Press release

9 year disqualification for car sales and unlicensed money transfer company director who could not explain over £1.5m of money through its bank account

Manuchehr Maleki-Dizaji, a director of Cromwell Auto Trade Limited Ltd (“Cromwell”), a company that traded selling vehicles and in money transfer and based in Watford has been disqualified as a director by the High Court for a period of 9 years for causing, or facilitating another to cause the company to fail to maintain, preserve and/or deliver up adequate records to explain over £1.5m receipts and payments through its bank account, and for trading as a money transfer agent when it did not have the required licence from HM Revenue and Customs to do so.

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The disqualification regime exists to protect the public and Manuchehr Maleki-Dizaji’s disqualification from 19 August 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 18 August 2024.

This disqualification follows investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of Cromwell, in the public interest following an investigation by Company Investigations into the affairs of the company.

The Official Receiver’s investigation uncovered that between 15 February 2011 and 11 January 2013, Cromwell failed to maintain sufficient records and could not adequately explain receipts totalling £1,678,199 (of which £574,424 were cash) and payments totalling £1,498,384 (of which £51,399 were cash). Furthermore, Cromwell traded as a money transfer agent between 11 March 2011 and 27 June 2012 making payments of at least £972,933 during this period, when it did not have the required licence from HM Revenue and Customs to trade in this manner.

Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:

Cromwell Auto Trade Limited has failed to maintain or deliver up records to explain over £1.5m of monies through its bank accounts and it has also acted as a money transfer agent without the required licence

The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to investigate and disqualify directors whose companies fail to keep adequate records and who trade without having the required legal licence.

Notes to Editors

Cromwell Auto Trade Limited (Company Number 07529814) was incorporated on 15 February 2011. Its trading address was at Unit 4, 29-43 Sydney Road, Watford, WD18 7PZ.

The petition to wind up the company was presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills in the public interest following an investigation conducted by Company Investigations (Live), another specialist unit within the Insolvency Service which uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 (as amended) to conduct confidential enquiries into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations & Skills (BIS). The winding up order against Cromwell Auto Trade Limited was made on 11 January 2013.

On 19 August 2015 in the High Court of Justice, Registrar Barber ordered that Manuchehr Maleki-Dizaji be disqualified for a period of 9 years. The period of disqualification will commence on 19 August 2015. Manuchehr Maleki-Dizaji’s date of birth is 22 April 1962.

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
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.

Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found here

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 (South), The Insolvency Service, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT. Tel: 020 7637 6404 Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

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Published 25 September 2015