Directors banned over tax debt

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The directors of a Blackpool advertising company have been disqualified for a total of nine-and-a-half years for failing to provide agreed services or paying tax.

Garry O’Loughlin and Nicola Hobson, directors of Club Media Systems Ltd, were disqualified after an investigation by Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue (HMRC) in October.

At the time of the company’s liquidation in March 2012, the company owed more than £335,000 in taxes and had estimated losses of £740,000.

Mr O’Loughlin, 46, was banned for six years, with Miss Hobson, 47, banned for three-and-a-half years, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The pair cannot be involved in managing, controlling a company or being a director.

Today Mr O’Loughlin confirmed the company, based in Amy Johnson Way, South Shore, had closed, resulting in job losses.

He added: “Club Media Systems lost a major client four years ago and although we fought to keep the business afloat and to protect the jobs of 40 employees, we had no option but to close.

“I have been in business for more than 20 years and it is indeed unfortunate that we have been punished for choosing to fight for the company’s future.”

The investigation found Mr O’Loughlin and Miss Hobson entered into agreements with customers for advertising services the company was unable to provide, resulting in some customers being owed around £23,000 at the date of liquidation.

Robert Clarke, group leader of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: “Companies have limited liability, which is a privilege, not a right.

“These two directors entered into agreements which they knew the company could not fulfil, to the detriment of its customers, and failed to deal with its tax affairs, resulting in this privilege being withdrawn.”

The investigation found the directors failed to ensure Club Media Systems Ltd paid its debts to HMRC and was in breach of a Company Voluntary Arrangement – an agreement to pay to pay creditors over a fixed period – it had entered in to.