AN INSURANCE claim for the fire which wrecked a Poole cafe and led to its collapse owing £461,000 was rejected, it has been revealed.

Cafe Shore at Sandbanks closed after it was gutted by an electrical blaze in August 2014.

Its operator, Lucy Enterprises, later went into administration and several local suppliers are among the creditors.

A progress report by liquidator Simon Renshaw said an insurance claim had been made following the blaze.

The policy was held by another company, Cafe Shore Holdings Limited, which shared a common director, Benjamin Brafman, with Lucy Enterprises.

Mr Renshaw wrote: “I wrote to the various solicitors instructed in relation to the claim, together with the insurance broker and appointed loss adjuster.

“From this, it has emerged that the claim was declined, although no further information can be released to me without Mr Brafman’s written consent due to the policy being held in the name of another entity.”

He said he had requested the written consent from Mr Brafman so he could “confirm the level of the company’s interest in the claim and whether it will be possible to repudiate the decision of the insurers”.

Mr Renshaw also said a review of the company’s records had “identified potential overdrawn director’s loan account balances” of £101,604 for Mr Brafman and £63,159 for his mother, Julia Brafman.

He said he had written to both to request repayment of the money but had been told the records were mistaken and that they were actually creditors of the company. He would be seeking further information and would update creditors in his next report.

Mr Renshaw said he had received claims totalling £369,003 from 20 creditors and had yet to receive claims from another 19 whose debts total £92,056. Their prospects of recovering any money would depend on whether the company was owed any money from the insurance claim.

An earlier report identified a list of creditors, with HMRC owed £58,444 for VAT and £37,555 for PAYE contributions.

Two local wholesalers were among those owed large sums – fruit and veg supplier Faast of Charminster, was owed £30,011 and Coastline of Airfield Way, Christchurch, £23,944.

Simon Lovett, proprietor of Faast, said he did not expect to recover any money.

“They were our biggest customer at the time – easily £10,000 a month. You lose that money and you lose your customer,” he said.

In March 2013, Cafe Shore Limited, which also had Julia Brafman as a director, went into liquidation with debts of £404,000.

In a final report to creditors this March, joint liquidator Shane Biddlecombe wrote that there would be no money for unsecured creditors. He said Cafe Shore Limited’s assets were sold to Lucy Enterprises for £25,000, of which only £6,167 had been received and the balance was being pursued.

The former Cafe Shore is now home to Rick Stein at Sandbanks, with no connection to the earlier business.

Benjamin Brafman, 28, is listed as a director of Lomo Tapas Limited, registered at Victoria Avenue Industrial Estate in Swanage; Cafe Shore Holdings of the same address; Coastal Seafood Retail, previously of the same address, which saw liquidators appointed in 2015; Deli (Bournemouth) Limited, dissolved in 2014; Coast Seafood Ltd, previously of Parkstone Road, Poole, dissolved in 2014; and Beasts Ltd of Iddesleigh Road, Bournemouth, dissolved in 2011, as well as Lucy Enterprises.

Julia Brafman, 56, is also a director of Lucy’s Ktichen Sandbanks Limited, Brafman Enterprises Ltd, Julia’s Caff Ltd and Cafe Shore Holdings, all registered at Victoria Avenue Industrial Estate in Swanage, as well as Lucy Enterprises and Cafe Shore Limited.

Benjamin and Julia Brafman could not be reached for comment.