Crime

Indian-origin Company Director Banned for 7 Years in UK

A probe by the Insolvency Service found that Balwinder Singh paid at least £205,000 to a firm of personal interest to him.

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A pizza company director of Indian origin has been banned for seven years in the United Kingdom for making ‘unreasonable’ payments to a company he had a personal interest in. Balwinder Singh, 58, was found to have paid at least £205,000 to a partnership that was of personal interest to him.

Singh’s Charnwood Foods Ltd. in the WestMidlands region of England had the franchise for Papa John’s Pizza in Bromsgrove from March 2014 to March 2015, according to Times of India. The company went into liquidation in August 2015, and had no assets. It also owed about £358,816 in total to creditors, including £308,233 to a bank in respect of loans.

The Case Against Singh

The Insolvency Service in the country then launched a probe, which found that Singh “unreasonably caused payments” worth at least £205,000 to the partnership of personal interest to him. Singh, who was the only appointed director and shareholder of the company, failed to produce adequate records to show that the payments were reasonable. He accepted that he breached his fiduciary duties as director of Charnwood Foods Ltd. since the payments in question made by him were at the risk of, and to the detriment of, Charnwood Foods Ltd and its creditors, the report added.

Insolvency Service Order

Singh now will not be able to manage or control any company until July 30 2024, according to the “disqualification undertaking” presented by the Insolvency Service to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The order means that the disqualified person will not be able to, without specific permission of a court, 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; or be a receiver of a company’s property.

“Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency,” Aldona O’Hara, investigation leader — Insolvent Investigations Midlands and West at the Insolvency Service, said in a statement this week. The Insolvency Service comes under the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

“Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety,” the statement added. “This disqualification will prevent a repeat occurrence of this and act as a deterrent to any other directors who are thinking of putting their own interests before that of their company’s creditors.”

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