Four directors of a company which traded in gaming equipment have been disqualified for periods of between three and a half and 11 years.
The Secretary of State has accepted undertakings offered by Alexander Edwin Auckland of Harrogate, North Yorkshire and by Mark Kevin Sowray of Bedale, North Yorkshire disqualifying each of them from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director until 17th June 2027.
The Secretary of State has also accepted undertakings from Alison Jayne Auckland of Ripon, North Yorkshire and by Sarah Louise Sowray of Bedale, North Yorkshire disqualifying each of them from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director until 17th November 2019 following an investigation by The Insolvency Service’s Company Investigation Team, in Manchester.
Mrs Auckland and Mrs Sowray were each appointed directors of AMG Leisure Limited (AMG) from 8 March 2006, and Mr Auckland and Mr Sowray were each appointed directors of AMG from 5 July 2006 until AMG entered Administration on 8 April 2014.
AMG was placed into Administration on 08 April 2014, with an estimated deficiency to creditors of £1,190,744. The company traded as distributors and operators of gaming equipment.
Mr Auckland and Mr Sowray did not dispute that they caused AMG to breach conditions of an Invoice Factoring Finance Agreement to the ultimate financial detriment of the provider.
Mrs Auckland and Mrs Sowray did not dispute that they abrogated their duties as directors of AMG, in particular in the period from 22 May 2013 until the date of Administration on 08 April 2014, in that they took no part in the management of the company; thus allowing AMG to breach conditions of an Invoice Factoring Finance Agreement to the ultimate financial detriment of the provider.
Commenting on the case Rob Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North, said:
In this case the directors arranged for creditors to pay £312,741 to the company rather than pay the factor who had advanced funds against the invoices causing losses to the factor . It is no defence to state that directors had no role in the company, those appointed are responsible regardless of their level of involvement.
The protection afforded by limited liability is based on company directors meeting their duties and obligations and if they fail to do so, this protection will be withdrawn.
Notes to editors
AMG Leisure Limited was incorporated on 08 March 2006 and operated from premises at Melmerby Industrial Estate, Ripon, North Yorkshire until entering Administration on 8 April 2014.
On 18 April 2016 Mrs Auckland and Mrs Sowray each signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning each of them from being a director of a company for a period of three years and 6 months.
The undertakings were accepted by the Secretary of State on 26 April 2016 and the period of disqualification commenced on 17 May 2016.
On 23 May 2016 Mr Auckland and Mr Sowray each signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning each of them from being a director of a company for a period of eleven years. The undertakings were accepted by the Secretary of State on 24 May 2016 and the period of disqualification will commence on 17 June 2016.
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: 4 July 2016
From: The Insolvency Service