THREE men have been disqualified from acting as a company director — with two of them receiving a ban for ten years.

Clive Tayton of Bratton Clovelly, Aaron Custance, formerly of Bondleigh but who now lives in a caravan on an Okehampton industrial estate, and Frederick Bartlett, of Romsey, Hampshire, were the directors of Bionova Recycling Ltd.

Bartlett and Tayton have each been disqualified from acting as a director for ten years for obtaining a loan by false pretences.

Custance has been disqualified for eight years.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Mr Bartlett, Mr Tayton, and Mr Custance entered into disqualification undertakings, which prohibit them from acting in the management of a company for the duration of those undertakings.

A three-and-a-half- year disqualification undertaking was also accepted from Mr Bartlett’s wife, Marilyn Anne Bartlett.

Bionova Recycling Ltd borrowed £250,000 in 2013. It was a condition of the loan that the company had to put up the same amount in matched funding and this is what the directors told the lender it had done.

To create evidence that they had invested £250,000, the directors borrowed £50,000 from an associate and passed it repeatedly through the company’s bank accounts before paying it back.

The directors then used bank statements showing all the receipts but not the repayments to persuade the lender that the required matched funding had been introduced but in reality the directors had introduced no matched funding at all.

The lender made the loan, the company subsequently failed and the lender never got its money back.

Bionova Recycling Ltd was based in Okehampton and was involved in selling and installing equipment for converting food waste into biofuel.

It went into administration on April 10, 2014 and the administrators have received creditors’ claims of £970,000.

The loan fund that the directors deceived comprised public funds including European, local authority, British Business Bank and central government funds as well as private investment funds.

Mrs Bartlett had been a director with Mr Bartlett of another company, Nergetic Renewables Ltd, in which £50,000 was obtained in a similar manner from the same lender.

Nergetic Renewables Ltd went into compulsory liquidation on 27 November, 2014 with liabilities to creditors of £69,000.

Sue MacLeod, Chief Investigator of Insolvent Investigations, Midlands and West at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘These are serious cases in which the directors deliberately misled the lender into making loans that it would not have made if it had known the companies’ true positions.

‘The directors made misrepresentations that they had introduced money into the companies when in fact they had not.

‘There is no place in the business community for such behaviour.

‘The Insolvency Service and The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will take firm action to protect the public in appropriate cases.’