Paul Wexham, a director of Cotswold Classics Limited, has been disqualified for 9 years following an Insolvency Service investigation.

The disqualification followed an investigation which found that the company, which traded as a dealer in classic motorbikes, sold customers vehicles without passing on the proceeds of sale, and took deposits for vehicles that were never supplied.

Mr Wexham, of Brockworth, Cheltenham, signed a disqualification undertaking, which, from 15 March 2016 prevents him from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company until March 2025.

Cotswold Classics was placed into Liquidation on 9 May 2014 with an estimated deficiency to creditors of 181,704.

The Insolvency Services investigation found that between October 2012 and the date of Liquidation, the company purchased 19 vehicles for 61,709 on behalf of another company, sold them and failed to remit the sales proceeds as agreed. It was found that Cotswold sold 3 vehicles belonging to customers under brokerage sales agreements and the sales funds totaling 23,000 due to them were withheld from these customers. The company also took customer deposits totaling 28,000 and failed to supply the vehicles or return these monies to the customers. At the date of liquidation these customers were owed a total of 112,709. Mr Wexham claimed that some of the monies due to or held on behalf of customers were used for continued trading.

The Insolvency Service investigation found that Mr Wexham received net payments of 175,644 from the company bank account between October 2012 and the date of liquidation.

Robert Clarke, Senior Investigator, said:

The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue company directors who deliberately breach the trust of customers.

The undertaking signed by Mr Wexham sends a clear message to other company directors that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors, they will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and as a result may be subject to a lengthy period of disqualification.