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Latest insolvency news
A 12 year disqualification has been obtained by the Insolvency Service from Tony Ray Abbott, the sole director of Reactiv Media*Ltd.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Abbott on 6 December 2017 for a period of 12 years, which commenced on 27 December 2017.
Mr Abbott was a director of Reactiv Media Ltd, a Halifax-based marketing company which made unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes and stated it owned and maintained one of the largest databases for UK consumers, being able to target campaigns for various entities from sole traders? to blue-chip organisations.
The company went into liquidation on 8 April 2016 with estimated creditor claims totalling over ?2 million.
Mr Abbott has not disputed that he had failed to ensure that Reactiv Media:
provided accurate information in a Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership grant application, leading to an unmerited payment of over ?33,000
complied with its responsibilities under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and The Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014, leading to an unpaid penalty of ?75,000 and cancellation of authorisation to provide claims management services.
did not trade to the unreasonable risk and ultimate detriment of HM Revenue & Customs and to his benefit, while it was insolvent
Commenting on the disqualification, David Brooks, Group Leader at The Insolvency Service, said:
There are 3 distinct allegations underpinning this disqualification. As a whole, they show a director who flagrantly breached his duties to regulators and company creditors over an extended period. The privilege of limited liability status should be removed from such individuals.
Facts of this case, which were particularly disquieting, were the ?252,071 of personal spending on deposits for two houses in the very month that the unjustified grant funds were given to the company, and the nature of some of the ?177,664 of identified personal benefits taken from 1 September 2015: This included at least ?55,000 spent on jewellery and Mr Abbott?s wedding.
Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager said:
This latest disqualification of a company director is another welcome step towards stopping the scourge of nuisance calls.
The ICO has made it clear we?re committed to recovering the fines we issue on behalf of taxpayers and those millions of people who have been hounded by unwanted calls. If the fine remains unpaid we work with the Insolvency Service to pursue all the options. We are pleased this person can?t run or be involved in the management of another company which has the potential to make nuisance calls to members of the public.
Costas and Chrystalla Castrinakis, directors of Gambino Fish Ltd trading as Quality Fish in Croydon, have been disqualified for a combined period of ten*years.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr and Mrs Castrinakis, disqualifying them for five years from 10 December 2017.
An Insolvency Service investigation found Mr and Mrs Castrinakis caused or allowed the company to submit inaccurate statutory VAT returns to Her Majesty?s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Mr and Mrs Castrinakis?s disqualifications follow collaboration between the Insolvency Service and HMRC.
An in depth HMRC investigation revealed that the company had failed to record all of its cash takings and had therefore under-declared the VAT due to HMRC. As a result, HMRC raised a VAT assessment of ?53,332.
At liquidation the company was stated as owing in excess of ?164,000 to HMRC in relation to arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance contributions and Corporation Tax.
Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations with the Insolvency Service said:
The periods of these disqualifications sends a clear message to other company directors that tax abuse of any kind, particularly when it comes to suppression of cash takings by directors will not be tolerated.
Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid. By not declaring and paying the correct amount of taxes, the public has been deprived from receiving the services it deserves from the public sector. The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action against directors so they cannot abuse limited liability provided by trading through a company.
A director of a London based construction company, who was previously disqualified, has been banned for 14 years after continuing to run Silverview Developments*Ltd.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Robert Patrick Murphy on 17 November 2017 that he would not act as a director for a period of 14 years, commencing from 8 December 2017.
Robert Patrick Murphy was disqualified from acting as a director for a period of four years from 12 September 2011, but an investigation by the Insolvency Service discovered that despite resigning as a director of Silverview Developments his role within the company did not change.
Mr Murphy?s mother, Ellen (also know as Eileen) Rosemary Murphy was appointed as the registered director and has also now been disqualified for eight years for allowing her son to act as a director whilst disqualified.
In addition, Robert and Ellen Murphy failed to disclose to the liquidator the existence of two on-going contracts that were transferred to another company which had a future turnover of over ?1million, and oversaw the diversion of funds due to Silverview Developments totalling over ?45,000 to be paid to another company. Additionally, they allowed Silverview Developments to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs from May 2012 until it?s liquidation in October 2014.
Robert Clarke, Group Leader of Insolvent Investigations North, part of The Insolvency Service, said:
Directors who ignore disqualification undertakings that they have previously given, and those who provide cover for them to allow them to continue to run limited companies, will be vigorously pursued by The insolvency Service.
The length of the undertakings in this case sends a clear message to the business community that such actions will not be tolerated.
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