Devon

Banned Devon-based hoteliers amassed £8m debts

Hotel Image copyright Google
Image caption The company was based at a Devon hotel which has since been taken over by new owners

Two brothers amassed debts of £8m for their family hotel chain while working in roles they'd been disqualified from holding.

Andrew and Stephen Hughes have now been given further bans until 2028 by the Insolvency Service.

Devon-based Heritage Properties & Hotels Ltd had four hotels before going into administration in 2014.

The bans mean they are disqualified from being directors or in any way managing a company.

Their sister Julie Savage has been banned until 2023 for her part in failing to keep adequate financial records.

'Records destroyed'

An investigation found the brothers continued to work in management despite being previously disqualified and found that accounting records had been destroyed.

The company's four hotels were Churston Court Hotel near Brixham, Devon, The Crab at Chieveley Hotel in Chieveley and Newbury Manor Hotel in Newbury, both Berkshire, and Park House Hotel in Shifnal, Shropshire.

All four have since been taken over by new owners.

'Serious consequences'

David Brooks, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: "This investigation was hampered by the destruction of records but it was eventually possible to show the involvement of Andrew and Stephen Hughes who were acting in contravention of their disqualifications.

"If people are disqualified but then act or do so through others, the consequences for them are likely to become serious including prosecution and personal liability."

Andrew Hughes was previously disqualified on 4 October 2010 and Mr Stephen Hughes was disqualified on 25 May 2006.

When the company went into administration in October 2014, there were outstanding creditor claims of £8,049,537.

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