Press release

Director ban for owners of Harrogate care home who stole from residents

A couple, directors of a care home company, have been disqualified after an Insolvency Service investigation found they had stolen money from residents.

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Thomas Gerald Atcheson and Linda Ann Atcheson, who ran Granby Lodge Care Home in Harrogate and between 2012 and 2014 took sums totalling £45,010 from the residents of the care home have been disqualified for 13 years from being the director of a limited company.

On 11 July 2016, Mrs Atcheson and on 14 July 2016, Mr Atcheson gave an undertaking to the Insolvency Service not to manage or control a company for 13 years until 2029 from 01 August 2016 and 04 August 2016 respectively. Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

The investigation found that, following a period of ill-health for Mr Atcheson, in 2010, the company began struggling financially. Over a period of two years, Mr & Mrs Atcheson misappropriated funds - £45, 010 in all - held in trust on behalf of care home residents, for the benefit of the company.

Following an earlier and separate investigation by North Yorkshire Police into the misappropriation of the residents’ funds, Mr and Mrs Atcheson had been convicted on 5 February 2015 on 9 counts of “Fraud by abuse of position” and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. On 25 February 2015, Mr and Mrs Atcheson were made subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for £45,010.

Rob Clarke, Senior Investigator, said:

The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business will take firm action when we find that the behaviour of Company Directors falls short. In this instance Mr & Mrs Atcheson abused a position of trust that had been granted to them, to accommodate the needs of people with learning difficulties in a domestic care setting. They misappropriated funds from some of the most vulnerable members of society over a sustained period of two years. This disqualification should serve as a warning to other directors who choose not to act properly.

Notes to editors

Mr. Atcheson’s date of birth is 5 September 1948 and he resides in Harrogate.

Mrs. Atcheson’s date of birth is 5 September 1957 and she also resides in Harrogate.

Granby Lodge Care Limited (CRO No. 04839233) was incorporated on 21 July 2003 and latterly traded from Granby Lodge Care Home from leased premises at 10 Granby Road, Harrogate, HG1 4ST. The company provided residential care to up to 14 adults with learning difficulties at any one time.

Mr. & Mrs. Atcheson were directors of the company from 21 July 2003 until it entered into Liquidation on 20 July 2015.

On 14 July and 11 July 2016 , the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertakings from Mr. & Mrs. Atcheson, respectively effective from 1 August 2016 and 4 August 2016, for 13 years. The matters of unfitness, which Mr. & Mrs. Atcheson did not dispute in the Disqualification Undertaking, were that:

Between 2012 and 2014 Thomas Gerald Atcheson (Mr Atcheson) misappropriated sums totalling £45,010 from funds held in trust by Granby Lodge Care Limited on behalf of residents of the care home run by the company.

Between 2012 and 2014 Linda Ann Atcheson (Mrs Atcheson) misappropriated sums totalling £45,010 from funds held in trust by Granby Lodge Care Limited on behalf of residents of the care home run by the company.

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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Published 2 September 2016