‘Bargain Basement’ director fails to bargain with Secretary of State issuing 13-year ban

Director, Muneef Ihsan has been banned from acting as a director for 13 years after fraudulently obtaining £150,000 worth of Covid-19 financial assistance. Ihsan was director of three companies between 2019 and 2020, Porthart Ltd, Bargain Basement 90 Ltd and Bargains Basement 90 Ltd which were all placed into liquidation in September 2020.

It was found that all three companies traded from the same address; in June 2020, Ihsan opened a separate bank account for each company with the hope of securing three £50,000 Bounce Back Loans despite there being no evidence that any of the companies ever traded.

Subsequently, the Insolvency Service launched an investigation into Ihsan’s actions finding that withdrawals had been made from all three companies’ bank accounts amounting to £24,342. It was also discovered that Ihsan had transferred the remainder of the Bounce Back Loan monies to companies controlled by ‘close friend’ Mahir Towid Ul Haque, alongside other third parties.

Ul Haque was appointed in May 2020 as director of Hiitness Ltd and this was placed into liquidation in November 2020. In a subsequent investigation into Hiitness Ltd, it was found that Ul Haque had opened a bank account for the company in June 2020, further attaining a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan. Ul Haque used the monies to fund his lavish lifestyle, transferring £16,050 to his personal bank account, purchasing a Rolex watch, withdrawing £8,410 in cash and further transferring £12,500 to other third parties. There was no evidence of Hiitness Ltd trading whilst Ul Haque acted as a director and it was found that the Covid-19 support had not been used to the benefit of the company.

Ihsan has been disqualified as a director for 13 years and Ul Haque for 6 years; they may not, directly or indirectly, be involved with the management, promotion or formation of a company without court approval.

The Insolvency Service are beginning to prosecute directors who have used and abused BBLs. Many people are urging the Insolvency Service to issue Compensation Orders to make the directors personally liable for the funds withdrawn but this has not yet happened.

For more information on bankruptcy, liquidation, administration and all the other insolvency procedures, or should you or your company be facing financial difficulties and you need to chat, please telephone Charlotte Hutchinson on 01377 257788 and she will make you an appointment with one of our insolvency professionals at our Driffield, Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe or York offices.  Our initial meetings are free and without obligation.  Meetings can be held virtually or in any of our offices whilst observing the socially distancing guidelines.

Because we are an independent insolvency practice, we keep our overheads low and have put systems in place to deal with simple liquidations at an affordable price of from £1,995 + VAT + Disbursements.  Our MVLs are from £995 + VAT + Disbursements.

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