Property and cleaning companies wound-up for abusing credit agreements

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Swanholme Limited and Nistor International Limited were both wound up in the public interest in the High Court on 24 September 2019. The Official Receiver has now been appointed as the Liquidator.

In considering the petition to wind up the company, the court heard that Swanholme was incorporated in November 2015, advertising itself online as a company that specialised in short-term full-serviced rental accommodations in prime locations throughout Europe.

Following complaints, however, the Insolvency Service conducted confidential investigations into the Swanholme and found several incidents of misconduct.

Swanholme filed false and misleading accounts at Companies House. This information was trusted by at least one creditor when it provided foreign hotel and car rental services to the company on a bill-back basis in the region of £8,000-9,000. Swanholme, however, failed to pay the creditor back.

For three months Swanholme traded saying they were registered to an address in Leatherhead but did not reveal to creditors that their tenancy agreement had been terminated due to non-payment of fees.

And the company failed to produce its books to investigators and this has meant the Insolvency Service has been unable to establish the true level of debt held by Swanholme.

During the same hearing, the court also considered a connected company, Nistor International Limited, which had assisted Swanholme in obtaining credit.

Nistor International was incorporated in May 2018 and advertised itself as company that provided cleaning services for nuclear environments and the government.

The court heard that Swanholme presented Nistor International as a reference in support of at least one credit application and requested that fuel cards for Swanholme be delivered to Nistor International’s registered office in Hove, East Sussex.

Additionally, several payments were made between Swanholme Limited and Nistor International Limited by way of a pre-paid credit card but as neither company has co-operated with the enquiries, investigators have not been able to determine the nature of the relationship between the two companies.

In court, Judge Briggs stated that the misleading financial accounts lodged with Companies House presented a “real prejudice to the lenders and public”, while praising the diligence of the Insolvency Service investigator.

David Hill, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said

The systematic abuse of creditors to gain funds enabled the company directors behind Swanholme and Nistor International to benefit at the expense of legitimate businesses.

There should be no doubt that whenever we discover there are serious failings by companies and their business dealings, as there were with these companies, that we will investigate and take action to close down their activities.

By virtue of the winding up order all public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit , 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Tele

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