Press release

Devon directors disqualified for using misleading bank statements to obtain £250,000 loan

Frederick Arthur Bartlett and Clive Victor Tayton, directors of Bionova Recycling Ltd, have each been disqualified from acting as a director for 10 years.

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Frederick Arthur Bartlett and Clive Victor Tayton, directors of Bionova Recycling Ltd, have each been disqualified from acting as a director for 10 years for obtaining a loan by false pretences.

Another director, Aaron Custance, has been disqualified for 8 years.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Mr Bartlett, Mr Tayton, and Mr Custance entered into disqualification undertakings, which prohibit them from acting in the management of a company for the duration of those undertakings.

A 3½ year disqualification undertaking was also accepted from Mr Bartlett’s wife, Mrs Marilyn Anne Bartlett. Bionova Recycling Ltd borrowed £250,000 in 2013. It was a condition of the loan that the company had to put up the same amount in matched funding and this is what the directors told the lender it had done. To create evidence that they had invested £250,000, the directors borrowed £50,000 from an associate and passed it repeatedly through the company’s bank accounts before paying it back.

The directors then used bank statements showing all the receipts but not the repayments to persuade the lender that the required matched funding had been introduced but in reality the directors had introduced no matched funding at all. The lender made the loan, the company subsequently failed and the lender never got its money back.

Bionova Recycling Ltd was based in Okehampton, Devon and was involved in selling and installing equipment for converting food waste into biofuel. It went into administration on 10 April 2014 and the administrators have received creditors’ claims of £970,000.

The loan fund that the directors deceived comprised public funds including European, local authority, British Business Bank and central government funds as well as private investment funds.

Mrs Bartlett had been a director with Mr Bartlett of another company, Nergetic Renewables Ltd, in which £50,000 was obtained in a similar manner from the same lender. Nergetic Renewables Ltd went into compulsory liquidation on 27 November 2014 with liabilities to creditors of £69,000.

Sue MacLeod, Chief Investigator of Insolvent Investigations, Midlands & West at the Insolvency Service, said: “These are serious cases in which the directors deliberately misled the lender into making loans that it would not have made if it had known the companies’ true positions. The directors made misrepresentations that they had introduced money into the companies when in fact they had not.

“There is no place in the business community for such behaviour and the Insolvency Service and The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will take firm action to protect the public in appropriate cases.”

Notes to editors

Frederick Arthur Bartlett’s date of birth is March 1949. Clive Victor Tayton’s date of birth is October 1963. Aaron Custance’s date of birth is May 1970.

Bionova Recycling Ltd (CRO No.07018693) was incorporated on 15 September 1999 and traded from Unit 2 Fatherford Farm, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1QQ. Its principle activity was selling and installing equipment for converting food waste into biofuel. The company went into Administration on 10 April 2014.

Nergetic Renewables Ltd (CRO No. 04527367) was incorporated on 5 September 2002 and traded from 87 The Hundred, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 8BZ. Its principle activity was providing waste & recycling consultancy The company went into compulsory liquidation on 27 November 2014.

Mr Frederick Arthur Bartlett was a formally appointed director of Bionova Recycling Ltd from 1 June 2013. Although the deceptive loan application was submitted before he was formally appointed, he was involved in the provision of misleading information to the lender. He was also an appointed director of Nergetic Renewables Ltd from 10 September 2002. His date of birth is 9 March 1949 and he is known to have resided in Romsey, Hampshire. On 5 November 2015 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Bartlett, effective from 26 November 2015, for 10 years.

Mr Clive Victor Tayton was a director of Bionova Recycling Ltd from 28 February 2011. His date of birth is 4 October 1963 and he is known to have resided in Bratton Clovelly, Devon. On 22 August 2016 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Tayton, effective from 12 September 2016, for 10 years.

Mr Aaron Custance was a director of Bionova Recycling Ltd from 1 May 2012 to 10 December 2013. His date of birth is 30 May 1970 and he is known to have resided in Okehampton, Devon. On 13 January 2016 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Custance, effective from 3 February 2016, for 8 years.

Mrs Marilyn Anne Bartlett was not a director of Bionova Recycling Ltd. She was a director of Nergetic Renewables Ltd from 10 September 2002 to 1 September 2013. Her date of birth is 17 July 1950 and she is known to have resided in Romsey, Hampshire. On 28 October 2015, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mrs Bartlett, effective from 18 November 2015, for 3½ years. 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

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

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

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, 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 17 November 2016