Called to account: High Court bans directors of imports company for 10 years
Frederick Geraint Hawkes and his mother Janis Hawkes, the directors of F G Hawkes (Western) Limited (FGH), have been disqualified for 10 years for causing the company to submit annual financial accounts which they knew contained false information and submitting false VAT returns to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The disqualifications follow an investigation by the Insolvency Service and prevent Mr and Mrs Hawkes from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 10 years from 22 July 2015.
The company was incorporated on 2 March 1987 and traded as importers of plywood and sheet materials; latterly it also traded in the rental of holiday villas. Its trading name was RKL Plywood. It ceased trading on 3 October 2011 and was placed into administration on the same date.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that Mr and Mrs Hawkes signed FGH’s annual accounts for the period ended 31 July 2009 and the year ended 31 July 2010 on 30 April 2010 and 28 April 2011 respectively, knowing that they contained false information.
The investigation also found that Mr and Mrs Hawkes caused FGH to submit false VAT returns to HMRC for the quarters ending between April 2010 and April 2011 leading to an under declaration of VAT owed of at least £1,518,539.
The Court also ordered Mr and Mrs Hawkes to pay costs of £16,750 by 29 July 2015.
Commenting on the disqualification, Sue MacLeod, Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service, said:
These disqualifications send a clear message to directors that they have statutory obligations.
The signing of documents knowing they contain misleading information which may be relied upon by third parties, and submitting false VAT returns is serious misconduct, which the Insolvency Service will investigate with a view to removing you from the market place.
Notes to editors
Mr Hawkes’ date of birth is 23 November 1966 and he resides in Swansea, Wales.
Mrs Hawkes’ date of birth is 28 July 1939 and she resides in Glynneath, Wales.
F G Hawkes (Western) Limited (Company No. 02105180) was incorporated on 2 March 1987 and traded from Forest Products Terminal, Lockhead, Kings Dock, Swansea, SA1 1QR as Importers of plywood and sheet materials and also in the rental of holiday villas. The Company went into administration on 3 October 2011 with an estimated deficiency of £26,705,170.
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 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.
Published: 9 July 2015
From: The Insolvency Service