Two West Midlands companies that operated a charity clothing collection scam have been wound up in The High Court following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
Air Ambulance Recycling Limited and E&N Textiles Limited were found to have a common director. The companies targeted residents across the UK, but primarily in the West Midlands, distributing 'charity bags' for collection.
The companies "made misleading representations" that the proceeds raised from the sale of donated clothing would be donated to local air ambulance charities. No evidence of donations made to any air ambulance charity was found.
The companies even used leaflets with images similar to the logos of official air ambulance charities, in an attempt to pass themselves off as authorised collection agents. While they traded they were never authorised to act as fundraisers by any air ambulance service, the Insolvency Service's Companies Investigation team reports.
Some of the bogus bags are still unaccounted for. The Insolvency Service urges people to destroy any bags they have that bear the logos of these two companies.
Specifically the companies' activities were judged to be both misleading and in breach of regulations contained in the House to House Collections Act 1939 concerning door to door leaflet dropping where charitable purposes are included. Tthe Act requires companies conducting collections for charitable purposes to obtain a licence. Neither of the companies had done so.
Investigation Supervisor, Alex Deane, commented on the High Court's decision, saying: "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".