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3-08-2016

Sir, Erasing the records of closed companies after only six years would be detrimental to fraud investigations

Sir, Erasing the records of closed companies after only six years would be detrimental to fraud investigations (News, Aug 2). Insolvency practitioners investigate company directors and return money to creditors once a company enters insolvency. It can take time to uncover a director’s fraudulent behaviour, and even longer to trace hidden assets.

It’s not unusual for action to be taken against a dissolved company many years later. Fraudsters often dissolve their corporate vehicles in the hope that no one will pursue them. There are already inadequate checks on directors registering companies, and it’s not uncommon to discover directors who are involved in several companies which have gone out of business.

Although repeated company failures do not necessarily signal wrongdoing, it’s very useful to have evidence of directors’ track records.

Deleting records after such a short period of time will destroy evidence, hide past director behavior and give fraudsters a clean slate.

Frances Coulson

Chair of the fraud group at R3, the insolvency and restructuring trade body

Printed in The Times, Letters to the Editor, 3 August 2016

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