The director of All Marquees Ltd, Mr James Elliott Pemble, has been disqualified for five years for transferring at least £144,427 of All Marquees Ltd’s money to himself and to connected parties.
An insolvency Service investigation found the transfer was for no apparent benefit to All Marquees Ltd, at a time when the company was insolvent.
Before All Marquees Ltd, Mr Pemble had been the director of three previous marquee hire companies that all entered liquidation. During his directorship of All Marquees Ltd Mr Pemble was also trading at least 3 other businesses which operated in the entertainment and leisure industry, on a sole trader basis. Much of the £144,427 was used to fund Mr Pemble’s other business entities.
The transactions referred to above took place between 7 September 2012 and 6 May 2014. Between these dates, All Marquees Ltd issued 55 cheques to the value of £158,716 which were dishonored and 3 CCJs totaling £16,515 were made against All Marquees Ltd. The CCJs were still outstanding as at the date of liquidation when All Marquees Ltd had liabilities totaling £200,877.
Mr Pemble failed to attend upon the Official Receiver to provide an explanation for the use of the £144,427 and the Official Receiver was unable to identify any benefit to All Marquees Ltd for the use of these funds in the records for the company that were delivered up.
Commenting on the disqualification, Andrew Stanley, Official Receiver Chatham at The Insolvency Service, said:
A director owes a fiduciary duty to a company to act in its best interest, rather than for their own personal benefit. Mr Pemble chose to use company funds for his own personal benefit and that of his other business entities at a time that All Marquees Ltd was insolvent. He demonstrated a disregard to All Marquees Ltd’s own creditors who have suffered as a result of his actions.
Directors should note that the Insolvency Service will take appropriate action to remove them from the business community when their conduct falls below the standard expected and results in the company being subject to a compulsory liquidation.
Notes to editors
Mr Pemble’s date of birth is 27 November 1972, his last known address was Little Rhoden Farm, Lucks Lane, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6PA.
All Marquees Ltd (CRO No. 06027566) was incorporated on 13 December 2006 and appears to have commenced trading in January 2009 from Mr Pemble’s home address providing marquee hire for large and corporate events.
Mr Pemble was a director from 2 May 2007 to liquidation. The Company was subject to a winding up order on 12 May 2014 on a petition presented by HM Revenue and Customs. At liquidation it had an estimated deficiency of £197,536. An Insolvency Practitioner was appointed as liquidator in place of the Official Receiver on 16 July 2014.
On 14 April 2016 the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Mr Pemble effective from 5 May 2016, for a period of 5 years.
The matters of unfitness, which Mr Pemble did not dispute in the Disqualification Undertaking, were that:
Between 7 September 2012 and 6 May 2014 I, as the sole director of All Marquees Ltd, made net payments of at least £144,427 to connected parties from the bank account of All Marquees Ltd at a time when the company was insolvent. These payments were ultimately for my own benefit and the benefit of third parties for no apparent financial benefit to All Marquees Ltd, which was to the detriment of the company and its creditors. I orchestrated payments of:
at least £115,438 for my own personal benefit
£6,489 for the benefit of a connected company I was the sole director of
£22,500 to a company I stated I worked for
Creditors, whose liabilities at liquidation totalled at least £200,877, have been deprived of this sum by me and I have not acted in the best interests of All Marquees Ltd.
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.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found here.
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.
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