Foldlight Ltd and Qaisar Ltd, two companies exclusively formed to carry out fraud, to the detriment of creditors, were wound up by the High Court on 11 December 2015.

The winding up orders follow an investigation conducted by Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service, with assistance from Companies House.

The investigation found that the companies filed accounts with no validity whatsoever at Companies House and then used those accounts to try and obtain goods on credit and lease terms, an activity known as short term fraud.

Between them, the companies obtained cars to a value of 97,000, VOIP services - technologies for delivering voice communications and multimedia sessions over the internet - of 25,000, boilers and related equipment of 72,000 and a commercial lawnmower worth 15,000.

The investigation also found that these companies were linked to a string of other companies with similar accounts filed, some of which were otherwise inactive and others of which had supplied false trade references to get credit.

Of the 26 sets of accounts scrutinised during the investigation, 20 had the same grammatical error and spelling mistake, and two had quoted the names of auditors without permission or connection.

The court heard that there were links to over 100 companies via filings at Companies House, including to other companies previously wound up by the Insolvency Service using the same powers, as well as by HMRC and creditors. Other crimes such as drug related offences were also linked to some of these companies, through the investigation.

The investigation was helped extensively by staff at Companies House, a sister agency of the Insolvency Service also sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Scott Crighton, Group Leader with Company Investigations North said:

The Insolvency Service will investigate and bring to a halt the activities of companies that seek to use fraudulent means to obtain goods and services on an organized basis using an extensive network of deception and misdirection. In doing so, we look to fellow regulators, victims and potential victims who provide us with the information to take action.

Business owners should take care when dealing with potential new traders who seek credit and whose bona fides consist solely of accounts filed at Companies House with little to validate the information in those accounts.