Press release

8 year bankruptcy restriction for Leamington man who failed to pay over £150,000 in taxes

Christopher James Hiley (52) has given a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking for eight years for failing to pay tax and VAT as required to by law.

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The ban follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The undertaking given on 21 July 2015 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, means that Mr Hiley will be bound for 8 years, by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 2023. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period.

Mr Hiley was declared bankrupt on the petition of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on 18 August 2014. During the course of his subsequent investigations, the Official Receiver found that Mr Hiley had charged his customers VAT but failed to register for VAT or pay the £116,000 collected to HMRC. In addition, he submitted false Self-Assessment tax returns and failed to pay income tax of £35,000.

Commenting on the case, Gerard O’Hare of the Insolvency Service’s Official Receiver’s office said:

The Insolvency Service is committed to take action against those individuals who show a disregard for the tax regime and fail to pay amounts due.

Notes to Editors

Mr Christopher James Hiley is of Leamington Spa and his date of birth is 5 November 1962.

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.

The bankrupt may instead agree to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking (BRU) which has the same effect as an order, but will mean that the matter does not go to court.

These 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.

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Published 3 September 2015