The companies boasted of being able to recover funds lost by victims of failed alternative investment schemes for an upfront fee but these claims were false.
Asset Recovery Associates Limited (ARA) was incorporated as a private company in July 2011.
The linked company, Asset Recovery Resources (ARR) Limited was incorporated as a private company in December 2012. Both had the same registered office address in Warrington.
However, an investigation by the Insolvency Service, launched following complaints, found ARR’s claims to be untrue.
The reality was that there was little or no prospect of funds being recovered, said the government's Insolvency Service.
The court heard that ARR’s staff cold-called victims offering to recover their money in return for the payment of an advance fee.
Victims described the sales staff employed by the company as “aggressive and persistent” and claiming, entirely falsely, they had been appointed by the Insolvency Service.
The court heard that neither company cooperated with the investigation.
Mr Alexander Goodrich, the director of both companies, stated that ARR was a dormant company that had been “hijacked” by fraudsters and that he had no knowledge of the cold-calling activity.
Mr Goodrich admitted that ARA had been involved in recovering monies lost by individuals in investment scams but told the court that he took the fees out of monies recovered and did not charge clients up front. He failed to produce the company’s accounting records to the investigators, claiming he no longer had access to them.
The lack of records has meant it has not been possible to find out how the companies got hold of investors’ details, says the Insolvency Service.
David Hill, a chief investigator with the Insolvency Service, said: “ARR employed aggressive sales tactics to prey on people who had already lost money, seemingly with the aim of scamming them.
“Members of the public, who have lost money in any kind of investment, should be wary of anyone calling them out-of-the-blue, claiming to be able to recoup their investment losses.
“The Insolvency Service will investigate and shut down the activities of such companies.”