Coin Co bosses banned from being directors after Brighton and Hove council lost £3m

Posted On 16 Jun 2018 at 1:15 am

The bosses of a company that left Brighton and Hove’s taxpayers more than £3 million out of pocket have been banned from running any businesses.

The bans come after Coin Co International collapsed owing £3.2 million to Brighton and Hove City Council.

They collected cash on behalf of the council, including from parking meters, and were meant to bank it then transfer it to the council’s bank account.

The business was run by former Metropolitan Police officer John Baker, 71, and his wife Doreen Baker, also 71, of Hassocks, their son Sean Baker, 48, of Burgess Hill, and daughter Joanne Baker, 46, of Brighton.

The Insolvency Service said that the four held on to £5.8 million and were now disqualified from being the directors of a company.

The government agency said: “Four family members who ran a cash collection company have been banned for a combined 32 years for failing to pay millions of pounds to the company’s clients.

“Doreen, Sean, Joanne and John Baker were all were directors of Coin Co International Plc (Coin Co) based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, providing cash collections in transit services to local government, public bodies, charities, other organisations and businesses.

“The company also provided counting and foreign exchange coinage services.

“The company was incorporated in January 1995 and its cash-in-transit services were undertaken under agreements which stipulated that the money collected, for example, from car parks, was counted, banked and paid over to the customer.

“However, Coin Co fell behind with payments of collected funds to their clients from at least March 2013, more than a year before it went into administration in November 2014, breaching contracts it had entered into.

“At administration, Coin Co had assets of £1,866,066 and liabilities of £11,397,211 and investigators looked at the company’s activities, discovering several instances of mismanagement.

“In one case, four different customers were owed £5.8 million by Coin Co who had collected funds on their behalf but had not returned the money, directly breaching previous agreements.

“The directors did not dispute the findings of the investigation, which, among other things, found that, they

  • held on to £5.7 million of clients’ money, in contravention of their contract
  • caused or allowed the company to breach commercial agreements relating to a coin collection service provided to a number of clients
  • allowed the company to fall behind with payments of collected funds to its clients from at least March 2013

“John, Doreen, Joanne and Sean Baker, provided disqualification undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, Innovation and Science, effective from (Thursday) 3 May 2018, for eight years each.

“Doreen, Sean and Joanne Baker were appointed directors on 30 January 1995 and John Baker was appointed as a director on 1 January 1998.

“The disqualifications prevent the directors from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for the duration of their terms.”

Robert Clarke, investigations group leader at the Insolvency Service, said: “It is clear that companies handling money on behalf of others have a duty to ensure that funds collected are duly paid over to the rightful owners, under the agreements entered into.

“Directors who fail in these duties will be investigated and removed from the corporate arena for a lengthy period.

“Any individual who is registered as a director must make themselves aware of the duties such a position carries with it and further that they are able and willing to carry out those duties and ensure that the business for which they hold responsibility is managed in compliance with its obligations under agreements entered into or they too may face disqualification in the event of failure.”

  1. Valerie Reply

    Former police officer! Same as Coperforma!!!! Flippin’ eck’!!

  2. John Stansted Reply

    A police officer guilty of brazen fraud? Surprising the gang haven’t been jailed – oh but no, they’re police officers, no surprise at all then..

  3. Jefty cozza Reply

    Wow.. so after stealing £5.8m they not allowed to work… Let that sink in for a minute

  4. bradly Reply

    mismanagement by the council in the end of the day

  5. JJW Reply

    Is that it? A rap on the knuckles? Surely the Council will pursue them? Don’t they have assets (Homes) …(Bank Accounts) that can be seized? They are criminals right?

  6. Gavin Reply

    The Baker family’s coin collecting company, Coin Co., had an Insolvency Administrator appointed named BAKER TILLY Restructuring Recovery, which soon after changed its name to RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP.
    Baking the books might be a new term for losing other’s money. It’s time for Central Govt to do something drastic about the ability for people to ‘kill’ companies when the kitchen temperatures get too hot and then just form new companies until the next time ad infinitum. Just an opinion.

  7. Sam Reply

    10/10 to Gavin for the dumbest comment on here. Baker Tilly accountants have existed since 1988 and RSM since 1964, both being US companies with thousands of staff. Baker Tilly merged into RSM in 2015. Maybe a little research next time?

  8. M Reply

    So what did the directors do with the money? They collected it, they didn’t pay it over, so where is it now? That is not mismanagement – it is theft. Their personal assets cannot be sized after liquidation of a company, but if they are prosecuted as criminals then the personal assets that are the proceeds of that crime can be recovered. Please arrest them and get our money back.

  9. Jayne Gibson Reply

    Well done Brighton council – as Stan laurel would say ‘another fine mess’. By the way why are we charged so much for parking?

  10. Stuart lancaster Reply

    Why don’t they look into the people who gave them the contacts.The trouble with councils including mine KCC run by Paul carter. There doesn’t seem to be any accountability. Why doesn’t the local papers investigate. Or must always be left to programs like Panarama to expose these crooks. I’m afraid we’re turning into a third word country.

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