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‘Cynical’ directors disqualified

 

By Mike Travers

 

The directors of a Scottish demolition contractor that went into liquidation in 2015 made a “cynical attempt” to take money that was due to creditors.

An investigation into George Hunter (Demolishers) Ltd by the Insolvency Service found they had allowed the company to continue to incur liabilities when they knew a petition to wind up the company was before the court.

George Beattie (Snr) signed a seven-year disqualification undertaking in April this year; Michelle Beattie signed a three years and six months disqualification; and George Beattie (Jnr) was disqualified on May 31 from acting as a director of a limited company for seven years by order of the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court.

The award-winning Glasgow contractor was placed into liquidation (see story here) with an estimated deficiency to creditors of £1.75m but the investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed 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 HMRC had presented a winding up petition to court in January 2015 and the company’s liquidation in April the same year.

Although the directors were aware of the position, they made net payments of at least £155,000 to the benefit of connected parties and further offset liabilities due to the company from the directors and connected companies of at least £457,000 against unverified charges to the detriment of creditors as liabilities increased by at least £359,000.

Rob Clarke, head of insolvent investigations North, part of 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 (Snr) and Michelle Beattie were appointed directors of the company in April 2003 and remained directors until the liquidation. George Beattie (Jnr) was appointed as a director of the company in June 2012.

Hunter won the World Demolition Contract of the Year award in 2013 for its work in taking down the former Bank of Scotland building at Queen Street in Glasgow city centre.

 

• A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

• act as a director of a company

• take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership

• be a receiver of a company’s property.

 

 

Article posted 9/8/2017

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