The mother and son director team of a coach travel company have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of 21 years.
Gail Bottomley and Darren Bottomley were disqualified for 11 and 10 years respectively for “failing to protect customer money paid up-front for holidays and travel” following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The Bottomleys were directors of Bradford-based Gain Travel Experience, which entered liquidation in June 2012.
The investigation found that both directors had ignored The Package Tour Regulations 1992, which are meant to protect customers by ensuring money paid for deposits and holidays are held in secure accounts, by failing to “protect advance payments”.
Investigators found that at the time of liquidation, 653 customers had paid up front fees and lost an approximate total of £220,000.
Customers also lost out as the company, having had its credit/ debit card facility withdrawn in late 2011, asked customers to pay by cheque or in cash.
Robert Clarke, head of insolvent investigations north, part 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.
“In this case, a significant number of elderly customers have been left out of pocket thanks to the Bottomleys’ disregard of protective legislation and it is appropriate that their disqualification is for a significant period of time.”