Press release

Bankrupt handed prison term for acting as a company director

Trevor Lawrence (aka Trevor Fail), a bankrupt and disqualified company director was sentenced on 14 July 2014 to 27 months imprisonment at Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to acting as a director of 4 separate building companies whilst a disqualified director.

Trevor Lawrence’s conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Trevor Lawrence, 50, also pleaded guilty to 7 other related offences including 3 counts of fraud. The Judge also disqualified him from acting as a director for a period of 7 years.

Commenting on Mr Lawrence’s sentence, Deputy Chief Investigating Officer, Ian West, from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:

The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business (BIS) will take firm action when we find companies being run by persons, in breach of their disqualification(s).

This was a particularly blatant example, of offending where members of the public were defrauded of substantial amounts of money, and where enforcement agencies working together have ensured that the perpetrator has been penalised for his crimes.

Many customers lost substantial amounts of money paid in advance for projects not completed which demonstrates the risk to the public that such an individual poses when they breach orders and undertakings whilst clearly unfit to manage and control such businesses.

I wish to thank Northants Police for their assistance in this case”.

The court heard that Trevor Lawrence:

was adjudged bankrupt for a second time in July 2007 in the name of Trevor Fail: his previous bankruptcy having been in the name Trevor Lawrence. As a result of his bankruptcy, he was not allowed to run a limited company. In September 2007, he had also been disqualified from acting as a director of a limited company for a period of nine years as a result of his conduct as a director of another building company, Silverstar Construction Ltd, which had been wound up in September 2006.

Between July 2007 and June 2011, despite being disqualified, acted as a shadow director and continued to manage building companies, namely Astone Building Solutions Limited, All Seasons Building Solutions limited, Acorn Building & Construction Limited and Gadsby & Fay Limited.

It is not suggested that the companies were completely fraudulent. Building work was clearly undertaken but there are insufficient records to determine what proportion of that work was carried out, or not carried out and to what standard.

The court also heard that:

For All Seasons Building Solutions Limited (‘All Seasons’), Mr Lawrence produced a glossy brochure to secure contracts. However, the brochure was all lies. It showed a well-established (and unconnected) company operating from premises in Richmond, Surrey. One customer engaged the company’s services to build an extension to her home and paid £27,000 in advance. Little progress was made and when Trevor Lawrence failed to return her calls she attended at the registered office in Richmond only to discover All Seasons did not and never had had its registered office in the building. The client also discovered that others had been trying to contact All Seasons at that address for work which had apparently been uncompleted. All Seasons subsequently went into liquidation.

On behalf of Astone Building Solutions Limited, Trevor Lawrence submitted invoices to one client with a total claim for VAT amounting to £30,000 despite the company never having been registered for VAT.

The last company, Gadsby & Fay ltd, went into went into administration in June 2011, leaving contractors unpaid to the value of £60,000.

From September 2007, Trevor Lawrence also engaged in business as a sole trader under the business name of Allbright Building Solutions. He took substantial deposits from two customers, and in breach of his bankruptcy restrictions, used a name other than that which he had been adjudged bankrupt and failed to inform them of his bankruptcy status. As with the limited companies, he failed to progress the building works and two customers lost £30,800 between them.

Mr Lawrence was sentenced to 27 months for each fraud act offence, to run concurrently and a total of 8 months for the Company Director’s Disqualification Act (CDDA) 1986 and Insolvency Act offences to also run concurrently: a total of 27 months.

BIS has started confiscation proceedings against Mr Lawrence.

Notes to Editors

The defendant resides in the Northampton area and his date of birth is 28 June 1964.

s11 Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 makes it an offence to act as a director of a company whilst a bankrupt. S13 Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 makes it an offence to act as a director whist disqualified by a Court order or signed undertaking. S360(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986 makes it an offence for a bankrupt to obtain credit over £500 without first disclosing his bankruptcy status s360(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 makes it an offence for a bankrupt to engage in business under a name other than that in which he was adjudged bankrupt without disclosing the name in which he was so adjudged. s2 Fraud Act 2006 makes it an offence to make a false representation with the intention to make a gain or cause a loss.

Offences:

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 10th July 2007 and 31st December 2007 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely Astone Building Solutions Ltd without leave of the court at a time when he was an undischarged bankrupt. Contrary to Section 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 22nd February 2007 and 31st December 2007, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made representations to Bright Horizons Ltd through the submission of quotations and invoices, which he knew were or might be untrue or misleading, namely that Astone Building Solutions were entitled to charge and collect VAT on sums due to them arising from their contractual arrangements with Bright Horizons Ltd. Contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st August 2007 and 31st December 2007, obtained credit without disclosing the relevant information about his status to others for whom he organised and/or carried out building works in respect of Trevor Lawrence t/a Allbright Building Solutions. Contrary to section 360(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st August 2007 and 31st December 2007, engaged in business under a name other than that in which he was adjudged bankrupt, namely under the name of Trevor Lawrence, without disclosing the name in which he was so adjudged to others for whom he organised and/or carried out building works in respect of Trevor Lawrence t/a Allbright Building Solutions. Contrary to section 360(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st August 2007 and 31st December 2007, engaged in business under a name other than that in which he was adjudged bankrupt, namely under the name of Trevor Faile, without disclosing the name in which he was so adjudged to others for whom he organised and/or carried out building works in respect of Trevor Lawrence t/a Allbright Building Solutions. contrary to section 360(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st April 2008 and 30th November 2009 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely All Seasons Building Solutions Ltd without leave of the court at a time when he was an undischarged bankrupt. Contrary to Section 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st April 2008 and 30th November 2009 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely All Seasons Building Solutions Ltd without leave of the court at a time when he was disqualified from so acting. Contrary to Section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st April 2008 and 30th November 2009, engaged in business under a name other than that in which he was adjudged bankrupt, namely under the name of Trevor Rowlands, without disclosing to Tracey Langley and/or others the name in which he was so adjudged. Contrary to section 360(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st September 2008 and 30th September 2008, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made representations to Tracey Langley which were contained within a brochure relating to All Seasons Building Solutions Ltd which he knew were or might be untrue or misleading, namely that All Seasons Building Solutions Ltd was a well-established company which had undertaken a wide range of building and related projects, was a substantial commercial concern employing in-house architects, and traded from premises at Park Shot House, Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey. Contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st October 2008 and 28th February 2010 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely Acorn Building & Construction Ltd, without leave of the court at a time when he was an undischarged bankrupt. Contrary to Section 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st October 2008 and 28th February 2010 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely Acorn Building & Construction Ltd, without leave of the court at a time when he was disqualified from so acting. Contrary to Section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st March 2009 and 30th April 2009, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made representations to Muhammed Saleem which were contained within a brochure relating to Acorn Building & Construction Ltd which he knew were or might be untrue or misleading, namely that Acorn Building & Construction Ltd was a well-established company which had undertaken a wide range of building and related projects, and was a substantial commercial concern employing in-house architects, health and safety specialists and project management teams. Contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st November 2008 and 30th June 2011 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely Gadsby & Fay Ltd, without leave of the court at a time when he was an undischarged bankrupt. Contrary to Section 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

Trevor Lawrence/Fail, between 1st November 2008 and 30th June 2011 took part, or was concerned in, the management of a company, namely Gadsby & Fay Ltd, without leave of the court at a time when he was disqualified from so acting. Contrary to Section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

BIS’ mission is to build a Dynamic and Competitive UK economy, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. We investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/bis-criminal-prosecutions

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