Belfast Telegraph

Directors banned over unfit conduct

By Paul Gosling

The directors of two companies, which became insolvent with large liabilities, have been disqualified after reports by insolvency practitioners were submitted to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Brothers Gerard McLarnon, of Ballymena, and Joseph McLarnon, of Coleraine, have each been disqualified for eight years for their conduct as directors of MCL Investments.

The company ran the Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena. At the time the company went into administration, in June 2009, it had assets of £250,000, but liabilities of £1.5m.

The directors’ conduct was found to be unfit because they failed to submit a statement of affairs for the company; to have used funds due to the Crown to finance the company; failed to fully co-operate with the administrator; and misused company funds by lending nearly £500,000 to themselves and related parties.

They were also found to have entered into transactions that were not of commercial benefit to the company and breaching their fiduciary duties.

Two directors of Gerry McManus Plant Hire Ltd — Gerard McManus and Carina McManus, of Derrylin — have also been banned, in their case for seven years.

Their business went into liquidation in December 2008, with assets of around £1.3m, but liabilities of £5.7m. The directors were found to have behaved in an unfit way by withholding £507,000 payable to the Crown and by writing cheques and authorising direct debits and standing orders knowing that these were unlikely to be honoured by their two banks.

They were also found to have sold goods on hire purchase without the consent of the owner.

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