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Business ban for husband and wife who ran top NI restaurants

They were both disqualified for eight years

A husband and wife team who ran two top Northern Ireland restaurants have been disqualified for eight years in the High Court.

Catherine Mary Regan, 43, of Ross Mill Avenue, Belfast and Dermot John Regan, 49, of Dungannon Road, Moy, were both disqualified for eight years on June 22, 2017 in respect of their conduct as directors of Oregano Belfast Limited.

The Company operated as a licenced restaurant, under the trade name of The Potted Hen, from Edward Street, Belfast and went into Liquidation on 25 April 2014.

It was estimated total assets available for creditors of £43,300, liabilities to creditors of £408,653 and an estimated deficiency of £365,353.

After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the estimated total deficiency was £365,453.

The matters of unfit conduct alleged by the Department for the Economy in relation to Catherine Mary Regan and Dermot John Regan in respect of their conduct as directors of the Company and accepted by the Court were:

  • failing to deliver up all Company books and records to the joint liquidators;
  • failing to promote the success of the Company in that company funds of £64,000 were diverted away from the Company and its creditors and instead were used for the benefit of their partnership business;
  • causing and permitting the Company to operate a policy of discrimination against the Crown by retaining £332,194 that was properly payable to the Crown consisting of £7,254 in respect of PAYE for the tax year 2013/14, £92,848 in respect of NIC for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14 and £232,092 in respect of VAT for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14 during which time the Company was making significant payments to its trade creditors;
  • failing in their duties as directors of the Company to file annual accounts for the years ended 30 September 2011 and 30 September 2012, within the prescribed period.

The Department has accepted 11 Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made four orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing 1 April 2017.

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