Stephen Benjamin James Todd has been handed the maximum bankruptcy restriction order of 15 years for acting in the management of a company whilst an undischarged bankrupt and subject to a lengthy director?s ban.
On 15 December 2016 Registrar Christine Derrett ordered that Mr Todd, a financial adviser, be subject to the bankruptcy restrictions order as a result of him acting in the management of limited company, despite having previously agreed to a disqualification undertaking for ten years, and for breaching a bankruptcy order.
In handing down the maximum period of bankruptcy restriction allowed by the court, Registrar Derrett stated that Mr Todd?s affairs was one of the worst examples of someone having disregard for the insolvency and directors disqualification regime which exists to protect the public.
The misconduct was during the period 8 February 2013 to 14 April 2014 and from 21 January 2015 to 2 February 2015 whilst subject to a company directors disqualification undertaking and from 29 April 2013 whilst an undischarged bankrupt.
Previously, on 8 October 2012 Mr Todd had offered a disqualification undertaking not to act as a director, act as a receiver of a company?s property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company for a period of ten years as a consequence of his conduct as a director of an earlier company in liquidation.
A bankruptcy order was subsequently made against Mr Todd on 29 April 2013 and on 16 December 2013 his discharge from bankruptcy was suspended indefinitely.
Without leave of the court Mr Todd nevertheless acted in the management of IPR Capital Limited (IPR) which was incorporated on 8 February 2013 and which went into provisional liquidation on 2 February 2015 and liquidation on 1 April 2015 with liabilities of over ?10 million.
The court also found that Mr Todd failed to disclose in the bankruptcy proceedings his income from IPR and other parties. From 29 April 2013 (the date of his bankruptcy) to 15 April 2014, Mr Todd received at least ?517,100 from IPR.
Mr Todd also received payments into his bank account totaling ?59,904 during the period 29 April 2013 to 6 January 2014 from other parties.
Mr Todd stated to the Official Receiver that he had assets with an approximate value of ?8,800. As at 29 April 2013 his liabilities amounted to at least ?454,107 of which ?363,607 was due in respect of unpaid National Insurance contributions, self assessed tax and penalties.
In handing the maximum period of bankruptcy restriction allowed by the Court Registrar Derrett stated that Mr Todd?s affairs was one of the worst examples of someone having disregard for the insolvency and directors disqualification regime that is meant to protect the public.
Mr Todd?s period of bankruptcy restriction means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until the end of 13 December 2031. Further restrictions include:
he must disclose his status as a person subject to bankruptcy restrictions to a credit provider if he wishes to get credit of ?500 or more
he may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company
This bankruptcy restrictions order follows investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit (South), a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced on 19 August 2015 as result of IPR Capital Ltd entering into liquidation on 1 April 2015. On 19 August 2015 the Official Receiver of Public Interest Unit (South) became aware that Mr Todd remained an undischarged bankrupt and required Mr Todd to fulfil his duties and obligations as an undischarged bankrupt. Claims to date received by the joint-Trustees in bankruptcy total ?454,107.
The Official Receiver?s investigation uncovered that Mr Todd acted in the management of IPR Capital Limited, a company that has promoted a gold mine investment product to the public, despite failing to obtain ownership of any mining rights. This has resulted in losses to the members of the public of ?5,519,574.
IPR Capital Ltd at the date of winding up on 1 April 2015 had assets of ?11,723 and estimated total liabilities of ?10,466,810, with issued and called up capital of ?1, resulting in estimated deficiency to members of ?10,455,006.
In making his judgment to wind up IPR Capital Ltd on 1 April 2015 Registrar Clive Jones described IPR Capital?s trading method as a ?fraudulent scheme?.