Property bosses to pay thousands after abusing company accounts

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Husband and wife, Dawn and Jacob Goulde, of Hatch End, North West London, were the directors of London and Berkshire Limited. Incorporated in August 2009, the company was concerned with property valuation and surveying.

Just six years later, however, London and Berkshire was shut down by the courts in June 2015 following a petition by the tax authorities to wind-up the company.

The Official Receiver was appointed by the court to undertake the liquidation, as well as carry out investigations into why the company failed and the conduct of the directors.

Investigations established that Dawn and Jacob had personally benefited from payments taken out of the company’s bank accounts of at least £182,000. The payments were made between January 2010 and April 2013 and the couple were unable to justify them.

Over the same period, Dawn and Jacob also failed to file any tax returns on behalf of the company, resulting in the tax authorities having to raise outstanding charges of just under £200,000. The sum also included arrears for unpaid corporate tax and employee contributions.

Further enquiries by the Official Receiver found that the company only made one payment of just over £6,000 to the tax authorities throughout the life of London and Berkshire.

On 6 February 2019, the Official Receiver obtained a court judgement committing Dawn and Jacob to payback just over £182,000 – the money taken from the company that they had personally benefited from – plus costs.

Neither Dawn nor Jacob Goulde were present at the hearing nor did they send representatives and in their absence, Judge Jones described the sums taken from the company were ‘gratuitous, unjustified payments’.

Anthony Hannon, the Official Receiver, said:

Running a limited company doesn’t give you license to treat it as a cash cow but that’s exactly what Dawn and Jacob Goulde did when they removed thousands of pounds for their own benefit. They also completely failed to pay the taxes, other than a token amount, in just another clear example of their dereliction of duty.

Securing back the money Dawn and Jacob unreasonably took will benefit London and Berkshire’s creditors, while also serving as a strong warning to others who think they can do the same that we will obtain redress through the courts against those who abuse their director responsibilities.

Notes to editors

Jacob Harvey Goulde is from Hatch End and his date of birth is August 1958

Dawn Rochelle Goulde is from Hatch End and her date of birth is June 1961

London and Berkshire Limited (Company Reg no. 06981070).

The order was pronounced by ICC Judge Jones in the Insolvency and Companies Court.

Christopher Brockman of Enterprise Chambers instructed by Clarke Wilmott & Clarke solicitors appeared for the Insolvency Service and no one appeared for or on behalf of the defendants.

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 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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