Further bans for directors who breached terms of disqualification

Blog Insolvency

A pair of directors face further penalties after deliberately breaching the terms of a previous disqualification in which they failed to comply with their tax obligations.

The report, published by the Insolvency Service, serves to stand as a deterrent against running companies contrary to insolvency law.

Stephen Clarke had been disqualified as acting as a director for three and a half years in June 2016 in relation to his conduct when he was a director of a digital, graphic and signage print services company.

In 2016, it was found that Mr Clarke has failed to ensure that the company complied with its tax obligations, resulting in thousands of pounds of unpaid debt owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

However, during the same time, Mr Clarke was a director of another company, Sticky Print, incorporated in April 2014, with him appointed as the only director.

After his disqualification in 2016, Mr Clarke resigned from his post and appointed his wife, Amanda Clarke, as the sole director of Sticky Print.

But just three years later, Sticky Print entered into liquidation in August 2017, owing £85,795 to creditors.

The collapse of Sticky Print led to an investigation, carried out by the Insolvency Service, which found that despite Mr Clarke’s resignation as the sole director, he had continued to effectively run Sticky Print “in breach of his ban”.

For his failure to follow the terms of his disqualification, Mr Clarke accepted a further ban of eight years, effective from November 2018.

Mrs Clarke, allowing her husband to continue to run the company in contravention of the terms of his previous disqualification, was also banned for a period of six years.

The disqualification order stops the pair from directly or indirectly running or managing a company for the period specified.

Commenting on the report, Jane Knight, deputy head of investigations, at the Insolvency Service, said: “Stephen Clarke knowingly breached the terms of his disqualification, thereby putting the company’s creditors at risk. His disqualification means that he will not be able to run a limited company for eight years and will help to prevent future losses to suppliers. Amanda Clarke’s disqualification means that she will not be able to provide Stephen Clarke with the opportunity to run a limited company in the future.”