Press release

Fraud conviction and 2 year prison sentence for former insolvency practitioner

William Evan Price has been handed a 2 year prison sentence and disqualified from being a director following Cardiff Crown Court hearing.

William Evan Price, aged 69 of Pontnewynydd , Pontypool, Torfaen, a former insolvency practitioner practising at Abersychan, has been sentenced to a total of two years imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven counts of fraud, two counts of theft and one count of false accounting.

Mr Price was also disqualified from being an insolvency practitioner and director of a company for seven years.

The conviction follows a referral by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and Prosecution by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with assistance from Gwent Police.

The offending related to the misappropriation of nearly £48,000 received by Mr Price as the trustee in bankruptcy of five bankrupts and the liquidator of one company, for the benefit of their creditors and the falsification of his time sheets in relation to his administration of one bankruptcy.

The offending took place against the background of the restriction and withdrawal of Mr Price’s insolvency practitioner’s licence by his licencing body, the Institute of Chartered accountants in England and Wales and in the period thereafter.

Deputy Chief Investigating Officer, Liam Mannall from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said:

The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will take firm action in respect of criminal activity on the part of insolvency professionals, who are under an enhanced fiduciary duty when dealing with vulnerable individuals and distressed companies.

Mr Price completely betrayed the trust placed in him by a number of people who considered him to be an individual who would apply his professional knowledge to help them through difficult periods in their lives.

Notes to editors

William Evan Price’s date of birth is 6 July 1947.

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.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy, 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. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available.

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