The director of a ‘Lapland style’ theme park has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years, for failing to maintain, preserve or deliver adequate accounting records.
Victor Mears of Lapland New Forest Limited, which traded from Matchams Leisure Park in the New Forest, was banned at Brighton County Court following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
Mark Bruce, chief examiner at The Insolvency Service, said: “Directors of companies must maintain sufficient accounting records that show and explain the company’s transactions.
“Mears failed to do this and the volume of unexplained cash expenditure in such a short trading lifetime was highly suspicious. It required explanation supported by proof that Mears was unable to provide.”
Lapland New Forest Limited started ticket sales in September 2008 with the park opening to visitors on 29 November 2008. It closed on 4 December 2008 following “a number of issues”.
The business then went into voluntary liquidation in February 2009.
The Insolvency Service investigation found that between 3 September 2008 and 22 December 2008, £1,283,056 was received into the company bank account and £1,284,309 was paid out.
However, Mears failed to provide adequate books and records to properly account for expenditure of £222,955.45 from the bank account. The majority of the money was drawn from the bank account in cash amounts of £10,000, £15,000 and £20,000.
Under cross examination at trial, Mears explained that the majority of this cash was then paid to an individual linked to the landlord of the park, but that he did not obtain any receipts nor did he keep any contemporaneous record of the dates or amounts of such payments.