Press release

Director derails company and receives a 6 year disqualification order.

Mr Lawrence McGovern, director of Railtrades Ltd (“Railtrades”) has received a 6 year disqualification order for disposing of the company’s assets worth an estimated £52,000 and paying almost that amount to a connected party.

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Mr McGovern’s disqualification from 15 December 2014 follows a disqualification order made in the County Court at Romford on 14 November 2014 by Deputy District Judge Dudderidge. The application on 28 May 2014 was by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The investigation showed that Mr McGovern disposed of Railtrades Limited’s fixed assets with an estimated value of £52,875 and in addition paid connected parties a total of £51,900, at a time when the company was insolvent, to the disadvantage of the company’s creditors.
Despite requests by the liquidator and the Insolvency Service has failed to provide evidence of what happened to the company’s assets.
The assets were shown in Railtrades’ balance sheet at 30 April 2011 at a value of £71,875, and the Liquidator estimates that they would have been worth £52,785 at liquidation. There is no evidence of monies from a sale of assets being received into Railtrades’ bank and account and Mr McGovern has failed to provide details of who he sold the assets to.

Mr McGovern caused Railtrades to enter into £51,900 of transactions to the detriment of creditors in that on 01 May 2012, at a time when Railtrades was insolvent, having ceased trading, and after the presentation of a winding up petition on 23 April 2013, he made payments of :-

  • £23,600 to a company of which he had previously been company secretary and which a family member was to be appointed director on 22 June 2012
  • £13,000 to that same family member, and
  • £15,300 to another family member.

Commenting on the disqualification, Melissa Davies, an investigator with the Insolvency Service’s Company Investigations team, said:

Mr McGovern’s ‘explanation’ to the liquidator with regard to the sale of Railtrades’ assets was that they were sold in September 2011 and yet he informed the Insolvency Service that the company was unable to continue trading after the disposal of assets.

These explanations are conflicting as the company continued to trade until April 2012. With regard to the £23,600 paid to a connected company, Mr McGovern denied that there was any such connection but interrogation of the computerised accounts contradicted this, resulting in his disqualification.

Notes to editors

Railtrades Limited - (CRO No. 03580208) - 23-25 Fowler Road, Ilford, Essex IG6 3UT. Date of incorporation 12 June 1998. Mr Lawrence McGovern director was director.

Railtrades Ltd entered into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation on 31 May 2012.
“The petition was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 15 December 2012 and the Winding Up Order was made on 1 March 2013.

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;
  • act as an insolvency practitioner; or
  • be a receiver of a company’s property.

In addition many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.

Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification 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. The Service also 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 is available from http://www.gov.uk/insolvency-service

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Tel: 0161 234 8531 Email: piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

Media enquiries only should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media & Campaigns Manager on 0207 674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Media Manager on 0207 596 6187.

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Published 30 December 2014