Press release

Nine-year disqualification for director of vintage wine investment company who left investors £1m poorer

Mr Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, the director of Vintage International Limited (“Vintage”), a company incorporated to provide wine investment services to clients, has been disqualified from acting as a director for a period of 9 years for causing Vintage to trade with undue risk to its clients.

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The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Company Investigations Team in London.

Mr Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills that he will not act as a director of a limited company for nine years from 30 July 2014.

Vintage went into voluntary liquidation in October 2012 owing its clients £1,063,424 in respect of unfulfilled wine orders. Total assets available at the date of liquidation were estimated to realise £21,789 and the total shortfall including trade and other creditors was estimated to be £1,121,546.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service said:

The director in Vintage failed to ensure proper corporate governance was in place to clearly monitor client orders and the financial position of the company.

The Insolvency Service will always look to remove from the business community those directors who act below the standards that should be expected of them given the circumstances of their company’s trading.

The Insolvency Service investigation found that at 30 June 2011 Vintage had unfulfilled client orders of at least £293,056, over half of which had been placed at least six months earlier. At this time, Vintage was insolvent and had insufficient funds available to purchase the necessary stock to meet those outstanding client orders.

Despite its insolvency, Vintage continued to take new client orders and between 1 July 2011 and the date of liquidation it took a further £917,410 from clients for wine purchases. By liquidation only £148,917 of these new client orders had been fulfilled.

Notes to Editors

Vintage International Limited was incorporated on 22 August 2008 and went into voluntary liquidation on 26 October 2012. Its registered office was 29th Floor, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DY.

Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, also known as Ofo Duah, 35, of Greenwich, South East London gave an undertaking on 8 July 2014 to the Secretary of State not to be a director for 9 years. The disqualification commences on 30 July 2014. His date of birth is 18 May 1979.

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.

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

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

Media enquiries only should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media & Campaigns Manager on 0207 674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Media Manager on 0207 596 6187.

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Published 12 August 2014