Press release

Prison for Company director’s accounting records failures

Following a sentencing hearing at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on 8 January 2016, Mr William To, a company director from Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to 33 weeks imprisonment after pleading guilty to 3 counts of failing to preserve company books and accounting records for a period of 3 years, for three separate restaurant management companies.

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Mr To’s conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and Prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The three BMBQ Ltd, ,Shef Ltd and Broads Cat Ltd, based in Sheffield and Birmingham, went into liquidation with an as-yet-unpaid combined debt of £302,105.89 to HMRC.

The investigation found the director had failed to ensure the companies’ were in order, as such, they could not be delivered up to the liquidator as required.

In the absence of books and records, the Insolvency service was prevented from accurately investigating the reasons for the failures of the companies and from protecting any existing assets.

Deputy Chief Investigation Officer Simon Button from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:

The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business will take firm action when we find that Office holders of limited companies have clearly failed to comply with their legal responsibilities and this has led to an undermining of the Insolvency Regime.

Notes to Editors

Mr To is of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire and his date of birth is 10 July 1961.

Companies BMBQ Ltd (CRO No. 07382043), Shef Ltd (CRO No. 07376533) and Broads Cat Ltd (CRO No. 07382049) based in Sheffield and Birmingham, went into compulsory liquidation on 2 July 2012, 2 July 2012 and 23 July 2012 respectively.

BIS’ 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.

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 21 January 2016