Tuesday 12 December 2017

Brothers risk becoming the poster boys for bad practices

Dearbhail McDonald

"SOME rules were meant to be broken" was the tagline for 'The Delinquents', the adolescent love movie starring Kylie Minogue.

This morning, identical twins Simon and Christian Stokes, owners of the Residence club in Dublin who were dubbed "delinquent directors" by High Court Judge Peter Kelly, are contemplating the consequences of breaking some rules that are never meant to be broken.

The judge was staggered that PAYE and PRSI monies deducted from employees, as well as VAT payments the club received, were used as working capital instead of being forwarded to the Revenue Commissioners.

The brothers blamed their former financial controller for the state of affairs, but accepted they had ultimate responsibility for the misdeeds.

To their friends and clients, the Stokes twins are hard working and the latest high-profile victims of the recession.

But as the courts crack down on widespread practices that were tolerated or overlooked during the boom, the two men now risk becoming poster boys for an unsavoury way of doing business.

Yesterday's ruling was not confined to the Stokes alone, and has sent a stark message to those seeking protection of the courts that risky trading -- whether intended or not -- can lead to more than a fallout with creditors.

Irish Independent

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