Adam Hughes (43) received a 13-year disqualification order in the High Court before Judge Barber on 20 July 2021. His business partner, Andrew Wood (49), had signed a 12-year disqualification undertaking a year earlier on 2 September 2020.
The court heard that Adam Hughes and Andrew Wood were directors of Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres Ltd. The company was incorporated in 2011 and sold motor parts, as well as providing repair services.
Between 2011 and 2017, Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres expanded rapidly, operating 9 sites across Central and Eastern England, covering, Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Leicester, Peterborough, Wisbech, Cambridge and Norwich.
But this growth led to cash flow problems and Administrators were appointed to undertake a pre-packaged sale of the business.
Following their appointment, however, the Administrators discovered a third party had petitioned the court to wind-up Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres. The Administrators also had difficulties establishing who owned the company’s assets and who had secured loans against them.
The directors’ conduct was referred to the Insolvency Service where investigators uncovered that Adam Hughes and Andy Wood provided false documents, including invoices, emails and bank statements, to secure more than £176,000 from an asset finance company.
Further enquiries also established that on at least three separate occasions, Adam Hughes supplied false documents to secure finance against assets Concorde did not own.
Andy Wood knew that Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres did not own the assets but allowed his business partner to secure finance under false pretences.
The court heard that Andy Wood voluntary signed his 12-year disqualification a year earlier, while Adam Hughes did not engage with the Insolvency Service and this was noted by Judge Barber, who described Adam Hughes as having a ‘flippant attitude’ towards proceedings.
Andy Wood’s ban was effective from 23 September 2020, while Adam Hughes’ 13-year Disqualification Order is effective from 10 August 2021.
The pair cannot, directly or indirectly, become involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Mark Bruce, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:
Directors securing funds against the assets their company legitimately owns is a perfectly acceptable practice. Both Adam Hughes and Andy Woods, however, failed to act honestly while securing more than £176,000 and thankfully their illicit activities were uncovered before they could secure any more funds.
25 years’ worth of bans is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena and their disqualifications should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to defraud creditors by falsifying documents.
Adam Hughes is of Peterborough and his date of birth is July 1978
Andrew Wood is of Peterborough and his date of birth is August 1972
Company Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres Ltd (Company Reg no. 07554616).
The order was pronounced by Judge Barber in the High Court. Selborne Chambers appeared for the Insolvency Service (i.e. counsel/chambers, if appropriate) and no one appeared for or on behalf of the defendant.
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 restrictions.