On 27 July at Kingston Crown Court, Michael Quinton pleaded guilty to acting as a director of Limited Risk Ltd contrary to the Company Director Disqualification Act.
We began investigating Quinton and Limited Risk Ltd*, an existing Portsmouth-based security company to which he was linked, in May 2014. Quinton, who appeared to be acting as a director of the company, was listed as a disqualified director at Companies House and did not hold an SIA licence.
When the investigation began, Quinton and Limited Risk had a number of contracts to undertake security at venues across London and the South East. After further enquiries it became clear that Quinton also had connections to several security companies that were listed as dissolved at Companies House. These companies were Defensa Security Limited, Guardit (UK) Limited, Guardit Clubs Limited, Guardit Events Limited and Guardit Security Services.
After scrutinising Quinton further, our SIA investigators uncovered a number of potential offences from the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 2014. These offences related to the supply of security staff to the Commonwealth Games where accommodation for the volunteers never materialised and they ended up paying for it themselves.
Our SIA investigators were able to show that Quinton had been acting as a director for Limited Risk, despite having been disqualified. As a result, we referred him to the Insolvency Service and supplied information relating to the investigation. Hampshire Police also investigated Quinton. The Criminal Enforcement team at the Insolvency Service then prosecuted Quinton.
The court gave Quinton an 18 month sentence, suspended for 2 years. He was ordered to pay all the prosecution’s costs of £13,818.47 within 6 months, and was disqualified from being a director of a company and/or an insolvency practitioner for 10 years.
Kevin Young, SIA Partnerships and Investigations Manager, said:
Our investigation of Quinton’s business practices relating to the supply of security staff to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, and other major sporting events, revealed a pattern of behaviour.
Our investigators at the SIA actively seek to work with partners and the conviction of Michael Quinton shows the value of joint working and sharing of information between the Insolvency Service and Hampshire Police.
The case lawyer, Ian Hatcher, from the Insolvency Service said:
This case shows that the Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service will take action against those individuals who act as directors or are involved in the management of companies when they are not permitted to do so.
Here, a disqualified director attempted to circumvent his ban by incorporating a company abroad and by using the names of others as directors of his British company.
The Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service was alive to this, and took firm action.