Press release

Diamonds aren't forever for banned jewellery seller

Gary Wright, director of a watch and jewellery wholesaler, has been banned from acting as a director for six years.


The sole registered director of AS Diamonds Limited in Arlington Court, Stevenage, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for six years failing to provide adequate company records, whilst also treating HMRC detrimentally in comparison to other creditors.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted an undertaking from Gary Wright effective from 11 October 2017.

Although Gary Wright provided some accounting records to the liquidator they were inadequate and it was not possible in particular to verify the purpose of payments to himself of over £160,000 as well as cash withdrawals of £40,000 and the validity of a supplier invoice to the value of £33,000.

During the period of trading, Gary Wright caused AS Diamonds Limited to treat HMRC detrimentally in comparison to other creditors. Although AS Diamonds Limited charged VAT on its sales invoices, no VAT returns were ever submitted and HMRC therefore duly issued assessments totaling £123,922. An analysis of the company’s bank account revealed that in excess of £490,000 was paid out, of which, nothing was paid to HMRC in respect of its accruing VAT debt.

Additionally, during the period 11 December to 22 December 2014, £49,967 was transferred to Gary Wright’s personal bank account which was to the detriment of creditors in general.

Commenting on the disqualification, David Brooks, a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service said:

The period of this disqualification contained within the undertaking signed by Gary Wright sends a clear message to other company directors.

Company directors have a statutory duty under the Companies Act to keep adequate company records which should amongst other things satisfactorily explain payments.

Further, much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid. By not declaring and paying the correct amount of taxes, Gary Wright has ultimately deprived the public services and the public from receiving the services it deserves. The Insolvency Service therefore will not hesitate to remove them from the business environment in order to protect the public.

Notes to editors

Gary Wright, 37 – date of birth, December 1980, was a registered director of AS Diamonds Limited (Company No. 08514671), which was incorporated in May 2013 and traded as a wholesaler of watches and jewellery from Arlington Court, Stevenage.

Gary Wright, of Stevenage, has been disqualified for 6 years from 11 October 2017.

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 24 October 2017