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Jailed director banned for 14 years 15 August 2013

A jailed director of a Wakefield accountancy practise has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 14 years.

Following an investigation by The Insolvency Service, Darren Upton was banned for falsely obtaining money from investors and duping clients into handing over money that should have gone to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Upton was director was the director of Upton & Co Accountants Ltd, which was placed into Voluntary Liquidation 14 October 2011 owing creditors and shareholders £1,795,818.

Upton was convicted of 13 offences of fraud relating to his conduct in the company and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on 9 February 2012 following an investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Ken Beasley, official receiver of The Insolvency Service’s public interest unit, said: “Upton’s actions were dishonest and clearly show that he is unfit to be a director of a limited company.

“The disqualification serves as a protection to the public and demonstrates that Rhe Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to remove dishonest directors from the business environment.”

Giving his disqualification undertaking, Upton did not dispute obtaining £196,145 from clients of Upton & Co by providing clients with false bank account details into which they made payments meant for HMRC for corporation tax.

Upton also did not dispute that he caused Upton & Co to carry out unauthorised investment activity and to trade in a manner that “lacked commercial probity”, causing the company to accept at least £5,324,357 from investors on the basis that funds would be invested in currency markets.

The FSA froze the company’s account having concluded that there was never any currency scheme as described to investors, as the company was not authorised to make such an offer or operate such a scheme. £1,090,782 remains owing to investors.

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