George Alex Popescu, director of the FCA-approved prime brokerage firm has been disqualified as a director after owing over ?8 million to*creditors

Boston Prime Ltd went into Special Administration on 9 February 2015 owing over ?8 million to creditors. Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, George Alex Popescu has been disqualified from acting as a director for 12 years.

A disqualification order was made in the High court on 2 August 2017.

The court found Popescu had breached his fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of Boston Prime and failed to ensure that both Boston Prime, and himself individually, as the approved person, complied with the FCA?s rules and guidance, following a proposed conditional sale of the company to a multinational group of companies in July 2014, which subsequently did not complete.

The Insolvency Service?s investigators discovered that Popescu relinquished control of Boston Prime?s affairs, including control of its bank accounts and books and records, to the purchaser following the proposed sale, without informing the FCA of the sale or change in control and that after he relinquished control.

The investigation also found he caused or allowed adjustments to be made of over $3 million to client?s trading accounts which were subsequently disputed by clients; caused or allowed the transfer of $3 million from a trading account of Boston Prime to that of connected company and caused or allowed payments totalling $6.2 million to be made to two connected companies.

When asked to explain these transactions by the Insolvency Service?s investigators, Popescu was unable to provide the precise details or their legitimacy.

Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Investigations Group Leader at The Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to ensure that they exercise sufficient control over company operations to ensure that the company complies with relevant regulations and that its transactions can be accounted for.

This disqualification should serve as a warning to other directors who fail to fulfil their duties.