THE CLOSEST Piers Morgan has come to standing in the dock was in 2000.
He was editor of the Daily Mirror.
The government launched an investigation after he made huge profits from shares tipped by the paper.
Two of his journalists were sacked and later convicted of manipulating the stock market.
One of them went to gaol.
Piers Morgan was not charged.
An internal inquiry by Mirror owners Trinity Mirror cleared him of any “impropriety or wrong-doing”.
The Press Complaints Commission “severely censured” Morgan.
But Mirror directors suppressed key material.
This corporate cover-up continues to this day.
It involves the paper instructing lawyers to deliberately mislead the Leveson Inquiry.
This is the first time the full story has been told …
FOR PIERS MORGAN the nightmare began one evening in February 2000.
It was Tuesday, February 1.
That day he’d had a secret meeting with Arsenal Football Club about becoming the club’s managing director.
“But they couldn’t afford me,” he said.
This was followed by management meetings.
He arrived back at his 22nd floor office in Canary Wharf at 7pm.
His secretary Kerrie Buckley told him the Daily Telegraph had left a message.
Business reporter Suzy Jagger had a question for Morgan:
“Did you buy shares in Viglen Technology through Kyte Securities on 17 January?”
In his 2005 memoirs, The Insider, Morgan remembers:
“I froze to the spot”.
He had indeed bought shares in Viglen — a company owned by Amstrad boss Alan Sugar — on that day.
It was also the day the Daily Mirror business column, City Slickers, were preparing an exclusive story about Viglen starting an internet business.
The article made the company its tip of the day:
“We expect the price, which closed last night at 180p, to double in a very short time,” it said.
“Get in quick for the pay-day of a lifetime.”
The next day, 18 January 2000, the shares doubled in value — from 180 pence to 366 pence.
THE INFAMOUS column of 17 January 2000 sparked a scandal for the Daily Mirror that remains a toxic legacy of Piers Morgan’s editorship. City Slickers was the brainchild of Piers Morgan and Mirror executive — and former Sun editor — Kelvin MacKenzie. Launched in May 1998 with a “ cheeky irreverent style”, it was soon riding the dotcom boom of the late 1990s. The share price of the column’s top ten tips for 1999 rose by 142 per cent.
His secretary asked if he was OK.
“Well, I’m not sure, to be honest,” Morgan told her.
“I bought some bloody shares a few weeks ago, and I think it’s about to crash around my ears.”
Morgan rang Jagger back and admitted he’d bought some shares.
“Better to be open and up front in situations like these,” he wrote.
He also “called the Mirror lawyers and talked them through it all.”
At 11pm that evening he saw the first editions of the Daily Telegraph which carried his admission that he’d bought £20,000 worth of Viglen shares.
Morgan was relieved:
“… there was just a small, balanced story on a left-hand inside page.”
“I wasn’t too worried when I saw it: if they’d really thought I’d done something awful, it would have been on the front.”
But the Sun also saw the Telegraph piece.
It changed its later editions, putting the story on the front page — and carried an editorial calling for Morgan’s resignation.
The next day directors of Trinity Mirror, owners of the Daily Mirror, were getting involved.
They called Morgan down to the executive offices on the 20th floor of the Canary Wharf tower block.
He told John Allwod, deputy chief executive, he had no idea the City Slickers were going to tip the company.
Morgan said he’d only bought a small number of shares tipped by the City Slickers.
In all, he’d only bought shares on about twenty occasions:
“ … and made hardly any money on anything”.
The law firm Lovells were brought in to help the board with its investigation.
Emails between Piers Morgan, his broker and the City Slickers were examined.
Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell, the two journalists who wrote the City Slickers column, were questioned.
They said Piers Morgan didn’t know about the Viglen article.
The investigation took just two days.
On February 4 Trinity Mirror issued a statement to the Stock Exchange saying that an internal investigation had taken place.
“The findings of this inquiry … supported by the group’s solicitors Lovells … show there are no grounds for any accusations of any impropriety or wrong-doing by Piers Morgan.”
Morgan sold his shares and donated the profits to charity.
BUT THE crisis wouldn’t go away.
The Department of Trade & Industry announced an investigation and the Press Complaints Commission launched an inquiry.
On February 17, a month after the Viglen article was published, the City Slickers Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell were sacked for gross misconduct.
“A decision I was not allowed to take any part in,” Morgan later wrote, “but everyone will think I did to save my own scrawny neck”.
“I can sense a certain frostiness among some of the staff, and there are even rumours that some senior journalists are planning a vote of no confidence in me”.
There was no rebellion.
MORGAN THE SLICKER
PIERS MORGAN was an avid follower of the City Slickers. On one occasion he emailed Anil Bhoyrul to say “I need some ideas for my general Pep, which is bursting with profit from NXT [a share tipped by the column]. Got any good longer term suggestions for this year?” He also emailed Bhoyrul to congratulate him on a piece about a major City figure getting involved in Formula One motor racing. “”Great story. Does this mean free tickets to the grand prix all round?” Bhoyrul replied: “I already have free tickets to all grand prix.” Morgan replied: “You did, Anil, you did .”
But the strain was affecting Morgan.
At the Press Gazette awards in March 2000 he got drunk and lost his temper with the team from the Sun.
“Then one of the Sun lot, quite understandably, threw a punch at me, which missed, and all hell broke out — with journalists from the Mirror and the Sun trading shoves, slaps, kicks and abuse.”
The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) completed its investigation in May 2000.
Unusually, its rules about financial reporting are more stringent than the criminal law.
Clause 14 of its Editors’ Code of Practice was clear:
“ … although it may not be illegal for journalists to buy shares about which they have recently written or are about to write, such purchases are forbidden by the Code.”
It heard from the senior of the two City Slickers, Anil Bhoyrul.
Bhoyrul had originally told the Trinity Mirror inquiry he had not informed Piers Morgan that the column was about to tip Viglen on January 17.
Now he changed his version of events.
He claimed he’d informed Morgan of the piece on the morning of January 17— and said Morgan later told him he’d purchased shares in the company.
Bhoyrul also confirmed he’d bought shares on at least six occasions which the column had tipped.
James Hipwell admitting 25 such purchases.
Morgan insisted his purchase of the Viglen shares was coincidental — he bought them several hours before the article tipping the company was written.
He didn’t tell the City Slickers he’d bought them.
There was, he said, a general buzz about the company and it was one of the City Slickers’ top ten tips for 2000.
There had been job adverts which indicated that an internet division was being planned.
A relative — a wealthy and apparently successful private investor — thought it a good company.
In an attempt to distance himself from the column, Morgan also claimed he’d had concerns about journalist James Hipwell.
He said he’d been tipped off that the journalist was “being investigated in respect of share dealings”.
Morgan claimed he discussed this with Bhoyrul in June 1999 and personally warned Hipwell not to buy shares in companies the column was tipping.
Bhoyrul and Hipwell denied Morgan had talked to them about this.
No evidence has ever emerged to back up Morgan’s assertion.
In May 2000 the Press Complaints Commission announced its findings.
It issued a “critical adjudication” which “severely censured” Piers Morgan and the City Slickers.
This was the most serious judgment it could make.
(It was the second time Piers Morgan had been censured — the first was in 1995 when he was editor of the News of the World.
See the Press Gang article Whodunnit? for more details.)
The Commission found Morgan had breached Clause 14.
He had bought shares in Viglen and another company.
The PCC did not consider it necessary to decide if he had known the Viglen shares were going to be tipped.
As editor, Morgan had also allowed the City Slickers to engage in “flagrant, multiple breaches of the code over a sustained period of time.”
Morgan had therefore “fallen short of the high professional standards demanded by the code”.
PCC chairman, Lord Wakeham, said there was a “clear climate of slack” at the paper.
The watchdog referred the matter to Philip Graf, Trinity Mirror’s chief executive, “in view of the unsatisfactory state of affairs revealed by this episode.”
According to the PCC, Trinity Mirror issued a “severe reprimand” to Morgan and a “written warning” about his management of the paper.
The PCC congratulated itself:
“This is an example of where the provisions of a tough industry Code are more onerous than the law and an example of the strength of effective self-regulation.”
There were no financial penalties, however.
Naturally, the Sun made the most of the ruling — its editorial verdict on Morgan:
“A lying spiv.”
SIX MONTHS after the Commission’s ruling, the scandal erupted again.
On 12 November 2000 the newspaper Sunday Business (it closed in 2006) published emails exchanged between Morgan and Bhoyrul.
The emails — also highlighted in other papers — had been deleted.
But inspectors from the Department of Trade & Industry were able to recover them from Trinity Mirror’s central servers.
One was sent by Morgan to Bhoyrul at 4.33pm on the afternoon of 17 January 2000 — the day he bought the Viglen shares.
THE EXPLOSIVE Sunday Business front page article which gave the lie to Morgan’s claim that he had not told the City Slickers he’d bought shares in Viglen. The paper obtained an email from a source in the Department of Trade and Industry which was investigating Morgan. It suggested Morgan discussed Viglen with one of the City Slickers before the article went to press …
Earlier that day, Bhoyrul claimed he’d urged Morgan to sell shares he held in a company called Pace Micro Technology — and invest the proceeds in Viglen.
He said Morgan told him he would buy into Viglen but keep the Pace shares.
After seeing the Pace shares rise, Bhoyrul said he e-mailed Morgan congratulating him on his decision to keep his stake.
Morgan sent a message back — at 4.33pm on the day he bought the shares — saying that he’d sold the Pace shares after all.
This crucial 10 word message reads:
“I sold them this morning for bloody Viglen. Congratulations halfwit.”
Bhoyrul told Sunday Business:
“I said I had an e-mail from Piers about Viglen that day, but it disappeared when I tried to recover it after I was sacked.”
“If it’s turned up, that’s very serious as the Mirror accused me of lying about it.”
“The Press Complaints Commission may have to look at this again.”
PCC director Guy Black played down the possibility of any new inquiry on the basis of the emails.
He said the Press Complaints Commission had never needed to consider the e-mails between Morgan and Bhoyrul as it was already clear the code had been breached.
“We haven’t been given any of this new evidence yet but a breach of the code is a breach of the code,” he said.
“The Commission found him guilty in the first place.”
“The existence of e-mails may add icing to the cake but it unlikely to change our decision.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesman claimed that the company had known about the e-mails for some time.
“We had a full investigation and nothing new has come to light that leads us to change our minds,” he said.
The PCC did not re-open the investigation.
At the time Morgan declined to comment.
When one reporter rang him, Morgan said “goodbye, mate” and hung up.
By the end of the 2000, it was clear Morgan had weathered the storm.
In April 2001 he signed a new contract — and became editor in chief of the Sunday Mirror as well as the Daily Mirror.
IT TOOK the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) four years to complete its investigation.
It investigated Morgan because it suspected insider trading.
Insider trading is when employees of companies leak confidential information to outsiders so that shares can be bought before the price goes up.
Viglen was one of the companies investigated.
The shares had doubled as soon as the City Slickers tipped them.
It would later emerge that the Financial Services Authority had — secretly — censured Viglen for not declaring its intention to launch an internet “without delay”.
The rules of the Stock Exchange say price sensitive information should be announced via its own news service.
DTI inspectors interviewed Piers Morgan on several occasions but, in the end, could find no evidence of insider trading either in Viglen or any of the other shares he had bought.
It decided not to prosecute.
City Slickers Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell were charged along with a private investor with another offence — market manipulation under the Financial Services Act.
“conspired to create a misleading impression as to the value of investments for the purpose of creating the impression and thereby inducing other persons to acquire those investments, by using the City Slickers column in the Daily Mirror to tip those investments.”
The prosecution case was that they operated a “first buy, then tip, then sell” policy.
Many of the shares they made a killing on subsequently dropped in value — thus cheating ordinary investors who’d followed the tips.
Ironically, the Viglen investments were not part of the prosecution.
Bhoyrul pleaded guilty — but Hipwell and the investor decided to fight the case.
THE CITY SLICKER’S decision to plead not guilty led to most of the story finally seeing the light of day. By the time he was sentenced to six months in gaol, he’d had a kidney transplant.
It was this decision that, finally, brought a fuller version of the scandal into the open.
The trial started at Southwark Crown Court in London in October 2005.
(By then Piers Morgan was no longer Mirror editor.
He’d been sacked in May 2004 after he published photos of British soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq which turned out to be fakes.)
The prosecution said Hipwell made a profit of £41,000 buying and selling shares that were tipped between August 1999 and February 2000.
Bhoyrul made £15,000 in the same period.
Hipwell said he made no secret of his trading and bought shares in his own name.
In the witness box, he said Piers Morgan told him:
“ … if we were in the business of tipping shares he was happy for us to trade and even used the analogy along the lines of you would not learn to drive a car from somebody who had never been in a car.”
To back up his version of events, the defence was to make a series of sensational revelations.
The thrust of these was that there had been a deliberate cover-up by Morgan and directors of Trinity Mirror.
THE FIRST bombshell was that Morgan and Trinity Mirror had not been telling the truth about the extent of Morgan’s dealing in Viglen shares.
For nearly five years it was believed Morgan had only bought £20,000 worth of shares.
In fact, the figure was more than three times greater — £67,000.
Morgan had said that he bought the shares on a whim.
In fact, he spent a considerable amount of time and effort in acquiring the shares on 17 January 2000.
Hipwell’s barrister spelt it out:
Morgan arranges for the purchase of 6,884 Viglen shares worth £12,805 through his then wife Marion’s tax-free private equity plan (PEP).
Twelve minutes later, Morgan uses his own PEP to buy a further 19,632 shares worth £36,074.
Morgan rings his broker Antony Laiker at stockbrokers Kyte Securities and buys a final block of 10,000 shares worth £18,275.
This is nine minutes after the Mirror’s editorial computer records Anil Bhoyrul filing the Viglen piece — at 3.19pm.
Morgan’s final purchase is made through a nominee account, a legal device which hides the identity of the purchaser.
It is this last purchase which generates the original tip-off — probably from someone inside Kyte Securities — that Morgan had bought £20,000 worth of shares in the company.
Reporters in court were shocked by this revelation.
It was quickly followed by another.
It was revealed that other journalists had also bought shares in Viglen on the same day: business editor Clinton Manning, news editor David Leigh and reporter Ian Miller.
And other senior figures had bought other shares later tipped by the City Slickers.
They included deputy editor Tina Weaver and the paper’s lawyer Martin Cruddace.
Cruddace is a close friend of Piers Morgan.
In 2010, Morgan wrote of Cruddace:
“A finer, more loyal, trusted colleague and friend it would be impossible to find.”
MARTIN CRUDDACE, the Daily Mirror legal manager during the City Slickers scandal, is one of Piers Morgan’s best friends. In 1999 he organised a syndicate with Piers Morgan and James Hipwell to buy a racehorse called Ledham. When Morgan was kicked out by his wife in 2000 — after he started an affair with Sun journalist Marina Hyde — Cruddace put him up in his London flat. Cruddace left the Mirror in 2002 and has worked in the gambling industry ever since.
It was the lawyer’s job to advise Morgan about libel and the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code.
He also took a close interest in the City Slickers column after the industrialist Victor Kiam sued the Mirror in 1999.
Kiam was later awarded more than £100,000 in damages.
Cruddace also invested £6,500 in several companies — but not Viglen — before they were tipped by the City Slickers.
His mother, his girlfriend and her father also bought shares in some of these firms.
Cruddace told the jury he “regretted” the purchases but insisted it was a “coincidence” they were later tipped by the Slickers.
In his evidence Hipwell claimed he’d asked Cruddace if the column should carry a warning that the City Slickers held shares in some of the companies they were tipping.
He says Cruddace told him it wasn’t appropriate.
Cruddace said he couldn’t remember the conversation but accepted it might have taken place.
At the trial Hipwell also alleged that Cruddace — and deputy editor Tina Weaver — put pressure on him to protect Morgan.
Both denied this allegation.
The jury also heard the transcript of a phone call between Anil Bhoyrul and his broker Richard Grossman of stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley.
Grossman also acted for Hipwell.
Bhoyrul was concerned about buying shares that he and Hipwell were tipping.
“We have been sort of been asking our people at the Mirror …”, he said, “When we tip something, if we have shares in something, is it a problem?”
“It’s all to do with something called morality …”
“As far as the law is concerned, I am very surprised your company doesn’t have rules on it.”
Grossman admitted he and other Redmayne Bentley employees also bought shares tipped by the City Slickers but denied the purchases were influenced by the column.
Once again, it was just coincidence …
THERE WAS another dramatic development when a statement from public relations man Nick Hewer was read out.
Hewer — later to become famous as one of Alan Sugar’s advisers on the television programme The Apprentice — represented Viglen in 2000.
Hewer said that on the day Morgan bought his shares Bhoyrul rang him for a quote for the Viglen story.
After the storm broke in February, he rang him again.
Hewer said Bhoyrul:
“explained that Piers was in trouble and that we needed to help him.”
Hewer was asked to tell the law firm Lovells, who were helping Trinity Mirror executives with their investigation, that the call from Bhoyrul on January 17 came much later than it actually had.
This would show that Bhoyrul wrote the Viglen article late on January 17 — long after Morgan bought his last batch of shares in the company.
“I explained I was unable to help as all the facts were locked in a letter to the Stock Exchange from Viglen,” Hewer wrote.
“This suggestion placed me in a difficult position …”
“My living was to deal with these people and I again explained I could not be pressured into saying anything.”
The statement also revealed that Hewer subsequently spoke personally to Piers Morgan.
They discussed the timing of Bhoyrul’s phone call and Morgan suggested it would be “helpful if the time of the clearance quote could be pushed back from the time it was actually made.”
Hewer told Morgan he was not prepared to lie — but agreed to say the call was made “late in the afternoon”.
(Morgan denies this allegation.
He told Press Gazette after the trial that it was “absolutely cock and bull rubbish”.
“I never asked Nick Hewer to lie.”)
Solicitor Graham Livingston, who carried out the Lovells inquiry into the scandal on behalf of Trinity Mirror, was questioned about Hewer’s testimony when he gave evidence.
He was asked if he would have cleared Morgan of “impropriety or wrong-doing” if he’d known that Hewer had been asked to lie.
Livingston said he would not.
PIERS MORGAN says Nick Hewer — now the presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown programme — is lying when he claims the former Mirror editor asked him to lie on his behalf …
It was during the trial that the fact that the Financial Services Authority had censured Viglen for not declaring its decision to launch an internet site “without delay” was revealed.
The criticism had never been made public.
Hipwell’s defence was that he was open about his share dealing — and only did so because Piers Morgan and other senior reporters and executives were also doing it.
The jury wasn’t impressed — and he and the private investor were convicted.
He was sentenced to six months in prison.
Mr Justice Beatson said the sentence would have been longer had Hipwell not been suffering from kidney failure.
And he added:
“There was no guidance from your superiors or from in-house lawyers, and there was evidence of a culture of advance information about tips — and share dealing in the office.”
“I also take into account the fact there was no formal code of conduct for journalists at the Daily Mirror.”
The private investor was gaoled for three months.
Anil Bhoyrul, who admitted the offence, was ordered to serve 180 hours of community service.
THE TRIAL was an eye-opener for Roy Greenslade, former Mirror editor turned media commentator.
He felt the Press Complaints Commission had been conned by Piers Morgan and Trinity Mirror back in 2000 into believing he’d only purchased £20,000 worth of Viglen shares.
Greenslade believed several Trinity Mirror executives had conspired to give false evidence to the Commission.
Morgan, he thought, would have found it difficult to survive as Mirror editor if the true scale of his dealings in Viglen had been known.
He asked the Commission to reinvestigate.
THE MEDIA commentator — and former Daily Mirror editor — was shocked by the revelations which emerged during the City Slickers trial in 2005. He believed Piers Morgan and Mirror directors had deliberately deceived the Press Complaints Commission back in 2000.
Photo: Roy Greenslade
The PCC asked Trinity Mirror to explain why it had suppressed the full value of Morgan’s Viglen purchases.
The PCC reported that the company
“told the Commission it almost became a touchstone of the veracity of Messrs Bhoyrul and Hipwell as to whether they could show independent knowledge of the total of £67,000.”
Directors decided to hold back the total amount involved.
As a result, it had sent the Commission an edited version of the report prepared by the law firm Lovells.
The Commission “considered the logic” behind the company’s strategy “weak”:
“… it was a matter of regret” that the company had “for whatever reason — submitted a partial account of Mr Morgan’s share dealings to the Commission which had the effect of misleading it.”
The Commission also criticised the company for not issuing a statement after the trial explaining why it had suppressed the true amount of Morgan’s Viglen holdings.
But it had “not found evidence to suggest that directors … had conspired to present untruthful evidence to … protect Mr Morgan and to minimise the Commission’s criticisms.”
Roy Greenslade told Press Gang he was convinced the Commission — had it known the full facts — would have issued “an even harsher judgment than it did”:
“In the PCC’s previous verdict against Morgan, over a breach of the Code when he was editor of the News of the World, the chairman had prevailed on the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, to admonish him in public.”
“The PCC could have done that over the Viglen affair too and that would have placed the Trinity Mirror board under pressure to fire him.”
He was certain Trinity Mirror management had been
“… complicit in allowing Morgan to escape the appropriate PCC censure.”
One key fact was left out of the Commission’s consideration — the “killer email” Morgan sent to Bhoyrul at 4.33pm on the day he bought his shares.
IT TOOK five years before the inside story of the City Slickers scandal finally saw the light of day.
But Trinity Mirror continues to deny key elements of it to this day.
David Seymour — political editor of the Mirror newspapers from 1993 to 2007 — made a statement to the Leveson Inquiry in 2012.
He said he had openly expressed concern about the City Slickers long before the scandal broke.
Of the Viglen affair he wrote:
“There was, in my view, a ‘killer email’ showing conclusively that the editor knew what was going on.”
This is a reference to the 4.33pm email Piers Morgan sent Anil Bhoyrul on 17 January 2000.
Trinity Mirror instructed the law firm Herbert Smith to contest this allegation.
In a letter to the Inquiry, Herbert Smith stated:
“Mr Seymour’s allegation … that there was a ’killer email showing conclusively’ that former editor of the Daily Mirror Piers Morgan ’knew what was going on’ in respect of the City Slickers matter, is wrong.”
KILLER EMAIL v URBAN MYTH
THE EMAIL former Mirror political editor David Seymour believes proved Piers Morgan knew the City Slickers were going to tip the Viglen shares was reproduced in the Sunday Business in November 2000. Trinity Mirror told the Leveson Inquiry the email was an “urban myth” …
“Trinity Mirror informs us that the existence of such an email was an ’urban myth’ during the City Slickers saga.”
“No such email was ever found despite a thorough investigation by the DTI — which included … the seizure of a number of personal computer hard drives including those of Messrs Morgan, Hipwell and Bhoyrul.”
This article has already shown that this ‘killer email’ — the 4.33pm email Morgan sent to Anil Bhoyrul on the day of his Viglen share purchases — had been revealed in November 2000.
When Seymour wrote to the Inquiry to give further evidence about the email, he was told that there wasn’t time to add new material…
We asked Trinity Mirror for a comment.
Company secretary Jeremy Rhodes said:
“The contents of your email are noted.”
ONE INTRIGUING question emerges out of this Press Gang investigation.
In 2000 Piers Morgan said he had sold his shares in Viglen — and donated the profits to charity.
AFTER THE trial of the City Slickers in 2005, Piers Morgan told the Independent on Sunday: “I fully accept that I’m a morally defunct human being.” At the height of the scandal, in 2000, he also told actress Kate Winslet — in a conversation about her unlisted telephone number — “ … you don’t get to be the editor of the Daily Mirror without being a fairly despicable human being.”
At that time, he was only admitting to owning £20,000 worth of shares.
But he and his wife actually owned £67,000 worth.
So did he donate just the profits from the £20,000 block — or did it also include the proceeds of the entire £67,000 investment?
We put this to Piers Morgan this morning.
There was no answer by the time this piece was published.
This is the fifth instalment of the series A Pretty Despicable Man.
Already published are
Dial M For Morgan
Down In The Gutter
Assault On The Bank Of England
Click on a title to read the article.
© Press Gang
Published: 4 November 2015
THE MIRROR: CRACK’D FROM SIDE TO SIDE
WHEN THE Daily Mirror started recruiting former Murdoch journalists — like Piers Morgan — it committed itself to the use of the “dark arts” as a way of competing with the Sun. The full extent of the moral corruption of one of Britain’s greatest newspapers is only just beginning to emerge. And yet an ostrich-like management continues to deny the full extent of the catastrophe. Part Six of A Pretty Despicable Man says it’s time the company cleaned out the stables once and for all …
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