Boss banned from running firms after shredding accounts and tax evasion

The High Court in London, where proceedings were begun against Keith Da Costa before the Secretary of State accepted a...

The High Court in London, where proceedings were begun against Keith Da Costa before the Secretary of State accepted a five year ban. - Credit: PA

An Essex-based surveyor has been banned from running a company for five years after destroying papers and failing to pay tax.

Keith Alan Da Costa, 64, of Manningtree, Essex, was the sole director of KAD Consultants Limited since it started in May 2011 until it went into liquidation in June 2017.

When the company went into liquidation, an investigation was triggered.

Investigators found that for the last 15 months of trading Da Costa did not maintain adequate accounting records which made it difficult to determine legitimate trading activities.

The company bank account revealed that more than £177,000 had been paid in and taken out but investigators could not work out if this was for legitimate business reasons.

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Payments of almost £76,000 were made to three people — including more than £40,000 listed as wages — but it was not clear if this was the genuine reason for the payments.

Investigators also could not establish how many people the company employed, or the amount of money that Da Costa took from the business.

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The 2016 company accounts revealed that Da Costa owed KAD Consultants around £91,000 in loans. But when the insolvency paperwork was filed in July 2017, Da Costa signed the statement of affairs saying he did not owe the company any loans.

Further enquiries showed that from at least November 2015 Da Costa’s firm had not paid VAT, Corporation Tax and PAYE. At liquidation more than £133,000 was owed to the tax authorities.

Legal proceedings at the High Court were started by the Insolvency Service, but on February 17 the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a five-year ban of Keith Da Costa from acting as a company director.

Da Costa did not dispute the accusations. He also agreed to pay costs of more than £20,000.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy director of Insolvent Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: "Despite numerous requests from the liquidator, Keith Da Costa produced very little in terms of his business’s accounting records and eventually admitted he had shredded his company’s paperwork as he considered it was no longer of any use.

"Such behaviour by Keith Da Costa was in flagrant breach of the Companies Act and along with neglecting his responsibilities to deal with his company’s taxation affairs has demonstrated he is unfit to be a company director and has been removed from the business environment for five years."

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