Press release

Prison sentence for man who obtained mortgage using false documents

Royston Knight sentenced to 13 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and disqualified from acting as a director for 10 years for acting as a director of several companies while disqualified, procuring false documents and a bankruptcy offence.


Mr Knight was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on 22 March 2017 having pleaded guilty to 11 separate offences. The Judge also ordered Royston Knight to undertake 100 hours unpaid work and be subject to a four month curfew hours 8pm to 6am.

His conviction follows a prosecution by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Knight had instructed an employee to manufacture false pay slips in support of his associate’s mortgage applications.

On being adjudged bankrupt on 16 August 2000, he failed to inform the Official Receiver that some two months earlier, he had transferred his property in favour of the Linear Property Company Ltd.

These offences dated back to a period between 2000 and 2004 when Mr Knight was both bankrupt and subject to an order disqualifying him from acting as a director for a period of 5 years. Despite these restrictions, he was improperly involved in a number of limited companies in the Gloucestershire area, one of which went into liquidation with creditors totalling £552,947.03.

Criminal proceedings were commenced against Royston knight in 2004 by the then-Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), by which time, he had left the UK. A warrant was obtained for his arrest and in November 2015, on returning to the UK from Panama, Royston Knight was arrested and brought before the court to face charges.

Deputy Chief Investigating Officer, Liam Mannall from the Insolvency Service said:

This case involved serious wrongdoing and is a demonstration of the long memory that justice retains.

The insolvency regime should not be abused, nor should a disqualification order be ignored, the consequences are likely to catch up with those who ignore this.

Note to editors

Royston Martin Knight’s date of birth is May 1949.

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.

Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is also available.

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Published 7 April 2017