Darren John Upton, the jailed director of an accountancy practice based in Wakefield has been disqualified from being a director for falsely obtaining money from investors and duping clients into paying his company, funds that ought to have gone to the taxman.
Mr Uptons disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service. He has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) not to promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company from 12 August 2013 until 2027.
Mr Upton, 41, was the director of Upton & Co Accountants Ltd (Upton & Co), which was placed into Voluntary Liquidation 14 October 2011 owing creditors and shareholders 1,795,818.
In giving his disqualification undertaking, Mr Upton did not dispute that he obtained 196,145 from clients of the company by providing clients with false bank account details into which clients made payments properly due to Her Majestys Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for Corporation Tax. And, that he caused Upton & Co to fail to forward those payments to HMRC.
Mr Upton also did not dispute that he caused Upton & Co to carry out unauthorised investment activity and to trade in a manner that lacked commercial probity. In particular, he caused the company to accept at least 5,324,357 from investors on the basis that funds would be invested in currency markets. The Financial Services Authority (FSA),froze the companys account having concluded that there was never any currency scheme as described to investors, as the company was not authorised to make such an offer or operate such a scheme. 1,090,782 remains owing to investors.
Previously, following an investigation by the FSA, Mr Upton was convicted of 13 offences of fraud relating to his conduct in the company and sentenced to six years imprisonment on 9 February 2012.
Commenting on the disqualification, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver of the Insolvency Services Public Interest Unit, said:
Mr Uptons actions were dishonest and clearly show that he is unfit to be a director of a limited company.
The Disqualification serves as a protection to the public and demonstrates that the Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to remove dishonest directors from the business environment.