News |Insolvency

28th July 2022

Essex director banned for seven years

Her ban comes as the result of various failings, including a lack of record-keeping and the misuse of a Bounce Back Loan.

Rupinder Kaur Thaker has been disqualified from running companies for seven years, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Thaker was the sole director of TKML Limited when it entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) last year, triggering the investigation.

TKML Limited was given a £45,000 loan under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme during the coronavirus pandemic, which appears to have been abused by Thaker. The loan amount was likely more than her business was eligible for, funds were transferred to her personal account and withdrawn as cash, and there is little evidence that the loan was used to support her business.

The Bounce Back Loan abuse is the headline element, as far as the Insolvency Service is concerned, as they continue their push to address the misuse of pandemic-related support schemes. However, there was much more at play in this particular case.

“More than £250,000 paid out of the company bank account remains unexplained”, as the Essex resident “had failed to preserve and/or maintain adequate accounting records or failed to deliver them to the liquidator.” And it is this lack of record-keeping that was cited in Thaker’s disqualification undertaking, effective from 2nd August 2022 for seven years.

Additionally, there were “several inconsistencies” in Thaker’s filings for TKML Limited. The nature of business for the company was listed as ‘take-away food shops and mobile food stands’ at formation, but TKML Limited appears to have operated as a catering and décor supplier for weddings, while Thaker’s occupation is listed as a ‘publicist’. Perhaps an early indicator of the poor record-keeping that would follow before TKML Limited’s CVL.

About the investigation, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations, said: “Despite repeated requests for books and records, Rupinder Thaker failed to provide the liquidator [from Turpin Barker Armstrong] with any evidence that could have helped explain the legitimacy of the company’s financial affairs. Especially the £45,000 bounce back loan intended to support viable businesses during the pandemic.”

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