Harvinder Singh Johal, director of the now defunct Leicestershire-based supplier Lee Ann Fashions, has been disqualified as a director for obtaining public funds via a regional growth fund (RGF) using false information.
The Insolvency Service confirmed that Johal is banned from acting as a director for four years starting from 17 April.
It said Johal allowed a co-director to cause the company to provide false information to the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills in order to obtain public funds of £179,325 by way of an RGF grant.
It comes after the company requested £190,558 towards a new knitting, dyeing and printing equipment and a plant in 2014. The RGF approved the full claim and the funds were paid into Lee Ann Fashion’s bank account on 15 December.
However, it later emerged that £179,325 related to the valuation of the land where the plant would be situated, but the land was owned by Johal and a co-director.
“The company made no payment to the owners in respect of the purported sale, and no transfer of title took place either at the time or subsequently,” said the Insolvency Service.
Lee Ann Fashions entered administration on 6 November 2015 with assets of £364,717 and liabilities of £4.8m. Before that, it was a designer and supplier of women’s jerseywear for a number of major high street retailers.
Administrators from FRP Advisory said the firm experienced a downturn in trade, which they attributed to a decision by one of its key customers, which it did not name, to move away from its “Best of British” branding.
FRP sold the business and assets of Lee Ann Fashions to a new entity also led by Johal, called Lee Ann Fashions Group, later that month, Drapers understands.
FRP was then appointed as a voluntary liquidator to Lee Ann Fashions Group at the end of March this year.
Johal has also terminated his appointment at another company called Empyrean Prints and Fabrics, which is understood to still be trading and is run by Narynder Johal, designing prints for women’s high street fashion retailers.
Drapers has contacted Johal for comment.