‘False’ air ambulance charities told to close

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THREE companies have been closed by the High Court after falsely implying clothes they collected from Northamptonshire homes benefited an air ambulance charity.

Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance said it welcomed the ruling that came after it was discovered three linked companies had been misleading supporters by using similar names to the medical charity’s on clothing bags.

The companies are Air Ambulance Support Community Interest Company, St Anthony (Trading Co) Ltd and St Anthony Repatriation Ltd.

It is not known how much the charity lost out on because no proper accounts were kept by the companies, but it is estimated thousands of pounds of clothing were mistakenly left in the bags taken from households across the region.

All made misleading representations that the proceeds raised from the onward sale of unwanted clothing would be donated to local air ambulance charities.

But the High Court heard they had not ever been authorised by any air ambulance service to act as charity fundraisers, and no evidence of donations made to any air ambulance charity was found.

Investigation supervisor David Hill, of the Insolvency Service, said: “In winding-up these companies the court is sending a clear message that schemes which set out to deliberately mislead the public will be closed.”