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Rogue charity companies closed down for bogus collections
Two linked West Midlands companies that operated a charity collection scam have been wound up in The High Court following an investigation by the Companies Investigation team of The Insolvency Service.
The investigation found that Air Ambulance Recycling Limited and E&N Textiles Limited had a common director and targeted residents across the UK, but primarily in the West Midlands, via ‘Charity bag’ drop offs and collections.
The companies operated in the same manner and made misleading representations that the proceeds raised from the onward sale of unwanted clothing would be donated to local air ambulance charities but no evidence of donations made to any Air Ambulance Charity was found.
The companies also attempted to pass themselves off as authorised collection agents by making charity bag drops in residential areas, with attached leaflets bearing similarities to the logos of official air ambulance charities. At no time throughout their trading histories were they ever authorised by any air ambulance service to act as charity fund raisers.
Some of the bags are still unaccounted for and The Insolvency Service is asking people to destroy any bags they may have received bearing the logos of these two companies.
The activities of the companies were also found to be not only misleading but in breach of regulations contained in the House to House Collections Act 1939 concerning door to door leaflet dropping where charitable purposes are included.
Essentially, the Act requires companies conducting collections for charitable purposes to obtain a licence. Neither of the companies had done so.
Investigation Supervisor, Alex Deane, warned;
“In winding-up these companies, the Court has sent a clear message that it is unacceptable to mislead the public and exploit their goodwill towards emergency services and the Insolvency Service will seek to have such companies closed down”
“We are also aware that these companies ordered a significant quantity of collection bags for distribution whose whereabouts are currently unknown. If you do receive collection bags bearing the names of either of these companies please destroy them so that they cannot be used again”.
Notes to Editors
1. The registered office of Air Ambulance Recycling Ltd is at 236 Lozells Road, Birmingham, B19 1NP. This was also previously the registered office of E&N Textiles Ltd until it was changed to 568 Moseley Road, Birmingham. 2. Petitions seeking the winding up of the companies were presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 27 March 2012. The petitions were heard on 22 May 2012, at which time the companies were wound up. 3. Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, carries out confidential enquiries on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”). 4. 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 www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency. 5. All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, Area 2.4, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3SS., email firstname.lastname@example.org 6. Media Enquiries should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media Relations Manager, Telephone 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187
Phone: 020 7596 6187