A multimedia boss from Taunton has been handed a suspended sentence after he fraudulently pocketed ?100,000 from his failing company to avoid paying his creditors.

Andrew Reed (53) was the director of APR Media, formerly known as APR Video, where he produced and duplicated recordable media since it was first incorporated in 1996.

However, when the company began to make a loss and after 16 years of trading, Andrew Reed instructed insolvency practitioners in October 2012 to place APR Media into creditors? voluntary liquidation with a total deficiency of just over ?800,000.

During the initial investigation into the company?s affairs, the insolvency practitioners could not account for around ?125,000 which had been transferred out of APR Media?s accounts just a couple of months before it was placed into liquidation.

Further enquiries by the Insolvency Service found that Andrew Reed fraudulently transferred money out of APR Media in the full knowledge that the business was insolvent in order to avoid paying his creditors.

In August 2012, Andrew Reed paid himself a ?100,000 dividend and in September 2012, he transferred ?25,250 to M5 Audio & Events, a company where his wife was a director.

Andrew Reed pleaded guilty to two fraud charges and on 27 April 2018 he was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, while also being ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay ?7,500 in costs.

The sentence was handed down despite the fact that Andrew Reed had paid back over ?200,000 to the estate once the wrongful payments had been identified by the insolvency practitioner.

Glenn Wicks, Deputy Chief Investigation Officer of the Insolvency Service, said:

Andrew Reed knew his company was failing and unscrupulously ripped off his creditors by transferring money to his other company. The court has shown anyone doing this stands a serious chance of going to prison.