Dragons' Den puzzles boss made bankrupt
A PUZZLE firm boss who found fame on a hit television show has been made bankrupt over unpaid council tax.
Award-winning entrepreneur Danny Bamping marketed the Crazee Cube and other puzzles and was offered a deal on the BBC's Dragons' Den programme after impressing business experts.
Now he has been made bankrupt after being taken to court by Plymouth City Council, which said Mr Bamping owed £2,457.
He has lodged an appeal, which has yet to be decided. Mr Bamping, from Mutley, declined to comment but confirmed he had appealed against the bankruptcy order.
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As creditor the council petitioned the county court for a bankruptcy order in March this year.
The order was made on July 17 and has now featured in the London Gazette, the official Government newspaper.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson confirmed Mr Bamping had been made bankrupt and said: "This was following an application by the council to recover £2457.40 worth of unpaid council tax relating to the financial years 2010/11 and 2011/12.
"We will always try to recover unpaid council tax and met with Mr Bamping to try and secure payment.
"As payment was not forthcoming the application was made and Mr Bamping was declared bankrupt."
A person cannot act as a company director while that person's bankruptcy remains undischarged.
The Crazee Thingz Ltd wholesale and retail company, of which Mr Bamping was managing director, has been dissolved.
Another wholesale and retail firm of which he was managing director, Bedlam Puzzles Ltd, and the holding company 23 Acorns Ltd, are the subject of proposals to strike off.
This is when a company applies to be removed from the Companies House register, and dissolved.
Last year, Mr Bamping, now aged 38, appeared in front of Plymouth magistrates for refusing to pay his council tax for a second year in a dispute with the city council.
Magistrates ordered him to pay £1,309 for the 2011/12 financial year plus £60 costs.
They also heard he owed £1,392 from the 2010/11 financial year.
He had been in dispute with the council claiming it was unfair he should pay tax while landlords of student properties are exempt.
He had argued that his house was in an area where there was a high concentration of student accommodation which caused disruption to other residents.
Although offered investment in the puzzle cubes by two 'dragons' on the BBC show in 2005, Mr Bamping turned down the deal, as reported in The Herald.
The following year he was named the Institute of Directors entrepreneur of the South West and the British Promotional Merchandising Association's entrepreneur of the year.
Alongside various versions of the Crazee Cube, Mr Bamping also marketed the Crazee Diamond, Crazee Block, Crazee Brain, Crazee World and other puzzles.