Insolvency Services 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.
Naeem Shakoor, director of Raptor Commerce Ltd, was disqualified for 13 years by the High Court of Justice in London on 27*September. Mr Shakoor?s disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service into the liquidation of Raptor Com...
Yi Yang Chen, director of Golden Earl Limited, trading as a Chinese takeaway, has been disqualified for causing the company to deliberately understate its*profits.
Yi Yang Chen was served a 10 year disqualification order at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 23 November 2017 following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy . The disqualification commenced on 14 December 2017.
The investigation found Mr Chen had caused Golden Earl to deliberately understate its profits between 4 February 2007 and 31 May 2014 from which he gained personal benefit.
The court heard that between 4 February 2007 and 31 May 2014, Mr Chen caused Golden Earl to conceal profits totalling ?653,436 on which Corporation Tax of ?135,528 was owed. In the absence of declaration, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued an assessment in the sum of ?345,479. This was made up of ?135,528 for concealed Corporation Tax, ?16,994 for interest and a penalty charge of ?192,957.
Between 31 May 2008 and 31 May 2014, from the concealed profits, Mr Chen received loans and advances from Golden Earl which were paid to his private bank accounts, totalling at least ?615,133 giving rise to a tax liability of ?155,788.
In the absence of Golden Earl making payment of ?501,257, HMRC placed the company into liquidation on 9 December 2015.
Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigation at the Insolvency Service said:
The public can be assured that where there have been abuses of public finance provisions which result in losses of this type, the Insolvency Service will investigate the conduct of the parties involved and take action to remove the privilege of limited liability trading for a lengthy period.
Mr Safiullah Alam, who was the company secretary of AGF Cuisine Ltd, a takeaway restaurant in East London, has been disqualified for five*years.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Alam, disqualifying him for five years from 15 December 2017.
An Insolvency Service investigation found Mr Alam caused inaccurate statutory VAT returns to be submitted to Her Majesty?s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on behalf of AGF Cuisine Ltd. Although not formally appointed as a director of AGF Cuisine Ltd, his role in the company was that of a director.
Mr Alam?s disqualification follows collaboration between the Insolvency Service and HMRC.
An in depth HMRC investigation including a till interrogation, revealed suppression of takings and also identified sales from debit/credit card takings that had been omitted from submitted VAT returns. In total, HMRC raised assessments of ?54,829 and a penalty of ?26,536 to the company deeming the actions were deliberate.
At liquidation the company was stated as owing in excess of ?187,000 to HMRC in relation to arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance Contributions, Corporation Tax and penalties.
Commenting on the disqualification, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations for the Insolvency Service said:
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.