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Waste firm boss disqualified over missing 'suspicious' records

Failure to provide company records has seen a former waste firm director in Warrington handed a 28-week suspended prison sentence, ordered to perform 250 hours of unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £8,901.

Lee Smith, who was a director of Smith Waste and Recycling (SWR), was also disqualified as a director for seven years after failing to deliver company records to the Insolvency Service that it said might have explained £500,000-worth of suspicious bank transfers and cash withdrawals.

SWR entered into a creditors voluntary liquidation in November 2014 and independent insolvency practitioners were appointed to take charge.

But Smith failed to share accounting information despite several requests from both them and the Insolvency Service.

The service said this meant investigators could not explain cash withdrawals from SWR’s bank accounts between September 2013 and September 2014 totalling just over £430,000 and whether they represented genuine business expenditures.

They could also not explain more than £86,000-worth of transfers made in 2014 to two companies connected to Smith, his remuneration or the state of SWR’s assets and liabilities.

At an earlier hearing, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in the winding up and another of failing to keep accounting records.

Insolvency Service director of criminal enforcement Arwel Jones said: “Smith’s behaviour throughout the liquidation has been highly unacceptable. Failing to deliver any form of company records means that his creditors are at risk of losing a significant amount of money.”

He said the seven-year ban “should serve as a deterrent to those directors who fail to conduct their business affairs in accordance with the law”.

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