to be enjoying the country's choicest property virtually tax-free'. The article also mentions Margaret Thatcher, Mohamed Al Fayed, David Potter, Tony Tabatznik, Lakshmi Mittal, Uri David, Rupert Allason, Wafic Said, Prince Bandar and Christopher Ondaatje as others who are not the registered owners of their homes who may benefit from such a loophole.

The company which owns Kaye's home is reported to be Woodworth Investment Ltd. Kaye has 'Non-domiciled' status in the UK and it is estimated that he stands to potentially save stamp duty in the region of £60,000 and inheritance tax of at least £500,000[67]

Other news

In 2001, Kaye met The Duke of Kent at Norton Healthcare's headquarters at London's Royal Docks[68].

Affiliations

 

An event carried out

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EventDateDescription
Isaac Kaye/Business activitiesIsaac Kaye's long and scandalous history of involvement with drug companies.


References

  1. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  2. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  3. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000.
  4. Evans, R & Hencke, D. (2002) 'Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions'. The Guardian 25th May 2002. Accessed 22nd May 2008
  5. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  6. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000.
  7. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  8. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000.
  9. Grimston, J., Woolf, M. & Gadher, D. (2008) 'THE DONORS: FROM DIAMOND BROKER TO DEMOLITION MAN'. The Sunday Times 13th January 2008
  10. Gillard, M. (2000) 'APARTHEID SUPPORTER WHO IS A GBP 100,000 BACKER OF LABOUR'. The Express 28th September 2000
  11. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000.
  12. Chemist & Druggist 'It's goodbye from him'. 28th June 2003
  13. McGee, H. (2002) 'Alleged fraud firm linked to millionaire with Irish passport'. Sunday Tribune (Ireland). 14th April 2002
  14. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  15. Serious Fraud Office Suspected fraud on the National Health Service Press release 10th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  16. Cited in Osler, D. (2006) New Labour and the generic medicine scam Accessed 4th April 2008, Original source:FRANCIS WHEEN, WHEEN'S WORLD: DOBBO'S MEDICINE MAN: FRANK'S PHARMACEUTICAL FRIENDS The Guardian April 26, 2000
  17. Michael Gillard, 28th September 2000. Apartheid Supporter Who Is a £100,000 Backer of Labour. The Daily Express
  18. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  19. Osler, D. (2006) New Labour and the generic medicine scam Accessed 4th April 2008
  20. McSmith, A. (2002) Fraud squad raids firm of Labour Party donor The Telegraph13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  21. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000
  22. Osler, D. (2006) New Labour and the generic medicine scam Accessed 4th April 2008
  23. Gillard, M. (2000) 'APARTHEID SUPPORTER WHO IS A GBP 100,000 BACKER OF LABOUR'. The Express. 28th september 2000
  24. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich'. The Guardian. 5th February 2008
  25. ibid
  26. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000
  27. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000
  28. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000
  29. Chemist and Druggist 'It's goodbye from him' June 28th 2003
  30. Rocker, S. (2006) 'Bicom: the rich and powerful'. The Jewish Chronicle. 22nd June 2006
  31. Josephs, B. (2006) Complaint to Guardian over apartheid analogy'. The Jewish Chronicle. 23rd February 2006
  32. Straw, J. (2002) Speech by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Labour Friends of Israel Annual Lunch 13th March 2002. Accessed 2nd July 2008
  33. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  34. Ref needed
  35. The Express 'THE EXPRESS LEADER'. 28th September 2000
  36. Brady, B. (2008) 'I've done nothing wrong,' Peter Hain insists, as he battles for his political lifeThe Independent 13th January 2008. Accessed 4th April 2008
  37. Freshwater UK Directors Accessed 4th April2008
  38. Brady, B. (2008) 'I've done nothing wrong,' Peter Hain insists, as he battles for his political lifeThe Independent 13th January 2008. Accessed 4th April 2008
  39. Pierce, A. (2008) 'Why he fell Spending spree that sent Hain's career into a tailspin' The Daily Telegraph. 25th January 2008.
  40. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich' The Guardian 5th February 2008
  41. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich' The Guardian 5th February 2008
  42. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich' The Guardian 5th February 2008
  43. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich' The Guardian 5th February 2008
  44. The Evening Standard (London). 'Drugs boss in NHS fraud inquiry is big Labour donor; Londoner's Diary'. 12th April 2002.
  45. Gillard, M. (2000) 'APARTHEID SUPPORTER WHO IS A GBP 100,000 BACKER OF LABOUR'. The Express. 28th september 2000
  46. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  47. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich'. 5th February 2008.
  48. Gillard, M. (2000) 'APARTHEID SUPPORTER WHO IS A GBP 100,000 BACKER OF LABOUR'. The Express 28th September 2000
  49. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'Comment & Debate: This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich'. 5th February 2008.
  50. Gillard, M. (2000) 'APARTHEID SUPPORTER WHO IS A GBP 100,000 BACKER OF LABOUR'. The Express 28th September 2000
  51. Death of the Noble Idea Posted February 5, 2008 Big money trumps everything in politics, even the most dearly-held beliefs By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 5th February 2008; FRANCIS WHEEN, WHEEN'S WORLD: DOBBO'S MEDICINE MAN: FRANK'S PHARMACEUTICAL FRIENDS The Guardian April 26, 2000
  52. McGee, H. (2002) 'Alleged fraud firm linked to millionaire with Irish passport'. Sunday Tribune (Ireland). 14th April 2002
  53. Maguire K (2002) Profile:Isaac Kaye The Guardian 13th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  54. Serious Fraud Office Suspected fraud on the National Health Service Press release 10th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  55. The Times 'The week that was Britain'. 27th December 2003
  56. Livingstone, T. (2008) I find it hard to see how he can continue if he is the sort of man who forgets about pounds 100,000'. The Western Mail. 12th January 2008
  57. Osler, D. (2006) New Labour and the generic medicine scam Accessed 4th April 2008
  58. Osler, D. (2006) New Labour and the generic medicine scam Accessed 4th April 2008
  59. NEWLING, D. (2003) Drug firms 'in price-fix scam'. The Daily Mail. 22nd december 2003
  60. Burleigh, J. (2003) 'NHS TO SUE SEVEN DRUG FIRMS FOR FIXING PRICE' OF MEDICINES'. The Independent. 22nd December 2003
  61. Calvert, J. (2002) 'Government sues drug giants for 'cheating' NHS'. Sunday Times. 22nd December 2002
  62. Livingstone, T. & Shipton, M. (2008) 'I made a mistake but it was an innocent mistake'. The Western Mail. 25th January 2008.
  63. Monbiot, G. (2008) 'This scandal makes it clear: for Labour, money trumps principle every time: Peter Hain's choice of donor defaces his reputation and reveals the surrender of his party  to the super-rich'. 5th February 2008
  64. BBC News Drug group backs £2.8m settlement. 30th April 2008. Accessed 30th April 2008
  65. BBC News Drug group backs £2.8m settlement. 30th April 2008. Accessed 30th April 2008
  66. Evans, R & Hencke, D. (2002) 'Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions'. The Guardian 25th May 2002. Accessed 22nd May 2008
  67. The Guardian 'Special Investigation: Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions: Choice homes, virtually tax free'. 25th May 2002
  68. Chemist & Druggist. 'Norton gets a right royal touch'. 17th February 2001
  69. Josephs, B. (2008) 'Labour donor calls Hain row ‘rubbish’'. The Jewish Chronicle. 17th January 2008
  70. Josephs, B. (2008) 'Labour donor calls Hain row ‘rubbish’'. The Jewish Chronicle. 17th January 2008
  71. Hebrew University of Jerusalem Isaac Kaye Accessed 9th April 2008
  72. Hebrew University of Jerusalem Isaac Kaye Accessed 9th April 2008
  73. Siegel, J. (2007) 'HU researchers cited for work on obesity brain surgery Alzheimer's'. The Jerusalem Post. 6th June 2007
  74. Hebrew University of Jerusalem Isaac Kaye Accessed 9th April 2008
  75. Israel Healthcare Ventures Home Page Accessed 9th April 2008
  76. The Express HE STAYS QUIET ABOUT HIS STRIFE AND TIMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. 28th September 2000.
  77. McGee, H. (2002) 'Alleged fraud firm linked to millionaire with Irish passport'. Sunday Tribune (Ireland). 14th April 2002
  78. CTK Business News Wire 'GALENA AGM DECIDES NOT TO PAY DIVIDENDS FOR 1998'. 23rd June 1999