Frederick Ward of CT (formerly Churchill Taverns) in Northamptonshire signed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors, including HMRC in November 2008. It planned to make contributions totalling £172,000 over five years.
However, an investigation by the Insolvency Service found that CT had paid less than £6,000 befor the CVA was terminated in November 2010. The CVA said that CT would be responsible for paying any taxation liabilities, but the company paid just £64,050 to HMRC before it went into administration on 8 October 2010, owing £988,893 to HMRC.
After administration, CT’s assets, including its five pubs were sold to Clementines Tavern, of which Ward was a director. Clementines entered into administration on 9 August 2012.
The five pubs are still trading. They are: the Olde Victoria in Burton Latimer, Kettering; the Kings Head, in Spratton, Northampton; the Sun Inn, Kislingbury, Northampton; the Plume of Feathers, Weedon, Daventry; and Rafferty’s in Wellingborough, Northants.
Mark Bruce, a chief examiner at the Insolvency Service, said: “Directors who fail to pay taxes to the Crown after they have taken the money from the public, whether from customers or employees, should not expect to get away with it. This is cheating the system by gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors at the public’s expense and we will put a stop to it.
“Other directors tempted to follow this path should remember that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors they will lose the protection afforded by limited liability. The Insolvency Service will investigate them and seek to remove them from the business environment.”