A crooked accountant from Leeds who stole £250,000 from clients to pay for a mistress and luxury lifestyle has been banned from acting as a company director for 14 years.
Darren Upton, of Woodlesford, who ripped off dozens of small business owners who relied on him to settle their tax bills, was jailed for six years last February by a Leeds Crown Court judge who branded him “arrogant and greedy”.
Now the Insolvency Service has banned Upton from being a company director until 2027 after a lengthy investigation.
Upton, 41, was the director of Upton & Co Accountants Ltd, formerly of Wood Street, Wakefield. The company was placed into voluntary liquidation in October 2011, owing creditors and shareholders more than £1.7m.
Instead of arranging money to be paid to the Government, Upton – who was convicted of 15 fraud offences – paid it into his own bank and created a web of deception to cover his track.
Married father Upton went on to a dating website pretending to be single and met make-up artist and part-time model Victoria Louise Fraenzel. He paid £800 a month for a luxury flat for her to live in, bought her a Mercedes, and gave her £8,000 in cash and lingerie from Ann Summers. She had no idea Upton had a wife.
And Upton accepted during the Insolvency Service probe that he caused the company to accept at least £5.3m from investors on the basis that funds would be invested in currency markets. The Financial Services Authority froze the company’s account having concluded that there was never any currency scheme as described to investors, as the company was not authorised to make such an offer or operate such a scheme. More than £1m remains owing to investors.
Ken Beasley, Official Receiver of the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit, said: “Mr Upton’s actions were dishonest and clearly show that he is unfit to be a director of a limited company.”