Two brothers, both directors of Independent Property Consultants Limited (IPC), a company that marketed property developments in Bulgaria and Cape Verde, have been disqualified from being directors for a total of 22 years for ripping off the public to the tune of 2.5 million. The disqualifications follow an investigation by The Insolvency Service.

The 52-year old twins Paul John Aspden, of Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire and Peter Keith Aspden, but currently resident in Cape Verde, were joint directors of IPC. They have now each been disqualified from acting as directors for 11 years, from 4 April 2013 until April 2024, after proceedings that took 12 months.

The Insolvency Service investigation showed that members of the public paid over 1,500,000 to IPC for properties in four Bulgarian developments but these properties never materialised.

The Aspden twins also misled clients into almost 1,000,000 for apartments in the Sal Vista resort development in Cape Verde. Again, customers did not receive the properties they had paid for.

As well as failing to provide the properties customers had paid for, IPC also failed to properly protect customers money. Inadequate ring-fencing led to at least 643,244 of clients funds being lost and investigators were unable to establish where the money had gone.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver at the Insolvency Services Public Interest Unit, said:

The Aspden brothers were responsible for significant financial losses suffered by members of the public who never received the foreign properties they paid for. The company misled its customers into making payments for foreign properties and then the directors recklessly failed to protect this money

By handing down 11-year disqualifications, the Court has shown that such conduct by directors will not be tolerated. The Insolvency Service will take tough action to put a stop to companies trading against the public interest and we will seek to remove culpable directors from the business environment.