Two directors of a Dublin-based mineral exploration firm, Aventine, which is principally involved in exploration, processing and sale of gold, metals, ores and minerals are to be disqualified in the High Court, for disregarding their obligations to file returns for their effectively insolvent business over a three-year period. The firm has been dormant since 2008 and is effectively insolvent but has not been put into liquidation.
The court will decide later on the duration of the disqualification period for the two directors.
Counsel for the directors said that they would be seeking relief from any disqualification on the grounds that some of the deficiencies have been remedied since the case went to hearing earlier this year.
In his judgment on the ODCE's application for disqualification orders, Mr Justice Cregan is reported to have said, it was noteworthy no substantive defence acceptable to the court had been put forward as to why they failed to comply with the requirements to file returns to the Companies Office.
In affidavits, the two directors said the failure to file returns for 2010 and 2011, and non-compliance with subsequent court orders obtained by the ODCE, were the result of the company's perilous financial state and lack of money to meet auditor's fees.
Commenting on the case, David Van Dessel, Partner with Deloitte, Restructuring Services said "This case highlights the importance for company directors to not leave insolvent companies unliquidated and non-compliant with CRO filing obligations. In this instance the ODCE had taken disqualification proceedings and not just restriction proceedings resulting in the penalty for such action being severe." (Source: Insolvency Journal)