Liverpool-based Global Media Corporation Ltd (Global Media), which sold advertising space in diaries and magazines and wrongly claimed they promoted the work of the emergency services - including the police, fire and ambulance services - was wound up on public interest grounds on 9 January 2014 by the High Court in Manchester.
The winding up order follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The company had earlier been put into provisional liquidation on public interest grounds on 11 December 2013.
The investigation found the companys telesales staff cold-called potential customers claiming Global Media was affiliated with the police and on occasion pretended to be the police. They offered advertising space in diaries and magazines promoting the work of the police, fire and ambulance services, adding that these were distributed to thousands of homes throughout the UK.
The investigation found little evidence to show the magazines and diaries had been printed or distributed at all. In addition, the company had submitted misleading documents to Companies House as its bank account showed income far in excess of that declared in financial statements.
The company also sought payment from customers for advertisements they had not bought and sales people employed unscrupulous methods to try and obtain these payments.
The company director told investigators that the magazines and diaries were not commissioned by any of the emergency services and that they were only distributed to the advertisers and to a police station in Warrington.
The investigation found that:
Global Media had submitted dormant accounts for the year ending 31 December 2010. However, the bank account showed trading income of approximately 210,000.
The financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2011 reflected one months trading during that year, whereas the companys bank account showed trading income throughout the year in excess of 256,000.
Global Media Corporation Ltd failed to file financial statements for 2012.
The company had also failed to maintain adequate accounting records, making it difficult to verify the nature and purpose of the payments made from the companys bank account. The director was also unable to explain payments from Global Medias bank account in excess of 735,000 paid to accounts linked to her husband, a disqualified director.
Alex Deane, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said;
This company preyed on small businesses claiming to offer a service they simply didnt. The business community should rest assured that the Insolvency Service will take action to close down such companies and, where appropriate, take action against the individuals responsible.