Craig Whyte faced a barrage of jeers and boos as he walked free from the High Court
The businessman, 46, faced a barrage of jeers and boos as he walked free from the High Court in Glasgow after a seven-week trial.
As he was escorted through a group of irate Rangers fans by Police Scotland officers, Motherwell-born Mr Whyte refused to discuss the case against him.
He told waiting reporters: “I’m just delighted with the outcome.”
Mr Whyte was cleared by the jury on a majority verdict that leaves the question of who was to blame for the “death” of Scotland’s most successful club, which later went into administration and was subsequently liquidated in October 2012.
He bought Rangers for just £1 from Sir David Murray, right, in 2011 as the steel magnate’s bankers demanded he offload the club amid massive debts of the Murray Group’s other businesses.
The trial heard claims that Murray and his board carried out no checks on Mr Whyte or how he was funding the deal.
But witnesses claimed several key players in the deal were fully aware that Mr Whyte was using cash from season ticket firm Ticketus to pay for his -takeover.
He was accused of acquiring Rangers by fraud in May 2011. He denied the charge, and another under the Companies Act.
Mr Whyte was cleared by the jury on a majority verdict
Prosecutors claimed Mr Whyte did not have authority over the funds used in the takeover and “induced” the Murray Group to sell, but defence QC Donald Findlay described him as “the fall guy” in the case.
Judge Lady Stacey charged the jury on Tuesday morning, telling them to take as much time as they required to consider the case.
After just two hours of deliberations, the jury of eight men and seven women returned to court and delivered a not guilty verdict on both charges.
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Lady Stacey told Mr Whyte: “You have been acquitted and are free to leave the dock.”
He smiled and thanked the judge and jury before leaving the courtroom and was escorted from the building to a waiting car by police officers.
During the trial, the jury heard the sale of Rangers was eventually made to Mr Whyte for £1, but came with obligations to pay a £18million bank debt, a £2.8million “small tax case” bill, £1.7million for stadium repairs, £5million for players and £5million in working capital.
Mr Whyte arranged a £24million loan from financial firm Ticketus against three years of future season ticket sales before he took control of Rangers.
Mr Findlay said his client had met the conditions of the sale by paying the debt and investing in the club.
He blamed then owner Murray’s advisers, saying they “let him down very badly” in the deal and did not ask where the takeover money was coming from.
Summing up the defence case, Mr Findlay said: “They were not interested in where the money came from and we know this absolutely categorically.”