THE director of company that ran six pubs and restaurants, including a pub in Ibsley, has been banned as a director after failing to hand over more than £470,000 to the tax authorities.

Paul Anthony Podvoiskis, 68, of Sherbourne in Warwickshire, appeared at the High Court in London between June 30 June and July 2 where ICC Judge Burton made a five year disqualification order against him.

His disqualification means he is banned from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

During the hearing, the court heard that Candy Experience Limited was incorporated in February 2012 and Paul Podvoiskis was appointed as a director of the company in July 2014 before becoming the sole director in September 2014.

The company began trading in October 2014 and ran public houses and restaurants, including The Old Beams at Ibsley, near Ringwood, and others in Cadnam and Lymington, as well as three restaurants trading under the name Alcatraz Bar and Brasserie in Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset, and Camberley in Surrey.

But the company went into liquidation in June 2016 and this brought Candy Experience to the attention of the Insolvency Service.

Investigators uncovered that Candy Experience failed to submit monthly VAT returns from August 2015 up until the date of liquidation yet continued to trade during this period.

Candy Experience also owed outstanding PAYE and National Insurance dating back to the 2014/15 tax year and the company failed to settle its tax liabilities. At the point of liquidation, the tax authorities claimed more than £470,000, which remains outstanding.

Further enquiries established that during the period of trading, bank records were able to show that the company paid into its account just over £3.8 million. Of this amount, just over £115,000 was paid to the tax authorities and £1,153 was identified as being paid to the local authorities in respect of business rates.

The remaining £3.68 million, however, was used by Candy Experience to pay trade creditors, wages and other operational costs, including more than £779,000 paid to a connected company.

The court confirmed that Paul Podvoiskis’ ban ends on October 8, 2023, having taken into account a previous undertaking accepted by Paul Podvoiskis during a court hearing in October 2018.

Judge Burton also awarded costs in the region of £47,000

Lawrence Zussman, the deputy head of Insolvent Investigations for the Insolvency Service, said: “Clearly, as is the case here, Paul Podvoiskis failed to take his responsibilities as a director seriously and caused the company to fail to pay a substantial tax bill.

“Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid and we will continue to investigate and target those directors who fail to comply with their statutory obligations.”