Electrical engineering duo's repeat offences spark ban

A father and son team who ran an electrical installations company have banned for a total of 26 years after the pair breached previous disqualifications, and failed to meet accounting obligations

Leslie Crossland and Richard Crossland, from Barnsley, were directors of R&L Electrical Engineers Ltd, which was set up in September 2016 but entered into creditors voluntary liquidation three years later in May 2019.

A subsequent investigation by the Insolvency Service established that Richard Crossland was appointed a director of R&L Electrical Engineers in January 2018 after his previous nine-year ban from 2008 had expired.

The previous ban was handed down to Richard Crossland after he allowed his father to illegally run two companies, in breach of Leslie Crossland’s previous bans.

Enquiries uncovered that Richard Crossland repeated the same misconduct when for a second time he allowed his father to illegally run R&L Electrical Engineers until the company was liquidated in May 2019 – again breaching Leslie Crossland’s active bans.

Further enquiries established that father and son carried out additional instances of misconduct while running the electrical installations firm.

Richard Crossland failed to ensure R&L Electrical Engineers maintained adequate accounting records, which meant that the Liquidator could not verify the legitimacy of £350,000 worth of payments from the company’s accounts.

Contentious payments, made between January 2018 and February 2019, totalling more than £137,000 was paid to R&L Electrical Engineers’ de facto director – Leslie Crossland.

And while acting as a shadow director, Leslie Crossland carried out factoring fraud, the Insolvency Service said. The banned director impersonated the factoring company to ensure creditors diverted funds to R&L Electrical Engineers.

Leslie Crossland also fabricated a backdated letter to the factoring company, attempting to release the previous de jure director from her personal guarantee responsibilities.

Investigators also established that Leslie Crossland had served a three-year prison sentence after he breached his 14-year disqualification he received in November 2008.

Richard Crossland has been banned for 11 years, while Leslie Crossland has received the maximum disqualification term of 15 years.

Keith Owen, director of investigation and enforcement for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Father and son are prolific offenders. Over a number of years Richard allowed his father to run companies in full knowledge that he was banned from doing so, while Leslie not only breached his various disqualifications but also deceived factoring companies and customers to ensure debts could not be paid.

‘Richard and Leslie’s substantial disqualifications should serve as a stark warning to other rogue directors that we will investigate instances of misconduct and apply to have you removed from the corporate arena in order to protect customers and creditors from suffering harm.’

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