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Bushey director banned from directing as stadium funds go missing

 Published on: 12th February 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A business owner from Bushey has been banned for being a company director for a decade following an investigation into the redevelopment of Northampton Town’s stadium.

Howard Lawrence Grossman, 57, was the director of 1ST Land Limited between December 2013 and July 2014.

At the same time, the company received around £6million from Northampton FC to go towards the costs of redeveloping the Sixfields stadium.

The football club in turn received the funds from Northampton Borough Council.

However, by January 2015, 1ST Land went into administration following the petition of a creditor before entering into Creditors Voluntarily Liquidation in December 2015.

Due to the high-profile nature of the administration and the significant amount of money involved, in cooperation with Northamptonshire Police, the Insolvency Service carried out an investigation in the public’s interest into the collapse of 1ST Land and Grossman’s conduct while a director.

Investigators discovered Grossman failed to ensure the company maintained adequate accounting records or deliver a sufficient amount of records to the administrators.

As a result, it was not possible to determine the exact nature of more than £5.6million worth of payments made to various parties from 1ST Land’s accounts.

On January 29, the Secretary of State accepted a 10-year disqualification undertaking from Grossman.

Signing the undertaking meant Grossman did not dispute that he failed to ensure that 1ST Land maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records, or in the alternative failed to ensure that such accounting records as were maintained were delivered up to the Joint Administrators.

He also did not dispute that he breached his fiduciary duties to 1ST Land.

Sue MacLeod, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Howard Grossman, like all directors, had specific duties as a company director but he blatantly disregarded them. The company’s insufficiencies when it came to record keeping means that we are unable to determine the exact nature of payments worth millions of pounds of tax-payers money, who along with supporters of the football club are the real victims here.

“We have been able to secure a substantial ban for Howard Grossman and if he breaches his disqualification, he risks being sent to prison.

“Northamptonshire Police is continuing their nationwide investigation into the missing Northampton Borough Council loan money and is working with other prosecuting authorities to recover public funds.”

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