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Warwickshire traders convicted for perjury and fraudulent trading

17 April 2012 17:30

Insolvency Service

Warwickshire entrepreneurs Jayson Hollier and Andrew Booth have been convicted of perjury and fraudulent trading, after an investigation by the Insolvency Service and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), following the collapse of Shakespeare Underwriting Limited.

Mr Booth, 60, who had worked as the company’s financial controller since 2001, was convicted of trading with intent to defraud creditors between 2002 and 2006.

Mr Hollier was acquitted of fraud in this regard, but convicted on the separate charge of perjury, after he lied to the court about his ownership of the company.

The court heard Mr Booth removed large amounts of money from the company, some of which went to Jayson Hollier, 40, the owner of Shakespeare Underwriting Limited,

The resultant losses forced the company into administration, at which point Booth stole £45,000 from the failing company. Insurance companies which were the principal creditors of Shakespeare Underwriting Limited suffered an estimated loss of approximately £2 million.

The jury found that Mr Booth and Mr Hollier dishonestly used a further company, the Bentley Group Limited, to disguise Hollier's ownership and control of Shakespeare Underwriting Limited and another insurance company, CIA Insurance Services Limited. The jury also found that they each lied under oath in giving evidence about this in High Court company directors’ disqualification proceedings.

The convictions came at the end of a three-month trial at Leamington Spa Crown Court.

Simon Button, Senior Investigation Officer at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, welcomed the convictions saying:

“The verdicts demonstrate the Department's determination to police the business community and root out dishonest practices and attempts to conceal them.”

Both defendants are due to be sentenced on 25 May 2012

Ends

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Notes to Editors

1. Jayson Hollier is from Meriden, near Coventry and Andrew Booth is from Leicester.

2. Fraudulent trading is the dishonest carrying on a business with intent to defraud creditors or for a dishonest purpose.

Perjury is committed where false assertions are deliberately made in the course of giving sworn evidence.

Andrew Booth was convicted of fraudulent trading with intent to defraud the creditors of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd.

Both Andrew Booth and Jayson Hollier were convicted of carrying on the business of the Bentley Group Limited for a fraudulent purpose, namely to disguise Hollier's continuing ownership and control of Shakespeare Underwriting Limited and CIA Insurance Services Limited. The Crown case, accepted by the jury, was that Booth had acted as Hollier's 'front man' or nominee in respect of each company.

In 2006 both had been questioned about Hollier's relationship to each of the companies in High Court company directors' disqualification proceedings. The jury was satisfied that on their oath both Booth and Hollier gave lying evidence to the High Court about Hollier's relationship with each of the companies.

Andrew Booth was additionally convicted of stealing £45,000 from Shakespeare Underwriting Limited simultaneously with the company's resolution in early 2006 that it should be placed into administration.

3. Both defendants are due to be sentenced by HHJ Nawaz on 25 May 2012.

4. Timeline of significant events in case:

May 1998

Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd incorporated

2001

Andrew Booth became financial controller

2002-2006

Booth acting as nominee for Hollier in ownership of the two companies

Jan 2006

Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd enters administration and Booth steals £45,000 as it does so.

May /June 2006

High Court disqualification proceedings – in which Hollier and Booth lied on oath about Hollier’s role in the ownership and control of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd and CIA Insurance Services Ltd.

Jan 2012

Trial commences at Leamington Spa Crown Court.

5. Offences:

INDICTMENT

Count 1

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

FRAUDULENT TRADING, contrary to section 458 of the Companies Act 1985.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

ANDREW BOOTH, between 10th May 2002 and 24th January 2006, was knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd with intent to defraud the creditors of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd.

Count 3

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

FRAUDULENT TRADING, contrary to section 458 of the Companies Act 1985.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

JAYSON HOLLIER and ANDREW BOOTH, between 5th April 2002 and 27th September 2008, were knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of Bentley Group Ltd for a fraudulent purpose, namely to disguise Jayson Hollier’s role in the ownership and control of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd and CIA Insurance Services Ltd.

Count 5

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

PERJURY, contrary to section 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

JAYSON HOLLIER, on the 25th May 2006 having been lawfully sworn as a witness in a judicial proceeding, namely the trial of proceedings brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 in the High Court of Justice [entitled Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Jayson Wayne Hollier and others, No 1755 of 2002], wilfully made a statement material in that proceeding which he knew to be false, namely that he, Jayson Hollier, played no role in the ownership and control of Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd and took no part in the affairs of that company after 10th May 2002.

Count 6

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

PERJURY, contrary to section 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

JAYSON HOLLIER, on the 25thMay 2006 having been lawfully sworn as a witness in a judicial proceeding, namely the trial of proceedings brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 in the High Court of Justice [entitled Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Jayson Wayne Hollier and others, No 1755 of 2002], wilfully made a statement material in that proceeding which he knew to be false, namely that he, Jayson Hollier, played no role in the ownership and control of CIA Insurance Services Ltd and took no part in its affairs after December 2002.

Count 7

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

PERJURY, contrary to section 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

ANDREW BOOTH, on the 4th May 2006 having been lawfully sworn as a witness in a judicial proceeding, namely the trial of proceedings brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 in the High Court of Justice [entitled Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Jayson Wayne Hollier and others, No 1755 of 2002], wilfully made a statement material in that proceeding which he knew to be false, namely that Jayson Hollier had no relationship with Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd after 10th May 2002.

Count 8

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

PERJURY, contrary to section 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

ANDREW BOOTH, on the 4th May 2006 having been lawfully sworn as a witness in a judicial proceeding, namely the trial of proceedings brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 in the High Court of Justice [entitled Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Jayson Wayne Hollier and others, No 1755 of 2002], wilfully made a statement material in that proceeding which he knew to be false, namely that Jayson Hollier had no relationship with CIA Insurance Services Ltd after December 2002.

Count 9

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

THEFT, contrary to section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

ANDREW BOOTH, on 13th January 2006 stole a sum of £45,000 belonging to Shakespeare Underwriting Ltd.

6. The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency

7. BIS’ mission is to build a Dynamic and Competitive UK economy, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. We investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available at http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/business-law/criminal-investigations

9. Media Enquiries should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media Relations Manager on 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187

Contact Information

Ade Daramy
Name
Ade Daramy
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Mr
Division
Insolvency Service
Phone
020 7596 6187
Fax
Mobile
Email
ade.daramy@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk