Dr Mahfouz El-Tawil (74), a hotelier of Torquay and sole director of Trade Development and Investment Limited, which traded as the Oke Lodge Hotel in Exeter has been disqualified from acting as a company director for six years, for failing to ensure the company kept proper books and records.

Dr El-Tawils disqualification begins on 14 March 2014 and follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Commenting on Dr El-Tawils disqualification, Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to make sure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the liquidator in the interests of fairness and transparency.

Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety. Dr El-Tawil has paid the price for failing to do that, as he cannot now carry on in business other than at his own risk.

In giving an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations & Skills, he would not act as a director or take part in the management or control of any limited company until 2020, without leave of the Court, Dr El-Tawil did not dispute that he had failed to make sure that the company maintained, preserved or delivered up adequate accounting records, which he was required to do as a director. As a result, the liquidator was unable to establish the income and expenditure of the company or account for net payments to Dr El-Tawil of 174,205 and other unidentified payments of 24,223 in the period 1 May 2010 to 25 October 2011.

The investigation showed that the company then operated without its own bank account from 26 October 2011, making it impossible to account for company receipts and payments in this period.

Dr El-Tawil also failed to make sure the company paid its tax debts, leaving the Exchequer out of pocket to the tune of at least 95,700 at liquidation.