Simon Smith and Nicholas Capsey, both directors of Global Enduro Ltd, a holiday tour operator, have been disqualified for a total of 14 years for failing to ensure that at least 207,055 raised for charity under commercial participation agreements was paid to the charities, and for failing to ensure that adequate insurance protected at least 39 package tour holiday-makers, who between them lost over 104,000 when the company failed.
One of the directors was disqualified in June 2015 and the other has now given an undertaking not to act as a director, having previously contested disqualification.
Mr Smith provided an undertaking early in the proceedings and was disqualified for a period of 8 years from 4 June 2015.
Mr Capsey provided a staunch defence to the proceedings, which were due for trial in January 2016. In the days before trial a suitable settlement was reached and a 6 year undertaking, from 12 February 2016, was accepted from Mr Capsey.
As a result of the undertakings, both directors are prevented from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a limited company.
Global Enduro Ltd was a travel company that mainly ran motorbike adventure holidays, supporting a number of charities by way of a fee charged to every participant over and above any further sponsorship raised by the participants. The aim was to raise funds for charities via Commercial Participation Agreements.
The companys previous clients included both Prince Harry and Prince William, who took part in a motorbike rally organised by Global Enduro in 2008.
Charities owed money as a result of the companys failure include Sentebale (a charity founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho), Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund, the Rainbow Trust, UNICEF and Adventure Ashram.
Following a social media campaign against it, the company experienced a drop in bookings. The financial difficulties caused by this led the directors to conclude the company could not continue to trade and the company went into administration.
Mr Smith and Mr Capsey admitted failing to ensure that the company complied with rules governing charities.
Furthermore, Global Enduro Ltd broke the Package Holiday Regulations by failing to put in place Insurance protection for its package holiday customers, also breaching its own terms and conditions, which clearly stated that the company would do so to protect customers in the event of its insolvency. As a result, at least 39 customers found that they were unprotected when the company was placed into administration. They lost over 104,000 between them for package holidays they had booked and paid for.
Mark Bruce, Chief Investigator of the Insolvency Service, said:
When directors of a company do not comply with legislation that is designed to protect customers, and avoidable losses result, the Insolvency Service will fully investigate the circumstances and take action where appropriate.