Torquay hotelier banned for failure to account for £200k

A Torquay hotelier has been disqualified from acting as a company director for six years, for failing to ensure the company kept proper books and records following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Dr Mahfouz El-Tawil was the sole director of Trade Development and Investment Ltd, which traded as the Oke Lodge Hotel in Exeter. The company was incorporated in March 2005 and entered Creditors Voluntary Liquidation in April 2012 with no assets and liabilities of £105,521.

The Insolvency Service said Dr El-Tawil did not dispute that he had failed to make sure that the company maintained, preserved or delivered adequate accounting records.

As a result, the liquidator was unable to establish the income and expenditure of the company or account for net payments to Dr El-Tawil of £174,205 and other unidentified payments of £24,223 in the period 1 May 2010 to 25 October 2011.

The investigation also showed that the company then operated without its own bank account from 26 October 2011, making it impossible to account for company receipts and payments in this period. When it collapsed, Trade Development and Investment Ltd owed HMRC around £95,700 in unpaid taxes.

Robert Clarke, head of insolvent investigations north at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Directors have a duty to make sure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the liquidator in the interests of fairness and transparency. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.’

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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