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Care home directors disqualified following thefts from residents.

Two directors, a married couple, of a care home company have been disqualified after an Insolvency Service investigation found they had stolen money from residents.

Thomas Gerald Atcheson and Linda Ann Atcheson, who ran Granby Lodge Care Home, Harrogate, and took sums totalling £45,010 from residents between 2012 and 2014, have been disqualified for 13 years from being directors of a limited company, the Insolvency Service said.

Granby Lodge Care was incorporated in 2003 and latterly traded from leased premises at 10 Granby Road. The company provided residential care for up to 14 adults with learning difficulties.

On 11 July 2016, Linda Atcheson and on 14 July 2016, Thomas Atcheson gave an undertaking to the Insolvency Service not to manage or control a company for 13 years until 2029. Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

The investigation found that, following a period of ill-health for Thomas Atcheson, in 2010, the company began struggling financially. During a two-year period, the couple stole a total of £45,010 held in trust on behalf of care home residents, for the benefit of the company.

Following an earlier, separate investigation by North Yorkshire Police into the theft of the residents' funds, the couple were convicted of nine counts of "fraud by abuse of position" in February 2015 and sentenced to two years imprisonment. They were subjected to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for £45,010.

Insolvency service senior investigator, Rob Clarke, said: "The Insolvency Service and the Department for Business will take firm action when we find that the behaviour of company directors falls short.

"In this instance Mr and Mrs Atcheson abused a position of trust that had been granted to them, to accommodate the needs of people with learning difficulties in a domestic care setting.

"They misappropriated funds from some of the most vulnerable members of society over two years. This disqualification should serve as a warning to other directors who choose not to act properly."