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Insolvent firm's boss took deposits

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:45 25 August 2010

THE boss of a kitchen and bedroom furniture business has been banned from acting as a company director for nine years after taking money from customers knowing the firm was bust.

THE boss of a kitchen and bedroom furniture business has been banned from acting as a company director for nine years after taking money from customers knowing the firm was bust.

Clive Smith, also known as Clifford Smith, director of Wentwurth, of Bexleyheath Limited, in Midfield Parade, Barnehurst, Bexleyheath, was banned yesterday, following a year-long investigation by trading standards.

Together with the Insolvency Service, they found Mr Smith failed to ensure the company kept proper accounting records and he re-used a name similar to that of his previous insolvent company, Wentworth (Sevenoaks) Limited, which went into compulsory liquidation in 2006.

A spokesperson for the Insolvency Service said: "Mr Smith knew that his company was technically insolvent yet continued to take deposits from customer deposits whilst failing to provide their goods or services at the same time as having unfinished work with other customers.

"Mr Smith's failure to keep or provide records means that what happened to these goods and the money these customers paid remains unknown."

The former director did not attend court when the order disqualifying was made, on March 10, at Medway County Court.

The court order bans him from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director of a company until 2019.

The official receiver in Medway, Andrew Stanley, said: "Failing to provide goods and services and retaining the money customers have paid is serious misconduct as it can undermine the confidence the public have in business. In bringing this action it is hoped that it will act as a deterrent to other company directors from acting as Mr Smith did."

Wentwurth of Bexleyheath Limited, was incorporated on January 3, 2006 and installed and supplying kitchen and bedroom goods.

It is against the law to re-use the name or use a similar name so similar to suggest an association with a company which has been liquidated.

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