herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Ex-pub MD gets 10-year ban over €250k tax bill

Kate's Cottage bar in Amiens Street before it closed down
Kate's Cottage bar in Amiens Street before it closed down

THE former managing director of a Dublin pub has been disqualified from running a company for 10 years.

Robert Moore (36) consented to the disqualification in the High Court after his business was pursued by the Revenue Commissioners over unpaid taxes of almost €250,000.

A report by a court-appointed liquidator found Moore, who ran the former Kate's Cottage pub on Dublin's Store Street, under-declared his own salary and used company money to repay a personal loan and to invest in another business.

In an affidavit, liquidator PJ Lynch said the company running the pub, Kate's Cottage Ltd, had failed to keep proper financial records and a significant amount of its business was done "off the books".

Mr Moore, with an address in Saggart, Co Dublin, accepted Mr Lynch's recommendation that he be disqualified under Section 160 of the Companies Act.

In a letter filed in court, Mr Moore said he had been in dire financial circumstances since the closure of the business in 2012, had suffered from depression and found himself homeless for almost a year.

His mother, Philomena Moore (62), a co-director of the company, also accepted a recommendation from the liquidator that she be restricted under Section 150 of the Companies Act. Mr Justice David Keane granted both of the liquidator's applications. Although a director, Ms Moore did not have an active role in running the business.

INVESTED

However, in a letter filed in court, she said she had invested her life savings in the business.

Ms Moore also said she had lost the sight in an eye as a result of a blood clot caused by continuous stress and high blood pressure.

The High Court ordered the winding up of the business in January 2012, but the process was "substantially impeded" by a lack of proper books and records, according to Mr Lynch.

The liquidator told the court he believed the firm's financial difficulties "arose from the gross mismanagement of the company by its directors".

Mr Lynch said the directors should have been aware the company was insolvent in 2007.

He said it was clear that by the following year it was using money due to Revenue as cash flow to stay in business.

By January 2012, the company had a VAT liability of €181,530 and a PAYE/PRSI liability of €68,415. Mr Lynch estimated Mr Moore's remuneration had been underdeclared to the extent of €64,440 between 2006 and 2009.

He also concluded €52,500 was withdrawn from the business by Mr Moore to pay off a personal credit union loan.

The liquidator also told the court Mr Moore had admitted to falsifying the VAT records of Kate's Cottage Ltd, using the money to keep a separate pub venture afloat.

hnews@herald.ie

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