Ballymoney and Ballycastle directors disqualified

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THE Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (the Department) has disqualified for eight years a County Antrim director in respect of his conduct as a director of a Ballycastle building firm.

The Department has also accepted a disqualification undertaking for seven years from another director of the same company.

William Alistair John Dobbin (40) of Straid Road, Ballycastle was disqualified for eight years on 17 September 2012 in the High Court, Belfast and John Stephen Duncan (52) of Garryduff Road, Ballymoney, accepted a disqualification undertaking for seven years on 14 June 2012.

Both were disqualified in respect of their conduct as directors of Country Dream Homes Limited (“the Company”).

The Company carried on the business of building houses from Straid Road, Ballycastle until it went into liquidation on 14 May 2009 with no estimated assets, a deficiency as regards secured creditors of £91,557 and liabilities to non-preferential creditors of £232,383, resulting in an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £323,940. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the total estimated deficiency was £323,950.

The matter of unfit conduct alleged by the Department in respect of their conduct as directors of the Company, which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure in the case of John Stephen Duncan was not disputed and which in the case of William Alistair John Dobbin was accepted by the Court, was as follows:

disposing of or acquiescing in the disposal of assets which were the property of NIIB Group Ltd (NIIB) without the knowledge or consent of NIIB and in breach of the Hire Purchase agreement and failing to pay the proceeds to the finance company at a time when a balance of £22,375.57 was still owed on foot of the agreement;

The following additional matters of unfit conduct alleged by the Department in relation to John Stephen Duncan and not disputed were:

causing and permitting the Company to transfer a company asset to him in breach of his fiduciary duty to the company and to the detriment of the body of creditors;

failing to file accounts for the Company for the period ending 28 February 2006 with Companies House;

causing and permitting the Company to fail to ensure that the Annual Returns due to be filed on 3 February 2006 and 3 February 2007 were filed within the prescribed time period with Companies House.

The following additional matters of unfit conduct alleged by the Department and accepted by the Court in relation to William Alistair John Dobbin were:

acquiescing in the transfer of a company asset from the Company to Mr Duncan in breach of his fiduciary duty to the company and to the detriment of the body of creditors;

causing and permitting the Company to fail to pay £40,451 properly due to the Crown consisting of £20,531 in respect of PAYE for the years 2006/07 to 2008/09; £16,592 in respect of NIC for the years 2007/08 and 2008/09; and £3,328 in respect of Corporation Tax for the years 2005/06 and 2006/07;

failing to file accounts for the Company for the periods ending 28 February 2006 to 28 February 2008 inclusive, with Companies House;

causing and permitting the Company to fail to ensure that the annual returns due on 3 February 2006 and 3 February 2007 were filed within the prescribed time period with Companies House and causing and permitting the Company to fail to file the annual returns which were due on 3 February 2008 and 3 February 2009 with Companies House.

The Department has accepted two Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made no orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing 1 April 2013.