Haulage director disqualified for removing assets

The director of a Perth-based haulage company has been disqualified for seven years for selling company assets for his own benefit, leaving creditors including HMRC unpaid, following an Insolvency Service investigation

Gilmour McFarlane was the sole director of Garden Haulage Ltd. From 2009 the company hired out plant and machinery in addition to labour and carried out contractual work, primarily for farms. The company went into liquidation in August 2015 with an estimated deficiency to its creditors of £38,670.

The Insolvency Service found that at a time when the company was insolvent, McFarlane caused it to dispose of plant and machinery to a third party for a sum of £55,000 plus VAT, while on the same day he settled a personally guaranteed loan to that party. This transaction was to the detriment of HMRC and other creditors of the company.

The investigation also found that for the period from at least September 2014 to August 2015, McFarlane failed to preserve or deliver up adequate accounting records for Garden Haulage Ltd. As result it has not been possible to establish the true financial position of the company, how other assets were dealt with and whether all sums due to the company were collected in.

Robert Clarke, group leader of insolvent investigations north at the Insolvency Service said: ‘The period of this disqualification reflects the fact that when a company fails to keep adequate financial records it is simply not possible to determine whether there has been other, more serious, impropriety in relation to the management of its affairs.

‘Furthermore, directors who put their own personal financial interests above those of customers and creditors damage confidence in doing business and are corrosive to the health of the local economy.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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