Two directors of Virtuosi Limited, a corporate hospitality provider in Leicester which sold but did not deliver tickets for high profile concerts and sporting events - including the Abu Dhabi, Monaco and Qatar Grands Prix - have been disqualified for a total of 18 years following investigations by the Insolvency Service.
Siobhan Kellie Billson (34), and Glen Leighton Harrod (40), were disqualified on 1 July 2013 and 1 August 2013 respectively, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
As directors, Ms Billson and Mr Harrod allowed Virtuosi Limited to continue trading when they knew it was insolvent. They sold tickets to customers worth at least 386,271, including 223, 742 for the three Grand Prix events and unauthorised tickets to Olympic events worth 61,685, which they could not deliver.
They also failed to maintain adequate accounting records for these sales and could therefore not explain to the liquidator how the money was spent, when Virtuosi went into liquidation.
The investigation showed that although Ms Billson resigned as a director of the company in March 2011 it was apparent that she continued to play an active role in the companys affairs.
Ms Billson and her partner, Mr Harrod both gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) not to promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company.
Virtuosi Limited was wound up following the presentation of a petition by one of its suppliers on 14 November 2011 and was found to have liabilities of more than 682,365.
Commenting on the case, Ken Beasley, an Official Receiver at the Insolvency Service said:
This company claimed to be able to supply tickets to high profile events, in some cases without the requisite authority to do so, but failed to do so after taking money from customers."
The company cynically exploited and disappointed customers, some of whom paid thousands of pounds for goods and services which had been promised to them."
Ms Billsons and Mr Harrods behaviour fell far below that expected of responsible directors of a limited company and the two are now facing the consequences."
The Insolvency Service has strong enforcement powers and we will not hesitate to use them to remove directors from the business environment who have failed to demonstrate the level of care and responsibility that is required of them.