Bankrupt Director Banned After Gifting £4 Million

An undischarged bankrupt who gave away investments worth £4 million has started an 11 year ban as a company director.

Neil Burns, 57, from Windsor, Berkshire, was disqualified at the High Court, London, in his absence.

The court was told Burns was a director of B52 Investments Ltd, which held and managed shares in a second company, Snoozebox Holdings plc – a pop-up hotel company that catered for events with recycled shipping containers.

B52 investments held 6.1 million shares in Snoozebox, which raised £3.3 million of loans and cash from investors and £1.7 million of bank payments.

But B52 Investments transferred all the shares in Snoozebox to connected third parties, which led the B52 Investments to go into administration.

Probe revealed misconduct

The liquidation alerted the government’s Insolvency Service to investigate what happened to the money.

During the probe, B52 Investments directors failed to offer an explanation into the destination of the £3.9 million and the 6.1 million shares from Snoozebox.

Investigators found that Burns was a three-times bankrupt and as such, was banned from managing a company.

As a director, he made agreements with investors while gifting £253,000 raised to connected persons and his family.

He also raised £373,000 against 1.4 million shares and made deals for investment cash to buy cars to sell on.

Investigation obstructed

Burns could not explain £5 million received by B52 Investments or what happened to £3.9 million of the money.

Mark Bruce, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Throughout our enquiries Neil Burns obstructed our investigations to ensure we wouldn’t be able to discover what he had done. Fortunately, our investigators were able to find evidence that showed not only was he an undischarged bankrupt but that Neil Burns had used investors’ funds for his own personal benefit and those he was closely acquainted with.

“An 11-year disqualification is a significant ban and should serve as a warning to other directors that failing to deliver up the company records will not stop the Insolvency Service carrying out a full and thorough investigation and discovering serious misconduct.”

The ban means Burns cannot control or manage a company without permission from a court until March 2031.

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