The company director of Primrose Associates, Comment Technologies, and Evaluate Technologies has been disqualified from functioning in this capacity in any business for thirteen years, after the High Court ruled that has was guilty of deceiving investors, handing in false returns to his industry regulator and costing the HM Revenue & Customs money by encouraging another struggling business to trade.
Peter Carron, an ex-partner of prominent organisation St James’s Place, was subjected to an intense investigation by the Insolvency Service over the past few months, surrounding his handling of both Primrose and Comment during a recent investment deal.
The Insolvency Service identified that Carron had intentionally deceived investors of mortgage brokering business Primrose and secured loan software organisation Comment, by allegedly purporting to them that the money they were reinvesting into the company was being done so at a very small risk, and that he would be able to “personally guarantee” their return on investment.
It concluded that Mr Carron intentionally decided to not tell the prospective investors that their cash was being put into two “hopelessly” insolvent businesses: Comment Technologies and Primrose Associates, both of which he was the company director of.
Furthermore, despite accounts from Primrose showing its insolvency, the Insolvency Service said the financial returns submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority erroneously displayed that the business was both solvent and stable.
And the investigation concluded that Mr Carron’s actions had cost an estimated 50 investors over £7.4 million, whilst he had also cost the HMRC money by failing to make the necessary national insurance and PAYE contributions owed by his Evaluate Technologies business over the entirety of its trading lifespan.
After receiving the findings of the investigation, the High Court ruled that Carron will be banned from functioning in any director capacity until 17th July 2027, including any roles which involve him assuming sovereignty over a business.
Joanne Covell, head of investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:
‘The disqualification sends a clear message to other company directors; if you seek to mislead your customers, or your regulator, the Insolvency Service will investigate and you could face a lengthy ban.’
Judge Mark Pelling QC, was given firm evidence against Mr Carron after ten people spoke for the prosecution, nine of which had been investors in the company director’s insolvent organisations.
Mr Pelling identified: ‘The allegations I have found proved shows that he is willing to mislead his regulator, HMRC, and those who to his knowledge are relying on him for guidance. Such a person is manifestly unfit to be a director of a company since it is plain that the public are exposed to the risk of loss as a result of such misconduct.’
Mr Pelling also decided to deny Mr Carron the right to appeal the decision, and left the ex SJP-partner with the option to use the Court of Appeal, if he wished to challenge the decision further.
St James’s Place disclosed that they had provided compensation for all Mr Carron’s clientele who had been detrimentally affected financially from his actions.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘All the clients were made aware of the situation and received full compensation. SJP guarantees the advice given so even though the advice was unbecoming of an SJP adviser, his contract was terminated and his clients fully compensated.’