Lengthy prison sentences after man twice caught breaching prohibitions

A man prohibited from taking part in the management of a company, due to previous convictions for having managed a business while an undischarged bankrupt, has been sent to prison.

David Blake was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for breaching the Companies Act, along with his accomplice, Lance Ryan, who was sentenced to two years and two months in prison for breaching the Crimes Act.

Both had been involved in the setting up and management of Hygiene Foundation Ltd, a company that purported to provide hygiene certification to other businesses before going into liquidation in 2013 with over $700,000 in claims from creditors.

“These individuals have a history of taking advantage of the public’s commercial goodwill, and breaching regulatory requirements in place to protect the public from incompetent business operators just like them,” says Registrar of Companies and Official Assignee for New Zealand Ross van der Schyff.

“Our investigations found that they were taking active steps to hide David Blake’s involvement in the companies from the authorities in an attempt to avoid being detected for acting in breach of his prohibition.

“Their incompetence in running this business meant significant financial losses to the companies’ creditors, but also, in some instances, significant emotional harm to the people that they dealt with.

“Limited liability companies help New Zealanders every day in bringing their innovative ideas to market, as they create an opportunity for people to open businesses and take risks. However as we’ve made clear in the past, company directors must comply with their legal obligations.

“This kind of offending is an affront to the wider community who conduct business honestly and do meet all their obligations. We are pleased with these sentences, as they reflect just how seriously the Companies Office takes this kind of behaviour.”

David Blake was convicted of two charges of managing a company while prohibited (one of which relates to a second company Q Technology Ltd), and one charge for promoting a company while prohibited.

David Blake ran the companies with assistance from his wife, Hayley Blake (also known as Heesoo Byun or Heesook Byun) and Lance Ryan. Hayley Blake and Lance Ryan were also recorded on the Companies Register as the directors of these companies, and also controlled the shareholdings for these companies.

Lance Ryan was convicted of three charges under the Crimes Act for being a party to David Blake’s offending.

As a result of these convictions, both defendants are prohibited from promoting or taking part in the management of a company under s382 of the Companies Act 1993 for a further five years. Both are also undischarged bankrupts, and as such they are prohibited from taking part in the management of a business under the Insolvency Act 2006.

David Blake is also known as David Colin Hughey, or David Morgan-Blake. Lance Jack Ryan is also known as Lance Jared Thompson, or Michael Darren Gibbs.