A husband and wife pair of directors at a property valuation and surveying company have been ordered by the courts to pay back £182,000 having abused the firm’s bank account.
Dawn and Jacob Goulde, of Hatch End in north west London, were directors of London and Berkshire Limited, a firm set up in 2009.
However, in June 2015 the firm was shut down by the courts after a petition by HMRC to wind-up the company. The Official Receiver was appointed by the court to undertake the liquidation, as well as carry out investigations into why the company failed and the conduct of the directors.
Now a report from the Insolvency Service says the couple personally benefited from payments taken out of the company’s bank accounts of at least £182,000.
The payments were made between January 2010 and April 2013 and the couple were unable to justify them.
Over the same period the couple failed to file any tax returns on behalf of the company, resulting in the tax authorities having to raise outstanding charges of almost £200,000 including arrears for unpaid corporate tax and employee contributions.
On top of that, the Official Receiver found that the company only made one payment of just over £6,000 to the tax authorities throughout its six years in existence.
Now the Official Receiver has obtained a court judgement committing the couple to repay just over £182,000 – the money taken from the company that they had personally benefited from – plus costs.
The couple were not present at the hearing nor did they send representatives and in their absence.
Anthony Hannon, the Official Receiver, says: "Running a limited company doesn’t give you license to treat it as a cash cow but that’s exactly what Dawn and Jacob Goulde did when they removed thousands of pounds for their own benefit. They also completely failed to pay the taxes, other than a token amount, in just another clear example of their dereliction of duty.
"Securing back the money Dawn and Jacob unreasonably took will benefit London and Berkshire’s creditors, while also serving as a strong warning to others who think they can do the same that we will obtain redress through the courts against those who abuse their director responsibilities."