Two Peterborough-based mechanics and motor parts suppliers have been banned from running a company for a total of 25 years after providing false documents to secure more than £176,000 in loans.
The Insolvency Service said today (Aug 4) that Adam Hughes, 43, was given a 13-year disqualification order in the High Court in July, while his business partner, Andrew Wood, 49, signed a 12-year disqualification undertaking – which doesn’t involve court proceedings – last September.
The maximum ban that the Insolvency Service can apply for is 15 years.
The court was told that Hughes and Wood were directors of Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres Ltd, which was incorporated in 2011.
It sold motor parts and carried out vehicle repairs, expanding rapidly between 2011 and 2017, and running nine sites in Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Leicester, Peterborough, Wisbech, Cambridge and Norwich.
However, the growth led to cashflow problems and administrators were brought in to carry out a pre-packaged sale of the business.
After their appointment, though, they found that a third party had petitioned the court to wind up the company.
They also had trouble establishing who owned the company’s assets and who had secured loans against them.
The directors’ conduct was referred to the Insolvency Service, and investigators discovered that Hughes provided false documents, including invoices, emails and bank statements, to secure more than £176,000 from an asset finance company.
He supplied false documents on at least three occasions to secure finance against assets Concorde didn’t own.
Wood knew that Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres didn’t own the assets but still let Hughes secure finance under false pretences, the court was told.
Although Wood voluntarily signed his disqualification, Hughes didn’t co-operate with the Insolvency Service, and he was described by Judge Sally Barber as having a ‘flippant attitude’ towards proceedings.
Wood’s ban was effective from September 23, 2020, while Hughes’s order is effective from August 10, 2021.
After the case, Mark Bruce, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Directors securing funds against the assets their company legitimately owns is a perfectly acceptable practice.
‘Adam Hughes, however, failed to act honestly while securing more than £176,000 and Andy Wood failed in his diligence.
‘Twenty-five years’ worth of bans is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena, and their disqualifications should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to defraud creditors by falsifying documents.’
This article was originally published on August 4, 2021, updated on August 11, 2021, and updated again on August 27, 2021.