Paul Edward Fleury disqualified for the maximum period for the fraudulent transfer of assets intended to defeat a Court Order.
Paul Edward Fleury fraudulently transferred the business and assets of one company to a newly incorporated connected company for nothing, in order to defeat a Court Order. He has been disqualified from acting as a director for 15 years.
Following an investigation by the insolvency Service, the Secretary of State accepted an undertaking from Mr Fleury on 29 April, not to act as a director of a limited company for 15 years from 20 May.
The investigation found that Mr Fleury was engaged to oversee renovation work on premises belonging to a member of a high net worth family that he had previously assisted in several projects. His role was to check invoices prior to issuing them to the limited company the family used a vehicle for the project. Mr Fleury used Precise as his vehicle to receive his payment for services rendered. The bespoke project was expected to total 25m in renovating a house in London.
The client became suspicious over the sums paid out for work completed, and instructed solicitors. Following an investigation, false invoices in excess of 1.5m were found. As a result, a world wide Freezing Order was obtained over Mr Fleurys assets, which included any assets in companies where he had a controlling interest. 13 days after the Freezing Order Mr Fleury incorporated a new company and transferred all the assets of Precise, which had a value of at least 180,000, to it for nothing. Mr Fleury then excluded any reference to the new company in the listing of his financial interests provided to the Court under the order.
Mr Fleurys did not comply with the Freezing Order and was found to be in contempt of court, resulting in a custodial sentence totalling 9 months. The Freezing Order led to the Administration.
Precise Property Services Limited was incorporated on 11 December 2009 and started trading immediately as a provider of building and redevelopment services. Precise entered Administration on 3 March 2014. The Administrator established the company had assets of 227,955 and liabilities totalling 413,687 leading to a deficiency of 190,732.
Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:
Quite simply, this was deception. Mr Fleury cannot be trusted to use the privilege of limited liability trading as it was intended, falling far short of the standards of competence and integrity expected.
Business operates on the basis of trust, backed by a body law should that trust be broken. Mr Fleury took it upon himself to organise a scheme to divert assets to defeat a Court Order to protect his own financial interests. His actions strike at the heart of the legal and economic system of this country.
The maximum period of disqualification available sends a powerful message to all directors that where they place their interests above that of any others they will feel the full force of law.
To protect the integrity of the economic system, the Insolvency Service will use its powers to protect the business world when directors act in this way.