12 year bankruptcy restriction order for Tunbridge Wells unqualified accountant who misappropriated client funds
Mark Albert Edmonds (53), an unqualified accountant of Tunbridge Wells, received a 12 year bankruptcy restriction order on 27 May 2015 following a trial at the County Court at Tunbridge Wells for abusing his position of trust in his provision of accountancy services by misappropriating client funds.
The hearing followed an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Mr Edmonds did not defend the proceedings against him.
Mr Edmonds is therefore bound by the restriction set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 27May 2027. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of court.
A bankruptcy order was made against Mr Edmonds on 4 February 2014, following a petition filed by HMRC in respect to his personal tax affairs. Mr Edmonds total deficiency was £261,766, of which £77,624.71 is owed to his former client, a social club.
The court heard that from 2004, Mr Edmonds acted as treasurer for the social club, although he was not formally appointed. Mr Edmonds was placed in a position of trust over the social club finances. Between 31October 2008 and 26 June 2012 he admitted to making regular payments to himself. Mr Edmonds confirmed that during this period he misappropriated £57,284.30 as unauthorised loans to support his personal income without the consent of his client.
The misappropriation of social club funds resulted in his client being liable for further charges of £20,340.41 for which they are seeking recovery from Mr Edmonds.
Commenting on the case, Andrew Stanley, the Official Receiver from Kent said:
Mr Edmonds held a position of trust with his client, which he breached by carrying out actions of dishonesty. The Insolvency Service looks closely at individuals and takes action where wrongdoing is uncovered.
This order protects the public from future misconduct by restricting Mr Edmonds from obtaining credit and acting in the management of a company.
The period of restrictions is in the maximum 15 years, reflecting the seriousness of the case and the high level of the victims that have suffered a loss.
Notes to editors
Mark Albert Edmonds is of Tunbridge Wells and his date of birth is 27 November 1961.
The bankruptcy order was made against Mr Edmonds on 4 February 2014 following a petition presented by HMRC on 23rd August 2013.
Tunbridge Wells County Court granted a 12 year bankruptcy restriction order on 27 May 2015. Mr Edmonds did not defend the proceedings against him. If the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it, and will decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the bankrupt will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.
There are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months - and include that bankrupts:
- must disclose their status to a credit provider if they wish to get credit of more than £500
- who carry on business in a different name from the name in which they were made bankrupt, they must disclose to those they wish to do business with the name (or trading style) under which they were made bankrupt
- may not act as the director of a company nor take part in its promotion, formation or management unless they have a court’s permission to do so
- may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company on behalf of debenture holders
- may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Tel: 0161 234 8531 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: 25 June 2015
From: The Insolvency Service