Press release

Long disqualification for Essex director who failed to keep proper records

Amandeep Singh Lalli, 39, a company director from Ilford, Essex, has been disqualified for 11 years, following a hearing at the High Court of Justice on 25 October 2017.

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This follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Lalli failed to ensure that Pioneer Traders (UK) Limited (Pioneer) maintained and/or preserved adequate trading records or, in the alternative he failed to deliver up such records as were maintained or preserved during the period of his directorship from 1 October 2009 to liquidation on 20 April 2015. As a result the Official Receiver has been unable to:

  • establish the full nature of Pioneer’s trading activities during the period of Mr Lalli’s appointment and whether these were connected with genuine trading purposes
  • establish the stock that it held and traded in was legitimate
  • establish extent of cash transactions and whether Pioneer should have registered as a High Value Dealer with HMRC’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit
  • determine the full extent of purchases, sales, income, expenditure, and thereby determine Pioneer’s excise and VAT liabilities
  • verify Pioneer’s VAT repayment claims for August and November 2011, and its subsequent understated returns
  • verify the true amount owed to HMRC for excise and VAT
  • account for acquisition and disposal of assets
  • establish the level of remuneration and other benefits taken by Mr Lalli as the sole director of Pioneer

Mr Lalli caused Pioneer to make wrongful declarations for VAT including repayment claims for the August and November 2011 VAT periods totalling £285,848, and to fail to declare goods and trading on which excise and VAT was due.

Tony Hannon, the Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit South, part of 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 such records, 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

Amandeep Singh Lalli is of Ilford, Essex and his date of birth is August 1978.

Pioneer Traders (UK) Ltd (Company Reg no. 05426877), was Incorporated on 18 April 2005.

The Order was pronounced by Chief Registrar Briggs, with the Deputy Official Receiver appearing for the Claimant, the Official Receiver and the defendant appearing in person.

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

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 27 November 2017