Moira business couple disqualified

A COUPLE who ran a business in Moira have been disqualified from becoming directors.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has accepted disqualification undertakings from two directors of a recruitment business.

Timothy Lewis (52) and Shireen Lewis (47), both of Lenamore Avenue, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim were disqualified for 11 and four years respectively in respect of their conduct as directors of Tim Lewis Consultancy Limited.

They carried on the business of recruitment from premises at 34c Main Street, Moira and entered into administration on 28 September. 2009.

It then went into liquidation on October 14, 2010 with estimated assets available for preferential creditors of £967,704, liabilities of £1,536,905 to preferential creditors, liabilities of £308,922 to unsecured creditors and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £878,123. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the company the total estimated deficiency was £878,125.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertakings from Timothy Lewis and Shireen Lewis on February 23, 2012 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

Causing and permitting the Company to retain a sum of £1,600,669 which was properly payable to the Crown comprising £435,750 in respect of PAYE, £600,977 in respect of NIC, and £563,942 in respect of VAT for the years 2008/09 and 2009/10.

Causing and permitting both directors to be paid excessive remuneration when the Company was insolvent.

Misappropriating company funds in that they took loans both from the company and the predecessor company Tim Lewis Recruitment Limited and failed to pay these back and they also made intercompany loans which were never repaid to the company

Failing to learn from previous insolvencies and setting up a new company carrying out essentially the same activities while two previous companies under their control had failed, resulting in significant deficiencies as regards members.

The following additional matters of unfit conduct alleged by the Department in relation to Timothy Lewis were:

Presenting cheques, direct debits and standing orders to the bank when he was aware or should have been aware that there were inadequate funds available to honour these.

Causing and permitting the incorporation of TLR Resourcing Limited as a “phoenix” company so as to take over the business previously carried on by the company, and prior to that Tim Lewis Recruitment Limited.

Causing and permitting the Company and TLR Resourcing Limited to use a prohibited name contravening Article 180 of the Insolvency (NI) Order 1989.

Causing and permitting the company to fail to file annual returns with Companies Registry/Companies House for the years to February 8, 2007, February 8, 2008, and February 8, 2009.