Banned director continued to run building firm

Simon Donohue

A four-month suspended prison sentence has been handed to a man who acted as a director of a building firm while serving a three-and-a-half year disqualification.

Anthony Harold Rodgers, a former director, was sentenced at Stockport Magistrates' Court for acting as a director of Prime Builders while serving a three-and-a-half year disqualification.

The sentence was suspended for 12 months and he received 150 hours community service.

The sentence follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

In civil proceedings, Rodgers gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills not to act as a director or in the management of a limited company for 12 years.

His wife Karen Rodgers, the recorded director of Prime, also gave an undertaking not to act as a director for seven years, for allowing him to act as a director while banned and for failing to pay tax. Both undertakings took effect from 31 July, 2013.

Prime traded from Marcliffe Industrial Estate, Hazel Grove, Cheshire.

The investigation showed that between at least June 2009 and 23 March 2011, Rodgers acted as a director while disqualified, in contravention of section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and Karen Rodgers allowed him to do so. Anthony Rodgers had previously been disqualified for three-and-a-half years in 2008.

Furthermore, they failed to ensure that Prime complied with its statutory duties to make payments to HM Revenue & Customs in respect of PAYE/NIC and VAT.

Between 1 January 2010 and 23 March 2011, the date of liquidation, Prime traded to the detriment of HMRC in respect of PAYE/NIC and VAT leaving debts owing to HMRC of at least £67,624 for PAYE/NIC and £48,808 for VAT.

As he acted while disqualified, the protection of limited liability for the debts of Prime Builders has been invalidated and Anthony Rodgers may be personally liable for these debts.

Vicky Bagnall, director of Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: "Company directors should be under no illusion that it is a criminal offence for persons to act while disqualified or for someone to assist or allow them to do so.

"They should be in no doubt that the Insolvency Service will investigate and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will prosecute those that choose to ignore or flout this."

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