THE former bosses of a care home firm which lost more than £58,000 in savings belonging to elderly residents in Sheffield have been banned from being company directors.
Deepak Mohan Mirpuri and Arun Mirpuri ran Larongrove Limited, which operated the Abbey Grange home on Cammell Road, Firth Park, until August 2009.
Personal funds of seven vulnerable residents – including pension and benefit money – were paid into the home’s business account instead of being held separately.
When the company became insolvent and went into administration, the cash was irrecoverable, causing the elderly people to lose £58,914.
Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Deepak Mirpuri was disqualified from being a director for seven years, while Arun was banned for four years.
The order was made by a judge during a hearing at Croydon County Court.
South Yorkshire Police’s fraud squad concluded no action could be taken, as there was no proof that anyone acted dishonestly or with criminal intent.
Good practice guidelines for care homes state residents’ money should be kept separately from the firm’s business account - but, instead, Larongrove pooled the funds as working capital to meet running costs and expenses.
The residents paid the money to the home as they were suffering from conditions such as dementia, which left them unable to manage their finances.
After Larongrove went bust, Abbey Grange was taken over by another firm, Country Court Care, which introduced changes including a ring-fenced account for personal savings, and refurbishments.
Robert Clarke, head of company investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: “Larongrove and its directors were placed in a position of trust by these seven residents who, through no fault of their own, lacked the capacity to handle their own finances.
“Both the residents and their families trusted the directors to protect their cash and use it in the best interests of the individuals concerned.
“Instead, these directors treated it as company money, which led to the loss after the care home became insolvent.”
Mr Clarke added: “They behaved with an unforgivable lack of responsibility towards the finances of the elderly people in their care.
“The orders made in this case send a clear message to other directors that if they run a business which causes harm to the public they will be investigated and removed from the business environment for a long time.”