Directors banned after falsely claiming £200k public cash
Two businessmen have been banned from being directors for 12 years each after the West Midlands company they worked for was found to have falsified student information to get nearly £200,000 of public funds.
The disqualifications of Frederick William Wilson and Philip Michael Hyams follow investigations by the Insolvency Service which found that Focus Four Ltd, operating from offices in Rugby and Leamington Spa, was contracted to deliver taxpayer funded training courses to members of the public.
Investigators found that between May 2011 and January 2013 Focus had claimed funding for non-existent employees of Focus and of a sister company. Focus had also falsified the records of some genuine students by claiming they had completed courses when in fact they had dropped out.
Frederick William Wilson (54) of Great Bowden, Market Harborough and Philip Michael Hyams (53) of Hinckley, Leicestershire have both given undertakings to business secretary Vince Cable which prevent them from acting as a director of a company for 12 years each from 23 September 2014.
Susan Macleod, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: "By falsifying information to obtain public funds in this way the company has effectively cheated the tax payer of a scarce and much needed public resource.
"These disqualifications should serve as a warning that if directors behave in this way, their conduct will be investigated and they will be removed from the business environment."
Focus Four Ltd was incorporated on 12 March 1991 and latterly traded from premises at Church Street in Rugby. It was contracted to deliver training courses, such as NVQs and basic qualifications in Maths, English and IT skills, to members of the public.
The company went into creditors' voluntary liquidation on 18 March 2013.