An Insolvency Service investigation leads to a 13 years' directorship ban for an entrepreneur who misused investors' funds.

A business consultant who was found to have misused monies entrusted to him by unsuspecting investors through a business consultancy company and acted with a lack of probity was banned from being a company director for 13 years under the terms of a disqualification undertaking he gave to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Shazan Izziq Qureshi, who described himself as an ?Alphapreneur? on his business cards and email account, was a director of Rejuvenate Your Business Ltd, and led the EU funded ?Enterprise Village? project in Liverpool?s Albert Dock for small rapidly growing businesses championed by the then Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Joe Anderson.

Mr Qureshi?s web profile states:
Shazan has been recognised as a ?Top 42 Under 42? entrepreneur by NW Insider magazine in 2006, a finalist for MEN Small Business of the Year in 2008, nominated for the prestigious LloydsTSB Asian Jewel award, EMBF(NW) Rising Star award & Tiger Award in 2009 and been awarded Regional DM Campaign of the Year by Royal Mail.
Shazan has sat on the EMBF(NW) Board, NW Further Education Group, an Ambassador for Enterprise UK, supported the charity Karma Nirvana and Mix-d and been a Governor for Liverpool College & Elton High School.

Rejuvenate Your Business was formed in 2008 by Anna Louise Gilhooley, who had given a disqualification undertaking to the Secretary of State for four years in May 2016 in connection with the failure of the company. Mr Qureshi was appointed director of the company on 11/01/13 but was dismissed by Ms Gilhooley on 02 June 2014 when the extent of his misdealings became apparent.

An investigation into the failure of the company by The Insolvency Service found that Mr Qureshi used the company, and, monies entrusted to it, to fund his own personal business dealings, which included the buying and renovating of properties in partnership with others in a joint venture. The investigation revealed that Mr Qureshi blatantly disregarded his obligations under the joint venture agreement and misused funds entrusted to Rejuvenate Your Business by his joint venture partners. Mr Qureshi only made good the loss by borrowing monies from one of the company?s clients, a prominent surgeon, stating that the loan was for the benefit of Rejuvenate Your Business. The loan was intended to be secured by means of a fixed and floating charge over RYB?s assets, however, no such charge was created. Mr Qureshi also pledged security for the loan over on assets he did not own. The lender was left with an unpaid unsecured debt of ?545,346 when Rejuvenate Your Business entered Liquidation. The Insolvency Service?s investigation further revealed that Mr Qureshi also persuaded an unsuspecting young woman to entrust monies to Rejuvenate Your Business, supposedly for the purpose of buying a residential property. These funds too were expended for other purposes, leaving the depositor with an unpaid unsecured debt of ?125,500 when the company went into liquidation.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

This was a clear case of abuse of trust, which has caused much financial loss and distress to those who trusted Mr Qureshi with substantial sums of money. The circumstances of Mr Qureshi?s dealings with external parties meant that he owed not only a duty of trust but also an obligation of transparency and probity in relation to such dealings. He clearly failed to provide either. The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use the full force of the disqualification regime to remove such individuals from the marketplace with a view to maintaining its integrity and reputation, the length of the disqualification is evidence of the seriousness with which such conduct is viewed.