Two directors of Ideal Builders (Liverpool) Ltd (Ideal) in Merseyside, which went into liquidation in October 2011 owing 98,529 to creditors, have been disqualified for a total of 12 years for failing to keep adequate accounts.
The disqualification, which starts on 25 December 2013, follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Investigators found that James Thomas McStein, 50, of West Derby, Liverpool, acted as a director of Ideal although the only formally appointed director was his 48-year old wife Susan Eleanor McStein.

Mr and Mrs McStein each gave undertakings to The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills that they would not act as directors, manage, or in any way control a company for six years until 24 December 2019.

In giving the undertakings, Mr and Mrs McStein did not dispute that they failed to ensure that Ideal either maintained, preserved or, alternatively, delivered up to the companys Liquidator adequate accounting records, which meant it was impossible to verify, among other things, the total income of the company.

Some customers had also been instructed to make payments into the personal accounts of Mr and Mrs McStein, and investigators found that at least 59,934 of these payments had not been entered into Ideals records.

This meant it was not possible to identify all Ideals customers, or to know whether there were other payments which did not make it into the companys accounts.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North, at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to ensure that their company maintains proper accounting records as required by law.

Mr and Mrs McStein did not hide the fact that they sometimes used personal accounts to conduct Ideals business, but no sales invoices, or comparable documents, were handed over.

This meant that it was not possible to identify all Ideals customers, or to know whether there were other payments which did not make it into the companys account.

These disqualifications should serve as a reminder to directors that in such circumstances, the Insolvency Service will investigate and remove such operators from the market place for a considerable period of time.