By Sarah Lagan
A story by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner’s new investigative
reporter Richard Porritt has led to a businessman who deliberately ran
down glazing businesses quitting the industry.
Alan Rees became the company director or secretary of nearly 30
companies over four years, which prompted a Huddersfield MP to write to
the Department for Trade and Industry to call for a review into the law.
Rees admitted to running “phoenix” companies
that he ran into the ground and wiped out debts by voluntarily going
into administration. He then bought back the companies cheaply, changed
the name slightly and left employees, customers and suppliers out of
Porritt first became aware of Rees when one of his
companies closed down resulting in job losses and was taken over by the
He discovered that Rees had run 28 companies in four years, 13 of which had been closed down.
Porritt finally got hold of Rees by posing as a journalist on a trade publication.
Porritt revealed his true identity Rees “put his hands up and said it
was fair cop”. He admitted running phoenix companies and said he would
be leaving the industry.
Porritt said: “Many of our readers had
lost out on their deposits using his services. There is no law against
what he did, but now a review into the loophole has been called for.”