Three directors from the now defunct Scottish demolition contractor George Hunter (Demolishers) have been barred for a total of 17 years after the company was found to have incurred liabilities despite being under a winding-up petition.
Directors George Beattie Snr and George Beattie Jnr were both disqualified from acting as company directors for seven years by order of the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court, while Michelle Beattie was disqualified for three-and-a-half years following an investigation from the Insolvency Service.
Glasgow-based George Hunter (Demolishers) went into liquidation on 20 April 2015 owing £1,755,782 to its creditors.
An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that the directors had continued to trade for their own benefit and incur further liabilities to the detriment of its creditors, despite a winding-up petition being presented to the Glasgow Sheriff Court in January 2015.
Although aware of the petition, the directors made net payments of at least £117,331 to connected companies between the petition’s submission and liquidation, as well as sums of at least £37,979 to, or for the benefit of, the company’s directors.
The investigation also found that the directors managed to reduce the amount they owed the company by at least £457,395 after the winding-up petition had been served.
This saw the amount of liabilities owed by the company to creditors increase by £359,097.
In the company’s last set of results published on Companies House, the company posted a turnover of just under £9m and profit of £217,276.
George Beattie Snr and Michelle Beattie were appointed as directors of the company on 2 April 2003, while George Beattie Jnr became a director on 1 June 2012.
The disqualification will bar the three from acting as a director of a company, taking part in promotion, formation or management of a limited company, or be a receiver of a company’s property.
George Beattie Snr began his seven-year disqualification on 12 April 2017, while George Beattie Jnr and Michelle Beattie began their disqualifications on 31 May.
Rob Clarke, head of Insolvency Service division Insolvent Investigations North, said: “This was a cynical attempt by the directors, in the clear knowledge that their company was insolvent, to extract money that should have been paid to other creditors.
“The Insolvency Service will take robust action against this sort of misconduct which is a clear abuse of limited liability.”