Two directors of West Midlands based Aspect Associates Limited, who involved the company in deals traced back to fraudulent tax losses, have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of twenty-three and a half years, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Robin Emmerson Charles Lees (aged 63) of Bristol, formerly Lichfield, Staffordshire and David Anthony Yeomans (55) of Birmingham gave disqualification undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) not to promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2029 and 2026 respectively. The undertakings given by Mr Lees and Yeomans followed court proceedings brought by the Official Receiver.

The company traded as a wholesaler of household goods and was wound-up by the Court on 10 September 2011, owing 635,883 to creditors.

In giving the undertakings, Messrs Lees and Yeomans did not dispute that they caused or allowed Aspect to participate in transactions which were connected to the fraudulent evasion of VAT, which they either knew or should have known about, and that Aspect wrongfully claimed VAT from HMRC totalling 749,624.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver at the Insolvency Services Public Interest Unit, said:

The directors of Aspect Associates Limited were well aware of the risks but nonetheless the company entered into transactions involved in the fraudulent evasion of VAT and sought to wrongfully reclaim VAT input tax.

VAT fraud is an attack on the public purse and the periods of disqualification reflect the serious view taken of the misconduct in this case.

The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to disqualify directors involved in schemes aimed at defrauding HMRC