Liverpool Chinatown contractor boss hit with ban

The director of a construction company responsible for developing Liverpool’s troubled £200m Chinatown scheme has been disqualified for seven years.

Former Bilt Group Limited boss David Green, 56, from Liverpool, signed a disqualification undertaking following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The ban prevents him from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Bilt Group Limited was incorporated in February 2016 as a contractor to carry out significant construction projects in Liverpool, particularly in the Chinatown area.

Just 10 months later in December 2016 Bilt Group’s principle customer decided to terminate the company’s contract as they weren’t satisfied with the standard of work delivered.

Bilt Group was unable to pay its debts and went into liquidation, owing £590,000 to creditors.

Insolvency practitioners were appointed to wind-up the company when they reported to the Insolvency Service that payments worth in excess of £1m had been paid by Bilt Group to third parties and were not necessarily legitimate business expenditure.

Investigators discovered that Green caused Bilt Group to move around £375,000 to a separate company which was also under his control, while payments in excess of £660,000 were made to third parties not clearly linked to the company’s trading activities.

Further investigations found that there was no evidence within Bilt Group’s records that these payments were genuine company expenditure.

The Secretary of State accepted a 7-year disqualification undertaking from Green and his ban was effective from 27 December 2018

Signing the undertaking has meant Green did not dispute that he failed to supply adequate books and records to liquidator that would have explained the nature of the company’s transactions.

Martin Gitner, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations for the Insolvency Service, said: “David Green was trusted with funds to carry out important redevelopment projects in Liverpool.

“But he blatantly disregarded his responsibilities when he paid significant sums to third parties totally unconnected to the building works.

“Seven years is a significant ban and should serve as a warning to other directors that there are serious consequences if you are found misusing company funds.”

The Serious Fraud Office announced in January that it had opened a criminal investigation into a suspected fraud relating to the Liverpool Chinatown redevelopment.

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