The director of a company which engaged in cold call marketing has been disqualified for seven years for failing to keep adequate accounting records and for causing the company to distribute advertising and marketing material in breach of advertising industry codes.
Stephen John Greenall has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which prevents him from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for seven years from 3 February 2017.
Mr Greenall was the director of Optima Energy Solutions Limited (Optima), which sold and installed heating systems to domestic customers. Optima went into liquidation on 23 April 2015 owing £895,352 to creditors.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation concluded that Mr Greenall failed to ensure that Optima maintained adequate accounting records. As a result, the Insolvency Service has been unable to determine the purpose of payments made to individuals totalling £522,342.
In addition, Optima was unable to provide any evidence to the Advertising Standards Authority to verify the truth of claims made regarding the energy saving performance of the radiators it marketed and sold.
Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service, said:
It is a legal requirement for a limited company to maintain adequate accounting records to explain the financial position of that company at any given point in time. On insolvency directors are required to deliver those records up to the appointed insolvency practitioner. A failure to maintain or deliver up adequate records can severely hamper an insolvency practitioner’s attempts to recover assets for the benefit of creditors as well as the Insolvency Service’s investigations, with disqualification as a company director a likely outcome.
Notes to editors
Optima Energy Solutions Limited (CRO No.08508808) was incorporated on 29 April 2013. Optima traded from Waterside Business Park, Johnson Road, Darwen, BB3 3RT, its registered office being at The Courtyard, Green Lane, Heywood OL10 2EX.
Mr Greenall (date of birth 15 April 1966) was a formally appointed director between 29 April 2013 and liquidation.
Optima went into Liquidation on 23 April 2015. On 13 January 2017 the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Mr Greenall effective from 03 February 2017, for seven years.
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: 10 February 2017
From: The Insolvency Service