Andrew Standfield, director of Classic Benz, was banned from acting as a company director on September 19, 2013, after selling cars without the owners’ knowledge or consent.
Based in Lancashire, the dealership was placed into liquidation on April 28, 2011 with an estimated debt of £194,024.
The investigation found that between March 2010 and the date of liquidation, Classic Benz sold or transferred at least seven vehicles belonging to customers under brokerage sale agreements, without the customers’ knowledge.
Stansfield, 53, failed to pass on proceeds of at least £129,250 and it was also found that he benefited from at least one of the transactions.
Proceeds from sales of the remaining six vehicles could not be traced because the transactions were carried out during the period that the company had been removed from the Companies Register.
In addition, Stansfield failed to maintain, preserve or deliver adequate accounting records of Classic Benz to the Liquidator and there were no details of the company’s continued trading between July 27, 2010 and February 8, 2011 when it had been removed from the Register of Companies.
Stansfield, 53, gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills that he will not manage or in any way control a company or be a director until 2025.
Lead investigator for the Insolvency Service, Claire Entwistle, said: The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue company directors who deliberately breach the trust of customers and seek to personally gain from such action. Fair treatment of customers and creditors is essential for business confidence, which is, in turn, essential for economic growth.
‘Failure to keep proper records, particularly when a company is entering financial difficulty, is a serious matter and the law rightly treats it as such.
‘Company directors tempted to neglect their duties in this area should take heed that the Insolvency Service will investigate them and they may be disqualified and be unable to act as directors of a limited liability company.’