George Hunter (Demolishers) Ltd, which traded as Hunter Demolition, was placed into liquidation in 2015 with an estimated deficiency to creditors of £1,755,782.
An investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed that the directors had caused or allowed the company to trade to their own benefit and incur further liabilities to the risk and detriment of creditors in full knowledge that HM Revenue & Customs had already presented a winding up petition to court on 14th January 2015 and the company’s liquidation on 20th April 2015.
Despite knowing this, the directors made net payments of at least £155,310.45 to the benefit of connected parties and further offset liabilities due to the company from the directors and connected companies of at least £457,395.72 against unverified charges to the detriment of creditors as liabilities increased by at least £359,097.33.
Rob Clarke, regional head of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: “This was a cynical attempt by the directors, in the clear knowledge that their company was insolvent, to extract money that should have been paid to other creditors. The Insolvency Service will take robust action against this sort of misconduct which is a clear abuse of limited liability.”
George Beattie (senior) is disqualified from acting as a director of a limited company for seven years; George Beattie (junior) is also disqualified for seven years; Michelle Beattie is disqualified for three years and six months.
The disqualification order has the effect that, without specific permission of a court, they cannot: act as a director of a company; take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership; or be a receiver of a company’s property.
Hunter Demolition was founded in 1958 and was reckoned to be one of the oldest demolition companies in the UK. At peak it employed around 50 staff and turned over £7m a year. It won the World Demolition Contract of the Year award in 2013 for taking down the former Bank of Scotland building in Glasgow's Queen Street.