Press release

Nine year bankruptcy restrictions for Warwick man who failed to disclose assets

Richard Michael Clarke (56) has given a bankruptcy restrictions undertaking for nine years for failing to disclose assets to the Official Receiver, as required to by law.

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The ban follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The undertaking given on 8 December 2014, to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, means that Mr Clarke will be bound for 9 years, by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 2022. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of the court.

Mr Clarke was declared bankrupt on his own petition at Warwick on 29 February 2012 and he was discharged from bankruptcy on 28 February 2013.

As a result of the undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr Clarke is bound by restrictions set out in insolvency law until December 2023.

In August 2014, it came to the attention of the Official Receiver that Mr Clarke had failed to disclose various assets held at the time he presented his bankruptcy petition.

During the course of his subsequent investigations, the Official Receiver found that at the time of his bankruptcy, Mr Clarke had failed to disclose equity in a property valued at £53,891 and various investments valued at £23,600. Furthermore, Mr Clarke had received £27,784 for these investments, made a £10,000 lump sum mortgage repayment and had given £16,050 to an associate for no consideration.

As a result of documentation given to Mr Clarke, and which he would acknowledged receipt of, following his bankruptcy, he ought to have known that he had a duty to reveal these assets to his trustee, the Official Receiver.

Commenting on the case, Gerard O’Hare of the Insolvency Service’s Official Receiver’s office said:

The Insolvency Service always looks very closely at individuals who disregard their duties and responsibilities whilst bankrupt and takes action where wrongdoing is uncovered.

Notes to Editors

Mr Richard Michael Clarke is of Warwick and his date of birth is 8 November 1959.

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.

The bankrupt may instead agree to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking (BRU) which has the same effect as an order, but will mean that the matter does not go to court.

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
  • may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales

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.

Published 19 February 2015