The Ministry of Justice has shut down the claims management company Client Cartel Review following an investigation of the business.
Cartel began operating in 2007, telling customers that they could clear their debts by using a legal loophole; the minimum sign up fee for this service was £495. An estimated 50 to 70,000 people signed up and many customers were still waiting for action 2 years later.
Cartel’s founder Mr Carl Wright is alleged to be sitting on millions of customers money and in a Newspaper interview last week Mr Wright said he estimated around £20 million has been taken in fees from customers, while also saying ‘’The money is not available to be able to be refunded back to the clients.’
The Ministry of Justice said: ‘Removing a business’s authorisation is a serious matter which can only be taken after careful consideration of all the evidence and the consequences for clients of such action.’
‘MoJ has already confirmed publicly that we have been investigating CCR. As a result of this investigation, we have suspended the authorisation of Cartel Client Review Ltd, with effect from today, March 18 2010.
‘This means that CCR will no longer be able to carry out any claims management services. As with any suspended business, the MoJ will be monitoring the situation and considering next steps that may be appropriate.’
Craig Gedey Marketing Manager at Debt Advisory Line said: ‘Anyone looking for help with their debts should seek professional debt management advice perhaps before trying to negotiate a claim, unless of course they truly feel they were miss sold.’
‘Any customers needing debt advice can contact us on our free phone number 0800 157 7254 or contact our financial claims management company on 0844 880 0648. Alternatively visit either of our web sites; www.debtadvisoryline.co.uk or www.bankingrefunds.co.uk ‘
Perhaps what is even more alarming is that Mr Wright is reported to have taken out a ‘debenture’ on the company in August last year. This makes him what is called a ‘priority creditor’ over any other creditor should the company go bankrupt. If this happens customers of CCR will be classed as ‘creditors’ because money is owed to them.
A new legal firm has been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Ministry of Justice is offering advice to all Client Cartel Review customers on 0845 4506858.