A couple, directors of a care home company, have been disqualified after an Insolvency Service investigation found they had stolen money from residents.

Thomas Gerald Atcheson and Linda Ann Atcheson, who ran Granby Lodge Care Home in Harrogate and between 2012 and 2014 took sums totalling ?45,010 from the residents of the care home have been disqualified for 13 years from being the director of a limited company.

On 11 July 2016, Mrs Atcheson and on 14 July 2016, Mr Atcheson gave an undertaking to the Insolvency Service not to manage or control a company for 13 years until 2029 from 01 August 2016 and 04 August 2016 respectively. Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

The investigation found that, following a period of ill-health for Mr Atcheson, in 2010, the company began struggling financially. Over a period of two years, Mr & Mrs Atcheson misappropriated funds - ?45, 010 in all - held in trust on behalf of care home residents, for the benefit of the company.

Following an earlier and separate investigation by North Yorkshire Police into the misappropriation of the residents? funds, Mr and Mrs Atcheson had been convicted on 5 February 2015 on 9 counts of ?Fraud by abuse of position? and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. On 25 February 2015, Mr and Mrs Atcheson were made subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for ?45,010.

Rob Clarke, Senior Investigator, said:

?The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business will take firm action when we find that the behaviour of Company Directors falls short. In this instance Mr & Mrs Atcheson abused a position of trust that had been granted to them, to accommodate the needs of people with learning difficulties in a domestic care setting. They misappropriated funds from some of the most vulnerable members of society over a sustained period of two years. This disqualification should serve as a warning to other directors who choose not to act properly.?