Novtej Singh Dhillon and his former wife, Sarina Thiara Dhillon, who were directors of a number of hotel companies in Britain, have been disqualified by regulators from acting as directors for manipulating accounts and causing a bank losses of £31.767 million.
While Novtej was disqualified for 11 years, Sarina faced the same restriction for four-and-a-half years. Both face other restrictions that come with being disqualified to act as company directors, Britain’s Insolvency Service said.
The regulator said its investigation found Novtej caused, and Sarina allowed, their companies - which ran several hotels - to operate in a manner which lacked probity. The Dhillons used the various companies for personal expenditures that were attributed by the group accounting department to director loans, it said.
In court, a judge reportedly described Novtej as a man who “regards truth as a merely optional extra when doing business”.
Cheryl Lambert, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “In this case, Mr Dhillon was responsible for the construction of a long term and complex web of lies, by manipulating the internal financial systems of a group of companies.
“Additionally, the sale of a very large asset was claimed to be occurring resulting in almost £13m of further lending being made, which were then used within their empire of companies and which allowed the Dhillons to continue to benefit from their continued operation.”
Novtej, Lambert said, took no action to prevent the long-term implementation of deceit, while benefiting from the continued operation of the companies and the increased funds from overdraft extensions.
“This activity goes to the very core and basis of the economic system, with Mr Dhillon knowingly creating a scheme to obscure his activities and the real position in relation to the company’s trading and solvency,” she added.