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 1990’s 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.
Notes to Editors
Exchange Engines Limited (Company Registration No. 09349129) was incorporated on 10 December 2014 and the registered office was 347 Widney Road, Bentley Heath, Solihull, West Midlands B93 9BQ. Previously: 2nd Floor, 43 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1SY. The director was Antony David Baylis.
The petition to wind up the company was presented in the High Court on 27 January 2016 and the company placed into Compulsory Liquidation on 23 March 2016. The petition was presented under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986.
Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Further information about live company investigations is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to:
The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit , 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT.
Telephone: 0207 637 1110
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