Diamond trader banned for falsifying sales invoices

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Jan Maarten Asscher (56), of Roosendaal, Holland, signed a disqualification undertaking and is banned from running limited companies for 11 years.

He is joined by his fellow director, Mark Timothy Walker (57), of Ware, who is banned for 9 years after he allowed the company to produce the false sales documents.

With over 70 years’ diamond-trading experience between them, the pair are banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Clarity Diamonds was incorporated in February 2014 to trade in wholesale diamonds. The company, however, entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) in June 2017, after it could not pay debts worth more than £1.2 million.

An investigation was launched into the conduct of the directors and established Jan Asscher had caused the company to falsify invoices relating to bespoke, diamond jewellery. The value stated on the invoices came to US$1.75 million in total.

The documents, which Jan Asscher referred to as ‘holding invoices’, were generated with names and addresses that reflected neither the ultimate recipient nor the full value of the order. This meant liquidators could not even trace the pieces to recover them for the benefit of creditors.

Enquiries also revealed that Mark Walker had allowed the inaccurate documents to be produced.

Marc Symons, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations, said:

Directors have a duty to maintain accurate records. In this case, the false invoices have resulted in outstanding debts to creditors of more than £1.1 million.

These experienced diamond dealers have received substantial bans, and this should serve as a warning to others who are remiss in their director’s responsibilities.

Notes

Jan Maarten Asscher is of Roosendaal, Netherlands and his date of birth is September 1962. His disqualification is effective from 5 April 2019.

Mark Walker is of Ware, Hertfordshire and his date of birth is June 1961. His disqualification is effective from 9 May 2019.

Clarity Diamonds Ltd (Company number: 08893689).

A disqualification undertaking/order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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