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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 October 2007, 01:50 GMT 02:50 UK
No timetable for Farepak refunds
Closed gates at Farepak depot
Some people lost as much as 2,000 when Farepak collapsed
People who lost money in the collapse of Farepak exactly a year ago have been told there is no timetable for them to get any of their cash back.

Customers say they will only get about 5p in the pound back and it is still not clear when even that limited amount of money will be paid out.

The firm allowed people to save for Christmas hampers and vouchers.

It left an estimated 150,000 savers about 40m out of pocket when it went into administration last October.

'Forced into debt'

Some of the savers said they hoped the fact the firm has now gone into liquidation may make it easier to find out what happened to their money and bring those responsible to justice.

The Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board (AIDB) has opened an inquiry into the conduct of individual accountants involved in the collapse of the firm.

Administrators BDO Stoy Hayward have said savers will only get back 4p or 5p for every 1 they gave to the firm.

Research published this weekend by the University of Birmingham and King's College in London confirmed the collapse forced some former customers into debt, because they had to pay for Christmas twice.

I certainly hope the people who caused this are punished for it
Karen Wallace
Farepak customer

Suzy Hall, one of the organisers of the Unfairpak campaign, started to help victims, said: "We still want the question answered, which most Farepak customers still ask, and that is 'where did their money go?'

"We are talking about over 120,000 customers. 38m completely disappeared. Where is it? How did it happen? Give them the answers they deserve."

Campaigners say the government should act now to help Farepak savers.

Karen Wallace - who lives in Dumfries - lost about 360 when the firm shut up shop.

Punishment

She hopes it may be possible to bring prosecutions if anyone can be shown to have been negligent in the way the business was run.

"When the administration process is finished hopefully we can look then at where our money went," she said.

"Because there was millions and millions. They did own other businesses so the money must have gone somewhere.

"I certainly hope the people who caused this are punished for it. It might take years but I hope something is done about it and it is not forgotten about."

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