The latest incarnation of an engine reconditioning business was wound up on 23 March following an Insolvency Service investigation.
The company was shut down by the High Court following confidential enquiries, an investigation and the issuing of a winding-up petition by Companies Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service.
The Investigation established that Exchange Engines Limited was the latest company in a long line dating back to the 1990s that had operated this business. The winding up of the company follows on from the successful closure of 1st Choice Engines Limited, Unique Engines Limited and Reconditioned Engines Limited in January 2015, following similar investigations.
The Court found the company was taking money up front from members of the public for engine work which was either not being carried out or was hopelessly defective. Between March and August 2015, in excess of 100 complaints were received by Trading Standards about the company. The investigation further found the company failed to maintain adequate accounting records to explain large cash receipts.
Four individuals involved in the operation of both 1st Choice Engines Limited and Exchange Engines Limited have been arrested by Thames Valley Police and charged with Fraud and Money Laundering offences relating to both companies. All four are due in Court in January 2017.
Commenting on the winding up of the 3 companies, David Hill, a chief investigator with the Insolvency Service, said:
The company operated to draw in and then rip-off customers.
Closing down this company should leave no doubt that the Insolvency Service will continue to take enforcement action whenever serious failings are discovered and in particular against companies that prey on customers.
The Official Receiver has been appointed Liquidator of the company by the High Court.