Press release

Ban for man who failed to declare alcohol duty, filed false VAT returns and false accounts

Hassan Serce, the only director of Sertan Limited, a wholesaler of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, has been disqualified from acting as a director by for 11 years by the County Court at Peterborough, for failing to declare alcohol duty to HMRC, submitting false VAT returns, failing to keep records and filing inaccurate accounts.

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The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Sertan Limited began trading in July 2010 and was unable to reach the level of turnover to make a profit due to the low profit margins and competition in the industry. In October 2012, Sertan ceased trading and was placed into Liquidation on 2 July 2013.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service found that in September 2012, HMRC had conducted a visit to Sertan’s premises and inspected the company’s accounting records. Further investigation took place over the following months and it was identified that the records showed that Sertan had sold more stock than it had purchased and that alcohol had been purchased without evidence of duty payment. HMRC’s investigations also identified undeclared sales made by the Company and raised additional VAT assessments.

HMRC’s investigations also established that the stock levels recorded in the Company’s accounts for the year end 31 December 2010 and 2011 filed at Companies House, were also inaccurate.

Mr Serce (27) also failed to provide the Liquidator with records that can explain various cash payments and receipts made to and from the Company’s current account, including cash withdrawals totalling £43,000 from the company’s bank and payments made to a former company director totalling £58,750.

At the date of Liquidation Sertan did not have any assets and liabilities of £126,178. HMRC are owed £74,903.
Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors who submit false information to HMRC and fail to pay duty when due, can expect to be investigated by the Insolvency Service and enforcement action taken to remove them from the market place.

Mr Serce caused HMRC to lose at least £75k by not declaring duty and filing false returns. He also filed false accounts and did not maintain adequate accounting records. Taking action against Mr Serce is a warning to directors of their duties to comply with their tax duties and obligations.

Notes to editors

Sertan Limited (CRO 07094160) was incorporated on 3 December 2009. Its registered office was Unit 2, Plot 1, Little End Road, Eaton Socon, St Neots, PE19 8JH. It traded from the same address. Hassan Serce was the only director at the time of Liquidation.

Sertan Limited was placed into Liquidation on 2 July 2013.

Hassan Serce is of 95 Bouverie Road, London, N16 0AD. His date of birth is 31 October 1988.

A Disqualification Order was made against Hassan Serce on 30 September 2015 at the County Court at Peterborough.

A disqualification order or undertaking 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 is available.

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: Cheryl Lambert, Head of Outsourced Investigations, Investigations and Enforcement Services, The Insolvency Service, 3rd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT. Tel: 0207 596 6117. Email: Cheryl.Lambert@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

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Published 22 October 2015