Traffic Commissioner warns of un-regulated advice

News

Licence refused for debt-dodging companyAt a recent public hearing, the Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, Kevin Rooney, rejected Gregorys Transport Ltd.’s application for an operator’s licence because a prior company had engaged in an un-regulated act to avoid insolvency proceedings, whether wilfully or negligently.

He found that the director, Gregory Swartz, had a long history with operator licences. The Traffic Commissioner heard that Mr Swartz had previously been the director of a company revoked at public inquiry in 2014, then the director of another operator which had offered to surrender its licence in October 2022.

This company, GMAKX Ltd, had been referred following a DVSA maintenance investigation and Mr Rooney had already made the decision to call it in for another public inquiry.

Licence refused for debt-dodging company

However, the case took a different turn when it was revealed that GMAKX Ltd had been sold to Atherton Corporate Limited on January 10, 2023. As part of the sale, Gregory Swartz was removed as the director and replaced by Mr. Neville Taylor. The commissioner became concerned when he discovered that Mr. Taylor appeared to be associated with numerous businesses, but with different dates of birth and addresses. Further investigation revealed websites offering services to protect reputations from insolvency.

It was discovered that GMAKX Ltd had an outstanding bounce-back loan and a VAT liability that it couldn’t afford to pay. Additionally, the company did not meet the necessary turnover requirements to be eligible for the bounce-back loan in the first place.

The commissioner concluded that by disposing of the company, Gregory Swartz had attempted to avoid significant liabilities and let the taxpayer bear the burden. While he couldn’t determine if Mr. Swartz’s actions were illegal, he found them to be unethical. Mr. Swartz was accused of misleading the commissioner during the public inquiry, obtaining a bounce-back loan he wasn’t entitled to, trading while insolvent, and engaging in unethical business practices over several years.

Based on these findings, the commissioner refused Gregorys Transport Ltd.’s application for an operator’s license, stating that the applicant had failed to establish its good repute.

Further details can be found here.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the rejection of Gregorys Transport Ltd.’s application for an operator’s license by Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney highlights the concerning actions and history of the company’s director, Gregory Swartz. The commissioner’s decision was based on Mr. Swartz’s involvement with previous companies that had their licenses revoked or surrendered, as well as the suspicious circumstances surrounding the sale of GMAKX Ltd to Atherton Corporate Limited.

The commissioner uncovered evidence suggesting that Mr. Swartz engaged in unethical practices, including attempting to avoid liabilities and debt, obtaining an ineligible bounce-back loan, and trading while insolvent. By disposing of GMAKX Ltd and replacing himself as director, Mr. Swartz sought to evade scrutiny and responsibility for his actions. This behavior not only raises questions about the legality of his actions but also underscores the unethical nature of his business practices over an extended period.

Ultimately, the commissioner concluded that Gregorys Transport Ltd. failed to establish its good repute due to the actions of its director. The refusal of the operator’s license reflects the need to protect the integrity of the licensing process and ensure that businesses operate responsibly and ethically. By holding individuals accountable for their actions and preventing the transfer of liabilities onto the public, regulatory bodies like the Traffic Commissioner play a crucial role in maintaining fairness and transparency in the transportation industry.

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Insolvency & Restructuring Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline | + posts

With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.