Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:58

Director Ban for family of Tax Dodgers

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A married couple and their son have been banned as company directors after failing to pay more than £186,000 in tax.  Heather & Lance Shepherd and their son James Shepherd, who ran a company called Shepherd Security Ltd in Preston have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of 15 years following an investigation by the insolvency service.

Heather Shepherd was banned for nine years, Lance Shepherd was banned for four years and son James Shepherd was banned for two and a half years.

Heather Shepherd’s lengthy nine year ban reflects the fact that, as well as her part in the company’s failure to pay tax, she also acted as a director, although not formally appointed, whilst not discharged from bankruptcy. Her bankruptcy was on the petition of HMRC.

Shepherd Security Ltd was incorporated in April 2008 and the investigation conducted by the Insolvency Service found that members of the Shepherd family failed to pay tax totalling a staggering £186,332!

Specifically Heather and son James failed to pay tax from September 08 and Lance Shepherd failed to pay tax after his appointment as Director in October 2009.  Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigations Birmingham said:

dodgems!

“A bankrupt who continues to act as a director when explicitly restricted from doing so, shows a total disregard for the insolvency regime, creditors and the business community.

“What’s more those directors who fail to pay their taxes are gaining an unfair advantage over other businesses and cheating the government.”

“The disqualifications of this family for a total of 15 and a half years sends a clear message to others that if they act as directors when not allowed to do so or fail to pay their taxes, then they will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and removed from the business environment.”

What is also interesting to note is that whilst Heather Shepherd was an undischarged bankrupt, her name still appeared on Companies House as a director of the current company, Shepherd Fire and Security Ltd, between April 2011 and October 2012.

When asked about this matter Lance Shepherd stated:

“This has been a nightmare for four years. We were ripped off by our adviser and we’ve had to pay the price.

“We had to put the original company into administration, and have set up as Shepherd Fire and Security Ltd that we have to pay other people to run for us.

“Everything is now above board and we are doing well.”

Unfortunately for Lance, records again show that all may not be well with Shepherd Fire and Security Ltd as a quick credit search on this company shows:

  • Two outstanding County Court Judgments registered in January 2013 and December 2012 totalling £3,000
  • A further now satisfied CCJ issued in September 2012 for £7,660.

So it looks like it isn’t only HMRC that has had difficulties in receiving timely payment…

Update: January 15th 2014:

Unfortunately it doesn't look like the company Shepherd Fire and Security Ltd has had a successful turnaround as of today's date this company now has a grand total of 7 unsatisfied CCJs worth in excess of £7k!  The most recent being awarded less than a week ago.

Footnotes:

  1. Shepherd Security Ltd was incorporated on 17 April 2008, commenced trading in May 2008, ceased trading in October 2010 and entered voluntary liquidation on 29 October 2010.
  2. James Shepherd was formally appointed as a director on 17 April 2008, Lance Shepherd was appointed on 15 October 2009 and Heather Shepherd was never formally appointed as a director, but acted as a director in that she exercised control over the financial operations and received the same or similar remuneration to the formally appointed directors.
  3. On 31 October 2012 an undertaking was accepted from Heather Cameron Shepherd, which commenced on 21 November 2012. On 1 November 2012 an undertaking was accepted from James Cameron Shepherd, which commenced on 22 November 2012 and on 12 March 2013 an undertaking was accepted from Lance Shepherd, which is due to commence on 2 April 2013.
  4. Heather Cameron Shepherd and Lance Shepherd were both previously directors of Shepherd Security (UK) Ltd, which was incorporated on 17 January 2007 and traded as a provider of security installation and monitoring and which went into voluntary liquidation on 08 May 2008. Also Heather Cameron Shepherd and Lance Shepherd were directors of Shepherd Security Systems Ltd which was incorporated on 10 June 2003 and went into administration on 26 January 2007.
  5. Heather Cameron Shepherd was made bankrupt on 06 August 2008 on the petition of HMRC. On 27 May 2009 Mrs Shepherd’s automatic discharge from bankruptcy was suspended due to her non-cooperation with the Official Receiver and she remains bankrupt.

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