Ban for tax-dodging construction boss

Gerald William Channing, Director of construction company Trenchright Civils Ltd in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, has been disqualified from being a Director for seven years for failing to submit the company’s books and records to the liquidators and failing to pay tax. The disqualification follows an investigation by The Insolvency Service.

Mr Channing, of Peterborough, is 68 and no records were available to account for more than £1million in cash withdrawals from the company since the last annual accounts were filed for the year ending 31 August 2008.

Mr Channing has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills that he will not act as a director of a limited company from 6 June 2013 until June 2020.

Trenchright Civils Ltd went into liquidation on 4 February 2011 owing more than £500,000. Following the filing of the last accounts, Gerald Channing had not kept proper records until the company’s liquidation.The lack of proper records has made it difficult for liquidators to recover funds to repay the company’s creditors.

The Insolvency Service investigation also showed that the company had unpaid taxes dating back to April 2009 – and had not paid any tax at all since February 2010. At liquidation, it owed £424,189 to HM Revenue & Customs.

Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner at The Insolvency Service, said: “Directors are responsible for maintaining a company’s financial records and ensuring tax is paid. This investigation found that very significant assets were missing and there were expenses that could not be explained adequately to the liquidators. This prevented the liquidators from doing their job properly for the creditors. Taxpayers have also lost out from the Director’s failure to pay taxes.

"Other directors tempted to follow this path should remember that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors they lose the protection afforded by limited liability. The Insolvency Service will investigate them and seek to remove them from the business environment.”