While some people may think that being disqualified as a director isn’t too serious or is something that can be overlooked or navigated around, there was a big shock recently. This came in the fact that a bankrupt and disqualified construction director has been sent to jail for 21 months. Eoin Murray, from Torquay, pleaded guilty to the charge of acting as a manager of limited companies while he was actively disqualified from being a company director.
This is exactly the sort of situation that many disqualified directors find themselves in, no doubt using a form of loopholes that they think will safeguard them. This means that there is likely to be a number of disqualified directors sweating a bit and looking to rearrange their current employment activities just in case they find themselves in a similar position.
There was also trouble for David John Constable who pleaded guilty to 4 counts of aiding and abetting Murray. This came in the form of managing two firms and Constable was sentenced to 4 months in prison while also being ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Investigations uncover a number of offences
The case came to light after an investigation carried out by the Insolvency Service which then led to a criminal investigation which was led by the Department for Business, innovation and Skills. Murray was well known in the construction business and he had provided undertakings back in December of 2006 and then in October of 2007 that he would not act as a company director or be involved with management, promotion or formation of a company. The 2006 undertaking was for a period of 6 years and the 2007 undertaking was for a period of 9 years. Murray was then declared bankrupt for a third time in January of 2011.
This was a serious offence from a habitual offender
Murray had claimed that he was only an employee of the relevant companies but it was found that he played a major role in the management of these companies and he was involved with their formation. Constable was named a director to provide “cover” for Murray, and this enabled Murray to have authority within these firms, particularly the South Devon Construction SW Limited firm. It was found that a constant thread in Murray’s trading style came with him regularly issuing cheques to employees and suppliers while being fully aware that there were not enough funds to pay for these cheques. Murray was also known to issue cheques but then have these cheques stopped before they were able to be cleared or presented.
Liam Mannall is the Deputy Chief Investigation Officer for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. He released a statement at the conclusion of the case, stating; “The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business will take firm action when we find that undertakings given to protect the public and the business community have been breached and where those unfit to manage a company engage in prohibited conduct. Mr Murray acted with a complete disregard for the law and his conduct left individuals and traders out of pocket. He could not have acted as he did without the assistance provided by Mr Constable.”
The incorporation of the South Devon Construction SW Limited company took place on the 19th of November 2010 and on the 14th of August in 2012, it was ordered into compulsory liquidation.
There is no doubt that being disqualified as a director is very serious and it is important to call on the best standard of legal representation for this style of case. Whether you are looking to contest the finding or you are keen to minimise the length of suspension that you may face, it is best to work with experienced professionals who will guide you through the process.
However, if you have been caught acting as a director after you have been disqualified from acting as a director, you really need to call in the best legal minds. This is deemed to be an extremely serious style of crime, which was shown in the punishments handed out in this case. If you are facing this style of charge, the sooner that you call on legal representatives who have experience in this line of work, the better. It may not be a crime that is relevant to many people but if it is relevant to you, you need to find the best standard of support that you can.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.