Bankrupts jailed after business scam

TWO bankrupts from Ipswich who illegally set up and ran businesses which racked up debts of more than £1million are in jail today.

TWO bankrupts from Ipswich who illegally set up and ran businesses which racked up debts of more than £1million are in jail today.

Neil Cattermole, of Goldcrest Road, and Danny Burrows, of Woodbridge Road, ignored court orders banning them from operating a business and created companies which caused “misery” on those who had dealings with them.

Cattermole and Burrows concealed their roles as decision-makers by installing figureheads who acted as “fig leaves”.

Cattermole even promoted his chauffeur, who had difficulties reading and writing, to various managerial positions to act as a signatory.

The companies struggled financially and were wound up with a total debt of £1,285,000, including £160,000 in unpaid taxes, which was described by Recorder Martyn Levett as “staggering”.

He said: “You showed no concern for the misery of those who came into contact with your businesses.”

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Ipswich Crown Court heard how Cattermole formed the construction company Evolution Utilities in June 2000 and met Burrows three years later while they were carrying out community service for previous offences.

Burrows was the furtive director of Thornhill Industries, which later became a mechanism by which money was transferred to Evolution Utilities.

He also became involved in the financial dealings of Evolution Utilities in March 2003, at one point securing a £50,000 overdraft.

The 58-year-old also admitted to providing a false statement on behalf of Thornhill Industries to secure a £25,000 credit facility.

The court was told that the companies were trading legitimately and were not created for fraudulent purposes.

Mr Levett said: “It is important that people who take on management of businesses like this take their obligations seriously.”

Cattermole also admitted the theft of a Range Rover after defaulting on a hire purchase agreement and selling the car at a vastly reduced amount.

The 43-year-old is already serving 18 months in prison for defaulting on payments he owed the courts after failing to account for a substantial loss of property when he was made bankrupt in 2004.

Cattermole was sentenced to 28 months in prison which he will serve consecutively to his current 18-month term, while Burrows was given a six-month sentence.

Both men are also disqualified from taking part in or operating businesses for 12 years.

Were you affected by the collapse of these businesses? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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