The boss of a signage and display printer has received a lengthy ban of 10 years after a six-figure false invoicing scandal.
The Insolvency Service has handed the 10 year ban to Russell Ivan Murch, who was managing director at Pure Point of Sale Limited, based in Lutterworth.
The case dates back to the spring of 2016 when Pure Point of Sale, which produced a range of products from shelf barkers and banners to permanent PoS, had experienced financial difficulties and began using a factoring company.
Subsequently, in August 2018, Murch “forwarded two emails to the factoring company advising them to collect £185,000 from one of Pure Point’s clients”, the Insolvency Service stated.
The factoring company paid £185,000 in advance to Pure Point of Sale, but when it then attempted to claim funds from the client the debts were disputed. The factoring company was unable to collect the money it was owed as a result.
Pure Point of Sale also fell into rent arrears and assets were seized by the firm’s landlord.
The company went into liquidation in March 2019 and afterwards the Insolvency Service launched an investigation into Murch’s conduct.
“Investigators uncovered that the emails claiming Pure Point was owed £185,000 had been falsified. Russell Murch claimed to have received emails from the customer which he forwarded to the factoring company to receive the funds, but the email addresses used did not exist,” the Insolvency Service stated.
Murch told the Insolvency Service that he had informed the factoring company that due to ill health, the company’s sales manager had taken control of the company and that this employee was inflating sales. However, the factoring company had no record of either discussion.
At the time of its liquidation, Pure Point owed the factoring company more than £257,000.
HSBC Invoice Finance had registered a fixed and floating charge against Pure Point of Sale in April 2016.
On 11 December 2020, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Russell Murch after he admitted submitting invoices to a factoring company for £185,000 “which he knew were false or inflated”, or that he failed to exercise proper control over Pure Point of Sale’s financial affairs by submitting invoices without verifying they were genuine.
Robert Clarke, chief investigator at the government agency commented: “Submitting false documents to dishonestly obtain funds is a serious matter. As director it was Russell Murch’s sole responsibility to ensure this didn’t happen, whether that was him or another employee.
“Russell Murch‘s behaviour was totally unacceptable and to be removed from the corporate arena for 10 years shows the seriousness of his actions.”
Murch’s decade-long ban came into effect on 1 January.
The disqualification means he cannot act as a director of a company, direct other people to manage a company under his instructions, or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership.