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Director Disqualification and Faking Death

Director Tries to Escape Director Disqualification by Faking Death

We come across all sorts of attempts by directors to avoid director disqualification. However, this case, where a director faked his own death in order to avoid disqualification is a first, we believe. In the end, the director, Bradley Trevor Silver was disqualified for 14 years for ‘dishonest attempts to obtain credit on the back of fictional accounts, and for using forged documents and invoices.’ In this cast the Insolvency Service did get their man, and it shows that there really is no escape for delinquent directors – even by faking their own death!

Background to this Director Disqualification Case

Mr Silver was the sole director of 24/7 London (GRP) Limited, which was wound up in the Public Interest by the Insolvency Service in September 2016. The Company had contacted a number of editing and production teams, with forged documents, claiming that it had worked on contracts on a number of TV shows that included the widely popular shows Britain’s Got Talent, X-Factor and Big Brother.

Mr Silver had also approached a number of banks and credit institutions seeking credit on the back of fictional accounts. This was done using forged documents and invoices.

Mr Silver even filed fictitious accounts on behalf of the Company, claiming a turnover of £4.7 billion and assets of £2.4 billion. He further stated that these accounts had been audited by Deloitte LLP. Unsurprisingly, Insolvency Service investigators found that this was not the case. As a result, Mr Silver was summonsed to a director disqualification hearing.

The Director Appears to Fake His Own Death

In the days prior to the disqualification hearing, a “friend” of the director, calling himself Adam Solomans, contacted lawyers to say Silver had committed suicide.

However, suspicions were raised when it became clear Mr Solomans and Mr Silver shared a mobile ‘phone number. At this point Mr Solomans stopped responding to emails. In addition, Mr. Solomans’  name and signature had featured on a cheque paid into the Company bank account.

At the hearing, Registrar Derrett, in her judgement, stated that she did not accept that Mr Silver had died and that in all probability Mr Silver and Mr Solomans were one and the same person.

The Outcome – A 14 year Director Disqualification

Mr Silver has now been disqualified for 14 years – right at the top end of the tariff – for dishonest attempts to obtain credit through a limited company. His period of disqualification began on 02 November 2017.

This is What the Insolvency Service Said

Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

This is one of the more bizarre cases of dishonesty and misuse of Limited Liability I have ever come across.

That Mr Silver appears to have tried to fake his own death through suicide in order to avoid disqualification is disgraceful. Directors should be aware that the Insolvency Service will not shy away from confronting dishonesty and removing these people from the marketplace.

Our Comment

This case is an example of the action, and its severity, that the Insolvency Service will take when directors insist on acting dishonestly. Mr Silver may have been better served by engaging honestly and openly with the Insolvency Service.

If you have any questions regarding your duties as a company director, and the effect of non-compliance in any case, please contact us or call us today on 0121 200 7040 for a FREE, no obligation initial chat.

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