Pub company director from Bournmouth disqualified again for leaving large tax debts whilst making large payments to a connected company
An investigation by the Insolvency Service found he caused Alcatrazgroup Limited to treat HMRC differently from other creditors and was responsible for significant amounts being transferred to a connected company during the period which he was the director.
Hedayat Hashtroudi was already the subject of a three-and-a-half year disqualification, which was not due to expire until 13 May 2018. This current disqualification of five years from 2 August 2016, means Mr Hashtroudi has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State to not be a director of a company whether directly or indirectly, or be involved in the management of a company in any way for the duration of his disqualification unless he has permission from the Court.
The trading activity of Alcatrazgroup Limited was primarily that of pubs and restaurants which despite being registered in East London operated from a number of premises within the Hampshire area.
At liquidation in October 2014, the creditors totalled £456,577 of which £288,136 was due to HMRC for PAYE/NIC, £19,315 for VAT and £103,377 for outstanding business rates. The arrears of PAYE/NIC had built up from July 2013 to October 2014.
An analysis of Alcatrazgroup Limited’s bank account revealed that from the period 22 July 2013 over £4,773,000 had been paid out of which only £83,998 had been paid to HMRC in respect of PAYE whilst £933,946 had been paid to a connected company. From 27 May 2014 to 1 November 2014 when Hedayat Hashtroudi was the sole registered director of this connected company it received in excess of £413,000 whilst no payments were made to HMRC.
Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service said:
"This disqualification sends a clear message to other company directors: If you treat creditors such as HMRC differently to others and in particular pay a connected company significant sums whilst at the same time making no payments to HMRC in respect of taxes due, which was the case here, then you have failed to take your responsibilities as a director seriously and The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to investigate you."
"Public services are funded by the correct taxes being paid. By not paying the taxes that were due, Mr Hedayat Hashtroudi has ultimately deprived the public from receiving the services they expect and has consequently been removed from the business environment."
Notes to editors
Hedayat Hashtroudi, 65, was a registered director of Alcatrazgroup Limited, which was incorporated in February 2012 and whose trading was based within the Hampshire area.
Mr Hedayat Hashtroudi has been disqualified for a period of 5 years commencing from 2 August 2016. His date of birth is 17 October 1950.
One of the main purposes of the Company Directors Disqualification Act is to ensure that proper standards of conduct of company directors are maintained and to raise those standards where appropriate.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
act as a director of a company
take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found here.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
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Source: Gov.uk (Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.)