Press release

Disqualified director of security company handed 18 months prison

Michael Graham Quinton, a bankrupt and disqualified director, has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, after pleading guilty to two counts of acting in the management of two companies following a hearing at Kingston Crown Court.


Mr Quinton’s sentence, suspended for two years, relates to his involvement with Limited Risk Limited and Defensa International LLC.

He was also disqualified from being a director for 10 years and ordered to pay costs of £13,818.47.

Mr Quinton’s conviction follows a criminal investigation and prosecution by the Criminal Enforcement Team of the Insolvency Service.

Whilst subject to a disqualification undertaking dated 7 October 2009, Michael Graham Quinton acted in the management of both Limited Risk Limited and Defensa International LLC, contrary to section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) investigated Quinton and the Criminal Enforcement Team, was itself already investigating Quinton. As a result of information shared between the SIA and the Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team, a number of investigative leads were pursued.

Mr Quinton, aged 46, was the CEO of Defensa International LLC, a company which was incorporated in the United States, but carried on its business and had an office in the UK.

He was also the controlling mind of Limited Risk Limited, but in an attempt to avoid the consequences of his disqualification undertaking he used the names of others as directors of the company.

Case lawyer Ian Hatcher from the Insolvency Service said :

This case shows that the Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service will take action against those individuals who act as directors or are involved in the management of companies when they are not permitted to do so.

Here, a disqualified director attempted to circumvent his ban by incorporating a company abroad and by using the names of others as directors of his British company.

The Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service was alive to this, and took firm action.

Kevin Young, SIA Partnerships and Investigations Manager, said:

Our investigation of Quinton’s business practices relating to the supply of security staff to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, and other major sporting events, revealed a pattern of behaviour.

Our investigators at the SIA actively seek to work with partners and the conviction of Michael Quinton shows the value of joint working and sharing of information between the Insolvency Service and Hampshire Police.

Notes to editors

Limited Risk Limited (Company number 08586528), was incorporated on 26 June 2013.

Defensa International LLC was incorporated on 7 January 2011.

Michael Graham Quinton’s date of birth is 11 July, 1971. He is of Epsom, Surrey.

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. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available at available.

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 Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme. Further information about the SIA is available.

Contact Insolvency Service Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 7674 6910 or 020 7596 6187

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Published 4 August 2017