Extended bankruptcy for ‘uncooperative’ Stechford accountant
A bankruptcy order has been extended for a McLaren driving accountant linked to the collapse of a £17million business. Nafeesah Abid has been placed in personal bankruptcy after failing to pay the legal fees of liquidators investigating Accountable Accountancy Ltd, a Wolverhampton payroll company.
The accountant, who has denied any wrongdoing, has a home in Stechford and has driven a McLaren supercar. A McLaren with a personalized plaque in its initials was pictured on its drive last year by BirminghamLive.
The plaque alone – believed to be around 100 years old – has been independently valued by an expert at £200,000-225,000. Its bankruptcy was due to expire last September, but it has now been extended twice until May this year.
READ MORE: Assets frozen, boss banned, bankrupt accountant as ‘fraud’ firm collapses in front of £17million taxman
The Insolvency Service confirmed that the unusual decision was due to the accountant “not fully cooperating with the Official Receiver (OR) or Trustee”. An official receiver works for the insolvency service, usually handles the early stages of a bankruptcy and is attached to the court.
In bankruptcy cases, it is the responsibility of the RO or trustee (an insolvency practitioner) to sell assets or recover funds for creditors. We have already reported how Ms Abid, 32, froze £6million in assets following the 2017 collapse of Accountable Accountancy Ltd (AA Ltd).
She remains subject to a High Court freezing order which prevents her from selling any properties or assets she owns. Accountable Accountancy Ltd, based in Tettenhall Road, operated between March 2016 and December 2017 when it filed for voluntary liquidation on insolvency grounds.
At its peak, AA Ltd provided payroll services to 6,500 temporary workers and contractors across the country, while £100million crossed its books in just 20 months of trading. Clients included an employment agency that placed workers with the NHS as well as FTSE 100 companies, as well as leading recruitment agencies.
In December 2017, it filed for voluntary liquidation due to insolvency. The payroll company never filed accounts before its sudden collapse which came shortly after HMRC approached questions over its tax affairs, sources say.
Liquidators are investigating whether any funds or assets from the Black Country Company were deliberately misappropriated to defraud legitimate creditors, according to a freezing order and High Court claim. The company’s sole director, David Smith, 46, and Ms Abid each subsequently froze £6.3million as part of a legal action brought by liquidators investigating the company’s demise.
A second Midland woman, Jane Dixon, 58, who is believed to currently be living in Dubai, had frozen £3million. A court freezing order shows Ms Abid received £1.3million from AA Ltd in the weeks before she crashed, after less than two years in business.
A BirminghamLive investigation found it also owned two unrelated companies which also collapsed and later owed £11million to HMRC. In December 2019, the liquidators of AA Ltd obtained a High Court order freezing £6.3million from Ms Abid and Mr Smith while investigations continued.
The order suggests that the liquidators suspected AA Ltd of having traded at an undervaluation before its collapse. This is where a company’s assets are sold at less than their true value or for a loss – actions that can be seen as deliberately diverting assets from creditors.
When contacted by BirminghamLive, Mr Smith admitted the AA Ltd base had been dealing fraudulently. The High Court action against him has been ‘stayed’ after he repaid substantial sums to liquidators following the sale of his Wolverhampton home and two other properties.
Mr Smith confirmed that in addition to other sums, AA Ltd paid him £1million in two installments of £500,000 on November 21, 2017, four days after the company filed for liquidation. He had signed a “state of affairs” – listing the company’s assets and debts – for the liquidators appointed to close the business and investigate the reasons for its collapse.
But the document did not mention the £17million owed to the tax authorities, documents filed at Companies House show.
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