Two business people who set up a notorious property industry marketing services company called Cream Club, have been disqualified as company directors for eight years following enforcement action by the Insolvency Service.
Craig and Claire Cook set up Cream Worldwide in 2010 after buying the name from a failed publishing company. At the high point of its business activities, Cream Club employed some 80 staff at its headquarters in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
The company was wound up in 2014 but the brand rose from the ashes as ‘Cabec Ltd trading as Cream Club’. A year later that also entered administration, but re-appeared once more as Cream Club Ltd in 2015. This company only lasted a few months and in January 2016 it also went into administration.
The ‘club’ distributed its products via a network of estate agents who signed up to become members, giving them rights to distribute its marketing services in their local area.
The Insolvency Service subsequently looked into the administration of Cabec Limited trading as Cream Club and found that the Cooks had both failed “to ensure that Cabec Limited (“Cabec”) made full and timely payments to its employees, which resulted in Cabec failing to comply with the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and trading to the detriment of its employees from at least 1 July 2014 until Administration on 5 May 2015″.
Further investigation uncovered the details of Cabec Ltd trading as Cream Club’s financial meltdown. This included how employees were owed near £69,000 in unpaid national minimum wage income, while the company also owed unpaid wage arrears of £330,624 and various debts owed to HMRC, loan companies and trade debtors totalling £400,000.