Three companies that operated a misleading charity collection for the Derbyshire , Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA ) have been shut down by the High Court in London following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Claire Marshall, DLRAA Director of Fundraising, said: “We are delighted that this action has been taken and these companies have been closed down. They were purporting to be supporting local Air Ambulances and misleading supporters across the counties we cover and further afield for some time.
“The only ways to know your donations are going to your local Air Ambulance is to donate through our official bags, bearing our official charity number 1098874 or by donating in person to our high street charity shops in Belper, Bakewell, Ashby, Wigston, Hinckley and Oadby.”
The investigation found the three companies, primarily operating in the Midlands, made misleading representations that the proceeds raised from collecting unwanted clothing would be donated to local air ambulance charities - but this did not happen.
It is not known what became of any proceeds generated through the sale of clothing items collected by the companies. No evidence of donations made to any Air Ambulance Charity was found.
Investigation supervisor David Hill said: “In winding-up these companies, the court is sending a clear message that schemes which set out to deliberately mislead the public in this manner are not acceptable and will be closed when we become aware of them.”
The companies are Air Ambulance Support Community Interest Company (“Air Ambulance Support CIC”), St Anthony (Trading Co) Ltd (formerly Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co) Ltd) and St Anthony Repatriation Ltd (formerly Air Ambulance Service)). Both St Anthony companies had a common director, Anthony Joseph Durkin. Mr Tomas Mickauskas, a former director of Air Ambulance, worked as a leaflet distributor for the two St Anthony companies.