By: 25 June 2019
Director gets 12-year ban after agricultural insurance fraud

A company director who submitted fraudulent insurance claims for stolen agricultural equipment has been banned from acting as a company director for 12 years.

Christopher Dawson has also been banned from borrowing more than £500 without telling a lender that he is subject to extended restrictions, following a county court ruling in Lincoln.

Dawson’s company, which provided agricultural and farming contractual services to local clients, suffered financial difficulties and was unable to pay its creditors.

After agricultural equipment, a tractor and three trailers were seized in lieu of payment, Dawson submitted insurance claims totalling almost £35,000. He claimed the seized agricultural equipment had been stolen.

The claims were paid out but the insurer became concerned and withheld part of the payout while an investigation was carried out.

In an interview with the insurer’s private investigator, Dawson admitted that the claims had been false. Although he agreed to repay the insurer, he had already spent the money on day-to-day company running costs, and only £1,100 was repaid.

Legal proceedings were issued against Dawson, with a judgement in favour of the insurer being made in 2018. He was made personally liable for the insurance payout and ordered to cover the insurer’s legal costs.

Unable to pay the judgement order, bankruptcy proceedings were filed against Dawson and he was declared bankrupt later in 2018.

Bankruptcy restrictions are usually lifted after 12 months, but, due to the nature of Dawson’s conduct, the official receiver applied to have his bankruptcy restrictions extended.

In May this year, Deputy District Judge Cooper made a bankruptcy restrictions order against Dawson for 12 years, to last until 16 May 2031.

Gerard O’Hare, official receiver for the Insolvency Service, said: “This kind of behaviour from a company director is unacceptable, and it is only fitting that Christopher Dawson has received such severe bankruptcy restrictions in recognition of this.”

“This result will protect the business community, and act as a warning to other directors of the penalties for fraud.”