Insolvency Services News

Waste boss banned for failing to explain £500k of cash withdrawals and bank transfers

Former waste disposal boss has been disqualified for 7 years after failing to deliver company records that may have explained ?500,000 worth of suspicious bank transfers and cash withdrawals. Lee Smith (42) appeared at Liverpool Court on Thursday 2...

September 25th, 2018|

Investigation shuts down ‘emergency services’ book publisher

A book publisher has been shut down by the High Court for falsely claiming to be connected with the emergency services. MP (NW) Limited (MPNW) was incorporated in September 2015. Its business was listed as ?other publishing activities?, with a regi...

September 18th, 2018|

Restaurateur jailed for running companies while disqualified

A restaurateur with eateries in London?s West End has been jailed for 14 months after he continued to run companies despite previous ban.

Following a joint investigation by the Insolvency Service and the Metropolitan Police, Sarkis Agop Kouyoumdjian (55), of Kensington High Street, West London, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Friday 14 September where he also received a nine year directorship disqualification.

The court heard that in November 2011, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian voluntarily accepted a disqualification undertaking in connection with the failure of a company that he was a director of which ran a restaurant and owed unpaid taxes. The disqualification meant that he was banned from running companies for four years without the permission of the courts.

However, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian ignored the ban which he had personally accepted and in direct contravention of his disqualification, between November 2011 and May 2014 continued to run two branches of Middle-Eastern restaurant, Massis, as well as Asian fusion restaurant, Cocochan.

In addition to running the restaurants and their connected companies without permission from the courts, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian carried out other offences.
Sarkis Kouyoumdjian ran the restaurants through two companies, Live London Limited and Plaha Catering & Events Limited, but use of the restaurants? names had been banned through earlier insolvencies and Sarkis Kouyoumdjian?s connection with them.

He fraudulently transferred ?59,000 to an associate from a company that he shouldn?t have been running shortly before it entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and also failed to deliver to the liquidator all the files that were needed to help formally shut down the company.

And between 2012 and 2013 Sarkis Kouyoumdjian operated a property company, Tamarix Properties Limited.

The property company bought a number of flats in West London from another insolvent company connected to Sarkis Kouyoumdjian, using money from one of the restaurants he shouldn?t have been running. Sarkis Kouyoumdjian also used money from Tamarix Properties to benefit one of the companies connected to the restaurants.

On 5 September at Southwark Crown Court, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian pleaded guilty to four counts of running companies while disqualified, two counts of using a prohibited company name, as well as one count of fraudulently removing property in anticipation of the commencement of the winding up of a company and another count of failing to deliver up books and records to a liquidator.

Ian West, Deputy Chief Investigation Officer of the Insolvency Service, said:

Sarkis Kouyoumdjian knew exactly what he?d signed up for when he accepted his four-year disqualification but he brazenly ignored its restrictions and continued running restaurants and a property company.

This was a flagrant abuse of company and insolvency law and thanks to the joint investigation with the Metropolitan Police, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian?s sentence should serve as a warning to others that such abuses will be investigated and disqualifications will be enforced.

Detective Inspector Andy Brien of the Metropolitan Police Service said:

This is a prime example of how the Metropolitan Police working together with agencies such as the Insolvency Service can bring offenders to justice. Sarkis Kouyoumdjian showed a complete disregard for the law using companies to build personal gain.

September 18th, 2018|

Health supplement company closed for taking advantage of customers

Healthcare supplement company ordered into liquidation in the High Court after it was found to have taken advantage of elderly and vulnerable customers. Vivid Lifestyle Ltd (Vivid) was incorporated in July 2013 and its? registered office was in Hou...

September 10th, 2018|

7-year ban for director of disability ramp company

Director of a company that installed disability ramps across South Wales has been disqualified for providing inaccurate information to HMRC. Lyndon Porretta, 47, from Newport was a carpenter, who held management positions in a number of joinery ins...

September 7th, 2018|

Security boss banned for failing to maintain company books

The director of an Essex security company has been disqualified for eight years having failed to ensure the company maintained proper books and records.

Lee Garvey was a director of Security Management Services Limited (SMS), which provided security services to private and commercial clients.

SMS was incorporated on 12 March 2015 and traded from Chatsworth Farm, Kirby Cross, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex before the company went into Creditors? Voluntary Liquidation in May 2017, owing ?413,156.56 to creditors.

An Insolvency Service investigation following the liquidation found that Lee Garvey was appointed director from 12 March 2015 until 11 May 2017 ? the date of Creditors? Voluntary Liquidation.

But between March 2015 and May 2017, Lee Garvey failed to ensure that SMS maintained and preserved adequate accounting records, or in the alternative, failed to deliver up the books and records to the liquidator.

As a result, investigators were not able to verify Lee Garvey?s explanation for cash withdrawals totalling ?627,550 made between 29 May 2015 and 2 March 2017 and whether they were used to pay self-employed sub-contractors or made in the ordinary course of business.

Additionally, investigators could not establish the employment status of SMS?s security guards and if they held valid licences with the Security Industry Authority to carry out security work, as well as verifying Lee Garvey?s statement that each guard had a valid licence to carry out work.

On 3 July 2018, Lee Garvey signed an eight-year disqualification undertaking, effective from 31 July 2018, that bans him from acting as a company director or from managing, or in any way controlling, a limited company until 30 July 2026.

Sue Macleod, Chief Investigator of Insolvent Investigations Midlands & West at the Insolvency Service, said:

Maintaining and keeping adequate accounting records is a legal requirement for all companies. Failure to do so is serious misconduct and the length of Mr Garvey?s disqualification reflects this.

September 6th, 2018|
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