A Birmingham travel agent has been jailed and banned from running companies for seven years after he failed to explain the whereabouts of thousands of pounds of missing funds
Sunil Kumar Ralhan appeared at Birmingham Crown Court and in addition to the court-ordered disqualification for seven years, the company director received a 9-month prison sentence.
The court heard that he was the sole director of Travelogue Ltd from November 2014, having bought the travel agency from its former director.
However, the company was placed in liquidation in May 2015 after it failed to recover payments from travel agents based abroad who had bought tickets through Travelogue. The travel agency was later dissolved in February 2017.
Independent insolvency practitioners were appointed to take charge of liquidating the company but Ralhan had failed to keep adequate accounting records, while also failing to share them with the insolvency practitioners and later, investigators from the Insolvency Service.
Failure to deliver information requested by the liquidator while winding up a company is evidence of misconduct and in Ralhan’s case, it would have helped explain a deficiency in the liquidation of close to £380,000 that was owed primarily to a single creditor of Travelogue.
Glenn Wicks, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘As the director of the company, albeit on behalf of others, this man was responsible for keeping books and records. By not providing them he covered up what was almost certainly a fraud and that is why he received this imprisonment.’
At an earlier hearing, Ralhan accepted that he failed to keep accounting records that were sufficient to show and explain the transactions of the company.
Report by Pat Sweet