A magazine publisher based in The Wirral that falsely claimed to produce magazines supporting the emergency services has been wound up in court.
The Hannay Partnership Limited was wound up on 2 August 2019 by District Judge Matharu at the High Court in Manchester following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.
At the hearing to consider the petition to wind up the company, the court heard that the Hannay Partnership, incorporated in March 2013, claimed to publish three quarterly magazines in support of the emergency services, entitled “To the Rescue”, “Survivor” and “On Call”.
From February 2015, the company cold-called local companies, societies and schools to sell advertising space in its magazines generating, on average, around £7,500 per week. However, sales staff made a variety of false and misleading claims to prospective advertisers in order to secure their business.
These claims included staff pretending to be members of the emergency services, misrepresenting the print runs and circulations of the magazines, and claiming that the proceeds from the publications were used for the benefit of the emergency services.
Insolvency Service investigators were told that the company produced 6,000 magazines per year across all editions, which were then distributed to emergency service premises for free.
The investigation found, however, that the company printed 450 magazines in total in 2017, and only 200 during 2018. Investigators found no evidence that the magazines were distributed to emergency service personnel, or that any financial contribution had been made by the company to the services or associated charities.
Scott Crighton, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:
The Hannay Partnership manipulated the national goodwill towards our emergency services, using deliberately misleading practices to secure revenue that was then not used for the advertised purposes.
We welcome the court’s decision to wind up the Hannay Partnership in the public interest, stopping this unscrupulous behaviour in its tracks and ensuring that businesses and individuals that choose to contribute financially to our emergency services can do so in confidence that their donations will be passed on.
Members of the public who have been affected by the actions of the Hannay Partnership can contact the Official Receiver at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting CIB57536, with details of their case.