Spalding company director submitted fraudulent £35k insurance claims for ‘stolen’ agricultural equipment

A Spalding company director who submitted fraudulent insurance claims for ‘stolen’ agricultural equipment has received a 12-year bankruptcy restrictions order.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 12:02 pm
Court news

Under the conditions of the order, Christopher James Dawson (36) is unable to borrow more than £500 without telling a lender that he is subject to extended restrictions, or act as a company director without the court’s permission for 12 years.

A court heard that Dawson, whose address is registered on Companies House as St Mary’s Street, Stamford, was appointed joint director of CJ & KE Dawson Agric Services Limited in August 2012, and sole director of CJ Dawson & Sons Limited in November 2014. Both companies provided agricultural and farming contractual services to local clients.

On February 27, 2016 and May 9, 2016 Dawson submitted insurance claims, one from each company, totalling almost £35,000. In the claims he explained that agricultural equipment, a tractor and three trailers, had been stolen.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The claims were paid out but the insurer became concerned over the second claim and withheld part of the payout while investigations were undertaken.

In an interview with a private investigator on behalf of the insurer, Dawson admitted that the claims had been false. It emerged that the company had been unable to pay its creditors, and so the agricultural equipment was seized in lieu of payment.

Although Dawson agreed to repay the insurer, he had already spent the money on day-to-day company running costs, and only £1,100 was received by the insurer.

Legal proceedings were issued against him in November 2017 with a judgement in favour of the insurer being made in February 2018. Dawson was made personally liable for the insurance payout and ordered to cover the insurer’s legal costs.

Unable to pay the judgement order, bankruptcy proceedings were filed against Dawson and he was declared bankrupt in August 2018.

Bankruptcy restrictions are usually lifted after 12 months but the Official Receiver applied to have his bankruptcy restrictions extended.

On May 17, 2019 in the county court at Lincoln, sitting for the county court at Boston, Deputy District Judge Cooper made a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order against Dawson for 12 years to last until May 16, 2031.

Dawson did not attend the hearing.

Gerard O’Hare, Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service, said: “This kind of behaviour from a company director is unacceptable, and it is only fitting that Christopher Dawson has received such severe bankruptcy restrictions in recognition of this.

“This result will protect the business community and act as a warning to other directors of the penalties for fraud.”