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Scrap metal directors banned after leaving debts of £50m

Two directors of a scrap metal company which went bust with debts of more than £50m have been disqualified from running companies for a combined total of 20 years.

Jody Dean Firth, 33, and Albert Leonard Goddard, 57, were directors of JKL (Wakefield) Limited, which went into voluntary liquidation in February 2013 owing creditors and shareholders £52,535,011.

At the time, the company traded as Eric France Metal Recycling. It was the main sponsor of rugby league team Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and rugby union club Dewsbury Rams.

In May, MRW reported that liquidators from KPMG and PwC had sold the business’s former premises for £445,000 as well as a company-owned residential property for £90,000. The sale of scrap metal raised just under £120,000, while £348,350 was raised by selling two supercars, a Porsche Panamera and a MacLaren MP4-12C, owned by shareholders.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that the pair allowed a disqualified director and an un-discharged bankrupt to act as a director of JKL.

The investigation further found that, between 2008 and 2013, the company evaded tax liabilities to HM Revenue & Customs, resulting in VAT losses of at least £50,204,505 and losses of £4,888,661 in respect of unpaid PAYE tax and National Insurance contributions.

Firth and the unnamed director received £1,250,000 from suppliers which was not accounted for in the company’s books and records. The director also received a bonus payment from JKL of £1,102,147 which was also not accounted for.

Ken Beasley, official receiver of the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit, said: “These two directors [Firth and Goddard] have deprived the taxpaying public of huge amounts of revenue while lining their own pockets.

“The Insolvency Service will not tolerate dishonest behaviour, and our investigators will make every effort to expose and deal with such misconduct.”

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