Belfast Telegraph

Three married couples are banned from boardrooms

By Margaret Canning

Three married couples whose respective companies collapsed owing millions of pounds have been given boardroom bans for misconduct as directors.

Husband and wife bosses of a fencing company in Co Londonderry and of two separate joinery firms gave directors' disqualification undertakings following legal proceedings.

Charles Joseph (Cathal) Rogers and his wife Geraldine, both 56 from Ballleagry Road in Limavady, were pursued after Roger's Fencing Systems in Draperstown went bust owing £1m in June 2011.

The couple admitted that they had failed to pay £190,000 due to the taxman, and had failed to maintain the company's fixed asset register.

They also allowed the company to make a director's loan of £300,000 to Charles Rogers, which was not repaid. They also failed to file annual returns on time over a three year period.

Mr Rogers himself accepted that he had submitted an inaccurate statement of affairs.

And Damian Francis Mullan (43) and Roisin Mullan (44) of Mill Road, also in Limavady, were disqualified as directors for seven years each over their conduct at the helm of D F Mullan Joinery, which went under in 2010 owing £379,313. The married couple accepted that they had failed to pay £184,000 due to the taxman. They also overpaid themselves, to the detriment of creditors.

And the collapse of a Co Derry joinery company, Micran in Magherafelt, also led to disqualification proceedings when it went bust owing £1.2m.

Its directors, Michael Joseph McCracken (45) and his wife Eileen Louise McCracken (43) from Battery Road near Cookstown were disqualified as directors for seven years.

Mr McCracken accepted that he kept back around £250,000 due to the Crown, and allowed the company to lend him a six figure sum, of which over £310,000 was still unpaid.

He also misused company funds by lending £339,000 to a related company, and by bouncing around 170 cheques and standing orders totalling £276,000. Mrs McCracken accepted that she had failed to look after the company's business and allowed herself to be recorded as a director without taking on directors' duties.

Meanwhile, the director of a cake company in Antrim was disqualified as a director for seven years. Steve's Cakes went bust in May 2011 owing just over £455,000.

Stephen Alexander Gamble (40) of Drinagh Manor, Kensington Road, Belfast gave a disqualification undertaking and accepted unfit conduct such as selling stock, trade name and some assets at an undervalue.

Belfast Telegraph