The director of a bogus law firm which falsely claimed to be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been banned from running a company for 10 years.
French Fox Limited was incorporated in 2016 and promoted itself as a solicitors’ firm, claiming on its website it had experience in several sectors and could provide a number of services.
But in reality the outfit was not registered with the SRA and did not have permission to display the Legal500 logo. Following complaints, French Fox was wound up in the High Court last year after a petition was submitted by the Insolvency Service,
According to an Insolvency Service statement, further investigations concentrated on the registered director of the company, Tashia Joseph, who had previously served a four-year directorship disqualification.
Joseph, 39, from Forest Hill in London, described herself as a ‘fiduciary nominee’ and said she accepted her role with the company when she was asked by a third party.
But in interview, she was unable to explain what French Fox did, where it traded from, how many employees it had or why she was the sole shareholder.
Joseph was found to have opened a bank account for the firm under the pretence that she had 15 years’ legal experience. She then handed over the account information to a third party and was unable to explain the monies coming in and out of French Fox’s bank account, including outgoing payments of more than £166,000.
Last month, sitting in the High Court, Judge Burton imposed an order disqualifying Joseph for 10 years after it was established she traded with a lack of commercial probity and failed to ensure French Fox maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records.
She cannot be involved, directly or indirectly, in the formation, promotion or management of a company without the permission of the court.
Joanna Caswell, deputy official receiver, said Joseph had not learned from her previous mistake, having begun to operate without integrity just five months after finishing her previous ban.
Caswell added: ‘This ban should serve as a warning to other directors who refer to themselves as a ‘nominee director’ with the misunderstanding that they have no responsibilities and duties as a formally appointed director.’