Nine-year sanction for property director over misuse of funds


THE DIRECTOR of a property company that was placed in administration two years ago with a shortfall of more than €15 million has been disqualified for nine years for misusing company funds to buy properties in his own name.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Trade, Industry and Investment confirmed yesterday that Colin Richard Fletcher, a director of Antrim-based commercial property company CRF Developments, has accepted a disqualification undertaking for nine years.

This means Mr Fletcher cannot act as a director or receiver of a company for nine years, nor can he, directly or indirectly, be involved in the promotion or formation of a new company.

The department’s statement said he misused “at least £659,683.46 of company funds” to buy properties in Portugal and Spain in his own name. His actions resulted in the company losing this money.

The department said he misused the directors’ loan account by allowing directors to borrow more than the £5,000 statutory limit. His company also failed to file annual returns on time in 2004 and filed no returns for 2005.

Mr Fletcher did not dispute any of the grounds for disqualification. Proceedings are also pending against another of the company’s directors.

CRF Developments was placed in administration in 2010 with debts of £17.6 million, more than £17 million of which had been due to Ulster Bank and was secured against company assets. It also owed more than £400,000 to unsecured creditors, one of which was an associated company, CF Homes. The assets ultimately realised £5.2 million, leaving creditors with a £12.4 million deficit.

Mr Fletcher, who has an address at Ballymacrea Road, Portrush, Co Antrim, and his family are well known in business in the area, and have interests in real estate and catering.