A pair of directors of Signed and Sealed Marketing, which provided leads to debt collection agencies, have both been disqualified for failing to maintain adequate company records.
Arthur John James Ryan and Matthew Peter Hill, the directors of the Manchester-based company, formerly known as Maximedia Limited, have been disqualified for 12 and eight years respectively following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The company, which traded as a lead generator for debt collection agencies, entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 11 November 2014 owing debts of £166,697, of which £133,934.97 plus penalties of £800 was unpaid tax. This, combined with a failure to maintain or deliver up accounting records sufficient to explain the company’s transactions resulted in the disqualification orders.
In addition, the Insolvency Service was concerned that it was unclear whether the company was processing individuals’ data in accordance with the requirements and principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.
On 24 September 2014, Hill resigned as director and the company name was changed from Maximedia to Signed and Sealed Marketing Limited. The following day, the company approached an insolvency practitioner and entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 11 November 2014. Ryan had been acting as a director in breach of a bankruptcy order.
Robert Clarke, investigations group leader at the Insolvency Service, said: “A bankrupt who continues to act as a director when explicitly restricted from doing so, shows a total disregard for the insolvency regime, creditors and the business community. Directors who ignore such restrictions, and those who provide cover for them to continue to run limited companies, will be vigorously pursued by the Insolvency Service.
“Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.”