Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Boardroom bans for nine in three family-run Northern Ireland firms

The implosion of three family-run companies has led to boardroom bans for nine relatives in the latest director disqualification cases.

Two married couples who ran firms in Londonderry and Tyrone – and three brothers plus two of their wives who worked in property in Co Antrim – all gave disqualification undertakings to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).

Five members of the Pollock family in Ballymoney were disqualified after Pollock Developments, which specialised in flipping land for sale, went bust with debts of £7.5m.

DETI deemed the quintet "directly responsible" for the insolvency because they did not maintain financial control of the company, did not keep an eye on its affairs and did not keep proper records.

Samuel (49) and Pauline Pollock (43) of Vow Road, Ballymoney and her brother-in-law John Pollock (46) of the town's Bendooragh Road were cast out of the boardroom for seven years each.

Richard (46) and Sylvia (43) Pollock, also from Bendooragh Road, were disqualified for five.

All five admitted that they traded the company while it was insolvent, making their creditors' losses even worse. They filed accounts late over a five-year period.

Samuel, Pauline and John admitted that they had withdrawn over £378,000 from the company for themselves, without the recorded consent of all the shareholders.

And Samuel and Pauline also acknowledged that they contributed to the dissolution of a company, which was also a debtor, leaving creditors worse off.

Richard and Sylvia also acknowledged that they had allowed the other three to withdraw excessive funds from the firm.

Dunlop Ventilation Services in Londonderry went into liquidation in 2010, owing over £300,000.

Its husband and wife directors Ivan (42) and Julie (42) Dunlop of McCartney Park in the city accepted that they kept nearly £90,000 from the taxman, instead using it to trade their firm while it was insolvent.

They also admitted paying a dividend even though there wasn't enough money to do so.

Separately, Mr Dunlop admitted giving false information on a statement of affairs, bouncing cheques of over £60,000, and failing to meet 24 standing orders and 19 direct debits totalling £40,000.

Meanwhile, Barry (52) and Carol Boylan (51) of Lisnarick Road in Irvinestown were disqualified for five years each over the collapse of Andor Design.

The solid surfacing and joinery company in Castlederg went into liquidation two years ago owing over £175,000. The Boylans admitted making £70,000 in payments to a preferential creditor before a meeting of creditors was publicised, their single instance of misconduct leading to disqualification.

£7.5m

Pollock Developments went bust with debts totalling £7.5m

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