Stephen Pierre Boyd, a wine merchant, has been banned from being a director for the maximum disqualification term of 15 years by the High Court on 30 January following investigations by The Insolvency Service.
Mr Boyd, 55, of West London was disqualified after investigations found that he was acting as a director for Wine Traders International Limited (Wine Traders) although he was already serving a 13-year disqualification at the time.
Under Mr Boyds direction, Wine Traders sold fine wines to members of the public as an investment. The wine sold was overpriced and in some instances no wine was even purchased for the customer.
The court also found that Mr Boyd had:-
* Caused the company to fail to supply customers with wine purchased for nearly 2million;
* wrongfully transferred customers wine valued at over 1million to a fictitious entity that he had created;
* wrongfully taken away a Porsche car leased to the company; and
* failed to keep records to explain over 3million expenditure.
In addition, a large quantity of the companys stock was transferred to Bradshaw & Karr a fictitious corporate entity created by Boyd. The two disqualifications will run concurrently until 2028.
Wine Traders was wound up in the public interest by the High Court on 4 March 2010 after an investigation by The Insolvency Services Company Investigations.
Further investigations by The Insolvency Services Public Interest Unit carried out. led to the untangling of a web of false names used by Mr Boyd including Pierre Boyd , Steve Gordon and Dave Martin. This revealed the existence of a puppet director and to Mr Boyd being uncovered as the man in control of the company.
Sitting in the High Court on 30 January, Registrar Derrett found all of these allegations to be proven and handed down the maximum period of disqualification available.
Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit (London) said:
Mr Boyd is no stranger to bogus wine investment companies or to director disqualification proceedings. On Valentines Day 2006 Boyd was disqualified for 13 years over his role in The Wine Index Limited.
Hiding behind false names and stooges will not protect rogue directors. As this case shows, our investigations will reveal who is ultimately in control and we will take robust action to address wrongdoing.
In handing down the maximum possible period of disqualification, the Court has shown that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates that The Insolvency Service will seek to remove these people from the business environment