The director of a wine investment company has been disqualified from acting as a company director for failing to keep proper company books and records.
Ian Vanderhook of Bordeaux Ltd was disqualified following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
The company took in more than £23m from investors between October 2008 and November 2011, of which just £4.5m was used to purchase wine stock.
Bordeaux UK entered into creditors’ liquidation on 30 November 2011, with debts of over £10m but with only £1.7 million worth of wine available.
Vanderhook had failed to keep adequate books and records for three companies – Bordeaux UK Limited, Van Der Hook Management Limited and Van Der Hook Consultancy Limited.
David Brooks, a chief examiner for The Insolvency Service, said: “This case serves as an example of why companies must keep accounting records and make them available to the liquidator or administrator.
“Without the books or records, costs in the liquidation have increased and what happened to a large amount of investor’s money cannot be explained.”
Of the remaining £19m taken in by the company, £13m could not be explained or accounted for as business-related, due to the lack of accounting records. The investigation found Vanderhook “benefitted” from £2m of the money invested in Bordeaux UK.
Liquidator Nedim Ailyan called the case “mismanagement on a colossal scale”. He said: “In my experience the books and records were completely inadequate and we were unable to ascertain the level of creditors due to deficiencies within them.
“There were no financial records available to us that would have helped us to formulate a statement of affairs or to reconcile individuals’ accounts and on average it was taking at least a day to reconcile each individual’s account due to the volume of sales.”