11 YEAR Director Disqualification for Haulage Bosses for Falsifying VAT Claims
This recent director disqualification case illustrates well how when insolvency looms, it is vital that Directors take specialist legal advice, rather than go off on a frolic of their own in an attempt to solve their problems. Such action almost always makes things worse, and significantly so in this case, where the penalty was an 11-year director disqualification for falsifying VAT claims
Background to this Case
Mr David Cooper (‘Mr Cooper’), the Director, of CFM Transport Ltd (‘the Company’) has accepted a Director Disqualification Undertaking for a period of 11 years.
In early 2015, one of the Company’s vehicles was involved in an accident abroad. While waiting for the insurance claim to be settled and the Company’s petroleum tax refund entitlements to be received, Mr Cooper submitted false VAT claims in an attempt to keep the Company afloat.
Mr Cooper’s wrongdoing was discovered and with the prospect of criminal proceedings looming for tax related fraud, he opted to cease trading.
Following the end of the liquidation process, the Insolvency Service looked in to Mr Cooper’s role in the collapse of the Company, and the associated trading entities. Those investigations revealed that Mr Cooper had knowingly created and submitted false Returns in order to claim VAT to which the Company was not entitled.
On 8 October, the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Mr Cooper, after he admitted knowingly creating and submitting false Returns to reclaim VAT to which the Company was not entitled. His ban is effective from 29 October 2018 and lasts for 11 years.
The Insolvency Service’s Comment
Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, commented:
“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. Directors have a firm duty to ensure they deal properly with tax matters and pay what is due. Mr Cooper has paid the price for failing to do that, as he cannot now carry on in business other than at his own risk.”
Comment From Our Director Disqualification Solicitors
The length of the Director Disqualification given out in this case, shows the seriousness with which the Insolvency Service view such conduct. 11 years approaches the maximum possible length of ban of 15 years. Such conduct will almost inevitably run the risk of:
- Parallel Criminal Law investigation.
- Criminal Compensation proceedings.
- Director Disqualification Compensation proceedings.
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For help and advice on defending yourself if threatened with disqualification, talk to our Director Disqualification Solicitors by calling us on 0121 200 7040, or contact us. The earlier you make contact, the more we can do to help.