Deepak Mohan Mirpuri and Arun Mirpuri, former directors of care home operator Larongrove Limited in Firth Park, Sheffield, have been banned from being directors for seven years and four years respectively, for failing to look after money held by them for a number of residents who were suffering from dementia or other conditions affecting their ability to handle their finances. The disqualifications follow an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Croydon County Court heard that Larongrove Ltd, which traded as Abbey Grange Nursing Home until August 2009, was made the corporate appointee for vulnerable residents who were deemed unable to manage their own affairs.

Larongrove Ltd received residents pension and benefit payments into its business bank account but didnt separate this money from its own funds as required by industry guidelines. Instead this money was pooled as working capital to meet the costs and expenses of the care home.

As a result, when Larongrove Ltd entered administration on 4 August 2009, the funds were not secured for the seven residents concerned and they lost 58,914 between them. These funds were irrecoverable due to the insolvency of both the care home and its parent company.

Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigations in Birmingham said:

Actions which impact upon elderly and vulnerable people in the community are amongst the most unpleasant. Larongrove and its directors were placed into a position of trust by these seven residents who, through no fault of their own lacked the capacity to handle their own finances.

Both the residents and their families trusted the directors to protect their cash and use it in the best interests of the individuals concerned. Instead, these directors treated it as company money, which led to the loss after the care home became insolvent. They behaved with an unforgiveable lack of responsibility towards the finances of the elderly people in their care.

The disqualification orders made in this case send a clear message to other company directors that if they run a business which causes harm to the public they will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and removed from the business environment for a long time.