Two doctors and a third man, who ran out-of-hours GP service provider Camidoc Limited in north London, have been banned from acting as directors for a combined 14 years for failing to pass over 700,000 in staff pension contributions.
The disqualifications follow an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
All three directors gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to act as directors of a limited company as follows:
Mr Michael Golding, 53, of East Barnet, north London, was banned for six years with effect from 11 December 2012;
Dr Mayur Gor, 54, of Finchley, north London, was banned for five years, with effect from 12 November 2012 and
Dr Ivor Robinson, 67, of Highgate, north London, was banned for three years six months, with effect from 5 November 2012.
Camidoc Limited went into voluntary liquidation in November 2010.
The Insolvency Service investigation showed that between April 2008 and March 2010 Camidoc Ltd withheld 699,720.65 from the NHS Pensions Agency. This amount included contributions deducted from employees wages specifically for their pensions.
Rather than paying these funds into the pension pot, the directors used the money to prop up the companys finances in the trading period from 2008 to 2010. After the company went into liquidation, there were insufficient assets remaining to pay the debt to the pension fund in full.
Commenting on the disqualifications, Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner at The Insolvency Service said:
Failure to pay pension contributions into a pension scheme while deducting money from members is a very serious matter and the law rightly treats it as such.
At a time when GP surgeries are being asked to assume more responsibility for managing their own budgets it is of paramount importance that those involved in managing the services, be they doctors or business professionals, act correctly in how they use public money.
Directors who neglect their responsibilities undermine the necessary structures for sustainable and viable businesses and do serious damage to the business environment.
The undertaking signed by the three directors in this case sends a clear message to others: if you run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors or, as in this company, its employees you will be in our sights.