A company director from Staffordshire has been jailed for four years after using money from his companies to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Paul Liam Mulholland, who was already subject to a 14-year disqualification from being a company director, was found to have committed a close-to-£2 million fraud after an investigation by The Insolvency Service and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Mulholland, of Kings Bromley, stole £121,425 from BI Industries (Holdings) where he was sole director.
The money was paid to BI Industries by the European Commission to co-ordinate a research project to develop an alternative thickening agent to gelatine.
Mulholland diverted the money by instructing the company’s bank to transfer the funds to another company account, held by Shobwood Engineering (Burton), of which he was also the sole director.
Both companies subsequently went into liquidation and the money was never recovered.
Commenting on the sentence, Beverly Ashby, official receiver in Leicester, said: “The fact that Mr Mulholland was given a jail term for his misconduct should offer the public reassurance and send a clear message to other company directors.
“The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its robust enforcement powers to remove dishonest and reckless people from the business world”.
Mulholland also pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraudulently removing funds from Elson Industries where he was, again, sole director.
The charges represent removals, totalling £931,157, made by Mulholland prior to the company going into liquidation with debts of £234,297.
Part of the this sum was used to pay £308,000 towards the purchase of a property overlooking the 18th hole at St Andrews Golf Course, in Scotland.