Press release

Failing to account leads to lengthy ban for Lancaster directors

Nathan Brown and Carole Brown, the directors of C&N Shearing Limited (Shearing), an animal husbandry and livestock business in Lancaster, have been disqualified from acting as company directors for 6 years.

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The investigation found Nathan Brown and Carole Brown failed to maintain or deliver up Shearing’s accounting records which meant that it was not possible to determine Shearing’s income and expenditure during its final trading period or establish that all money paid out was for the benefit of the company.

It has also not been possible to determine what stock belonged to the company, what book debts were due to the company, verify what happened to assets valued at £123,440 in the 2013 annual accounts or verify how much was owed to creditors.

Carole Brown’s disqualification, from 27 December 2016, means she cannot promote, manage or be a director of a limited company until 2022.

Nathan Brown’s disqualification, from 2 January 2017, means he cannot promote, manage or be a director of a limited company until 2023.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.

Notes to editors

C & N Shearing Limited (CRO No. 04994115) was incorporated in 2003. The company’s registered office and trading address was Deep Clough, Littledale, Lancaster LA2 9HB.

C & N Shearing Limited entered administration on 12 February 2015 with assets of £32,243 and liabilities of £751,727.

Nathan Brown is from Lancaster and his date of birth is 20 August 1971.

Carole Brown is from Carnforth and her date of birth is 15 July 1968.

Disqualification undertakings from Nathan Brown and Carole Brown were accepted by the Secretary of State on 12 December 2016 and 6 December 2016 respectively and will come into force on 2 January 2017 and 27 December 2016 respectively.

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 6 January 2017