Motor parts suppliers banned after illegitimately securing £176,000

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The directors of Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres have been banned from promoting, forming or managing a company without court permission

Adam Hughes, 43, received a 13-year disqualification order in the High Court before Judge Barber on July 20. 

His business partner, Andrew Wood, 49, signed a 12-year disqualification undertaking a year earlier on September 2 last year.

The court heard that Hughes and Wood were directors of Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres Ltd. The company was incorporated in 2011 and sold motor parts, as well as providing repair services.

Between 2011 and 2017 Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres expanded rapidly, operating nine sites across Central and Eastern England, covering Peterborough as well as Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Leicester, Wisbech, Cambridge and Norwich.

But this growth led to cash flow problems and administrators were appointed to undertake a pre-packaged sale of the business.

Following their appointment the administrators discovered a third party had petitioned the court to wind up Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres. The administrators also had difficulties establishing who owned the company’s assets and who had secured loans against them.

During investigations it was uncovered that Hughes and Wood provided false documents, including invoices, emails and bank statements, to secure more than £176,000 from an asset finance company.

Further enquiries also established that on at least three separate occasions Hughes supplied false documents to secure finance against assets Concorde did not own.

Wood knew that Concorde Tyre & Exhaust Centres did not own the assets but allowed his business partner to secure finance under false pretences.

The court heard that Wood voluntary signed his 12-year disqualification a year earlier, while Hughes did not engage with the Insolvency Service. This was noted by Judge Barber, who described Hughes as having a "flippant attitude" towards proceedings.

Wood’s ban was effective from September 23, 2020, while Hughes’ 13-year Disqualification Order is effective from August 10, 2021.

The pair cannot, directly or indirectly, become involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Mark Bruce, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: "Directors securing funds against the assets their company legitimately owns is a perfectly acceptable practice. 

"Both Adam Hughes and Andy Woods, however, failed to act honestly while securing more than £176,000 and thankfully their illicit activities were uncovered before they could secure any more funds.

"25 years’ worth of bans is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena and their disqualifications should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to defraud creditors by falsifying documents."