The Glasgow-based company, George Hunter (Demolishers) Limited, has reportedly now been made defunct due to the directors of the company allowing the continuation of incurring liabilities despite the knowledge of a pending petition, before court, in order to issue a winding-up petition.
It has been reported that George Beattie Jnr has signed a seven year disqualification on the 12th of April 2017 whilst Michelle Beattie signed a three year and six month disqualification. On 31st May 2017, George Beattie Jnr was disqualified, by Order of the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court, from any undertaking as the role of director of a limited company. This disqualification has been set down for seven years.
Two years prior to these sanctions, George Hunter (Demolishers) Limited had been placed into liquidation on the 20th of April 2015, with an estimated deficiency to the creditors of £1,755,782.
During this period, the accountancy firm French Duncan, had been appointed insolvency practitioner for George Hunter (Demolisher) Limited. French Duncan then employed an estimate of 50 members of staff, reaching the firms peak, causing a turn-over of up to £7 million.
Insolvency Service concluded the investigation revealing that prior to the company’s liquidation on 20 April 2015, the directors, to their own advantage, had caused or allowed the company to trade, incurring further liabilities to the risk and impairment of creditors. The company also had complete and sufficient knowledge that HMRC had previously presented a winding up petition to Court on 14 January 2015.
The Insolvency Service discovered that, between 14 January and 20 April 2015, net payments of a minimum of £155,310.45, had been made by the directors to the interest of connected parties. Along with further offset liabilities, at a minimum of £457,395.72, owed to the company from the directors and connected companies. These payments were made against unverified charges to the disadvantage of creditors as liabilities increased by at least £359,097.33.
Disqualification undertakings do not involve court proceedings but are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a number of other restrictions.
Robert Clarke, the head of insolvent investigations North, part of the Insolvency Service, stated that: “This was a cynical attempt by the directors, in the clear knowledge that their company was insolvent, to extract money that should have been paid to other creditors. The Insolvency Service will take robust action against this sort of misconduct which is a clear abuse of limited liability.”
Hunter Demolition had been stated as one of the oldest demolition companies in the U.K, being founded in 1958. In 2013 the company won the World Demolition Contract of the Year award for demolishing a former Bank of Scotland building in Glasgow’s Queen Street.
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