Liverpool businessman barred from running companies by Insolvency Service

The boss of a Liverpool construction firm has been banned from running companies for eight years after he moved more than £1m out of his failing business to avoid paying debts.

Paul Winskill started Premier Asphalt Limited in 1985 and provided construction services for commercial buildings and roadworks across the country.

But the company ran into trading difficulties and after more than 30 years, Premier Asphalt went into administration on 19 February 2016. At the time the business had debts of more than £6m.

The administrators appointed to close the company reported to the Insolvency Service that the directors of Premier Asphalt had not fully co-operated with them and failed to explain why the company had paid out more than £1m in the two weeks prior to their appointment.

The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that prior to entering into administration, a winding up petition was served on Premier Asphalt on 3 February 2016 as a trade creditor was owed more than £300,000.

But to avoid paying his debts, Winskill immediately transferred £1,044,794 to three other businesses, which were later discovered to be operated by Winskill although he wasn’t the appointed director.

On 8 February 2018, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Winskill, after he admitted transferring more than £1 million to the detriment of the company’s general body of creditors. His ban is effective from 1 March 2018 and lasts for eight years.

Robert Clarke, head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: “Following extensive enquiries, we discovered not only had Winksill transferred more than a million pounds out of the company to avoid paying his creditors what they were owed, but the money was moved to other companies which we found that he was also running.

“Directors who put their own personal financial interests above those of creditors damage confidence in doing business and are corrosive to the health of the local economy.

“This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to help themselves first, you have a duty to your creditors and if you neglect this duty you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service and lose the privilege of limited liability trading.”

Premier Asphalt Limited traded from Hanson Road Business Park, Hanson Trading Estate in Aintree.
Mr Winskill had been a director of the company before 13 October 1991 and remained appointed until the company went into Administration on 19 February 2016 with estimated debts of £6,102,275.

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