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Insolvency Service bans two more 20 May 2013

Two more directors have been banned for six and 12 years respectively by The Insolvency Service.

Michael Joyce, 72, was the director of a cheque converting business and is banned from running a company for 12 years for laundering cheques for rogue builders and honouring a cheque post-liquidation.

He was disqualified following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, giving an undertaking not to act as a director until June 2025.

Linda McCracken, a director of vehicle recovery and repair firm Titcombe Garage Ltd was disqualified from acting as a director for six years after an investigation.

Chief examiner at the Insolvency Service, David Brooks, said Joyce was guilty of “flouting money laundering regulations” and “directly harming a member of the public”.

“This is a very serious case of allowing criminal behaviour to be carried out. There is no place in the business community for individuals who act in this manner and disqualification will remove the ability to trade through a limited liability company.”

The investigation found that Joyce had cashed cheques for a group rogue builders totalling at least £224,631 – failing to carry out proper background checks, leaving little chance of tracking them down.

The builders carried out bogus inspections of residential properties, intentionally damaging external paintwork and walling, then charging the elderly home-owners significant sums to repair the damage.

Joyce also admitted to taking in a £19,600 cheque from a member of the public, after Chequechange had become insolvent, so unlikely to honour it. As a result, the victim suffered a loss of £16,080. Chequechange Ltd went into liquidation on 20 October 2011 with no assets, liabilities f £1,958,202 and a total deficiency of £1,958,205.

In the weeks prior to Titcombe Garage entering liquidation on 25 November 2010, McCracken made payments of £247,436 from the company to herself and to a friend who acted as company consultant.

Despite knowing the company was insolvent, McCracken made the payments ahead of the claims of other creditors. When the company collapsed it owed unsecured creditors almost £400,000.

During the summer of 2010 McCracken twice sought out professional legal advice regarding the business’s financial position. She was specifically warned against paying herself ahead of creditors.

McCracken was subsequently declared bankrupt in July 2012 on the petition of the liquidator for failing to return the funds she took out of the company, which had been in the form of a director’s loan.

McCracken, 58, is banned from acting as the director of a limited company from 29 May 2013 to May 2019.

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