A trio of directors from three connected claims management companies have been disqualified from acting as directors for a combined total of 25 years.
Following an investigation by The Insolvency Service, it was discovered that Christopher Mills, Paul Young and Mark Taylor had allowed other people to operate the companies registered in their names.
Mills, Young and Taylor were each the sole registered directors of McGregor-Moore & Co Limited, Bradley-Turner & Co Limited, and Bridgewater Claims Management Limited, respectively.
In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that while each of the men posed as frontmen for the connected companies, they played no active management role.
Customers deposited over £1.3m between 17 October 2008 and 15 January 2010 with the three companies, leading to 179 customers lodging complaints following “little or no service”.
Each of the three companies operated by cold calling potential customers who might have been mis-sold financial products in Scotland and Ireland.
Using high pressure sales techniques, the salespeople led customers to believe that compensation could be claimed for products such as Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and that credit card debts could be wiped altogether.
With the promise that they would pursue the claim on their behalf, the customers were asked to pay an upfront fee. In practice, these deposits were obtained with little to no work done to pursue the claims, as the companies were abandoned and set up under different names.
After petitions by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the companies were wound up in the public interest in June 2011.
The estimated liabilities for the three companies was in excess of £1.3m, owing £1.1m to customers and £197,000 to financial institutions for credit card charge backs.
Each of the directors has been disqualified by the court – Christopher Mills for eight years beginning July 2013, Paul Young for eight years beginning September 2013, and Mark Taylor for nine years starting August 2013.
Ken Beasley, official receiver at The Insolvency Service, said: “These three companies set out solely to rip off the public, taking advantage of recent changes in legislation.
“The directors’ decisions to front these companies facilitated others in operating them in a manner which lacked commercial probity. They took money customers who were already in debt by obtaining deposits without any intention of supplying the service required.”