A former company director from Eastcombe, near Stroud, has been handed two suspended sentences, 200 hours community service, and a confiscation order after continuing to act in the management of two companies whilst subject to a director disqualification undertaking following a compulsory liquidation.
John William Dixon was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on 19 December 2014, after admitting to acting in the management of two translation companies whilst disqualified as a director. He received a 12 month concurrent prison sentence on each count, which was suspended for two years.
He has will also have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work, and repay £200,000 in compensation, costs and confiscated money. The final blow is a further seven year director disqualification which will not expire until 2022.
The investigation’s findings
The investigation into Mr Dixon’s dealings, initially by the Insolvency Service and latterly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), found that he directly or indirectly acted as a director for both companies, despite his ban.
Between 30 November 2009 and 1 April 2011, Mr Dixon was involved in the promotion, formation or management of West Translations Limited (company number 07091468), without the leave of the court.
Between 25 August 2009 and 1 April 2011, he also took part or was concerned with the promotion, formation and management of Aplingo Limited, registered company number 50820.
Scant regard for creditors
The court heard that Mr Dixon benefited personally from his criminal conduct and failed to repay a number of creditors for work carried out on his behalf. In total, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills sought compensation for 75 individuals, with unpaid invoices ranging from £35 to £16,702.
Initially, the shameless Mr Dixon tried to persuade the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that the failure to pay his creditors (freelance translators who carried out much of his work) was not a direct result of the actions of either of his companies.
However, this claim fell on deaf ears, and BIS initiated confiscation proceedings to claw back any benefit Mr Dixon experienced from his criminal conduct. The court made an order on 19 January 2015, which will result in the confiscation of £61,340; compensation of £132,361.03 to be paid to his creditors; and a £6,292.97 contribution towards legal costs. The full £200,000 must be paid within six months.
Fortunately, this substantial repayment should not pose too much of a problem for Mr Dixon, who is currently taking steps to realise his assets to compensate the victims fully. This includes his interest in four local properties.
Undermining the basic ethics of business
Commenting on the sentence handed down at Bristol Crown Court, investigation officer Tony James from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Mr Dixon operated a translation service but did not pay his staff. This undermines the basic ethics of business.
“The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will not tolerate such activity. By pursuing Mr Dixon through the court for these criminal offences, the department has secured compensation for several victims, as well as a confiscation order for any benefit Mr Dixon obtained in the commission of his crime”.
The enforcement of the penalty will now be dealt with by HM Court Service.