Belfast Telegraph

Boss of failed yacht sales firm gets eight-year ban as company director

A CO Down man who ran a failed yacht and boat sales company from an island on Strangford Lough has been barred from acting as a company director for eight years.

Misconduct admitted by selling agent David Thomas McKnight (49) of Inishanier, Whiterock, in Killinchy, included failing to refund over £100,000 which had been paid for a boat.

Mr McKnight gave a disqualification undertaking to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in October, according to a statement released by DETI yesterday.

His company, Whiterocks Yachts Ltd, on Sketrick Island, went bust in October 2008 owing over £840,000. While the company had assets of £141,500, it owed £970,000 to its non- preferential creditors.

According to DETI, Mr McKnight accepted that he had filed false accounts in 2003 while 95 VAT invoices did not give the company's VAT number.

He also continued to trade while the company was insolvent, causing creditors to lose over £715,000 by the date of liquidation.

The company also failed to provide goods which had been paid for and failed to refund £107,400 to a customer who had overpaid.

According to DETI, Mr McKnight's failure to refund the money led to expensive court action to resolve ownership of the boat.

He also misused client money, including using client money to finance other aspects of the business. DETI said this misuse had resulted in "substantial financial loss" to clients.

Mr McKnight also failed to prepare accounts in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and did not file accounts on time in 2003 and 2005.