Companies behind festive fraud “wrapped up” in the High Court after insolvency probe

THE Insolvency Service has this week had a starring role in a toy story with a difference. It was one that left many families in Yorkshire and the North East not smiling, but fuming – and out of pocket.

But youngsters in Yorkshire and the North East can now look forward to a more merry Christmas this year – after insolvency investigators brought those behind a major festive fraud to court.

The Insolvency Service was among the agencies who stepped in when Santa Claus failed to deliver presents – and Christmas cheer – to families across the UK.

The scam impacted on hundreds of people from Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, York, Sheffield, Halifax, Huddersfield, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Durham, Newcastle and other towns across Yorkshire and the North East.

They were left with empty Christmas sacks after presents ordered from an online technology website called SavviBuy never arrived, despite payment being taken.

Many Yorkshire and North East families flocked to the website for must-have Christmas gadgets and toys, including PlayStation games consoles, Hatchimals and Apple watches – all at low prices.

They were lured by glowing reviews on online feedback websites, and a promise of delivery before December 23. But when orders failed to turn up, many were given the cold shoulder by online retailer – leading to widespread media coverage.

Investigators from the Insolvency Service revealed that the companies behind the website failed to supply over £3 million of popular toys and gadgets. Many families from Yorkshire and the North East are still out of pocket.

Both firms have now have been wound-up in the High Court by the Insolvency Service. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.

They were named by the Insolvency Service as Advance Tech (UK) Limited of Rochdale and Chorley; and Clever Technology Limited, of Bridgtown, Cannock.

And, according to insolvency analysts, the directors involved are now facing a sackful of other penalties for their behaviour.

After the liquidation ruling, Scott Crighton, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “These companies ruined the merriest time of year for so many families, whose children and loved ones were left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

“Thankfully their actions have caught up with them and, through petitioning the court to shut the companies down, the Insolvency Service has prevented them from causing further misery to unsuspecting customers.”

The insolvency petitions were presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986.

The Insolvency Service administers the Government’s insolvency regime, and delivers a range of investigation and enforcement activities, both civil and criminal.

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk