Financial adviser handed 15 year bankruptcy restriction order
Stephen Benjamin James Todd has been handed the maximum bankruptcy restriction order of 15 years for acting in the management of a company whilst an undischarged bankrupt and subject to a lengthy director’s ban.
On 15 December 2016 Registrar Christine Derrett ordered that Mr Todd, a financial adviser, be subject to the bankruptcy restrictions order as a result of him acting in the management of limited company, despite having previously agreed to a disqualification undertaking for ten years, and for breaching a bankruptcy order.
In handing down the maximum period of bankruptcy restriction allowed by the court, Registrar Derrett stated that Mr Todd’s affairs was one of the worst examples of someone having disregard for the insolvency and directors disqualification regime which exists to protect the public.
The misconduct was during the period 8 February 2013 to 14 April 2014 and from 21 January 2015 to 2 February 2015 whilst subject to a company directors disqualification undertaking and from 29 April 2013 whilst an undischarged bankrupt.
Previously, on 8 October 2012 Mr Todd had offered a disqualification undertaking not to act as a director, act as a receiver of a company’s property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company for a period of ten years as a consequence of his conduct as a director of an earlier company in liquidation.
A bankruptcy order was subsequently made against Mr Todd on 29 April 2013 and on 16 December 2013 his discharge from bankruptcy was suspended indefinitely.
Without leave of the court Mr Todd nevertheless acted in the management of IPR Capital Limited (IPR) which was incorporated on 8 February 2013 and which went into provisional liquidation on 2 February 2015 and liquidation on 1 April 2015 with liabilities of over £10 million.
The court also found that Mr Todd failed to disclose in the bankruptcy proceedings his income from IPR and other parties. From 29 April 2013 (the date of his bankruptcy) to 15 April 2014, Mr Todd received at least £517,100 from IPR.
Mr Todd also received payments into his bank account totaling £59,904 during the period 29 April 2013 to 6 January 2014 from other parties.
Mr Todd stated to the Official Receiver that he had assets with an approximate value of £8,800. As at 29 April 2013 his liabilities amounted to at least £454,107 of which £363,607 was due in respect of unpaid National Insurance contributions, self assessed tax and penalties.
In handing the maximum period of bankruptcy restriction allowed by the Court Registrar Derrett stated that Mr Todd’s affairs was one of the worst examples of someone having disregard for the insolvency and directors disqualification regime that is meant to protect the public.
Mr Todd’s period of bankruptcy restriction means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until the end of 13 December 2031. Further restrictions include:
- he must disclose his status as a person subject to bankruptcy restrictions to a credit provider if he wishes to get credit of £500 or more
- he may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company
This bankruptcy restrictions order follows investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit (South), a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced on 19 August 2015 as result of IPR Capital Ltd entering into liquidation on 1 April 2015. On 19 August 2015 the Official Receiver of Public Interest Unit (South) became aware that Mr Todd remained an undischarged bankrupt and required Mr Todd to fulfil his duties and obligations as an undischarged bankrupt. Claims to date received by the joint-Trustees in bankruptcy total £454,107.
The Official Receiver’s investigation uncovered that Mr Todd acted in the management of IPR Capital Limited, a company that has promoted a gold mine investment product to the public, despite failing to obtain ownership of any mining rights. This has resulted in losses to the members of the public of £5,519,574.
IPR Capital Ltd at the date of winding up on 1 April 2015 had assets of £11,723 and estimated total liabilities of £10,466,810, with issued and called up capital of £1, resulting in estimated deficiency to members of £10,455,006.
In making his judgment to wind up IPR Capital Ltd on 1 April 2015 Registrar Clive Jones described IPR Capital’s trading method as a “fraudulent scheme”.
Notes to editors
Stephen Benjamin James Todd’s date of birth is 29 November 1981 and he was made bankrupt on 29 April 2013.
On 9 January 2013, HM Revenue & Customs presented a bankruptcy petition against Mr Todd for an aggregate sum of £363,065 in respect of unpaid self assessed tax and/or National Insurance contributions covering the period 2001-2011.
On 16 December 2013 Mr R A J Hooper & Mr N W Nicholson of Haslers were appointed as Mr Todd’s joint-trustees in bankruptcy following a request for his appointment by a majority of creditors. Mr Hooper resigned as trustee in bankruptcy and was replaced by Mr S Hamilton on 15 April 2016.
On 2 February 2015 IPR Capital Ltd (CRO No. 08394553) was placed into provisional liquidation following the presentation of a winding up petition by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills following a s447 investigation into the company’s affairs by the Insolvency Service. The formally appointed directors of IPR Capital were Mr James Martin McNally during the period 8 February 2013 to 31 May 2013, Mr Steven John Mayne during the period 2 May 2013 to 1 April 2015, Mr Robert Alexander Hall during the period 23 June 2014 and Mr Ronald Lee Skelton during the period 1 August 2014 to 1 December 2014.
If the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it, and will decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the bankrupt will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.
These are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months and include that bankrupts:
- must disclose their status to a credit provider if they wish to get credit of more than £500
- who carry on business in a different name from the name in which they were made bankrupt, they must disclose to those they wish to do business with the name (or trading style) under which they were made bankrupt
- may not act as the director of a company nor take part in its promotion, formation or management unless they have a court’s permission to do so
- may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company on behalf of debenture holders
Additionally, a person subject to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales.
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.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the bankrupt should be made to: The Official Receiver c/o Peter Joicey, Public Interest Unit (South), The Insolvency Service, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT. Tel: 020 7637 6249 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Published: 14 February 2017
From: The Insolvency Service