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Pyramid Selling

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many petitions she has received under the provisions of the Insolvency Act 2000 for the winding-up of companies for operating pyramid selling schemes; how many of these petitions included claims that the companies concerned were operating unlawful schemes under the provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973 and its amendments, including the Trading Schemes Act 1996; and if she will make a statement. [116028]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry carries out fact-finding inquiries into the affairs of companies each year. Based upon the results of these inquiries the my right hon. Friend decides if it is in the public interest to petition the Court for an order to wind-up a company. These petitions are presented under section 124(A) of the Insolvency Act 1986. There is no information held centrally concerning the number of companies which operate pyramid selling schemes and which are wound-up by the Court. The list of companies wound-up by the Court on the petition of my right hon. Friend is published in the annual report on Companies. This document is available on the DTI website; is held by the DTI library and can be requested through the Libraries of the House or can be purchased from HMSO.