Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Road Haulage Company Directors Disqualified after their Freight Firm Goes Bust

Two Brothers Banned for Near Maximum Periods following Litany of Offences
Shipping News Feature

UK – When economic times become fraught, those owning assets within the road haulage industry always prove susceptible to temptation as they see their businesses losing money and, unfortunately, many try to continue at the very time they should be walking away. Two brothers from Northern Ireland who ran the family freight business which was founded twenty years ago, committed a litany of offences in an attempt to keep the firm afloat and this week paid the price for their deception.

Sean Convery (41) and brother Noel (33) controlled Convery Haulage Ltd., headquartered in County Antrim, and yesterday the pair were disqualified as directors for 12 and 11 years respectively (the maximum term is 15 years) after committing serious tax fraud when they failed to pay over £228,000 in PAYE, NI and VAT to the Revenue authorities. They also stood accused of diverting goods liable to excise duty, smuggling and laundering fuel, again to avoid duty payments.

Additionally company goods were sold for personal gain without the transactions being recorded, they bounced hundreds of cheques worth in excess of £800,000 over a two and a half year period, took out loans on vehicles they had already disposed of, and failed to lodge accounts or submit a true statement of the company’s affairs. The company was liquidated in October 2012 showing debts in excess of £1.6 million.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Northern Ireland (DETINI) said the pair accepted a charge of unfit conduct ‘solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure’, which presumably means there may be further criminal prosecutions in the pipeline. The long sentences give an indication of the level of these offences. DETINI states that there are three tiers of offence with any ban over ten years being reserved for the ‘most serious’. Failure to adhere to a disqualification order can mean up to two years in prison.