Muirfield director struck off for siphoning £880,000 from company
More than 280 workers lost their jobs when administrators begun an orderly wind-down of the Dundee building firm in 2015.
Now a two-year investigation into the company’s affairs has revealed that Mr Stodart caused Muirfield to make payments totalling £883,281 to a holding company of which he was sole director and to a connected firm when he was, or should have been, aware Muirfield was in financial difficulty.
The businessman then used the cash to make down payments on luxury property in Dubai.
The Insolvency Service has now disqualified Mr Stodart as a director for a period of nine years.
The money was siphoned from the business in four payments made between February 10 and the date of the company’s administration on March 12.
The Insolvency Service said Mr Stodart’s actions meant the funds were not “readily realisable for the benefit of Muirfield’s creditors and were at a risk of total loss of funds”.
In their disqualification notice, the Insolvency Service states: “As the sole director of the holding company he (Stodart) was aware that Muirfield was its sole source of income in this period and was in financial trouble, that the monies would be utilised by the holding company largely for deposit payments on residential property in the UAE and in the absence of completion funds were at a significant risk of being lost entirely.”
Unite the Union has now called for efforts to be made to recover the cash and for criminal proceedings against Mr Stodart to be explored.
Pat Rafferty, the union’s Scottish secretary, said: “The decision to disqualify Mr Stodart as a director for a period of nine years should be the first step in a number of steps to secure justice for the former workforce at Muirfield’s. It is sickening to be made aware of the actions of a Director of a company in financial difficulty siphoning off almost £900,000 to an offshore account before the company went into liquidation to ensure his own lavish lifestyle.
“Measures should be taken to recover this sum of money and if possible for it to be awarded to former employees alongside exploring the options of criminal proceedings against this individual. If the law needs to be changed to ensure this happens in the future then it should be. The former workforce and the people of Dundee deserve nothing less.”