Four connected London companies selling ‘miracle’ stock market charting software have been liquidated following winding-up petitions presented to the High Court. The companies were forced into liquidation on ‘public interest grounds’ after an investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed the true nature of the companies’ services.
The four companies were pedalling software that ‘guaranteed’ to make money for investors trading on the London Stock Exchange. However, the court heard that Direct Technologies Limited, D Corporation Ltd, Stock Market Charting Programs Ltd and On Demand Sales Consultants Limited raised a total of £1million by duping members of the public with false claims.
The false claims made by the four companies included false online articles, fake testimonials and purported magazine articles which claimed the software was an award winning product alongside reputable financial institutions.
It was also claimed that the so-called ‘DTL Direct Trading System’:
- Applied 251 internationally recognised charting formulae
- Was built on 10 years of historical trading data over 125,000 stocks
- Could download the daily closing market data of every stock listed on the London Stock Exchange
- Carried out more than three billion calculations every day
- Provided alerts for profit taking and loss making situations
- Had an integrated accounting package
The results of the Insolvency Service investigation
Despite claims that the system ticked all the right boxes for investors and provided proven results, all for a one-off investment of £8,800, the unopposed evidence from numerous complainants suggested that the software did not live up to these boasts.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that the product failed to deliver on the promises made by the four companies. Cold calling and a number of aggressive sales techniques were also used to sell a misrepresented product that simply did not work.
The brochures used by Direct Technologies also bore more than a passing resemblance to those produced by Corporate Financial Trading Solutions and Investments Limited, a company which was wound up in the public interest in 2011 for very similar activities.
The investigators on the case also identified a number of websites which included an ‘expert review page’. The purpose of this page was to teach customers how to trade and make money using the software, helping them to become part of the ‘trading family’. Of course, this would have been a helpful addition to the product if the software actually worked.
Failure to file returns or cooperate with the investigation
The winding-up petitions were presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to the High Court on 30 March 2015. The grounds to liquidate the companies were not limited to the legitimacy of the companies’ products.
The four companies were wound up for a string of failures, including a lack of transparency as to their management, abandonment, trading with a lack of commercial probity, failure to file returns and failure to cooperate with the investigation.
Welcoming the court’s decision to liquidate the companies, Chris Mayhew, a supervisor with Company Investigations, said: “This investment was as dodgy as the testimonials. No-one made any money apart from those behind the companies, and the ‘guaranteed profits or all of your money back’ pledge was as elusive to investors as the companies themselves.
“The Insolvency Service will not allow companies to operate in this way and will investigate abuses and close down companies if they are found to be operating, as here, against the public interest.”
If you’re a London-based company with legitimate issues with being threatened with a winding up petition call the London office on 08000 746 757 now and speak to someone who can help.