Director of on line ticket agency that collected �600,000 from Cambridge Folk Festival sales gets nine year disqualification

MICHAEL John Joseph Barnard, one of the directors of an on-line ticket agency that collected over �600,000 for Cambridge Folk Festival was disqualified from being the director of a company for nine years, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service found that whilst 63 year-old Barnard was a director of Secureticket (UK) Ltd (‘Secureticket’), the company collected over �600,000 from on-line ticket sales for the Cambridge Folk Festival but failed to pay these to Cambridge City Council (CCC) in accordance with the contract between the two organisations.

The investigation found that the company failed to keep the monies in the ‘protected’ account but were kept in a general Secureticket customer account with another bank.

Monies from this account where used to make payments to other customers and into Secureticket’s own current account.

In signing a Director Disqualification Undertaking, Barnard admitted that he:


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Failed to ensure that monies due to CCC were paid to them;

Allowed over �27,000 due to CCC from what were supposed to be two secure bank accounts to be paid instead to directors of Secureticket;

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Allowed over �172,000 due to CCC to be paid instead into Secureticket’s current account;

Allowed over �100,000 due to CCC to be paid instead to a connected company, which shared a co-director with Secureticket;

The company had originally entered into a contract with CCC, which stipulated that any monies collected in relation to the sale of tickets for the Cambridge Folk Festival should be kept in a ‘protected’ client’ account, with a specific bank.

Commenting on Mr Barnard’s disqualification, investigator Vicky Bagnall said:

“Mr Barnard’s disqualification shows that when directors neglect their duties as directors, leading to losses being incurred by others, they can expect sanctions to be imposed upon them. The Service takes such behaviour seriously and this is shown by the length of Mr Barnard’s disqualification”

1. Secureticket (UK) Limited was incorporated on 14 July 2003 and commenced trading in February 2007. Its registered office was at Secure Park, Nine Mile Water, Nether Wallop, Stockbridge Hampshire SO 80 8DR. The company was placed into voluntary liquidation on 19 January 2009.

2. On 15 November 2010 Michael John Joseph Barnard signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning him from being a director of a company for a period of nine years. Disqualification undertakings were introduced in April 2001, they are an administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Without specific permission of a court, a person with a Company Director Disqualification, including Undertakings, cannot:-

act as a director of a company; take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company; be a liquidator or administrator of a company; or be a receiver or manager of a company’s property.

Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/directordisqualificationandrestrictions/whatisdisqualification.htm

3 The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from http://www.insolvency.gov.uk

4. All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit , Tel No 0207 637 1110: Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

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