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Fri May 07 2021

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Directors banned for lax book keeping

7 Jul 17 Two directors of an Inverness-shire civil engineering contractor have been disqualified from running or controlling any further companies for failing to keep their accounts in order.

Inverness Sherriff Court handed an eight-year disqualification to 37-year-old Donald Cameron. His fellow director Steven Cameron, 36, signed an undertaking agreeing not to run or control a company for seven years.

The men were joint directors of Highland Groundworks Ltd, which was placed in liquidation on 28th April 2015 with liabilities of £41,786.

Following the liquidator’s appointment, it was discovered that from September 2012 to the end of 2014 the company books were inadequate. Records were unable to verify:

  • the position with regards to assets owned by the company at the date of liquidation, especially with regards to fixed assets with a net book value of £102,194 and debtors in the sum of £64,098
  • expenditure from the company bank account totalling £493,351
  • whether receipts into the company bank account between September 2012 and December 2014 totalling £404,639 were a true representation of total sales.

The investigation also found that VAT payments were missing. From at least 7th August 2013 the company traded to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs, in that VAT returns were submitted up to the quarter ended 30 June 2013 disclosing an outstanding liability, including surcharges, of £9,955 which remained outstanding at liquidation. The Company failed to submit VAT returns for the quarters 30 September 2013 to 31 December 2014 resulting in an estimated liability, including surcharges, totalling £28,844 which remained outstanding at liquidation.

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Robert Clarke, head of company investigation at the Insolvency Service, said: “Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.

“Both Steven and Donald Cameron have paid the price for failing to do that, as they cannot now carry on in business other than at their own risk.

“The public can be assured that where there have been abuses of public finance provisions which result in losses of this type, the Insolvency Service will investigate the conduct of the parties involved and take action to remove the privilege of limited liability trading for a lengthy period.”

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