Steven Charles Rooney (52) received an 11-year ban, which is effective from 18 October 2020, while his wife, Linn Rooney (40), was previously disqualified for 6 years.
Husband and wife are banned from acting as directors or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
ABC Events (Scotland) Ltd was incorporated in October 2011, providing conference and event organisation services across the UK.
The events company began to struggle and was wound up 7 years later in October 2018. ABC Events’ insolvency, however, uncovered that Steven Rooney had been running the company in breach of his disqualification and his wife was fully aware of the misconduct.
Investigators from the Insolvency Service established that Steven Rooney had resigned as a director of ABC Events in November 2014 after he was disqualified for 6 years.
Linn Rooney was appointed as the de jure director of the events company in November 2016 but left the day-to-day running of the business to her husband, despite knowing he was banned from doing so.
Steven Rooney initially acknowledged to investigators he worked for ABC Events, which would have been allowed, but denied acting as a director.
Former employees, however, confirmed that Linn Rooney left the day-to-day running of the company to her husband. Employees told investigators that Steven Rooney authorised all of the company’s expenses, dealt with wages and held full responsibility for ABC Event’s bank accounts.
Suppliers confirmed employees’ accounts about who was really running ABC Events when they told investigators they believed Steven Rooney was the director and that he also dealt with payment disputes.
Steven Rooney initially rejected claims that he acted as a director of ABC Events after he was disqualified in 2014 and proceedings were issued in the court. But on 28 September 2020, the Secretary of State accepted an 11-year disqualification undertaking from Steven Rooney after he did not dispute that he acted as a director of ABC Events (Scotland) Ltd in contravention of his previous disqualification.
Linn Rooney had her 6-year disqualification undertaking accepted by the Secretary of State in December 2019 after she did not dispute that she allowed a person to act as director of ABC Events (Scotland) Ltd whilst knowing they were disqualified.
Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Services, said:
“Steven Rooney’s misconduct finally caught-up with him when his events company collapsed, shining a light on the fact that he was running the company despite his disqualification. Not only did he totally disregard his previous ban but his wife, Linn Rooney, was fully aware of his misconduct.
The length of this ban for Steven Rooney and the disqualification of his wife, demonstrates that we will tackle those who try to get around their bans by appointing their spouse as director, while continuing to run the business themselves behind the scenes.”