Bingo hall director disqualified

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A director of a local bingo business, which has branches in Ballymena, Ballycastle and Ballymoney, has been disqualified for five years.

The undertaking was received for five years from Romeo Morelli (51) of Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, in respect of his conduct as a director of Bingo Vision Limited (“the Company”).

The Department for the Economy (the Department) has previously accepted a disqualification undertaking for six years from another director of the Company.

The Company operated a number of bingo halls from Castle Street, Ballymoney, Fairhill Street, Ballycastle and Wakehurst Industrial Estate, Harryville, Ballymena and went into liquidation on March 27 2014 with estimated total assets available for creditors of £nil and liabilities to unsecured creditors of £941,454 and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £941,454. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the estimated total deficiency was £941,554.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Romeo Morelli on November 10 2016 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

Causing and permitting the Company to retain £324,650 properly due to the Crown consisting of £18,776 in respect of PAYE for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14; £30,081 in respect of NIC for the tax years 2011/12 to 2013/14; £146,520 in respect of VAT for the tax years 2007/08 to 2013/14 and £129,273 in respect of Bingo Duty and Machine Gaming duty for the tax years 2006/07 to 2013/14. He also caused and permitted trading to the detriment of the Crown from 17 December 2010 to the date of cessation of trade;

Causing and permitting the Company to fail to file an annual return for the periods ended 28 October 2012 and 28 October 2013 and to fail to file annual returns for the periods ended 28 October 2006 to 28 October 2011 inclusive within the prescribed periods;

Failure to file annual accounts for the periods ended 30 April 2012 and 30 April 2013 and failure to file annual accounts for the periods ended 30 April 2004, 30 April 2005, 30 April 2007 and 30 April 2009 within the prescribed periods.

The Department has accepted 34 Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made three orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing April 1 2016.