Thursday, 15 January 2015 15:30

Director receives a 6 year disqualification order for derailing own company

Mr Lawrence McGovern, director of Railtrades Ltd (“Railtrades”) has received a 6 year disqualification order for disposing of the company’s assets worth an estimated £52,000 and paying almost that amount to connected third parties.

Mr McGovern’s disqualification from 15 December 2014 follows a disqualification order made in the County Court at Romford on 14 November 2014 by Deputy District Judge Dudderidge. The application on 28 May 2014 was by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The investigation showed that Mr McGovern disposed of Railtrades Limited’s fixed assets with an estimated value of £52,875 and in addition paid connected parties a total of £51,900, at a time when the company was insolvent, to the disadvantage of the company’s creditors.

Despite requests by the liquidator and the Insolvency Service has failed to provide evidence of what happened to the company’s assets.

The assets were shown in Railtrades’ balance sheet at 30 April 2011 at a value of £71,875, and the Liquidator estimates that they would have been worth £52,785 at liquidation. There is no evidence of monies from a sale of assets being received into Railtrades’ bank and account and Mr McGovern has failed to provide details of who he sold the assets to.

Mr McGovern caused Railtrades to enter into £51,900 of transactions to the detriment of creditors in that on 01 May 2012, at a time when Railtrades was insolvent, having ceased trading, and after the presentation of a winding up petition on 23 April 2013, he made payments of :-

  • £23,600 to a company of which he had previously been company secretary and which a family member was to be appointed director on 22 June 2012
  • £13,000 to that same family member, and
  • £15,300 to another family member.

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Commenting on the disqualification, Melissa Davies, an investigator with the Insolvency Service’s Company Investigations team, said:

"Mr McGovern’s ‘explanation’ to the liquidator with regard to the sale of Railtrades’ assets was that they were sold in September 2011 and yet he informed the Insolvency Service that the company was unable to continue trading after the disposal of assets."

"These explanations are conflicting as the company continued to trade until April 2012. With regard to the £23,600 paid to a connected company, Mr McGovern denied that there was any such connection but interrogation of the computerised accounts contradicted this, resulting in his disqualification."

Cases like this demonstrate the importance of taking prompt debt recovery action in the event your invoice goes unpaid, as the creditors listed above are unlikely ever to receive payment now the company has been wound up.  Contact us today if you have debts to collect and avoid becoming another insolvency statistic.

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Information supplied by The Insolvency Service.  Used under the Open Government Licence.  Image "Derailed Coal Trains" by James Blucher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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