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Meat boss banned for 13 years over invoice finance breach 28 August 2013

A director of a meat wholesale company has been banned from acting as a company director for 13 years, following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.

Grant Richardson of Hugo Foods International Ltd was disqualified by the High Court for claiming over £600,000 through invoices for undelivered goods.

Richardson was also found to be in breach of an earlier disqualification order for a similar offence at a family meat wholesale business, Brightblades (1990) Limited, which went into liquidation in 2000.

David Brooks, chief investigator at The Insolvency Service, said: “This case highlights the seriousness of a disqualified person disregarding the restrictions imposed upon them by the court and the systematic breach of invoice discounting agreements.

“The result is that the period of disqualification is much higher than would have been the case. He (Richardson) would also lose any protection against personal liability for company losses.”

The investigation found that the meat wholesale company had breached the terms and conditions of its invoice discounting agreement with the bank by failing to obtain a name, date and signature on all proofs of delivery.

Hugo also raised 103 credit notes worth £657,718 in a single day despite having obtained insolvency advice regarding the company the previous day. These were raised against invoices for which Hugo had already received finance under the invoice discounting agreement with credit providers.

Richardson acted as director of Hugo Food International between 2003 and 2009, despite the disqualification.

However, the Insolvency Service uncovered evidence which showed that he had continued to act as a director despite the earlier ban and that he did so with the full knowledge of his co-director, Nigel Potter.

Potter was also disqualified for eight years for his part in the invoice scam and allowing Richardson to act as a director.



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