11 year extended bankruptcy for assistant accountant who misappropriated funds from his employer

14 Sep 2016 05:42 PM

An assistant accountant has been landed with an 11-year bankruptcy Restrictions Order by the High Court for misappropriation of funds.

On 13 July 2016, Kofi Baffoe-Okine (30), unemployed of Harrow, Middlesex, received an 11 year bankruptcy restriction order.

In making the order, the Court accepted evidence presented by the Insolvency Service, which showed he had abused his position of trust - an Assistant Accountant - by misappropriating funds, causing a loss to his former employer. As a result of the loss - of £151,067 - Mr Baffoe-Okine’s former employer petitioned for his bankruptcy.

Mr Baffoe-Okine is therefore bound by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 2027. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of court.

A bankruptcy order was made against Mr Baffoe-Okine on 1 July 2015, following a petition filed by K2 Human Capital Solutions Limited and K2 Partnering Solutions SA, Mr Baffoe-Okine’s former employer. Mr Baffoe-Okine’s total deficiency was £152,139.60, of which £151,067 was owed to his former employer.

The court heard that Mr Baffoe-Okine was employed as an Assistant Accountant by the K2 Human Capital Solutions Limited on 18 October 2010. His role involved the processing of payments to consultants subcontracted to K2 Group European Division. As such, he held a position of trust with his former employer. Between 19 April 2012 and 23 July 2012, Mr Baffoe-Okine initiated eight unauthorised payments totalling €160,510 from K2 Partnering Solutions SA bank account, without authority and to bank accounts which were not legitimate consultants engaged by the K2 Group.

Mr Baffoe-Okine’s action of instigating these payments breached the fiduciary duties he owed to companies whose funds he has access to only by virtue of his employment, in particular the Swiss company, K2 Partnering Solutions SA.

Mr Baffoe-Okine claims to have only personally benefited from €15,720 of the €160,510 misappropriated, of which he states the funds were used to support his living costs when he absconded to Ghana between August 2012 and December 2014. However the Official Receiver has been unable to verify this account.

Commenting on the case, Andrew Stanley, the Official Receiver from Kent said:

Mr Baffoe-Okine held a position of trust with his former employer, which his subsequently breached by carrying out actions of dishonesty. The Insolvency Service looks closely at individuals and takes action where wrongdoing is uncovered.

These proceedings should serve to protect the public from any future misconduct by restricting Mr Baffoe-Okine from obtaining credit and acting in the management of a company. The period of restrictions is in the top bracket (the maximum being 15 years) to reflect the seriousness of the case and the high level of the victims that have suffered a loss.

Notes to editors

Kofi Baffoe-Okine is of Harrow, Middlesex and his date of birth is 17 April 1986.

The bankruptcy order was made against Mr Baffoe-Okine on 1 July 2015 following a petition presented by K2 Human Capital Solutions Limited and K2 Partnering Solutions SA on 15 May 2015.

The High Court of Justice granted a 11 year bankruptcy restriction order on 13 July 2016. Mr Baffoe-Okine did not defend the proceedings against him.

If the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it, and will decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the bankrupt will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.

These are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months and include that bankrupts:

  • must disclose their status to a credit provider if they wish to get credit of more than £500
  • who carry on business in a different name from the name in which they were made bankrupt, they must disclose to those they wish to do business with the name (or trading style) under which they were made bankrupt
  • may not act as the director of a company nor take part in its promotion, formation or management unless they have a court’s permission to do so
  • may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company on behalf of debenture holders

Additionally, a person subject to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order, may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Tel: 0161 234 8531 Email:piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.