Director ban for family of tax dodgers

Couple: Heather and Lance
Couple: Heather and Lance
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A couple and their son have been banned as company directors after failing to pay more than £186,000 in tax.

Heather and Lance Shepherd and their son James, who ran Shepherd Security Ltd, an alarm company based in Stanley Street, Preston, have been disqualified for a total of 15 and a half years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

They claim they received poor financial advice when starting the company and were unaware they were doing anything wrong.

Heather Shepherd was banned for nine years. Lance Shepherd for four years, and James Shepherd for two-and-a-half years.

The longer term of Heather Shepherd’s ban reflects that she also acted as a director whilst not discharged from bankruptcy.

Robert Clarke of the Insolvency Service, said: “A bankrupt who continues to act as a director when explicitly restricted from doing so, shows a total disregard for the insolvency regime, creditors and the business community.

“What’s more those directors who fail to pay their taxes are gaining an unfair advantage over other businesses and cheating the government.

“The disqualifications of this family for a total of 15 and a half years sends a clear message to others that if they act as directors when not allowed to do so or fail to pay their taxes, then they will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and removed from the business environment.”

Heather and James Shepherd failed to pay tax from September 2008, shortly after the company was founded.

Former Royal Marine Lance Shepherd failed to pay since he was appointed as a director in October 2009.

He said: “This has been a nightmare for four years. We were ripped off by our adviser and we’ve had to pay the price.

“We had to put the original company into administration, and have set up as Shepherd Fire and Security Ltd that we have to pay other people to run for us.

“It’s unbelievable when all we have done is try and keep 30 people in a job.

“Everything is now above board and we are doing well.”