Michael Anthony Lake, the director of 3 Counties Caravans Limited (3 Counties), was banned from acting as a director for 11 years for failing to forward client money meant for a third party and giving misleading information to a customer, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The disqualification, which started on 1 January 2014, prevents Mr Lake from managing or controlling limited companies until 31 December 2025.

The Insolvency Service investigation showed that Mr Lake provided misleading information to a caravan manufacturer, causing it to transfer ownership of a motorhome to a customer of 3 Counties.

The customer had paid 3 Counties for the motorhome, but the company failed to forward the money to the manufacturer, resulting in a loss of approximately 45,000.

Furthermore, the investigation showed that Mr Lake also failed to hand over 6,000 and a part-exchange caravan valued at 1,000 for the sale of a caravan belonging to another customer, despite having received the money nine months prior to the liquidation. The company told the customer that the sale price had been just 4,000, but did not hand over any money at all.

The company went into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation on 5 April 2012 with total debts of 272,264.

Commenting on the disqualification, Sue Macleod, Head of Insolvent Investigations, Midlands and West, said:

“The undertaking signed by Mr Lake sends a clear message to other company directors: If you run a business in a way that is detrimental to its creditors, you will be in our sights. The Insolvency Service will investigate you, and you could be removed from the business environment.