Removal of property leads to prison term for company director


Company director Mr Ian Ellison has been imprisoned for 6 months following an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service.

On 24 June 2016, the Preston Crown Court sentenced Mr Ian Ellison to immediate imprisonment for 6 months.

Mr Ellison had pleaded guilty to one offence of Removal of Property under section 357(3) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Mr Ellison’s conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and Prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Mr Ellison had been the director of WVH Vehicle Hire Limited which had gone into liquidation with liabilities of £1,056,339. During the life of the company, several personal guarantees were given by Mr Ellison, and after it entered liquidation, a County Court Judgment was made in the sum of £26,500. Shortly after this, Mr Ellison sold his property and proceeded to spend £113,642 on non-essential items related to socialising, leisure and gambling. The period in which he spent this money overlapped with his bankruptcy and beyond.

Deputy Chief Investigating Officer, Simon Button, from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:

The Department will continue to investigate and prosecute clear breaches of the legislation which underpins the Insolvency Regime and this sentence is a deterrent to those who choose to offend.

Mr Ellison’s funds from the sale of his property should have been used to repay his creditors, not kept for his own use .

Notes to editors

WVH Vehicle Hire Limited (CRO No. 06815687) was incorporated on 11 February 2009.

Mr Ian Ellison is of Chorley, Lancashire and his date of birth is May 1959.

BIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

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