Belfast Telegraph

Boardroom ban of 13 years for couple

By Margaret Canning

A husband and wife from Co Londonderry have received close to the maximum boardroom ban of 15 years after borrowing £3m from their failed property company.

John Thomas (44) and Martina Claire McFeely (43) from Muldonagh Road in Claudy were disqualified as directors for 13 years each after they borrowed nearly £3m from Oaklin Developments which they were unable to pay back.

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), the borrowing resulted in HMRC losing out on £1.15m in corporation tax.

By borrowing the money, the pair had shown "a wilful disregard to the separate legal entities of the company and the directors as individuals", DETI said.

Their company went into liquidation in May 2010 owing £1.4m. The couple also admitted that they filed untrue company accounts and on three occasions, were late filing them. They also failed to file any accounts in one particular year.

DETI also announced that 46-year-old Patrick Clarke of Castlewellan Road, Ballyward, Castlewellan, was given a five-year boardroom ban following his directorship of 20:20 Developments in south Belfast. A colleague had earlier been disqualified for six years.

The building company went bust in 2009 owing nearly £284,000. Mr Clarke admitted to trading while insolvent and failing to pay £33, 800 in tax, national insurance and VAT.

A five-year ban was also given to 44-year-old Paul Lindsay from College Glen in Londonderry after his firm, The Chophouse, went into liquidation three years ago owing £150,000.

Mr Linsday admitted failing to pay £42,000 in VAT, failing to file accounting records – and bouncing 161 cheques worth £170,300.

He also failed to file annual returns in 2008 and 2009, and failed to file accounts in 2009. Another director of The Chophouse also faces disqualification.

Belfast Telegraph