Thedropsofhelp Ltd, a company that operated a sham charity collection business, has been ordered into liquidation in the High Court on grounds of public interest, following an investigation by The Insolvency Service, in collaboration with Trading Standards.
Thedropsofhelp, which was based in Beckton, east London, claimed to be a not-for-profit organisation and said it was fully licensed to carry out its operations, but the investigation found out that none of the money was given to charity.
The company delivered collection bags to households and claimed in the advertising on these bags and through its website www.tdoh.org.uk , that it was collecting clothes and other items for the needy.
The adverts included a picture of a dishevelled child appearing to bite her nails and the statement: The drops of help in your hands will support the poor families, orphans and asylums. Help them today, not tomorrow
The company was run by Mr Vaidotas Puzas and his wife Mrs Asta Puziene, both of whom were banned for five years from acting as company directors in a recent, separate hearing (see note 6). According to Mrs Puziene their companys average turnover was around 15 tonnes of clothes per month.
The Court heard how, despite its claims, the company did not make a single charitable donation. Instead, the bags of clothes and other items it collected were shipped abroad and sold at a profit. The company even forged the fumigation certificates necessary to allow it to export clothes to certain countries.
Following the Courts winding up decision, Company Investigations Supervisor Chris Mayhew said:
This company took shameful advantage of the publics charity thereby damaging genuine charities by taking items that may otherwise have been donated to them and by harming peoples faith in giving altogether.
The Insolvency Service has strong enforcement powers and we will not hesitate to use them to remove dishonest companies and their directors from the business environment as these uncharitable directors found out.