Press release

Brothers banned for paying off connected business as company failed with £4.5m debts

Brothers, Stephen Melville and Martin Melville of Glasgow, have each been given a ban from acting as directors after an investigation found that they had entered into a series of transactions to the benefit of a connected company when they knew or ought to have known Anderson Beckette Ltd was in the process of being placed into liquidation.

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The orders, announced by Glasgow Sheriff Court on 2 February 2015, will prevent Stephen (48) and Martin Melville (46) from acting as directors for 9 years and 8 years respectively from 23 February 2015 As a consequence of their actions the creditors of Anderson Beckette Limited, which operated as a payroll services provider, were prejudiced.

Stephen and Martin Melville were directors of Anderson Beckette Limited which was wound up on 11 October 2012 with debts of over £4.5m, following a petition by HM Revenue & Customs.

The investigation found that on 09 August 2012 HM Revenue & Customs sought payment of overdue liabilities in the sum of £8,446,223. Following the company’s failure to secure a time to pay agreement for this debt, on 16 August 2012 the Melville brothers held a board meeting at which it was resolved to place the company into liquidation. 12 days later, the company received two payments from customers totalling £942,902 which were transferred to a connected company, notwithstanding debts of almost £11m to other creditors.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Robert Clarke, Group Leader - Insolvent Investigations North, said;

Directors who put the financial interests of connected parties above those of third party creditors damage confidence in doing business and are corrosive to the health of the local economy.

This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to help themselves first; you have a duty to your creditors and if you neglect this duty you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service. The length of the disqualification sends a clear message to others of how seriously such misconduct is considered by the Secretary of State.

Notes to editors

Anderson Beckette Limited (CRO No. SC254239) went into compulsory liquidation on 11 October 2012 with a deficiency to creditors of £4,689,604. The company operated as a payroll service provider from premises at Key House, 18 Seaward Place, Centurion Business Park, Glasgow, G41 1HH.

Stephen Melville’s date of birth is 17 April 1966.

Martin Melville’s date of birth is 12 January 1969.

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 is available.

The Insolvency Service (in Scotland) 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 and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. It may also use powers under the Companies Act to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

Published 3 March 2015