Former St James’s Place partner Peter Carron has been banned from being a director for 13 years following a High Court ruling, for misleading investors of two companies.
According to the Insolvency Service, Peter Carron, director of Primrose Associates, Comment Technologies, and Evaluate Technologies has been disqualified by the High Court from acting as a company director for 13 years for misleading investors in relation to two companies and for submitting false returns to his industry regulator and causing another company to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs.
Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the High Court Ordered that Carron should not act as a director, manage, or in any way control a company from 18 July 2014 until 17 July 2027.
In a statement the Insolvency Service said an investigation found Carron misled investors in Primrose, a mortgage brokerage company and Comment, a mortgage software company, by claiming that their capital was invested with little or no risk and that he could ‘personally guarantee’ their returns.
It said he failed to disclose that their investments were being paid into two ‘hopelessly’ insolvent companies: Primrose and Comment, of which he was a director.
However, despite accounts showing its insolvency, the Insolvency Service said financial returns submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulated Primrose, showed Primrose to be solvent and financially viable.
It said that after the failure of Primrose and Comment, approximately 50 investors came forward, claiming to have lost over £7.4 million.
Carron was also found to have not paid PAYE and National Insurance Contributions in excess of £750,000 against which no payment had been made over Evaluate’s entire trading period
Joanne Covell, a head of investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘The disqualification sends a clear message to other company directors; if you seek to mislead your customers, or your regulator, the Insolvency Service will investigate and you could face a lengthy ban.’
Judge Mark Pelling QC, heard from 10 witnesses, 9 of whom had been investors in either Primrose or Comment.
He said: ‘The allegations I have found proved shows that he is willing to mislead his regulator, HMRC, and those who to his knowledge are relying on him for guidance. Such a person is manifestly unfit to be a director of a company since it is plain that the public are exposed to the risk of loss as a result of such misconduct.’
The Judge also refused Carron leave to appeal. Any further application for permission to appeal must be made to the Court of Appeal.
SJP said it had compensated Carron's clients who suffered losses.
A spokesman for SJP said: 'All the clients were made aware of the situation and received full compensation. SJP guarantees the advice given so even though the advice was unbecoming of an SJP adviser, his contract was terminated and his clients fully compensated.'