Travel agent boss disqualified after ‘misusing’ £700,000

A Leicestershire travel agent’s finance director has been disqualified for 11 years after he misappropriated £700,000 worth of company funds on failed foreign exchange trades.

Diamond Shortbreak Holidays traded in Market Harborough as a travel agent and holiday company.

Jamie Tann, from Wallasey, Merseyside, joined the company in June 2013 when he was appointed as the travel agent’s financial director.

But four years after his appointment, it was discovered that Tann was responsible for a payment worth £25,000 that hadn’t reached a supplier.

Tann’s employment with the travel agent was terminated before the Diamond Shortbreak Holidays entered into administration in March 2017. The company entered into liquidation in February 2018 and caused job losses both in the UK and in South Africa. Creditors were also owed money to the value of more than £10m.

The Insolvency Service looked into the causes of the company’s failure and found that between March 2015 and January 2017 Tann had “misappropriated” funds belonging to Diamond Shortbreak Holidays worth at least £713,000.

Investigators spoke to Tann, who said that he had used the misappropriated funds to conduct foreign exchange trades and that all of the money was lost.

Further enquiries found that he caused Diamond Shortbreak Holidays to make payments due to the travel agent’s creditors into third party bank accounts, while also creating false payment requests from Diamond Shortbreak Holidays’ foreign exchange provider, which he paid either to himself or a third party.

He also received funds due to Diamond Shortbreak Holidays and paid them into accounts not belonging to the company, while failing to pay the funds back to the travel agent.

On 6 December 2018, Tann signed a disqualification undertaking, which was accepted by the Secretary of State, and effective from 27 December 2018, he is banned for 11 years from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Martin Gitner, deputy head of insolvent investigations for the Insolvency Service said: “Jamie Tann was appointed to a position of trust at the company. However, he used that privilege to misuse hundreds and thousands of pounds on what turned out to be unsuccessful foreign exchange trades.

“Eleven years is a substantial ban and should serve as a warning to others that if you misuse company funds then we can have you struck off the register of company directors.”