Husband and wife directors disqualified after taking customers’ payments while knowing the business was insolvent
Paul Richard Hubbard, 60, and Susan Ann Hubbard, 62, have been disqualified as directors for eight and six years respectively, after taking deposits in excess of £30,000 from customers despite knowing their business was insolvent.
The couple were directors of Scunthorpe-based Barningham Memorials Limited, which produced headstones and other memorial items. The company had traded since 2003 but went into liquidation in March 2020.
However, the company was in fact insolvent from August 2019, yet continued to take payments and deposits from would-be customers despite knowing it would not be able to provide the finished products. In total, the company took over £30,000 from 41 customers during this period.
The company had previously been hit by a five-year ban by North East Lincolnshire Council in 2015 for a failure to adhere to local regulations. From this point on it was forced to rely on subcontractors to install memorials.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted disqualification undertakings from both directors, after they did not dispute that they had been responsible for the company continuing to take money from customers while it was insolvent. Paul Hubbard has been banned for eight years, and Susan Hubbard banned for six years, both effective from 3 August 2022.
The disqualification undertakings prevent them from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service said:
Any business in financial difficulty should be aware that its primary duty is to its creditors, and ensuring that their losses are minimised.
In continuing to accept pre-payments for memorials which they had no reasonable prospect of supplying, Paul and Susan Hubbard have caused additional pain to grieving families over and above the purely financial loss.
Notes to Editors
Paul Richard Hubbard and Susan Ann Hubbard currently reside in Scotland. Their dates of birth are July 1962 and July 1960 respectively.
Barningham Memorials Ltd – company registration number 04713249.
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.