Disqualified packaging boss to pay £65k after breaching ban

Chelmsford Crown Court  Picture: ARCHANT

Chelmsford Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A former company boss has been ordered to pay almost £65,000 following his conviction for acting as a director while subject to a disqualification.

In February, Mark Bottjer was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work, after admitting three counts of acting as a director while subject to a disqualification undertaking.

Colleague Susan Hearn pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting Bottjer to breach his disqualification and was handed a two-year community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work and 30 days of rehabilitation.

They were also handed directorship disqualifications of 12 and seven years, respectively.

Following confiscation orders, Bottjer must now pay £64,712.83, while Hearn must pay £18,594.87.

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Bottjer, 59, of Garrison Parade, Colchester, voluntarily signed a three-and-a-half-year disqualification undertaking in May 2014 after Boxperfect Presentation Packaging Ltd went into administration and he was deemed unfit to act as a director.

It restricted Bottjer from managing and forming companies unless he had court permission.

Following the undertaking, Bottjer terminated his directorship of another company, Redbox Packaging Design, then appointed himself as secretary for both Redbox Packaging Design and a separate company, Boxperfect International Ltd.

Despite the appearance he had stepped back from managing the companies, he continued to act as director of Redbox Packaging Design and Boxperfect International, with evidence demonstrating he led meetings and negotiations with a London retailer for more than a year after his ban – and continued to play prominent roles, including determining purchases and making decisions about finances, strategy and legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, Hearn, of High Street, Great Oakley, who had also been involved in the management of Boxperfect International, facilitated a number of Bottjer’s decisions to maintain the appearance he no longer ran the firm, including negotiating with the tax authorities.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Bottjer formed another company, International Packaging Brands Limited, and had made payment for its formation while restricted under the disqualification.

All three companies subsequently failed.

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