Aidan Mark Newman, aged 47 and from Woking, was the sole director of Montrose Design & Build Limited, a company that was incorporated in February 2015 and carried out residential building work.
After only two years, Montrose Design & Build struggled to be profitable and had to cease trading before entering into creditors’ voluntary liquidation to wind up the company in January 2017.
Liquidators appointed to close the company then reported to the Insolvency Service that a lot of money was owed to customers because their building work had not been completed, despite having made staggered payments to Montrose Design & Build.
Further enquiries led investigators to discover that Aidan Newman contacted an insolvency practitioner in September 2016, several months before entering liquidation, to arrange a company voluntary arrangement. This would have seen the troubled company locked into a binding agreement with its creditors to pay off debts owed.
But despite knowing the company was in a precarious position, Aidan Newman allowed the company to accept payments totalling more than £190,000 from eight customers with existing claims in the liquidation.
Customers told investigators that Aidan Newman admitted that he used payments from one set of customers to fund building work for another, requested payments be paid earlier than originally scheduled and said that he had purchased materials using payments received when not all materials had been bought.
Investigators also found that Aidan Newman had been a director of another construction company that had gone through a compulsory liquidation following a petition by the tax authorities. That company was closed down in March 2015, a month after Aidan Newman incorporated the new company – Montrose Design & Build.
On 5th December 2018, the secretary of state for business accepted a disqualification undertaking from Aidan Mark Newman after he admitted causing Montrose to trade and/or undertake transactions at the unreasonable risk of creditors, at a time when Montrose was insolvent, causing losses to creditors who have claimed at least £390,691 in the liquidation.
Aidan Newman is banned for six years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Anthea Simpson, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Aidan Newman continued to trade despite knowing Montrose was insolvent and caused financial distress to his clients. This ban should serve as a warning to other directors that if they continue to run an insolvent business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors, they will be investigated and as a result could lose the protection of limited liability trading.”