The director of an Edinburgh private car-hire company has been disqualified by the court for failing to maintain and preserve adequate company records.

Graham Peter Hanson Pender was the managing director and major shareholder of Chauffeurline (UK) Limited. The company was incorporated on 8 March 2013 and had contracts with major airlines chauffeuring pilots to and from Edinburgh Airport and local hotels.

An Insolvency Service investigation followed the administration.

The Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard evidence that:

Mr Pender failed to ensure Chauffeurline (UK) Limited maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records and failed to deliver these to the Administrators, as he is required to do

Chauffeurline had arrears with HMRC in excess of ?60,000

Mr Pender made out cheques, payable to himself, in the final year of trading totalling ?116,896.89 and has failed to provide company accounting records that would explain these transactions

company accounts for the year ended 31 May 2015 disclose fixed assets of ?490,078.

Due to the lack of proper records, the Insolvency Service has been unable to sufficiently explain whether assets were disposed of at fair value and for the benefit of the company and its creditors.

On the 26 September 2018, the Secretary of State obtained an order against Mr Pender for failing to deliver and maintain/preserve adequate accounting records.

Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator Insolvent Investigations North, part of the Insolvency Service, commented:

Companies are under a legal duty to account for their income and expenditure and fulfilling that duty is a key component of the role of a director. There is no place in the corporate arena for those who neglect their responsibilities in this area.

All too often, the lack of records to explain transactions is used to cover up other, more serious misconduct and we cannot determine whether that was the case at Chauffeurline, a fact which is reflected in the lengthy ban now in place.