A BOSS at a Sandbanks cafe which went bust after a fire has been disqualified from being a company director, it has emerged.

Cafe Shore never reopened after it was gutted by an electrical blaze in August 2014, and its operator Lucy Enterprises collapsed into administration.

It later emerged that an insurance claim over the fire was rejected.

Bournemouth Echo:

The premises is now home to a Rick Stein restaurant, which is not connected with the previous business.

In his latest report, liquidator Simon Renshaw says he is still investigating “apparent overdrawn directors’ loan account balances” at Lucy Enterprises, as well as the declined insurance claim.

He says that last year, Lucy Enterprises director Ben Brafman “gave an undertaking and was disqualified from acting as a director for a period of four years and six months”. His ban comes to an end on August 20, 2021.

Bournemouth Echo:

The liquidator’s report – the first since April 2017 – lays out details of debts totalling £434,724.

He says there are two preferential creditors – an employee owed £538.10 and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (now called the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), which is owed £3,278.

The liquidator has received claims totalling £338,850from 19 unsecured creditors and is yet to receive claims from another 19 who are believed to be owed a total of £92,056.

Mr Renshaw reports that he instructed solicitors to help clarify why the insurance claim was refused and to recover money which he says is overdrawn from the directors’ loan account of Lucy Enterprises.

Bournemouth Echo:

“This workstream is complex, time consuming and ongoing. Creditors will be provided with an update on the position in my next progress report,” he says.

In a previous report, Mr Renshaw said the insurance claim over the Cafe Shore fire was “declined as a result of alleged misrepresentation”, adding that “although I was subsequently advised that a challenge to the insurers’ decision was ongoing, I was unable to secure any evidence of this”.

He reported then that there were “potential overdrawn directors’ loan accounts” of £101,604 from Mr Brafman and £63,159 to his mother and fellow director Julia Brafman.

Both told the liquidator that the records were mistaken and that they were owed money by the company.

A previous company which ran the venue, Cafe Shore Limited, went into liquidation in March 2013, with debts of £404,000. It also had Julia Brafman as a director. There was no money for unsecured creditors.

Cafe Shore Limited’s assets were sold to Lucy Enterprises for £25,000, of which only £6,167 was received, according to a liquidator’s report.