A debt management company boss has been disqualified as a director for 11 years, after he mislead customers and declared a £330,000 dividend to shareholders amid a torrent of complaints.
Andrew Alan Dunn, director of Marketing And Lead Generation Limited (MLG), which traded as One Debt Solution, offered debt management services to people suffering financial problems.
After Insolvency Service officials investigated his activities, they found that customers had been mislead about whether their repayments had actually reached through to the creditors they owed.
In the end Dunn, 42, of Hagley, Stourbridge, gave an undertaking to the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, which prevents him from acting as a director of a company for 11 years from December 10 2015.
The Insolvency Service’s investigations found that persistent complaints were made by customers between 2010 and 2013 about MLG’s failure to pay over money intended for their creditors, and that the independent adjudicator who reviewed the complaints decided that the customers had been misled and should receive refunds.
In February 2013, at a time when customers’ complaints were still under review, MLG declared a £330,000 dividend to its parent company, of which Dunn was himself a shareholder.
On December 9 2013 MLG went into liquidation owing debts of more than £450,000 to customers.
Susan Macleod, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “This company derived its income from people who were struggling financially and who had turned to it for help to sort out their debt problems.
“The director failed to pay due regard to the interests of these already vulnerable people and caused the company to carry on with misleading business practices despite persistent complaints and warnings.”
She added: “This disqualification should serve as a warning that if directors behave in this way their conduct will be investigated and they will be removed from the business environment.”
By Marcel LeGouais