An investigation by the Insolvency Service has led to Shazan Qureshi, the entrepreneur behind the failed Project EV enterprise village in Liverpool, being disqualified as a director for 13 years.
The disqualification results from the affairs of Rejuvenate Your Business Limited, which also traded as Team Rejuvenate and Project EV and went into voluntary liquidation in June 2014. The enterprise village was championed by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and cabinet member for skills, Cllr Nick Small.
The Insolvency Service said that Qureshi had “misused monies entrusted to him by unsuspecting investors” and “acted with a lack of probity”. In the undertaking he gave to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, he did not dispute the matters of unfitness.
Rejuvenate Your Business was formed in 2008 by Anna-Louise Gilhooley, who in May gave a disqualification undertaking for four years in connection with the failure of the company. Qureshi was appointed director of the company in January 2013 but was dismissed by Gilhooley in June 2014.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that Qureshi used the company and monies entrusted to it to fund his personal business dealings, which included the buying and renovating of properties in partnership with others in a joint venture.
The investigation revealed that Qureshi blatantly disregarded his obligations under the joint venture agreement and misused funds entrusted to RYB by his joint venture partners. He only made good the loss by borrowing monies from one of the company’s clients, stating that the loan was for the benefit of RYB. The loan was intended to be secured by means of a fixed and floating charge over RYB’s assets, however, no such charge was created.
Qureshi also pledged security for the loan through assets he did not own. The lender was left with an unpaid unsecured debt of £545,346 when RYB entered liquidation.
The investigation further revealed that Qureshi persuaded an “unsuspecting young woman” to entrust monies to RYB, supposedly for the purpose of buying a residential property. She was left with an unpaid unsecured debt of £125,500 when the company went into liquidation.
Robert Clarke, head of insolvent investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: “This was a clear case of abuse of trust, which has caused much financial loss and distress to those who trusted Mr Qureshi with substantial sums of money.”
Qureshi still has an active social media profile, billing himself as a business transformation consultant. He tweets regularly about business matters and to promote his ShazanIQ business consultancy. His LinkedIn profile lists his current positions as ShazanIQ and Knight Wolffe, a tax planning business.