A Cumbria-based director of the Paulo Gianni group of restaurants and bars has been disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.
John Alexander Wormall, 42, of Scott Street, Barrow in Furness, has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) barring him from acting as a company director, and from managing or in any way controlling a company, from 5 October 2012 to 4 October 2017.
The move follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service's Company and Investigations team in Manchester, which found Wormall's companies had withheld money they owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in PAYE and national insurance contributions.
He was also found to have transferred funds from several companies that later went into liquidation to a separate business, which resulted in the first companies not being able to meet their own liabilities.
Wormall was the director of PGK Leisure Ltd (PGK), PGSI Leisure Ltd (PGSI) and PGC Leisure Ltd (PGC), which all went into liquidation on 23 October 2009. He was also a director of PG5 Leisure Limited (PG5), which went into liquidation on 10 November 2009.
PGK was the operating company of Paulo Gianni in Stramongate, Kendal, from December 2006 to September 2009 and at liquidation had liabilities of at least £288,806 and assets of only £22,325.
PGSI was the operating company of the Stagger Inn, Long Lane, Stainton with Adgarley, Barrow in Furness, from December 2006 to September 2009, and at liquidation it had liabilities of at least £187,268 and assets of £3,528.
PGC was the operating company of Paulo Gianni at the Uplands hotel, Haggs Lane, Cartmel, from September 2008 to September 2009, and at liquidation it had liabilities of at least £47,143 and assets of only £573.
PG5 was the operating company of Paulo Gianni in Cavendish Street, Barrow in Furness, from August 2008 to September 2009, and at liquidation it had liabilities of at least £150,272 and assets of only £752.
In signing the undertaking, Wormall did not dispute that:
â- He caused PGK, PGSI, PGC and PG5 to trade from August 2008 to September 2009 while withholding PAYE and national insurance contributions deducted from the wages and salaries of employees and VAT liabilities from HMRC.
â- At liquidation, the money owed to HMRC by the companies included at least £197,116 owed by PGK, at least £141,924 owed by PGSI, at least £26,280 owed by PGC and at least £92,810 owed by PG5.
Claire Entwistle, director of Company Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: "The Insolvency Service deals robustly with directors who unfairly gain advantage over competitors and harm their creditors by using unacceptable financial practices.
"The protection of limited liability is available to those who comply with their obligations as company directors. If those obligations are ignored, the protection will be withdrawn."
By Neil Gerrard
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