Gary Hexley and Michelle Hexley, directors of a property investment company in Birmingham, have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of 11-and-a-half years for misusing investors money, following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.

The husband and wife team, who were directors of Greenfield International Limited (Greenfield), gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on 14 November 2012.

Mr Hexley, 49, was banned for nine years while Mrs Hexley, 46, received a two-and-a-half year ban. The disqualification restricts them from in any way managing or controlling limited companies for the duration of their bans.

Mr Hexley had previously been made bankrupt in May 2010 and was also banned by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in June 2011 from carrying out any function in respect of any activity regulated by the FSA.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service found that Mr Hexley accepted least 584,764 for investment, mainly from retired workers, who believed that their money would be invested in properties for rental and eventual sale. Instead on investing their money, Mr Hexley paid more than 500,000 of it to another company he and his wife controlled, which was building a new housing development in central Birmingham.

This latter company collapsed and went into administration in September 2009 with losses of more than 1.3m.

Greenfield International Limited went into liquidation in October 2010 with losses of more than 2m. In addition to the investment creditors, Mr Hexley had also taken deposits of almost 1.2m for off plan properties in a development in Wolverhampton which has not been built. Off-plan properties being properties that are sold before they are constructed or completed. These monies were also loaned to the other company, Intellectual Property (UK) Limited, which was operated by himself and his wife.

The investigation also found that while Mr Hexley ran Greenfield on his own, his wife, though listed as a director of the company, neglected her duties as a director by not playing an active part in its management.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigations Birmingham said:
Directors who misuse legitimate investment moneys entrusted to them by retired members of the community are a scourge on society.
The undertakings signed by Gary Hexley and Michelle Hexley send a clear message to other company directors that if you run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service and as a result removed from the business environment.