13 year ban for London director and financial advisor who misled investors
Peter Thomas Carron, director of Primrose Associates Limited (‘Primrose’), Comment Technologies Limited (‘Comment’) and Evaluate Technologies Limited has been disqualified by the High Court from acting as a company director for 13 years for misleading investors in relation to two companies and for submitting false returns to his industry regulator and causing another company to trade to the detriment of HMRC.
Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the High Court Ordered that Mr Carron (45) should not act as a director, manage, or in any way control a company from 18 July 2014 until 17 July 2027. The Judge also refused Mr Carron leave to appeal. Any further application for permission to appeal must be made to the Court of Appeal.
The investigation found that Mr Carron misled investors in Primrose, a mortgage brokerage company and Comment, a mortgage software company, by claiming that their capital was invested with little or no risk and that he could ‘personally guarantee’ their returns. Moreover, he failed to disclose that their investments were ultimately being paid into two hopelessly insolvent companies – Primrose & Comment, of which he was a director. At the failure of Primrose and Comment, there were approx. 50 investors claiming lost investments in excess of £7.4m.
In addition, whilst the actual accounts for Primrose showed that company to be hopelessly insolvent, the financial returns submitted to the FCA, Primrose’s regulator showed Primrose to be solvent and financially viable.
Mr Carron also caused Evaluate to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs by not paying PAYE & NIC in excess of £750,000 against which no payment had been made over Evaluate’s entire trading period.
Commenting on Mr Carron’s disqualification, Joanne Covell, a Head of Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:
The disqualification sends a clear message to other company directors; if you seek to mislead your customers, or your regulator, the Insolvency Service will investigate and you could face a lengthy ban.
At trial, the Judge, HHJ Pelling QC, heard from 10 witnesses, 9 of whom had been investors in either Primrose or Comment. Mr Carron chose not to be cross-examined on his own evidence.
In his Judgment, HHJ Pelling QC said:
The allegations I have found proved shows that he is willing to mislead his regulator, HMRC, and those who to his knowledge are relying on him for guidance. Such a person is manifestly unfit to be a director of a company since it is plain that the public are exposed to the risk of loss as a result of such misconduct.
Notes to Editors
Mr Peter Thomas Carron is of London and his date of birth is 15 September 1968.
Primrose Associates Limited was incorporated on 20 September 2002. Peter Thomas Carron was director of the company from 20 September 2002 to liquidation on 21 June 2010.
Comment Technologies Limited was incorporated on 5 January 2009. Peter Thomas Carron was a director of the company from 5 January 2009 until 30 June 2010, with liquidation following on 2 August 2010.
Evaluate Technologies Limited was incorporated on 30 May 2007. Peter Thomas Carron was a director of the company from 30 May 2007 to liquidation on 27 May 2010.
On 27 June 2014, Peter Thomas Carron was disqualified by Order of the Court for a period of 13 years and the period of disqualification commences on 18 July 2014.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot;
- act as a director of a company;
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership;
- act as an insolvency practitioner; or
- be a receiver of a company’s property.
In addition many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification
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 from:
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Published: 13 August 2014
From: The Insolvency Service