Co. Antrim director agrees to disqualification

Date published: 16 September 2021

The Department for the Economy has accepted a disqualification undertaking from the director of a company providing freight transport by road.

The undertaking was received for seven years from Kevin Patrick Donnelly (75) of Caman Park, Ballycastle in respect of his conduct as a director of MVH Haulage Services Limited (“the Company”).

The Company acted as a freight transportation, trading from 3 Mill Street, Ballycastle and went into liquidation on 24 July 2018 with an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £1,846,655.14.  There was a total of £100,000 owing as Share Capital, resulting in an estimated deficiency as regards members of £1,946,655.14.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Kevin Patrick Donnelly on 20 August 2021 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

•    Causing and permitting MVH Haulage Services Ltd to submit inaccurate PAYE/NIC returns totalling £764,724.35, inaccurate Corporation Tax Returns by inaccurately claiming Capital Allowances totalling £380,552.08 and failing to pay a further sum of £130,274.28 resulting in a loss of monies properly due to the Crown from 2010/11. Causing and permitting MVH Haulage Services Ltd to retain a total of £1,275,550.07 due to the Crown as at the date of liquidation. By failing to submit PAYE / NIC returns and failing to submit accurate Corporation Tax Returns, MVH Haulage Services Ltd ultimately discriminated against the Crown as the Company was not paying as much PAYE / NIC and Corporation Tax as it should have paid, and therefore had more money available to fund the continued trading of the Company.  

•    Failing to maintain and / or preserve and / or deliver up the books and records of MVH Haulage Services Ltd.

•    Causing and permitting MVH Haulage Services Ltd to fail to comply with the relevant legislation in that the annual accounts for 11 years of trading were not filed within the prescribed periods i.e. the years ending 31 March 2017, 31 March 2016, 31 March 2015, 31 March 2014, 31 March 2013, 31 March 2012, 31 March 2010, 31 March 2009, 31 March 2007, 31 March 2006, and 31 March 2005.

•    Causing and permitting MVH Haulage Services Ltd to fail to comply with the relevant legislation in that the annual returns for 10 years of trading were not filed within the prescribed periods i.e. the periods ending 03 March 2015, 25 March 2013, 25 March 2012, 25 March 2011, 25 March 2010, 25 March 2009, 25 March 2008, 25 March 2007, 25 March 2006 and 25 March 2005.

The Department has accepted 16 Disqualification Undertakings in the financial year commencing 1st April 2021. 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Insolvency Practitioners acting as voluntary liquidators, administrative receivers and administrators have a duty to report unfit conduct to the Insolvency Service within the Department for the Economy.
  2. The aim of the Department is to bring disqualification proceedings against those directors of failed companies who have abused the privilege of limited liability status through negligence, incompetence or lack of commercial probity. The legislation contained in the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (“the 2002 Order”) is for the protection of the public and trading community but its operation should not inhibit genuine enterprise.
  3. In cases where a person is subject to either a Disqualification Order made by the Court or a Disqualification Undertaking accepted by the Department, that person shall not be a director of a company, act as a receiver of a company's property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company unless he has the leave of the High Court. A disqualified person cannot obtain permission to act as an Insolvency Practitioner.
  4. Article 9 of the 2002 Order provides that where a director is found to be unfit he must be disqualified for a minimum period of two years, up to a maximum of fifteen years. The Courts have decided that the level of seriousness of unfit conduct can fall into three brackets with the top bracket of periods over ten years reserved for particularly serious cases, six to ten years reserved for cases which do not merit the top bracket and two to five years for cases where, although disqualification is mandatory, the case is less serious.
  5. The 2002 Order also allows directors, with the agreement of the Department, to avoid the need for a court hearing by offering an acceptable Disqualification Undertaking. This has exactly the same legal effect as a Disqualification Order made by the court, and will usually include a schedule identifying the director’s unfit conduct. The consequences of breaching a Disqualification Undertaking are the same as those for breaching a Disqualification Order.
  6. If anybody contravenes a Disqualification Order or breaches their Disqualification Undertaking they may be committing a criminal offence and could go to prison for up to two years or face a fine or both. Any person with information to suggest that a disqualified person has acted in contravention of this provision should contact The Insolvency Service’s Directors Disqualification Unit on 028 90 548582.
  7. The period of disqualification commences at the end of 21 days beginning with the day the Disqualification Undertaking was accepted by the Department.
  8. For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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