Helen Child is considering her future as CEO of prepaid business G-T-P after admitting to perverting the course of justice.
Child attracted national media attention for trying to avoid speeding fines by blaming her dead mother. She tried to fool police into thinking her mother Lucinda, who died in 2002, had been driving a Volvo estate she was caught speeding in on two occasions in February 2006 and June 2007.
The car was still registered in her mother’s name and Child forged the signature on penalty documents sent out by the police, meaning the points went onto her mother’s licence.
Asked specifically by Cards International whether she would continue as CEO of G-T-P following her conviction, Child replied she “was taking time to reflect on these events” but said she had the backing of the company’s board and shareholders. She added that the judge in his summing up in the case at Manchester Crown Court, where she was handed a 15 week suspended jail sentence and 80 hours of community service, made specific reference that she remained a fit person to run G-T-P.
As G-T-P holds an e-money licence, the FSA will have to consider whether Child still qualifies as a “fit and proper person” to continue in her role as a company director.
“This was a personal matter and my behaviour, which was both stupid and naive, should in no way reflect on G-T-P, which has always acted in the most professional manner and with complete integrity,” she said.
“The company’s management and team should not have to carry the burden of the impaired decision-making I’ve demonstrated in my personal capacity.”
The media coverage comes at a bad time for G-T-P, which is in talks with potential investors interested in securing a stake in the company or merging it with another business. Cards International understands the company has been in talks with a number of interested parties over the last nine months.
A G-T-P spokeswoman told CI that it is in advanced talks with a “major payments” player about a merger and said the business feared losing the deal as a result of bad publicity. However, CI understands the situation could actually accelerate the prospects of a deal.
The situation is also deeply embarrassing for the high-flying G-T-P CEO, who is a leading figure in the prepaid industry and sits on the board of the UK Gift Card Association.
Child is a co-founder of G-T-P, has 10 years of experience in the cards industry and, according to her company’s website, was one of the founding members of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), an industry trade body. A week ago she was named as one of the top 10 women in the prepaid industry by US prepaid publication PayBefore.
“I have always worked tiredlessly for the prepaid industry and will continue to so,” Child added.
Child previously appeared on the cover of Cards International (see above) and was interviewed in CI 423, June 2009.
She was finally caught by police after blaming her morther for a third offence in September 2009, after driving through a red light in her Audi S5 V8 Quattro. Police documents sent out after the offence were picked up by a neighbour, who informed police that Lucinda was dead. The police then launched an investigation.
, Daily Telegraph