Registrar Jones ordered that Richard Rufus, a former Charlton Athletic footballer, be given a 15 year period of bankruptcy restrictions order as a result of his financial conduct during the period 16 May 2007 to 11 February 2011.
An Insolvency Service investigation found that Mr Rufus accepted deposits from investors totaling £16,228,304, made losses of £5,027,539 through currency exchange trading and paid £7,362,094 to investors, which Mr Rufus represented as returns on their investments. Mr Rufus used £3,422,087 for his own purposes or for purposes that are unknown or not in the ordinary course of his business.
The bankruptcy restriction regime exists to protect the public and Mr Rufus’ period of bankruptcy restriction means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until the end of 4 November 2030.
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 with the bankruptcy of Mr Rufus on 22 October 2013. Claims to date received by the joint-Trustees in bankruptcy total £13,788,974. Mr Rufus’ creditors included a church organisation who placed £5 million with Mr Rufus to invest and a further church who placed funds totaling £665,000.
The Official Receiver’s investigation uncovered that Mr Rufus failed to disclose losses to his investors, used other investors deposits to repay investors and used deposited funds to finance his own lifestyle.
In making his judgment Registrar Jones stated that Mr Rufus “exploited trust and friendship and exploited the churches that he attended”, “used funds in a Ponzi manner and to fund his own lifestyle” and whose “conduct was fraudulent and involved a fraudulent breach of trust.”
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
The Insolvency Service will look closely at any evidence of misconduct and take appropriate action where others have suffered as a result of a bankrupt’s actions, as has happened in Mr Rufus’ case.
Notes to Editors
Richard Raymond Rufus was made bankrupt on 22 October 2013. He is of London and his date of birth is 12 January 1975.
On 24 June 2013, Mr M S E Solomons presented a bankruptcy petition against Mr Rufus as a result of the failure of the Individual Voluntary Arrangement that was in place following a meeting of Mr Rufus’ creditors held on 2 November 2011.
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
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
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.
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Published: 18 November 2015
From: The Insolvency Service