BOSSES at a Chorley firm - who effectively spoiled Christmas for hundreds of customers - has been wound by the Official Receiver.

Insolvency Service investigators found that 30,000 orders had been made, via a website set up by Advance Tech (UK) Ltd and Clever Technology, for gifts like games consoles and virtual reality headsets.

But the presents, ordered for Christmas 2016, were never delivered and customers were told, the following January, to claim chargebacks through their banks.

The outfit, trading as Advanced Technologies, also operated a computer repair service, located in Pall Mall, Chorley. The listed director for the operation at the time was Numan Ahmad, 24, of the same address.

An inquiry found that Advance Tech transferred £3.4million paid in for the goods, through the online portal - - to another entity, Clever Technology, based in Cannock.

But that firm was then found to have passed those same funds to a third party in Dubai, where the money was withdrawn in cash.

Merchant facilities were left facing a £2.9million loss, because of this. And a further £1million was still owed to customers who paid through credit cards.

Scott Crighton, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: "These companies ruined the merriest time of year for so many families, whose children and loved ones were left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

"Thankfully their actions have caught up with them and, through petitioning the Court to shut the companies down, we have prevented them from causing further misery to unsuspecting customers."

It has emerged Advance Tech was wound up last October but an announcement was delayed as Clever Technology had intended to dispute their case. It was later confirmed this was not being pursued.