Two fraudulent companies that claimed to be able to recover funds for people who had lost money in alternative investment schemes have been ordered into liquidation by the High Court.
Asset Recovery Associates Limited was incorporated as a private company in July 2011. The linked company, Asset Recovery Resources Limited, was incorporated the following December. Both had the same registered office address in Warrington.
The companies claimed to be able to recover funds lost by victims of failed alternative investment schemes.
However, an investigation by the Insolvency Service, launched following complaints, found ARR’s claims to be false. The reality was that there was little, or no prospect of funds being recovered.
The court heard that ARR’s staff cold-called victims offering to recover their money in return for the payment of an advance fee.
Victims described the sales fraudsters, who falsely claimed they had been appointed by the Insolvency Service as “aggressive and persistent”.
The court heard that neither company cooperated with the investigation. Alexander Goodrich, the director of both companies, stated that ARR was a dormant company that had been hijacked by fraudsters and that he had no knowledge of the cold-calling activity.
Goodrich admitted that ARA had been involved in recovering monies lost by individuals in investment scams but told the court that he took the fees out of monies recovered and did not charge clients up front.
He failed to produce the company’s accounting records to the investigators, claiming he no longer had access to them.
The lack of records has meant it has not been possible to find out how the companies got hold of investors’ details.
Insolvency Service chief investigator David Hill says: “ARR employed aggressive sales tactics to prey on people who had already lost money, seemingly with the aim of scamming them.
“Members of the public, who have lost money in any kind of investment, should be wary of anyone calling them out-of-the-blue, claiming to be able to recoup their investment losses.
“The Insolvency Service will investigate and shut down the activities of such companies.”
The court found that it was in the public interest that both companies be wound up.