A car salesman who failed to pass on £750,000 to customers from arranging the sales of 47 vehicles has been given a nine-year ban from holding business directorships.
Steven Edwin Prosser, 60, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, was a director of Sell Your Car With Us Limited, a role he had held since May 2016. The business sold second-hand cars and traded from Hare Street, Buntingford in Hertfordshire.
Sell Your Car With Us entered into liquidation in September 2019 and the company’s failure triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service. This uncovered several instances of misconduct thought to have been caused by Steven Prosser.
No payments passed on to customers
Sell Your Car With Us made agreements with customers to sell their vehicles for a commission and its terms said customers would receive the money within 14 days of the completed transaction.
But, the Insolvency Service found that at least 48 customers did not receive any payment following the sale or disposal of their vehicles. Sell Your Car With Us also did not return vehicles to customers who requested their cars back.
It was found that Steven Prosser had failed to pass on payments to customers after he sold their cars. He transferred more than £125,000 from the Sell Your Car With Us’ account and over £52,000 of this went to him directly. It was further found some £6,000 went to a separate company that Prosser was a sole director of, and nearly £67,000 went to third parties connected to him.
In addition, Prosser sold two of the cars despite knowing the business was insolvent and, on several occasions, either failed to record any of the sales offices in the company’s books and records or retain an invoice or bank receipt after a sale.
At the time of liquidation, 48 customers submitted claims totaling just over £751,000.
Prosser did not dispute that he had failed to ensure Sell Your Car With Us Limited adhered to the terms and conditions contained within its Sale or Return Agreements in respect of sellers’ vehicles.
Disqualification is enforced
His disqualification came into effect on 11 August 2021 and Prosser is banned for nine years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation, or management of a company.
Katie Legge, deputy head of insolvent investigations, said: “Close to 50 people thought they were entering into legitimate agreements to sell their cars through a recognised dealer. But Steven Prosser failed to carry out his side of the bargain and sold their cars while failing to pass on more than £750,000 to his customers.
“Thankfully we were able to uncover Steven Prosser’s misconduct and nine years is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena. Steven Prosser’s disqualification should serve as a warning that we will bring action against rogue directors who mistakenly believe they can do as they please.”