Mr Keith Hawker, the sole director of Ontinuity Ltd, a bespoke web hosting company, has been disqualified for 8 years for failing to deal with the companys tax affairs and for diverting money to a company of which he was director and main shareholder.

The disqualification, from 26 May 2015 follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service and means that Mr Hawker is banned from acting as a director or in any way managing or controlling a company until May 2019.

Mr Hawker gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills not be involved in managing, controlling a company or being a director for the duration of his ban.

Ontinuity Ltd was placed in liquidation on 27 February 2013 with a liability of 81,856 outstanding to HMRC on account of its tax. The liability dated back to when the company commenced trading and continued to accrue till it was placed in liquidation.

Prior to liquidation, Mr Hawker (59) had negotiated a time to pay agreement with HMRC to deal with Ontinuitys tax. However, he failed to honour this agreement. Investigations found that before placing Ontinuity Ltd in Liquidation, Mr Hawker diverted 194,268 to an associated company of which he remained a director and majority shareholder.

Commenting on these disqualifications, Mark Bruce, Chief Examiner, Investigation and Enforcement Services at the Insolvency Service, said:

The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue company directors who seek to benefit themselves ahead of their creditors by extracting company funds when others are not being paid.

Limited liability protection is only available to those who comply with their obligations as company directors. If those obligations are ignored, that protection will be withdrawn.