Builder banned for taking clients’ money despite company’s insolvency

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Woking’s Aidan Mark Newman (47) was the director of Montrose Design & Build Limited, a company that was incorporated in February 2015 and carried out residential building work.

But after only two years, Montrose Design and Build struggled to be profitable and had to cease trading before entering into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation to wind-up the company in January 2017.

Liquidators appointed to close the company then reported to the Insolvency Service that large amounts of money were owed to customers as their building work had not been completed despite having made staggered payments to Montrose Design & Build.

Further enquiries led investigators to discover that prior to entering into liquidation, Aidan Newman contacted an insolvency practitioner in September 2016 in order to arrange a Company Voluntary Arrangement. This would have seen the troubled company locked into a binding agreement with its creditors to pay off debts owed.

Yet despite knowing the company was in a precarious position, Aidan Newman allowed the company to accept payments totalling more than £190,000 from eight customers with existing claims in the liquidation.

Customers told investigators that Aidan Newman admitted that he used payments from one set of customers to fund building work for another, requested payments be paid earlier than originally scheduled and said that he had purchased materials using payments received when not all materials had been bought.

And investigators found that Aidan Newman had been a director of another construction company that had gone through a compulsory liquidation following a petition by the tax authorities. The company was closed down in March 2015, a month after Aidan Newman incorporated the new company – Montrose Design & Build.

On 5 December 2018, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Aidan Mark Newman, after he admitted causing Montrose to trade and/or undertake transactions at the unreasonable risk of creditors, at a time when Montrose was insolvent, causing losses to creditors who have claimed at least £390,691 in the liquidation.

Effective from 25 December 2018, Aidan Newman is banned for six years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Anthea Simpson, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

Aidan Newman continued to trade despite knowing Montrose was insolvent and caused financial distress to his clients.

This ban should serve as a warning to other directors that if they continue to run an insolvent business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors, they will be investigated and as a result could lose the protection of limited liability trading.

Notes to editors

Aidan Mark Newman is of Woking and his date of birth is February 1971

Montrose Design & Build Limited (Company No. 09425493)

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

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

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.

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 7637 6498

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