Couple banned for causing company to go bust by helping themselves to funds
Mark and Janet Styler have been disqualified from acting as directors for six years for withdrawing funds from Window & Conservatory Options Limited after they had been told the company was insolvent and could not afford to continue the level of payments to them.
The company, which began trading in March 2009, sold and installed double-glazing and conservatories to domestic customers throughout the Tameside, Peak District and Derbyshire areas.
An insolvency service investigation found that:
- In June 2011, Mr & Mrs Styler approved accounts which showed that the company was insolvent. At the time, accountants warned them about the risk of continuing to trade and that their level of drawings from the company exceeded the profits, as they owed the company £95,862
- The directors received draft accounts on 6 February 2012 for the period ending 30 September 2011, which showed the company was still insolvent. The accountants again warned the directors about their level of drawings of £133,448 for that year
- A few days later, on 10 February 2012, the directors instructed new accountants to re-do the 2011 accounts. The new accountants amended the accounts based on information provided by Mr & Mrs Styler. The revised accounts showed that the company remained insolvent. However, the amount that the directors owed to the company had disappeared
- From 11 February 2012 to 17 September 2013 the directors received further payments of £172,715.50 from the company
- The directors ignored the warnings and continued to withdraw funds from the company, and as a result the company could not make payments to its creditors. On 27 September 2013 the company was placed into Liquidation
Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:
Directors who abuse limited liability and use company funds to meet their personal expenses can expect to be investigated by the Insolvency Service and enforcement action taken to remove them from the market place. Mr & Mrs Styler repeatedly ignored warnings from professional advisors and used company funds as their own.
Taking action against Mr & Mrs Styler is a warning to directors of their responsibilities and requirements to act for the good of the company and its creditors.
Notes to editors
Window & Conservatory Options Limited (CRO No. 06710843 was incorporated on 30 September 2008. Its registered office was Options House Brookheld Industrial Estate, Peakdale Road, Glossop SK13 6LQ. It traded from the same address. Mark Styler and Janet Styler were the only directors at the time of Liquidation. Window & Conservatory Options Limited was placed into Liquidation on 27 September 2013.
Mark Styler (full name Mark Bryan Thomas Styler) is of Glossop, Derbyshire and his date of birth is 21 May 1957.
Janet Styler (full name Janet Ann Styler) is of Glossop, Derbyshire and her date of birth is 21 September 1962.
The Secretary of State accepted undertakings from Mark & Janet Styler on 12 August 2015. The disqualification is due to commence on 2 September 2015.
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: 14 August 2015
From: The Insolvency Service