Crime

Events and promotions bosses banned for 18 years over tax abuse

The bosses of an events and promotions marketing company based in Gateshead have been banned for 18 years after “abusing” the tax regime.

Charlies Daniel Sludden (64) and his wife, Karen Louise Sludden (58), have been banned from acting as directors or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company by the Insolvency Service.

The disqualifications came into effect on 7 September 2020.

KLB Promotions and Events was incorporated in 1996 and supplied promotional marketing products for clients to use typically at exhibitions or within retail stores.

However, following over a decade of trading, the events and promotions company began to struggle and in August 2019, KLB Promotions and Events entered into creditors voluntary liquidation.

This is where the Insolvency Service said that if found “irregularities” in the company’s tax returns.

Further enquiries by the Insolvency Service established that between May 2010 and February 2017, KLB Promotions and Events submitted 16 incorrect tax returns to the tax authorities.

The incorrect tax returns also resulted in the tax authorities making repayments to KLB Promotions and Events totaling more than £146,000. Charles and Karen Sludden then used the misappropriated funds on personal and family expenses.

On 17 August 2020, the Secretary of State accepted 9-year disqualification undertakings from both Charles and Karen Sludden after the pair did not dispute that they had caused KLB Promotions and Events to submit 16 incorrect tax returns.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Charles and Karen Sludden embroiled themselves in a deliberate and protracted policy of making false tax claims, generating repayments to secure income for personal and family expenses.

“Directors have a firm duty to ensure they deal properly with their company’s tax affairs. Charles and Karen Sludden have paid the price for failing to do this and have been removed from the corporate arena for a substantial amount of time, reflecting the severity of their actions.”

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