9-year directorship ban for motor dealer who failed to account for over £1.3 million of cash withdrawals

The company traded from November 2010 to September 2012 yet an extensive investigation by the Insolvency Service after the company had gone into liquidation, revealed over £1.3 million cash had been withdrawn from the company bank account between February 2011 and September 2012 without any supporting documents. At liquidation in January 2013, the recorded deficiency was just under £26,000 of which £23,500 was stated as being owed to trade creditors.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills brought proceedings against John Henry Hierons (60) and on 4 July 2015, the case was heard in the County Court at Medway. Upon hearing the evidence, and with Mr Hierons failing to appear in court, a nine year disqualification order was made and Mr Hierons was ordered to pay costs in excess of £7,000.

The disqualification order means that Mr Hierons can not be a director of a company whether directly or indirectly, or be involved in the management of a company in any way for the duration of his disqualification unless he has permission from Court.

Mark Bruce a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service said:

This is a very serious case and one fully warranting a nine year disqualification. The disqualification sends a clear and robust message to other company directors that if you do not take your responsibilities seriously, like in this case, we will act to disqualify you.

John Henry Hierons withdrew a substantial amount of cash yet failed to provide bona fide documentary evidence whilst creditors went unpaid. Members of the public will no doubt be alarmed at his behaviour and that is why we have removed him from the business environment”.

Company directors have a statutory duty under the Companies Act to keep sufficient company records to satisfactorily explain payments and transactions.

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