Banned director failed to account for £1.7m

The director of a window cleaning company who could not account for £1.7m of expenses has been disqualified from managing companies for seven years

Nicola Bentley was the sole director of Stephenson’s (National Window Cleaning), which was incorporated in January 2017 and provided window cleaning services, predominantly for bookmakers.

The company traded for two years but in January 2019 entered into creditors voluntary liquidation.

A subsequent investigation by the Insolvency Service found that from February 2018 until the company went into liquidation, Bentley’s company had spent almost £1.7m.

However, Bentley had failed to preserve accounting records and investigators could not determine if the amount was for legitimate business expenditure.

The investigation discovered that almost £640,000 had been transferred out of the company bank account to three unknown bank accounts. Bentley had also failed to keep any records that could identify the source of almost £1.7m paid into the company bank account and whether it was legitimate business income.

From June 2017 to January 2019, the window cleaning company failed to pay all its tax obligations, with more than £405,000 being owed.

Despite more than £2.1m being paid out of the company bank account, only £1,000 was paid to the tax authorities in relation to its increasing VAT debt.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Maintaining company records is a statutory requirement for every business but despite millions passing through Nicola Bentley’s company bank account, she failed to provide information about her income and expenditure.

‘The company owed a significant amount of tax yet paid only a minimal amount towards its tax obligations.

‘Nicola Bentley totally disregarded her responsibilities as a director of Stephenson’s and has now been banned from the business environment for seven years.’

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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