Former fundraising firm head is pursued by liquidators for more than £226,000

Liquidators for CS Incentive, formerly run by Chris Stoddard, say the money relates to an overdrawn director's loan account and 'unexplained legal and professional fees'

Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

The businessman Chris Stoddard, who ran several now-defunct direct mail fundraising companies, is being pursued by the liquidators of one of his former companies for more than £226,000.

In a liquidator’s statement of receipts and payments to 2 July 2017 for CS Incentive, which was published on the Companies House website last week, it says Stoddard is being asked to repay £226,386 relating to an overdrawn director’s loan account and "unexplained legal and professional fees".

It is the latest liquidator’s report to note that it has pursued claims against Stoddard, which have totalled more than £1.2m across at least three companies.

In a section headed "Director’s Loan Account and Misfeasance", the latest document says that CS Incentive’s DLA was overdrawn by £171,449 when the company went into liquidation on 3 July 2012. It says Stoddard claimed that £168,000 was repaid by dividends that were paid to him, as the sole shareholder, between January and May 2012.

But the document says no board minutes or dividend vouchers have been produced to demonstrate that the dividends have been paid.

The liquidator says in the report that the company was insolvent at the time Stoddard claims the dividend was paid, as shown by a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs against the company, which was presented on 14 February 2012.

As the company was insolvent, the liquidators’ report says, the "purported dividends would therefore be unlawful".

The liquidator also highlights that the company’s accounts for the period ending 31 December 2011 included legal and professional fees worth £100,063, of which Stoddard explained £45,126.

The liquidator’s report says: "Despite numerous requests, the director has failed to provide information and evidence to explain the remaining balance of £54,937, in the absence of which we can only assume that these payments were not undertaken in the ordinary course of business."

The liquidator has submitted a claim for £226,386 through an individual voluntary arrangement accounting for the overdrawn DLA and the "unexplained legal and professional fees", which the report says Stoddard has rejected.

The report says that Stoddard’s solicitors dispute the claim in its entirety, and there has been no response to attempts to organise a meeting to discuss the claim with the liquidators.

A report last year from the liquidator of another of Stoddard’s defunct companies, CSDM Fundraising, said the liquidator would not pursue a claim of more than £1m against Stoddard because it considered the claim would not be commercially viable.

A liquidator’s report, also released last year, about another Stoddard firm, CS Fundraising, which went into liquidation in January 2015, noted that the liquidator for the company pursued Stoddard for £26,475 for the sale of moveable assets and business intellectual property rights, and a minimum of £24,828 outstanding from the company’s DLA.

Third Sector made repeated attempts to contact Stoddard but was unable to reach him for comment.

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