Press release

Court orders maximum ban for construction boss

Construction boss has been banned by the courts for 15 years after he was found running companies despite previously agreeing to be disqualified.

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Valdek Hetman (61), from Ilkeston, Nottinghamshire, received the maximum ban possible and was joined at Derby Crown Court on Monday 1 October by his accomplice Brendon Doherty, who received a 5-year directorship disqualification for assisting him to carry out his offences.

At an earlier hearing on 28 September at Derby Crown Court, Valdek Hetman also received a 6 months’ prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £750 costs. Brendon Doherty was ordered to pay a £600 fine.

The court heard that Valdek Hetman was made bankrupt for 12 months in July 2014, having been petitioned by a supplies company for unpaid bills.

And two years later, he accepted a disqualification undertaking that prevented Valdek Hetman from running companies for 10 years in July 2016 for his role in the liquidation of Abbey Constructions Midlands Limited.

However, despite agreeing to be disqualified and having a range of restrictions placed upon him, Valdek Hetman continued to run companies in direct contravention of the disqualification undertaking he had personally signed.

Following complaints to the Insolvency Service, investigators found proof that Valdek Hetman had been running two companies: Abbey Construction Group (East Midlands) Limited and Abbey Construction East Midlands Limited.

Furthermore, Abbey Construction (East Midlands) Limited had been made subject to compulsory liquidation in March 2015 and the name was banned from being used again. However, Hetman and Doherty committed a further offence when they traded using the name Abbey Construction East Midlands Limited, which was deemed similar to the banned name and allowed them to benefit from the association.

When interviewed by the Insolvency Service, the construction boss said he did not accept the facts given in the disqualification he had personally accepted in 2016.

Valdek Hetman also claimed that he worked as a contracts manager and Brendon Doherty (36) from Nottingham was the real boss and the listed director of Abbey Construction Group (East Midlands) Limited and Abbey Construction East Midlands Limited.

Arwel Jones, Director of Criminal Enforcement for the Insolvency Service, said:

We were able to demonstrate in spite of Valdek Hetman’s assertions, he was clearly running those companies, while his accomplice Brendon Doherty knew exactly was going when he played Hetman’s front-man.

Our actions should serve as a warning that running a company while serving a ban is a serious offence that will land you in further trouble.

On 4 September 2018 both defendants appeared at Derby Crown Court. Valdek Hetman pleaded guilty to two counts of managing a company while disqualified and one count of managing a business known by a prohibited name.

Brendon Doherty was pleaded guilty to one count of assisting Valdek Hetman to act in the management of companies.

Notes to editor

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

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

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 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.

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Published 5 October 2018