Two directors who separately managed an estate agent and a convenience store have been disqualified after they caused their companies to abuse the tax regime
Estate Agent Hsin Lan Huang (37), from Hammersmith, West London, has been banned for seven years, while convenience store boss Pratikkumar Dineshbhai Patel (32), from Knowle, Hampshire, is disqualified for six years.
The pair are now banned from acting as directors or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Hsin Lan Huang was appointed the director of New Fortune Limited in January 2011 on the same day the company was incorporated. The company traded from an address in Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, and for just under three years, Hsin Lan Huang failed to ensure New Fortune complied with its statutory tax obligations.
When the company entered into liquidation in November 2018, New Fortune owed the tax authorities more than £226,000.
In her disqualification undertaking, Hsin Lan Huang also did not dispute that she failed to maintain and/or preserve sufficient accounting records. This has meant that it is not possible to verify when the company ceased trade or the legitimacy of substantial transactions, including just under £2.5 million worth of expenditure and two payments worth just under £1.6 million to two unknown bank accounts.
R K Patel & Sons (UK) Limited was incorporated in May 2015 and took over the business of an existing convenience store located on South Square, Knowle.
Between October 2015 and January 2019 the sole director, Pratikkumar Patel, caused the company to supress sales income and submit inaccurate returns to the tax authorities.
When R K Patel & Sons (UK) Limited entered into creditors voluntary liquidation in August 2019, it was determined the company had tax liabilities totaling £345,000.
Hsin Lan Huang’s 7-year ban is effective from 6 October, while Pratikkumar Patel begins his 6-year disqualification the day after on 7 October.
Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations for the Insolvency Service, said:
Both Hsin Lan Huang and Pratikkumar Patel showed a total disregard to their responsibilities as company directors. Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid and their deceit has ultimately had impact on the public who rely on companies paying their correct taxes.
Seven and six-year disqualifications are considerable bans, severely restricting Hsin Lan Huang and Pratikkumar Patel’s ability to act in the corporate arena, and should serve as a warning to other directors who think they can do as they please.
Notes to Editors
Hsin Lan Huang’s date of birth is January 1983. New Fortune Limited (Company Reg no. 07481032).
Pratikkumar Dineshbhai Patel’s date of birth is May 1988. R K Patel & Sons (UK) Limited (Company Reg no. 09601356).
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.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.