Mr Edward Tully has been disqualified for eight years from being a company director following a trial at Peterborough County Court, for failing to surrender the books and records of his company as he was required to do by law for a company in liquidation and for ignoring the companys tax affairs.
Mr Tullys disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Mr Tully was the former owner of a local hotel, the Slepe Hall Hotel, and goods and services were supplied to that hotel via a service company established for this purpose, Slepe Services Ltd, which went into liquidation in 2010 on an HMRC petition for unpaid taxes of 158,279.
The investigation established that the company was formed to provide wet and dry-stocks and labour to the hotel owned by Mr Tully. Enquiries revealed that the company had failed to file VAT Returns for three years or to make any payments to HMRC for PAYE/NIC in respect of approximately 30 staff and failed to make any payments for VAT over the same period.
In addition, despite Mr Tully being a qualified accountant and senior partner of his own accounting practice, it appeared that the accounting records of Slepe Services Ltd were inadequate as they failed to record any of the transactions between the company and Mr Tullys hotel for three consecutive years. During this time, substantial goods and services were being supplied by Slepe Services Ltd to the hotel.
Commenting on the case, Anthony Hannon, Official Receiver with the Insolvency Service, said:
Despite being a qualified accountant, Mr Tully showed a complete disregard for his duties as a company director and as a director of a company in liquidation. He compounded this by failing to surrender proper books and records as he is required to do by law.
The severity of the sanction imposed in this case shows that there are serious consequences for those who fail to fulfil their obligations as directors.
The Insolvency Service will investigate and remove from the business environment directors found to be in breach of their duties.
Director disqualification proceedings were commenced by the Official Receiver in May 2012 and Mr Tully sought to defend the allegations. Following a two day trial in the Peterborough County Court on 22 & 23 February 2013, District Judge Mason made a finding of unfitness against Mr Tully imposing a company directors disqualification order against him for eight years.
During the investigation, Mr Tully, who was in sole control of the company for the three years of its life, failed to co-operate with the Official Receiver and did not provide full information regarding the companys affairs. In December 2010 an order was obtained against Mr Tully compelling him to deliver-up the accounting records of the company to the Official Receiver however Mr Tully failed to comply with said order to any degree until February 2012, at which time only partial records were surrendered.
In considering the case, the trial judge, District Judge Mason, commented that it was very clear that the company was insolvent and that Mr Tully had failed to maintain adequate accounting records or deliver these to the Official Receiver and had failed to co-operate with the liquidator, had ignored letters and was not a credible witness in Court; being less than candid and found him unfit to be a director of a company. Costs were also ordered against Mr Tully.