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Company directors jailed for fraud.

TWO company directors whose fraudulent activities led to the collapse of a firm with the loss of 270 jobs have been jailed.

Christopher Freeman and Alan Hodgkinson also caused the knock-on collapse of creditors and their own parent company. Burscough-based Universal Bulk Handling Ltd supplied tank containers and had a pounds 22m turnover.

Financial director Freeman, 48, was jailed for two years.

The accounts had showed a profit of pounds 2.5m but there was actually a deficit of pounds 11.5m.

Freeman, of Fulwood, Preston, was banned from being a company director for 10 years. He pleaded guilty at Liverpool crown court to two charges of false accounting, two of fraudulent trading, and one of forgery.

Managing director Hodgkinson, 49, of Catshaw Peniston, Yorks, was jailed for nine months and banned from being a company director for five years.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 26, 2003
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