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    The number of company directors disqualified for fraudulent activity has increased over the last 12 months, a study shows.

    Using information from the Insolvency Service, law firm Wedlake Bell claims there has been a 31 per cent increase in such activity, with 1,079 company directors facing disqualification as a result.

    Speaking to the Times, Edward Starling, a partner at Wedlake Bell, commented: "We are starting to see an increase in fraud and I expect to see much more of it.

    "It is well known that fraud follows a recession and it will take years for this to work through."

    There has also reportedly been a rise in the amount of disqualification proceedings which have had fraud cited as the main reason for action.

    In the latest statistics from the Insolvency Service, it was revealed that there were 4,941 compulsory liquidations in the first quarter of this year, marking a 7.1 per cent increase on the previous three months.

    This figure is comprised of 1,579 compulsory liquidations, which were up by a total of 43.6 per cent on the same quarter in 2008.

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