The director of five companies that sold non-existent tickets for music festivals has been banned for 13 years following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
John Lupton was disqualified for ripping off the public and claimed that the companies involved were run by his girlfriend using the identity of a deceased woman.
Paul Titherington, official receiver in the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit said: “These companies claimed they could supply concert tickets but in most of the known transactions they never supplied the tickets ordered, nor made the required refunds to customers.
“Investigators were unable to corroborate Lupton’s claims of a co-director who was using a fake identity and has now vanished into thin air.”
Lupton was director of Commercial Logistics and Trading Limited, EU Ticket Shop Limited, Festival Ticket Store Limited, Lines Direct Limited, and Williams & Hill Limited, which traded as VIP Block Tickets.
The companies sold concert tickets, mainly for the Reading and Leeds Festivals, but failed to supply these tickets to customers or to pay any refunds.
Credit card providers were forced to offer statutory refunds and collectively lost £361,317 as a result. Lupton also made cash withdrawals of £674,366 from company accounts.
The investigation found that the woman registered as Lupton’s co-director in one of the companies had died in January 2009, three months before the first company was incorporated.
Lupton claimed ignorance of this and said the woman had absconded without ever revealing her true identity.