Swindon bosses sentenced for running companies whilst banned

Three bosses from Swindon have been sentenced after listing one as company director while the other two ran it in breach of their disqualifications.

Richard David Brown, 72, received a 20 month suspended prison sentence whilst Alan Roche, 56, and Richard Edward Brown, 37, were given community orders at Swindon Crown Court on 26 July.

The court heard that Richard David Brown and Alan Roche ran two companies, Door Stores (Swindon) Ltd, incorporated in July 2006, and Fire Secured Door Sets Ltd, incorporated in June 2009.

Richard Edward Brown, who is the son of Richard David Brown, and Alan Roche were listed as the company directors of both businesses, selling doors and fixtures.

In June 2010, however, Alan Roche was made bankrupt and was required to resign directorship of both companies. Richard Brown Junior continued as company director.

In March 2011, Richard Brown Senior was disqualified from acting as a company director for 6 years as a result of his unfit conduct at another company. This meant he could not be involved in the day to day running of Door Stores or Fire Secured Door Sets.

Door Stores continued to trade successfully for a number of years until it went into liquidation in August 2015, owing creditors more than £240,000. All of Door Stores’ business was immediately transferred to the second company, Fire Secured Door Sets Ltd, with Richard Brown Junior and Alan Roche as directors.

Door Stores’ liquidation triggered an investigation and found that Richard Brown Senior and Alan Roche were both actively, yet illegitimately, involved in the day to day running of the company.

Alan Roche received the highest salary at Door Stores and Richard Brown Junior received a nominal wage, despite being the registered company director. Employees said all management was looked after by Richard Brown Senior and Alan Roche, whilst Richard Brown Junior was a sales associate at the company.

Due to their conduct at Door Stores, Alan Roche was disqualified for 3-and-a-half years in December 2016 and Richard Brown Senior was disqualified for 11 years in January 2017. Alan Roche again resigned from his directorship at Fire Secured Door Sets. Richard Edward Brown was disqualified for 3-and-a-half years.

Despite this, Alan Roche continued in the management of Fire Secured Door Sets until August 2017, whilst Richard Brown Senior continued operating until August 2019 when the company was dissolved.

The defendants were invited for interview with the Insolvency Service but none attended. Alan Roche provided a statement claiming he was just an employee of the companies.

The Insolvency Service launched criminal prosecutions against the 3 men and in May 2021, Richard David Brown pleaded guilty to 3 counts of acting in breach of a disqualification undertaking, while Alan Roche pleaded guilty to 1 count of acting in breach of a disqualification undertaking and two counts of acting as a director whilst being an undischarged bankrupt.

Richard Edward Brown pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting both defendants in being concerned in the management of Door Stores.

They were sentenced at Swindon Crown Court on 26 July. Richard Brown Sr received a 20 month suspended sentence and a further 13 year disqualification order and Alan Roche received an 18 month community order and a further 6 year disqualification order. Richard Brown Jr was given a 12 month community order.

Glenn Wicks, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

For several years, Richard Brown Senior and Alan Roche were actively managing two companies in flagrant and persistent breach of their disqualification breaches and bankruptcy restrictions. Throughout, Richard Brown Junior was listed as company director whilst only taking a small wage and leaving any company management to his father and Roche.

All three defendants had a total and repeated disregard for the disqualification undertakings they had signed and as a result have been brought before the courts.

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