Two directors of a publishing firm have been disqualified for 10 years each, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Thomas Henry Harrison (Mr Harrison) an ex policeman aged 69 and Ian Christopher Hughes (Mr Hughes) age 43, of Wrexham, North Wales, both gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to be a director of a limited company for 10 years.
Mr Harrison and Mr Hughes were directors of The Emergency Services (Media Department) Ltd (ESMD) which was wound up by the Court in the Public Interest on 16 October 2014, owing creditors at least 54,125. The company also had an unknown amount of contingent liabilities from customers who did not receive services or were misled.
In giving their undertakings, the directors did not dispute that they caused ESMD to trade in a manner lacking commercial probity in that:
ESMD made misleading marketing claims relating to it acting on behalf of or having an affiliation with the Police and/or the Emergency Services.
ESMD provided misleading information in respect of the benefit of placing an advertisement and / or the beneficiaries of money received from advertisements.
ESMD misled its customers into believing the Company was raising funds for Emergency Services and that by placing an advertisement the cost was going towards such funds.
ESMD misled its customers into believing that funds generated by their sponsorship of a magazine would be used to enable distribution of the magazine to local schools.
ESMD misled its customers into believing the Company was raising funds for charities and that by placing an advertisement the cost was going towards such funds.
ESMD misled its customers into believing the Company was raising funds against knife crime; drug abuse; alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour and that by placing an advertisement the cost was going towards such funds.
ESMDs turnover in the accounting periods ended 31st July 2012 and 31 July 2013 totalled 834,687 of which 36,739 was paid to the directors, 179,559 to the shareholders (which include the directors) and 297,097 was paid in sales commissions.
In the same period charitable donations totalled 14,630.
Commenting on the disqualification, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver of the Insolvency Services Public Interest Unit, said:
The Insolvency Service will not allow individuals who falsely hold themselves out to be public servants to go unchecked. The directors of this company have cynically deprived good causes from receiving generous donations from the public in order to enrich themselves.