Solar installation boss disqualified

Andrew Rushton, Lancashire-based director of PV Solar Fit, a company involved in supplying energy efficient insulations, has been disqualified for eight years after running up £600,000 of unexplained expenditure.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that Rushton had failed to account for more than £90,000 assets purchased by his company and had transferred in excess of £122,000 to his partner at a time when he knew the company owed a customer money it had received erroneously and had no prospect of repaying. The customer in question had notified him of the erroneous payments.

Rushton also failed to account for more than £82,000 of motor vehicles and nearly £8,000 of gym equipment, purchased by the company. The company failed to maintain adequate accounting records and deliver them up to the Liquidator. There was other expenditure totalling almost £600,000 remaining unexplained, and the financial position at liquidation regarding debtors and creditors remained unverified.

Robert Clarke, chief examiner at Insolvent Investigations North, said: “Directors, like this, who favour themselves over the interests of legitimate creditors when their company is in financial difficulty and remove funds for personal benefit, leaving suppliers high and dry, are not only in breach of a fundamental fiduciary duty but lacking in commercial morality.

“What’s more, the failure to maintain records which adequately explain the transactions of the company means that it is not possible to determine whether further funds, of a substantial amount, have been similarly misused contrary to creditor interests.

“This disqualification is a reminder to others tempted to do the same that the Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue enforcement action and seek to remove from them the privilege of trading with limited liability to protect the public for a lengthy period.

Rushton’s date of birth is 12 January 1968 and he lives in Lancashire. PV Solar Fit Ltd was incorporated on 6 June 2011, and latterly traded from Venture Court, Metcalfe Drive, Altham Industrial Estate, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 5TU as an installer of energy efficient insulations.

Rushton was a director from 6 June 2011 and remained in office as at 3 October 2013, the date of Liquidation. The Statement of Affairs as at the date of Liquidation showed that PV Solar Fit had an estimated total deficiency of £316,000.

On 2 September 2015, the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Rushton, effective from 29 September 2015, for a period of eight years.

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