Bankrupt nightclub boss given director ban

A bankrupt nightclub boss from Bristol has been given a jail sentence after he continued to manage companies despite being banned from doing so

Matthew Sellars pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to three counts of acting in the management or as director of a company while an undischarged bankrupt.

He was also disqualified from acting as a director of a company for four years from the date of sentence. This is a separate order in addition to any continuing bankruptcy prohibitions and prevents Sellars from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

The court heard that Sellars was made bankrupt at Bristol County Court in August 2016. However, he ignored the restrictions imposed by the bankruptcy when he continued to act as a director of two companies.

Incorporated in June 2009, Norcrown was the company that acted as the trading vehicle for a nightclub called ‘Chasers’, as well as a bar called ‘Chase Inn’, both located in the same building on Regent Street in Kingswood, Bristol.

Sellars had been a director of Norcrown since it was incorporated and despite his bankruptcy prohibitions, continued to manage the company until it was wound-up in November 2017.

The court heard that in meetings with the insolvency practitioner charged with winding up the company, Sellars falsely maintained that he had been given relief to act as a director despite being bankrupt.

Members of staff also reported that Sellars continued to have the last say on everything, he had control of the safe and was always at the premises.

At the same time as Sellars was illegally acting as the director of Norcrown, he was also breaching his bankruptcy prohibitions in that he continued to be a registered director of another company called Conbine Leisure Ltd.

Arwel Jones, director of legal services, from the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Matthew Sellars completely disregarded his bankruptcy restrictions and continued to run companies as though nothing had changed. This is simply not acceptable, something the court has made clear in passing a sentence of imprisonment.’

Sellars appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video link as he is currently serving a six-year prison sentence in connection with drug offences. He received nine-months’ imprisonment for each offence, and these are to be served concurrently.

Report by Pat Sweet

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