12-year ban for directors over £800K of connected payments

Two marketing bosses have been disqualified for total of 12 years after causing their company to pay more than £830,000 to businesses they had connections with, while they also owed over £300,000 to creditors

With offices in London and Sheffield, White Space Communications Ltd was incorporated in September 2000, providing web design and marketing services. Jeffrey Roberts and Anthony Barry were both appointed directors of the agency in 2013.

Two years after their appointment, however, the company went into administration in April 2015 and just under a year later, entered into liquidation in January 2016 owing at least £364,000 to creditors.

This triggered an Insolvency Service investigation into the company’s affairs, which found that from May 2014, the two directors caused or allowed White Space to make £831,000 worth of payments or loans to companies they had connections with.

The directors failed to provide any explanation or valid commercial reason to investigators for the loans.

From 22 May 2014 onwards returns totaling at least £184,636 were submitted in respect of VAT. In the same period, payments of £55,000 were made in respect of VAT, such that HMRC submitted a claim for VAT totaling £183,152 (including surcharges) at liquidation.

Sums outstanding in respect of PAYE/National Insurance contributions increased from £212 due following month five of the 2014/2015 tax year, to £106,369 being claimed by tax authorities at liquidation.

Creditors outstanding at liquidation totaled at least £364,246 while loans outstanding from companies connected to the directors totaled £831,394 and were unrecoverable

Martin Gitner, deputy head, insolvent investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, said: ‘The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to investigate and seek to disqualify directors who have caused a company to loan or pay monies to connected parties rather than to the benefit of either the company or its creditors.’

Report by Pat Sweet

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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