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Mon September 20 2021

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Construction boss banned for dodging debtors

5 Apr 18 A boss of an Aintree-based construction firm has been banned from running companies after he moved more than £1m out of his failing business to avoid paying debts.

Paul Winskill (54) started Premier Asphalt Limited in 1985 and provided construction services for commercial buildings and roadworks across the country. But 30 years on, the company ran into trading difficulties and went into administration on 19th February 2016.

The administrators appointed to close the company reported to the Insolvency Service that the directors of Premier Asphalt had not fully co-operated with them and failed to explain why more than £1m had been paid out in the two weeks prior to their appointment.

The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that prior to entering into administration, a winding up petition was served on Premier Asphalt on 3rd February 2016 as a trade creditor was owed more than £300,000.

But to avoid paying his debts, Winskill transferred £1,044,794 to three other businesses that he operated, although he was not the appointed director.

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On 8th February 2018, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Winskill, after he admitted transferring more than £1 million to the detriment of the company’s general body of creditors. His ban is effective from 1st March 2018 and lasts for eight years.

Robert Clarke, head of insolvent investigations north at the Insolvency Service, said: “Following extensive enquiries, we discovered not only had Winksill transferred more than a million pounds out of the company to avoid paying his creditors what they were owed, but the money was moved to other companies which we found that he was also running.

“Directors who put their own personal financial interests above those of creditors damage confidence in doing business and are corrosive to the health of the local economy. This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to help themselves first, you have a duty to your creditors and if you neglect this duty you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service and lose the privilege of limited liability trading.”

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