Essex Surveyor who destroyed company papers banned

Keith Alan Da Costa of Manningtree in Essex, the sole director of KAD Consultants Limited since its incorporation in May 2011, has been banned for 5 years after failing to provide adequate accounting records and not complying with tax obligations.

KAD Consultants’ liquidation in June 2017  triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service before investigators uncovered instances of misconduct. The investigation found that for the last 15 months of trading, Keith Da Costa did not maintain adequate accounting records which made it difficult to determine legitimate trading activities.

During this period, the company bank account revealed that more than  £177,000 had been paid in and taken out, but it was not possible to determine whether this was legitimate business income and expenditure.

Investigators were unable to establish the number of company employees, nor the level of remuneration taken by Keith Da Costa. Payments of almost £76,000 were made to 3 individuals, including more than £40,000 detailed as wages, but investigators were unable to verify whether these payments were for genuine business expenditure or wages. The 2016 company accounts revealed Keith Da Costa owed the company just over £91,000 in the form of loans but at liquidation, the statement of affairs signed by the director showed none of his loans being outstanding.

Further enquiries revealed that from at least November 2015 onwards Keith Da Costa’s surveyors firm had not paid VAT, Corporation Tax and PAYE. Upon liquidation in excess of £133,000 was outstanding to the tax authorities.

Legal proceedings at the High Court were initiated by the Insolvency Service acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. On 17 February, however, the day before the trial was due to recommence, the Secretary of State accepted a 5-year undertaking that bans Keith Da Costa as acting as a company director.

In his undertaking, Keith Da Costa did not dispute that he failed to ensure KAD Consultants Limited maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records or in the alternative failed to deliver these up to the liquidator and that he traded KAD to the detriment of the tax authorities. He also agreed to pay costs of more than £20,000.

The disqualification started on 10 March and means Keith Da Costa is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Full details on the case can be seen here:

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