The director of an Edinburgh private car-hire company has been given a seven-year disqualification for failing to maintain and preserve adequate company records, following an Insolvency Service investigation which found £60,000 was owing to HMRC
Graham Pender was the managing director and major shareholder of Chauffeurline (UK) Ltd, which was set up in March 2013 and had contracts with major airlines chauffeuring pilots to and from Edinburgh airport and local hotels.
The Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard evidence that Pender failed to ensure the company maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records and failed to deliver these to the administrators, as he was required to do.
Chauffeurline had arrears with HMRC in excess of £60,000. The court also hear Pender made out cheques, payable to himself, in the final year of trading totalling £116,896 and failed to provide company accounting records that would explain these transactions.
The company accounts for the year ended 31 May 2015 disclosed fixed assets of £490,078.
Due to the lack of proper records, the Insolvency Service said it has been unable to sufficiently explain whether assets were disposed of at fair value and for the benefit of the company and its creditors.
Rob Clarke, chief investigator insolvent investigations north, part of the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Companies are under a legal duty to account for their income and expenditure and fulfilling that duty is a key component of the role of a director. There is no place in the corporate arena for those who neglect their responsibilities in this area.
‘All too often, the lack of records to explain transactions is used to cover up other, more serious misconduct and we cannot determine whether that was the case at Chauffeurline, a fact which is reflected in the lengthy ban now in place.’
Report by Pat Sweet