Director disqualified for 13 years for giving false information to customers and failing to keep proper company books and records.

An Investigation by the Insolvency Service has resulted in Craig Phillip ODriscoll, director of failed investment company Ethical Elegance Limited, being disqualified by the High Court for giving false information to customers to persuade them to transfer valuable wines to the company in exchange for diamonds, and for failing to keep proper company records.

Ethical Elegance Ltd, which operated out of rented addresses in Bromley and Dartford in Kent, traded by offering diamonds to customers in exchange for fine wine assets and by promising to then sell the diamonds on the customers behalf.

The Insolvency Services investigations found that between May 2013 and August 2013 at least 7 customers were persuaded to transfer wines to the company after being offered diamonds stated to be worth over 240,000. But after transferring their wines none of the customers received any proceeds from the sale of diamonds. Instead customers were sent diamonds in the post, but the values of these were a fraction of the amounts promised. Ethical Elegance Ltd went into liquidation on 29 October 2013 owing debts of over 215,000 to customers.

The investigations also found that Mr ODriscoll failed to provide any accounting records for Ethical Elegance Ltd to the Liquidators. Without the records it has not been possible to explain expenditure of over 177,000 made from the companys bank account or to trace diamonds costing over 16,000.

Mr ODriscoll (33) of Bromley, Kent was disqualified by an order made in the High Court on 13 April 2016, which prevents him from acting as a director of a company for 13 years from 4 May 2016.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Martin Gitner, Deputy Head Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

Mr ODriscoll was responsible for the company making false promises to people to persuade them to enter into agreements. He was also responsible for the company failing to keep or produce proper accounting records, the absence of which means that not all the companys funds and assets can be traced.

Consumers and the wider business community need protection from people who operate companies in such unscrupulous ways.

This disqualification should serve as a warning that if directors behave in this way their conduct will be investigated and they will be removed from the business environment.