Pervez Akhter, director of Northampton-based Intouch Mail Systems Ltd (Intouch), which traded in the printing and mailing of journals, periodicals and advertising material, has been disqualified from acting as a director for nine years by Northampton County Court for failing to keep proper books and records.

Mr Akhters disqualification follows an investigation by The Insolvency Service and proceedings brought by the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills.

Mr Akhter defended the proceedings and a three day trial was held in November 2012. Judgement was handed down at a hearing on 14 February 2013.

The period of disqualification which commences on 8 March 2013 was set at nine years and prevents him from in any way managing or controlling limited companies until 2022.

The investigation found that for nearly three years Mr Akhter, 54, also failed to ensure that Intouch complied with its duty to submit any VAT returns and make payments to HMRC, resulting in a debt in excess of 280,000.

The investigation also found the companys accounting records were inadequate in many respects, including lacking any information to explain over 190,000 expended by the company and 24,000 transferred to one of Mr Akhters other companies.

The court heard that between at least 1 April 2008 and 10 September 2009, Pervez Akhter failed to ensure that Intouch maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records, or alternatively failed to ensure that records maintained were delivered up to the office holder as is required by company law.

As a result it was not possible to account for the companys expenditure, determine the true position in respect of its book debts, or establish its true liability to HMRC. Furthermore, from at least 31 October 2006 until 10 September 2009 Mr Akhter failed to comply with statutory obligations in respect of the submission of VAT returns, and payment of VAT, PAYE/NIC and Corporation Tax liabilities causing a loss to the Crown estimated at 282,346.

Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigations Birmingham said:
The substantial period of this disqualification reflects the fact that when a company fails to keep adequate financial records it is simply not possible to determine whether there has been other, more serious, impropriety in relation to the management of its affairs.
Furthermore, Directors who fail to submit returns or pay their taxes are not only cheating the government. They are also gaining an unfair advantage over other businesses who are doing the right thing and paying the money they owe.
The Court will take a very serious view of such a cover up and seek to protect the public by removing those individuals from the business environment.