Press release

Five Burglar alarm company directors get 39 and a half years disqualification for breaching consumer laws

Five directors of SAS Fire & Security Systems Limited (“SAS”), a company which sold monitored burglar alarms have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of 39 ½ years for engaging in sales practices which breached consumer legislation and failing to rectify breaches in response to Trading Standards enforcement action.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service, leading to the disqualifications, follows the winding up on public interest grounds of SAS Fire & Security Systems Limited (“SAS”) by Companies Investigation, part of the Insolvency Service. The last of the five disqualifications followed a High Court trial in August.

Four of the directors had already given undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills not to be directors for the duration of their bans without leave of the court:

  • Ludovic Black and David Diaz were disqualified from acting as directors for 9 years each, from 1 September (having given undertakings on the first day of the trial),
  • John Davies, disqualified for 12 years, from 11 October 2013 and,
  • Roger Waring for 3 ½ years from 24 April 2013).

A further director, Gary McVey, was disqualified by Court Order for 6 years from 4 September 2014, following a four day trial in the High Court.

SAS had nearly 7,000 customers by the time it was wound up.

The Insolvency Service investigation found the company coerced consumers, into allowing a sales presentation to be made at the consumer’s home, through cold-call telephone calls, where false statements and inaccurate claims were made.. At the presentation, further false statements and inaccurate claims were made in order to induce customers to purchase a burglar alarm and monitoring and response service, charging between£1,699 and £5,999. Payment was usually obtained from the consumer in full by SAS before expiration of the 7 day statutory cooling-off period. SAS failed to ensure that consumers were advised of their statutory cancellation rights.

SAS also failed to materially alter the way its business was conducted in response to enforcement action taken by North Lanarkshire Trading Standards and the Information Commissioner’s Office, and to advice given by Trading Standards offices. Messrs McVey, Diaz, Black and Davies, in defending the winding up petition, also gave undertakings to Court as to how SAS would act. SAS breached several of these undertakings.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver for the Public Interest Unit (North) of The Insolvency Service stated,

Many of SAS’s customers were elderly or vulnerable. The sales tactics SAS employed exploited this. “I would urge anyone who has been cold called by telephone to carefully consider whether the offer made is reasonable and or plausible.

I would also advise caution in allowing sales representatives to attend in your home and, if possible, to ensure a friend or relative is present.

The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action against directors who fail to adhere to the standards required of them and to remove irresponsible and culpable directors from operating with the benefit of limited liability in the business environment.

SAS sold its business to 4 connected companies, Central Intelligence Security Solutions Limited, Homeguard Fire & Security Limited, Skynet Security Systems Limited and UK Monitoring & Response Solutions Limited . The Insolvency Service has secured disqualifications against 8 directors of these companies for periods totalling 66 years.

This brings to a conclusion the investigation and administration of the liquidation of SAS. Unfortunately, there will be no dividend payable to unsecured creditors.

Notes to Editors

SAS Fire & Security Systems Ltd (CRO No, 06352874) was incorporated on 28 August 2007. The registered office of SAS for the greater part of six months prior to the liquidation was situated at Windsor House, Battersea Road, Heaton Mersey Industrial Estate, Stockport SK4 3EA.

On 3 November 2010, Company Investigations, a department of The Insolvency Service (“CI”), petitioned for the winding up of SAS on public interest grounds. SAS was placed into provisional liquidation on 10 March 2011 and subsequently placed into compulsory liquidation on 25 March 2011.The Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator. SAS’s realised assets amount to £2,849 with liabilities of £2,532,349 and a resulting deficiency to unsecured creditors of £2,539,500.

Roger Waring, a director of SAS, gave an undertaking not to act as a director on 3 April 2013 for 3 1/2 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 24 April 2013.

John Davies, a director of SAS, gave an undertaking not to act as a director on 20 September 2013 for 12 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 11 October 2013.

David Diaz, a director of SAS, gave an undertaking not to act as a director on 11 August 2014 for 9 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 1 September 2014.

Ludovic Black, a director of SAS, gave an undertaking not to act as a director on 11 August 2014 for 9 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 1 September 2014.

Gary McVey, a director of SAS, was disqualified by Court Order on 14 August 2014 for 6 years. The period of disqualification commenced on 4 September 2014.

Central Intelligence Security Solutions Limited (“CISS”) - CRO No. 07448007 -

CISS was incorporated on 23 November 2010. The registered office of CISS for the greater part of six months prior to the liquidation was situated at Flat 18, Cunard Court, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4WY. On 15 April 2011, CI petitioned for the winding up of CISS on public interest grounds. CISS was placed into provisional liquidation on 18 April 2011 and subsequently placed into compulsory liquidation on 6 June 2011. The Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator. CISS’s realised assets amount to £96,981 with liabilities of £496,299 and a resulting deficiency to unsecured creditors of £399,318..

John James, a director of CISS, was disqualified by Court Order on 25 November 2013 for 10 years. The period of disqualification commenced on 25 November 2013.

Barry Roberts, a director of CISS, was disqualified by Court Order on 25 November 2013 for 10 years. The period of disqualification commenced on 25 November 2013.

Shaun Paul Tomlin, a director of CISS, gave an undertaking not to act as a director on 31 July 2013 for 10 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 21 August 2013.

Homeguard Fire & Security Limited (“Homeguard”) - CRO No. 07447283

Homeguard was incorporated on 22 November 2010. The registered office of Homeguard for the greater part of six months prior to the liquidation was situated at 18 Fox Street, Preston PR1 2AB.

On 15 April 2011, CI petitioned for the winding up of Homeguard on public interest grounds. Homeguard was placed into provisional liquidation on 18 April 2011 and subsequently placed into compulsory liquidation on 6 June 2011. The Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator. Homeguard’s realised assets amount to £3,346 with liabilities of £271,648 and a resulting deficiency to unsecured creditors of £268,302.

Lee Christopher Warman, a director of Homeguard, gave an undertaking no t to act as a director on 15 May 2013 for 8 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 5 June 2013.

Mohammad Abbas, a director of Homeguard, gave an undertaking no t to act as a director on 4 June 2013 for 8 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 25 June 2013.

Skynet Security Systems Limited (“Skynet”) - CRO No. SC389287

Skynet was incorporated on 22 November 2010. The registered office of Skynet for the greater part of six months prior to the liquidation was situated at 28 Araburn Drive, East Kilbride, Glasgow. G75 8FE.

CI petitioned for the winding up of Skynet on public interest grounds. Skynet was placed into provisional liquidation on 21 April 2011 and subsequently placed into compulsory liquidation on 18 May 2011.Mr Cleghorn and Ms Porter of Aver Chartered Accountants are appointed as liquidators. Skynet’s realised assets amount to £52,068 with liabilities of £112,354 and a resulting deficiency to unsecured creditors of £60,286.

Warren Mark Sneader, a director of Skynet, gave an undertaking no t to act as a director on 19 February 2013 for 8 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 12 March 2013.

UK Monitoring & Response Solutions Limited (“UK MARS”) - CRO No. 07059817

UK MARS was incorporated on 28 October 2009. The registered office of UK MARS for the greater part of six months prior to the liquidation was situated at Global House, Bailey Lane, Manchester M90 4AA.

On 15 April 2011, CI petitioned for the winding up of UK MARS on public interest grounds. UK MARS entered creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 22 July 2011but was placed into compulsory liquidation on 25 July 2011.Mr Ingram of Grant Thornton is appointed as liquidator. UK MARS’s realised assets amount to £94,451 with liabilities of £327,348 and a resulting deficiency to unsecured creditors of £232,897.

Malcolm John Patrick McGreevy, a director of UK MARS, gave an undertaking no t to act as a director on 21 March 2013 for 6 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 11 April 2013.

Stephen Rievaulx Wilson, a director of UK MARS, gave an undertaking no t to act as a director on 21 March 2013 for 6 years. The undertaking was accepted and commenced on 11 April 2013.

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;
  • act as an insolvency practitioner; or
  • be a receiver of a company’s property.

In addition, many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.

Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification

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 from: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

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