Chris Stoddard, a fundraiser whose agency went bust owing hundreds of thousands of pounds, is still being pursued by liquidators for more information about personal debts and “potential misallocation of customer monies”.
Stoddard put his agency CS Fundraising into administration in January last year, having first sold all its assets to another of his companies, Cleardata Direct Media Ltd (CDML).
Creditors have so far submitted 18 claims worth £472,000, and another 48 creditors are still to submit claims, the liquidator says.
A liquidator’s progress report, filed with Companies House earlier this month, shows that more than a year after the event, the liquidator is still attempting to obtain information from Stoddard about sale of assets, personal debts and “potential misallocation of customer monies”.
Liquidator Robert Dymond, of insolvency practitioners Wilson Field, said in the document that he had written to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills “in accordance with the Company Directors Disqualification Act”.
Sale of company assets
According to documents filed with Companies House this week, no record exists of any payment for the assets transferred to CDML. Dymond said this could represent a breach of the Insolvency Act.
“I have written to the director on this matter,” Dymond wrote. “However he has failed to provide a substantive response.
“I intend to send a further letter in which will I will advise him that in the absence of any documentary evidence then I will have no alternative than to demand payment of the sum of £26,750 plus VAT. If payment is not received then this matter will be referred to my solicitors to pursue further.”
Director’s loan account
Stoddard owed at least £24,000 to his own company in the form of a director’s loan account. However the liquidator’s report suggests the true figure could be more than £57,000.
Dymond wrote that unless Stoddard replies, this will also be referred to his solicitors.
Potential misallocation of customer monies
The liquidator’s document says that creditors of the company have warned them that Stoddard is still in possession of lists and databases which belong to charities, and that funds had been diverted.
“I requested that the director provide copies of all the trust accounts that the company operated for each charity in order to determine whether any funds had been diverted as alleged,” Dymond wrote. “However the director advised that he was unable to provide any of the company’s books and records as they were stolen prior to liquidation.”
The closure of CS Fundraising is at least the third time Stoddard has closed a company and sold its assets on to another company he also owned. In 2005, CSDM shut down and transferred its assets to CSDM Fundraising. In 2013, CSDM Fundraising shut down and transferred its assets to CS Fundraising.
Now CS Fundraising’s assets have been sold to CDML, which continues to operate as a list brokerage, offering 500,000 names of active charity donors, at £130 per thousand.
Stoddard has been subject to formal demands for money as a result of insolvency before. In the case of the closure of CSDM Fundraising, the liquidators made a demand for more than £1.03m from the director and his associated companies.