Directors banned for trading while firm was insolvent

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The three directors of a north Northumberland-based betting investment firm have been banned from running companies for eight years.

Centaur Global Limited, which has a trading address in Main Street, North Sunderland, traded while insolvent for two years up to its collapse in 2012.

When it was placed into liquidation in January 2012, the company, which provided members of the public and institutions with the opportunity to invest in gaming-related funds and in gambling, owed creditors more than £2million.

And earlier this month, The Insolvency Service issued a judgement which disqualifies Andrew Cork, whose address is listed as in Hertfordshire, and Keith and Hazel Sobey, whose address is listed as in Cumbria, from being company directors for eight years.

The judgement states that all three ‘caused or allowed Centaur Global Limited (Global) to trade whilst insolvent and to the detriment of its clients from 1 January 2010 to the date of liquidation’.

It goes on to explain that ‘from analysis of Global records, bank and betting accounts, it is apparent that Global had a shortfall in client money resource against the amount that it should have been holding on behalf of its clients. This shortfall of client funds was not reflected in the balance sheets of the annual accounts or within the QuickBooks data. As at end January 2010, this shortfall was £119,476, by end December 2010, it was £697,807 and at end December 2011, it was £1,513,688’.

Plus, the judgement refers to the movement of money between various accounts. Between January 1, 2010, and the date of liquidation, funds totalling £567,994 from the Global current bank accounts and £1,014,608 from the Global client bank accounts went to the Sobeys’ bank accounts.

In the same period, payments went the other way of £885,995 into the Global current bank accounts and £318,200 into the Global client bank account, leaving a difference of £378,407.

A statement released last August by the liquidators said that Centaur ‘was placed into liquidation in January 2012 owing creditors more than £2million including a significant shortfall of client account monies’.

It went on to explain that while the details remain condidential under the terms of the agreement, ‘significant recoveries for the benefit of creditors’ were achieved.

At the time, Jamie Taylor, joint liquidator of Centaur Global Limited, said: “I am delighted that by using our expertise we have been able to recover a significant proportion of the overall loss within an unusually short time-frame.”