Belfast Telegraph

Nutts Corner Director agrees to disqualification 

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (the Department) has accepted a disqualification undertaking for seven years from the Director of a County Antrim haulage contractor.

Stephen Rogan (48) of Long Rig Road, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, was disqualified in respect of his conduct as a director of S R Transport (NI) Limited (“the Company”).

The Company carried on the business of haulage contractor and went into liquidation on 22 December 2010 with estimated total assets of £8,000, liabilities of £201,722 to unsecured creditors, and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £193,722. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the total estimated deficiency was £193,723. 

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Stephen Rogan on 13 June 2013, based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

· submitting a materially inaccurate Statement of Affairs;

· causing and permitting the Company to retain a total of £150,811 of monies due to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs consisting of £23,580 in respect of PAYE, £30,453 in respect of NIC and £96,778 in respect of VAT for the years 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11, thereby funding substantially the Company’s period of insolvent trading with the revenues so retained;

· causing and permitting the Company to fail to repay a total of £17,293 of monies due to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in respect of Corporation Tax for the years 2007/08 and 2008/09; 

· obtaining a loan from the Company in contravention of Article 338 of the Companies (NI) Order 1986 and Article 197(1) of the Companies Act 2006, of which at least £105,047 remained unpaid at the date of liquidation;

· causing and permitting the Company to misuse a bank account held with HSBC by tendering 33 cheques with a combined value of £27,375 in the period 15 October 2008 to 21 July 2010 without due regard to their being honoured on presentation; and by allowing 34 direct debits with a value of £26,262 to be returned unpaid in the period 29 December 2008 to 13 December 2010 and 8 standing orders with a value of £2,920 to be returned unpaid in the period 16 July 2009 to 20 December 2010. Of the cheques dishonoured, 3 of these cheques with a combined value of £3,750 were dishonoured after being re-presented for a second time. 

· failing to fully co-operate with the Liquidator’s requests for information;

· causing and permitting the Company to fail to file annual returns for the years ended 14 June 2006, 14 June 2007, 14 June 2008 and 14 June 2009 within the prescribed period and to fail to file an annual return for the year ended 14 June 2010 at all. 

The Department has accepted 33 Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made five orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing 1 April 2013.

Notes to editors:

1. Insolvency Practitioners acting as voluntary liquidators, administrative receivers and administrators have a duty to report unfit conduct to the Insolvency Service within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. 

2. The aim of the Department is to bring disqualification proceedings against those directors of failed companies who have abused the privilege of limited liability status through negligence, incompetence or lack of commercial probity. The legislation contained in the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (“the 2002 Order”) is for the protection of the public and trading community but its operation should not inhibit genuine enterprise. 

3. In cases where a person is subject to either a Disqualification Order made by the Court or a Disqualification Undertaking accepted by the Department, that person shall not be a director of a company, act as a receiver of a company's property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company unless he has the leave of the High Court. A disqualified person cannot obtain permission to act as an Insolvency Practitioner. 

4. Article 9 of the 2002 Order provides that where a director is found to be unfit he must be disqualified for a minimum period of two years, up to a maximum of fifteen years. The Courts have decided that the level of seriousness of unfit conduct can fall into three brackets with the top bracket of periods over ten years reserved for particularly serious cases, six to ten years reserved for cases which do not merit the top bracket and two to five years for cases where, although disqualification is mandatory, the case is less serious. 

5. The 2002 Order also allows directors, with the agreement of the Department, to avoid the need for a court hearing by offering an acceptable Disqualification Undertaking. This has exactly the same legal effect as a Disqualification Order made by the court, and will usually include a schedule identifying the director’s unfit conduct. The consequences of breaching a Disqualification Undertaking are the same as those for breaching a Disqualification Order. 

6. If anybody contravenes a Disqualification Order or breaches their Disqualification Undertaking they may be committing a criminal offence and could go to prison for up to 2 years or face a fine or both. Any person with information to suggest that a disqualified person has acted in contravention of this provision should contact The Insolvency Service’s Directors Disqualification Unit on 028 90 548508. 

7. The period of disqualification commences at the end of 21 days beginning with the day the Disqualification Undertaking was accepted by the Department. 

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