A Scots care home owner has been banned from being a company director for six years after it went into liquidation with no explanation for hundreds of thousands of pounds leaving company accounts.

Laurie Gray, 50, from Hamilton, was director of Seabank Care Ltd in Saltcoats which company traded but began to encounter "difficulties" in 2016 and 2017.

Some 89 jobs were lost when the closure of Seabank Care Home was announced at the end of 2018 with staff being made redundant in a saga which saw some staff fail to receive wages.

The 45 elderly residents, many of whom suffered from dementia, were moved out of the building.

The Insolvency Service, which investigates company collapses on behalf of UK government said after the undisclosed difficulties emerged, no admissions to the care home were allowed and by 2018 it was recommended that the company cease trading and went into liquidation.

A second care home, Woodside Care Home, also operated by Mr Gray, was also forced to close due to the liquidation.

After Derek Forsyth of Campbell Dallas was appointed as liquidator an Insolvency Service investigation found that Ms Gray had failed to preserve or deliver up adequate accounting records for Seabank Care Ltd.

He was unable to explain the company’s expenditure including cheque payments totalling £111,047, other unexplained withdrawals worth £62,887, and payments to a connected party and their companies totalling £343,717. Funds leaving the company accounts totalled almost £518,000.

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The Insolvency Service said that Seabank Care Ltd had a loan of £50,596 but the liquidator was unable to confirm whether it had been collected for the benefit of the company, only that a further £23,000 was paid out to the loan company.

The insolvency agency said that Mr Gray had also failed to file accounts for the period prior to the company’s liquidation.

As a result, on April 6, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Gray which means he cannot directly or indirectly, become involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: "As director of Seabank Care Home, Laurie Gray was entrusted with looking after the residents in his care, including using the funds they paid on legitimate costs. Instead, he failed to keep records or account for almost £518,000 leaving the company accounts.

"This ban should serve as a warning to other directors that if you fail to meet your obligations, including preserving accounting records, we can take action."

In March, 2019 it was hoped that the care home might re-open following a number of bids from interested parties.

Christie and Co, a specialist property advisors, who had the site listed for sale said that potential buyers had lodged their bids in an attempt to re-open the home.

The was listed for £2.75 million and the sellers confirmed bids had been received.

Originally after the closure was announced, staff were told that the home would remain open until late January.

At the time a spokesman for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), said: “Over the weekend, we deployed some HSCP staff to Seabank Care Home to help ensure consistency in the care provision for the residents.

“Given the issues and uncertainty around pay that Seabank Care Home staff face, a number of them intimated that they were not attending work. We therefore provided HSCP staff to help fill in any gaps to ensure the residents received their normal service provision.

“No member of staff from Seabank Care Home was told they were not required.”

The spokesperson added: “Residents will be moved from Seabank into their new accommodation by Tuesday, November 27 at the latest.

“We have a team of staff who have been working with the residents and their families and carers during this difficult and unsettling period. The team will continue to work alongside them to ensure the resident’s transition to their new care home is as seamless and straight forward as possible.”

The liquidator has been approached for comment.