TWO people have been summonsed to appear before magistrates following a lengthy investigation into a York financial services firm that closed down last summer.
Trading standards officials from City of York Council launched a formal investigation after the closure of Yorkshire Asset Protection (YAP) left widow Lynda Madden fearing she was thousands of pounds out of pocket.
The Press reported last August that Mrs Madden and her late husband Noel, of Stamford Bridge in East Yorkshire, had paid £6,500 to YAP for a joint funeral plan after Mr Madden became terminally ill, so that they could have “complete peace of mind” by paying for his funeral at a fixed cost after he died.
But following Mr Madden’s death from cancer, Mrs Madden feared she would be left picking up the funeral bill of more than £3,000 after the firm’s offices in New Street in the city-centre closed down, and staff at the offices stopped answering the phone.
The Press received more than half a dozen calls and emails from readers worried about their own dealings with the firm following publication of the initial article.
Concerned readers included several who had paid almost £1,000 for YAP to draw up and store their wills.
The trading standards department received 36 complaints about YAP in the week after the closure was reported and has since been investigating.
Now Matt Boxall, who is the Trading Standards manager at City of York Council, has revealed that following the investigation, two people have been summonsed to court.
The summons is for offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
“The first hearing is on September 25 at York Magistrates Court,” he said.
The company’s website said last year that it offered “specialist advice” and “bespoke solutions” for people’s estate planning needs.
It added: “Our aim is to make inheritance planning and wealth protection accessible and affordable to everyone.”