Construction recruitment director banned for six years over accounting lapse

The director of a recruitment agency specialising in the construction sector has been disqualified from being a director for six years.

Stephen Joseph John Mason, aged 45, from Edinburgh, was handed the penalty after the insolvency practitioner found he had failed to maintain or preserve adequate accounting records.

His company, Angel Contracting Ltd, went into liquidation in 2019 after operating for two years in the construction sector. Mason, the company’s sole director, ignored repeated requests from the insolvency practitioner for access to the company’s accounts and other records in order to assess the quality of the account-making and judge whether misconduct had taken place.

The investigation could therefore not determine whether the company spent around £5.5m in a legitimate way. It also could not confirm whether Angel’s income, also totalling £5.5m, had been earned through genuine business sales.

Mason accepted that he had failed “to maintain or preserve adequate accounting records”. His ban began on 4 April and will expire in 2028. During that time, he will be unable to directly or indirectly become involved in the promotion, formation or management of any company without specific permission from the court. He will also not be able to receive a company’s property.

Insolvency Service chief investigator Rob Clarke said: “Companies are under a legal duty to account for their income and expenditure, and fulfilling that duty is a key component of the role of a director; there is no place in the corporate arena for those who neglect their responsibilities in this area.

“All too often the lack of records to explain transactions is used to cover up other, more serious misconduct and we cannot determine whether that was the case at Angel Contracting, a fact which is reflected in the lengthy ban now in place.”

No accounts were filed for Angel Contracting. Previously, Mason was a director at Pegasus Technical Services, which specialised in the installation of plumbing, air conditioning and heating applications. Pegasus went into liquidation in May 2018, just a year after it was established.

Mason’s disqualification follows that of a director of a Midlands-based construction firm, who was banned for seven years in February after he also failed to keep accurate accounting records.

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