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Altrincham man jailed for running a company while bankrupt

An Altrincham man who continued to manage a company despite being a bankrupt has been jailed for six months.

P6NJ2C Sign outside the Civil Service Government Insolvency Service branch in Southampton, England, UK

An Altrincham man who continued to manage a company despite being a bankrupt has been jailed for six months.

Michael Christopher McVey, 49, was also given a director disqualification order, which prohibits him from managing a company for four years.

Manchester Crown Court heard that in February 2015, McVey set up a company called One Design & Build Ltd providing interior design, manufacture and project management services.

Four months later, he was made bankrupt after he had made himself financially liable for a debt he owed to a creditor of a separate business he was a director of that had failed.

Being a bankrupt meant that McVey was prohibited from managing companies. He officially resigned as a director of One Design & Build two days after being made bankrupt, but this did not stop him from running the company as if he was still the official director.

This offence came to light after One Design & Build entered into voluntary liquidation in April 2016 and the Insolvency Service was made aware that McVey had been acting as a shadow director.

Evidence submitted to the court provided details of McVey dealing with third parties around issues of payment for services carried out on behalf of One Design & Build. The court also considered salary payments within the company. McVey’s was the highest salary, which saw him being paid more than the sole official director.

In court, McVey claimed he had acted under the direction of the sole director of One Design & Build. He also stated he did not believe that what he was doing breached the terms of his prohibition.

The court, however, agreed with the prosecution that McVey was fully aware of his actions and had deliberately breached the terms of his disqualification.

McVey has since applied for permission to appeal.

John Fitzsimmons, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Throughout the proceedings, Michael McVey laid the blame at someone else’s door but thankfully the courts recognised that he was fully aware that he was running the company contrary to his bankruptcy restrictions.

“Running a company while banned is a criminal offence and this prosecution demonstrates that we will investigate those who think they can circumvent the law for their own purposes.”