Court winds-up two tech and gadget suppliers

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Advance Tech (UK) Limited of Rochdale and Chorley, and Clever Technology Limited, of Bridgtown, Cannock, have been wound-up in the High Court in Manchester on 26 October 2018 and 7 May 2019 respectively. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.

In considering the petitions, the Court heard that Advance Tech traded in computer parts and gadgets using the trading name ‘Advance Technologies’ before trading with Clever Technology in 2016.

In November 2016 a website called savvibuy.co.uk was created to sell in-demand tech such as games consoles and virtual reality headsets for Christmas.

The website received a large number of orders and, while most went unfulfilled, Advance Tech – previously known as Advance Games Esports Organisation – took payment via a merchant services facility for 30,000 of them.

Advance Tech then transferred more than £3.4 million to Clever Technology for the goods, who in turn paid the funds to a third company based in Dubai. No goods were ever received in exchange and later investigations determined that, in Dubai, the funds had been withdrawn in cash.

Customers, alarmed when their Christmas presents had not been delivered as promised, contacted Advance Tech and were told that goods would be with them in time for the festivities.

When they didn’t turn up, customers were then told by Advance Tech in January 2017 to request a chargeback through their bank.

This resulted in the merchant services facility suffering a loss of £2.9 million. A further estimated £1 million is still owed to customers who paid via debit card.

Scott Crighton, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

These companies ruined the merriest time of year for so many families, whose children and loved ones were left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

Thankfully their actions have caught up with them and, through petitioning the Court to shut the companies down, we have prevented them from causing further misery to unsuspecting customers.

Clever Technology initially prepared to defend the winding-up petition, but withdrew its evidence the week before trial. The Winding-Up Order was handed down on the first day of the hearing, 7 May 2019.

Members of the public who have been affected by the actions of Advance Tech and Clever Technology can contact The Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit, 2 Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN or by telephone on 0161 234 8531 or email at piu.north@insolvency.gov.uk with details of their orders.

Notes to editors

Advance Tech (UK) Ltd – Company registration number 07227703. Previously known as Advance Games Esports Organisation Ltd, it commenced trading in April 2014.

Clever Technology Ltd – Company registration number 07455009. It commenced trading in November 2010.

The petitions were presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 6 September 2018.

Advance Tech was wound up on 26 October 2018 by District Judge Bever and Clever Technology was wound up on 7 May 2019 by His Honour Judge Hodge QC after it decided not to defend the petition.

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, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Further information about live company investigations is available here.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by BEIS, administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities, both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available here.

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