The former chairman of Scottish construction company Muirfield, John Stodart, has been disqualified as a director after he was found to have "siphoned off" more than £880,000 from the company as it was going into administration.
The Dundee-based company employed more than 280 workers when it declared insolvency in 2015, reports Dundee newspaper, The Courier.
If the law needs to be changed to ensure this happens in the future then it should be. The former workforce and the people of Dundee deserve nothing less– Pat Rafferty, Unite the Union
A two-year investigation by the UK’s The Insolvency Service found that Stodart caused Muirfield to make payments totalling £883,281 to a holding company of which he was sole director, when he should have been aware Muirfield was in financial difficulty.
The money left the business in four payments made between 10 February and the date of the company’s administration on 12 March, which was almost a week after Muirfield had contacted an insolvency practitioner.
The businessman, whose last known address is a PO box in Dubai, then used the cash to make down payments on residential property in the UAE.
The Insolvency Service has disqualified Mr Stodart as a director for a period of nine years, however Unite the Union called for efforts to be made to recover the cash, and for criminal proceedings against Mr Stodart to be considered.
Pat Rafferty, the union’s Scottish secretary, said: "It is sickening to be made aware of the actions of a director of a company in financial difficulty siphoning off almost £900,000 to an offshore account before the company went into liquidation to ensure his own lavish lifestyle.
"Measures should be taken to recover this sum of money and if possible for it to be awarded to former employees alongside exploring the options of criminal proceedings against this individual. If the law needs to be changed to ensure this happens in the future then it should be. The former workforce and the people of Dundee deserve nothing less."
Muirfield was Dundee’s largest independent building firm.
Mr Stodart, 55, was also the director of Scottish Electric Group, which collapsed in September last year.
Image: Muirfield’s former headquarters in a Dundee business park (Google)