Director banned from running business

A DIRECTOR of a Felixstowe company, which supplied lorry drivers and failed with debts of £87,000, has been banned from running a business for four years.

A DIRECTOR of a Felixstowe company, which supplied lorry drivers and failed with debts of £87,000, has been banned from running a business for four years.

Elaine Hewitt, 43 of Brookhill Way, Rushmere St Andrew, has given an undertaking not to hold directorships or take any part in company management.

The undertaking followed an investigation into her conduct as a director of Pro-Drive (East Anglia) Limited, which carried out business from premises at P&O Yard, Sub Station Road, Felixstowe.

The company provided a driver hire service to haulage firms short of truckers. The Insolvency Service, which investigates on behalf of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, said the firm failed with total debts estimated at £87,000.

The acceptance of the undertaking prevents Mrs Hewitt from being a director of a company or, in any way, directly or indirectly, being concerned or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Pro-Drive was placed into compulsory liquidation by order of the Companies Court of the High Court of Justice in August 2001 after Customs and Excise was owed £79,871 in unpaid VAT.

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The Official Receiver at Ipswich had conduct of the investigation and disqualification procedure. It found two main issues of unfit conduct, which were not disputed by Mrs Hewitt.

One was that she caused Pro-Drive to make payments to her of £12,450 to the detriment of Pro-Drive's creditors, Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue, at a time when she should have known the company was unable to pay its debts.

The Insolvency Service considers the Official Receiver's reports and, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, directs the Official Receiver to take disqualification action against directors where appropriate.

A court can disqualify directors from directorships and involvement in the management of companies for between two and 15 years for unfit conduct.

If a director breaches a disqualification order they can be prosecuted and may be punished by a fine, a prison sentence of up to two years, or both, and may be made personally liable for the company debts.

In cases where directors accept that their conduct is unfit and give an undertaking, this avoids a court process, but the penalties for breach of an undertaking are the same as for breach of a court order.

n People who think they know of someone acting in breach of an undertaking or court order should ring the disqualified directors hotline on 0845 6013546.


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