The director of companies which provided financial services and ran a trading room in Chelmsford has been disqualified for 8 years.

James Lau (also known as James On-Loon Lau) was the director of GG Blue Sky Limited and WFM Management Services Limited.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service?s Company Investigation Team found he failed to ensure that adequate books and records relating to both companies were maintained, preserved or delivered up to the liquidator.

The Secretary of State has accepted an undertaking offered by James Lau disqualifying him from managing, or in any way controlling a company, or being a director until 15 December 2024.

The records were inadequate to explain and account for more than ?4m income and expenditure from Blue Sky and ?1/2m income and expenditure from WFM over a period of less than two years. A large proportion of the funds allegedly related to client pension and other investment management but it has not been possible to explain who these monies belonged to or where they went leaving clients out of pocket.

The records were also inadequate to explain what happened to properties purchased for over ?600,000 and payments totalling ?41,300 made to an internet gambling site.

Commenting on the case, Rob Clarke, Group Leader, Insolvent Investigations North, said:

This failure to maintain, preserve or deliver up records is totally unacceptable, especially where creditors and shareholders are owed substantial amounts, and potential assets were not preserved or disclosed for realisation by the liquidator. The Insolvency Service has ensured that such behaviour will not be tolerated and that robust action will be taken against directors where misconduct is found.