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Director trio banned for 24 years 6 March 2014

Three directors of a betting investment and information company have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of 24 years.

Keith Sobey, Hazel Sobey and Andrew Cork of Centaur Global Limited were banned after an investigation by the Insolvency Service found the company continued to trade while insolvent, leading to losses for its clients.

The investigation found the company failed to maintain “adequate” accounting records and “safeguard and protect client funds, contrary to claims made in their advertising to attract new business”.

In January 2012 Centaur Global entered voluntary liquidation owing £1,688,300 to its clients. These funds were allegedly held in segregated client accounts, although total assets available at the time of liquidation were estimated at £2,429, leaving an estimated shortfall of £2,590,992.

The investigation also found that from 1 January 2012 the company was “balance sheet insolvent” and loss-making. Centaur Global continued to trade in hope of securing investment, while using client money to subsidise on-going losses.

Mark Bruce, a chief examiner at the Insolvency Service said: “Companies that deal with client funds must take extra care to protect that money and ensure that financial records clearly identify any separation from the company’s general trading accounts.

“The directors in Centaur failed in these regards and their serious misconduct is reflected in the lengthy period of disqualification.

“The Insolvency Service will always look to remove from the business community those directors whose behaviour falls below the standards expected of them, given the circumstances of their company’s trading.”

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