A director of a defunct property investment company has been disqualified after attempting to conceal some £2.5 million worth of assets from creditors.
Pauline Muldowney was appointed the sole director of Pangold Investments Limited in March 2016, but the company was made subject to a winding-up order just over a year later.
However, four days before the investment business was due to be shut down by the High Court, Mr Muldowney transferred property assets, with an estimated value of more than £2.5 million, to her father-in-law, Dharam Prakash Gopee, for just £1.
Following an investigation into the company’s collapse and subsequent transfers of assets, the Official Receiver found that not only was Mr Gopee a disqualified director of Pangold Investments, but also under a restraint order from June 2015 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The restraint order, obtained by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), prohibited Mr Gopee from dealing with Pangold Investments’ assets.
During Court proceedings, the Judge ruled that by transferring the properties, Ms Muldowney “facilitated her father-in-law to collect rent and deal with properties in which the company had an interest” but this was in “direct breach of the restraining order”.
For Mr Muldowney’s part in the transactions, she was disqualified from acting as a director for a period of 12 years.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person cannot act as a director of a company, take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company or be a receiver of a company’s property.
Her father-in-law, Mr Gopee, was also jailed for 15 months having admitted to the courts that he had breached the restraint order.
Commenting on the case, Peter Joicey, Deputy Official Receiver for the Official Receiver, said: “Despite being aware of the restraint order, Pauline Muldowney allowed herself to act as a stooge for her father-in-law when she transferred £2.5 million of the company’s property for a measly pound.
“12 years is a substantial ban and this should act as a warning to those who allow themselves to be put forward as directors in order to mask the devious activities of those who are actually controlling limited companies from proper scrutiny.”