The husband-and-wife team of a second-hand tractor business in Yorkshire have both been banned as company directors after Trading Standards and Insolvency Service investigations.
Alan and Marina Farrow ran East Yorkshire Machinery, which received complaints after customers lost more than £120,000 because the tractors and farm machinery ordered did not arrive, or did not match the company’s adverts.
The couple, both 34 and from Shiptonthorpe, East Riding, are now banned from being involved in the promotion, formation, or management of a company.
Mr Farrow is banned for six years and Mrs Farrow is banned for five years. The bans started on 7 May.
Despite signing agreements to stop doing so in January 2016 and November 2017, Mr Farrow continued to publish misleading adverts about the condition of tractors and other products.
Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “This is totally inappropriate conduct for company directors.
“Thanks to the joint working with East Yorkshire Trading Standards, Alan and Marina’s bans send a clear message that corporates should comply with legislation that is in place to protect customers who, in this case, were the real victims.”
East Yorkshire Machinery went into liquidation in April 2018, and investigations by the Insolvency Service revealed several complaints had been made to Trading Standards about the company.
Between January 2016 and October 2017, at least 11 customers purchased goods from the company worth more than £88,000 – but East Yorkshire Machinery failed to supply or deliver, and failed to offer refunds.
And between April 2016 and May 2017, at least seven customers bought goods worth close to £35,000, but received goods that were either mis-described or not in the same condition as advertised.
John Bryan, senior trading standards officer at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, welcomed the bans and said the company had caused “considerable distress” to its customers.
In an earlier case in 2018, Mr Farrow was ordered to pay more than £50,000 and banned from selling tractors and agricultural machinery to members of the public for misleading customers in the UK and abroad.
The case was brought by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards department after Mr Farrow failed to keep legally binding promises to not make misleading statements when selling tractors or machinery.
Have you been a victim of fraudulent machinery sales by East Yorkshire Machinery? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.