Disqualified director of security business handed 18 months suspended sentence

On Thursday 27 July at Kingston Crown Court, Michael Quinton pleaded guilty to acting as a director of Limited Risk Ltd contrary to the Company Director Disqualification Act.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) began investigating Quinton and Limited Risk Ltd, an existing Portsmouth-based security company to which he was linked, back in May 2014. Quinton, who appeared to be acting as a director of the company, was listed as a disqualified director at Companies House and didn’t hold an SIA licence.

When the investigation began, Quinton and Limited Risk had a number of contracts to undertake security at venues across London and the South East. After further enquiries, it became clear that Quinton also had connections to several security companies that were listed at Companies House as having been dissolved. These companies were Defensa Security Limited, Guardit (UK) Limited, Guardit Clubs Limited, Guardit Events Limited and Guardit Security Services.

After scrutinising Quinton further, SIA investigators uncovered a number of potential offences from the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 2014. These potential offences related to the supply of security staff to the Commonwealth Games where accommodation for the volunteers never materialised and the individuals involved ended up paying for it themselves.

SIA investigators were able to show that Quinton had been acting as a director for Limited Risk, despite having been disqualified. As a result, the SIA referred him to the Insolvency Service and supplied information relating to the investigation. Hampshire Police also investigated Quinton. The Criminal Enforcement team at the Insolvency Service then prosecuted Quinton.

The presiding Judge at Kingston Crown Court handed Quinton an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years. He was ordered to pay all of the prosecution’s costs of £13,818,47 within six months and was disqualified from being a director of a company and/or an insolvency practitioner for a period of ten years.

Speaking about the case, Kevin Young (partnerships and investigations manager at the SIA) explained: “Our investigation of Quinton’s business practices relating to the supply of security staff to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, as well as other major sporting events, revealed a pattern of behaviour. Our investigators at the SIA actively seek to work with partners and the conviction of Michael Quinton shows the value of joint working and the sharing of information between the Insolvency Service and Hampshire Police.”

Ian Hatcher, the case lawyer from the Insolvency Service, added: “This case shows that the Criminal Enforcement Team of the Insolvency Service will take action against those individuals who act as directors or are involved in the management of companies when they’re not permitted to do so. Here, a disqualified director attempted to circumvent his ban by incorporating a company abroad and using the names of others as directors of his British company. The Criminal Enforcement Team of the Insolvency Service was alive to this and took firm action.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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