Alchemy chiefs launch new firm

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THREE directors of the Alchemy Foundation, a Doncaster company that offered a so-called 'get rich quick' scheme, have set up a new business only days after the Department of Trade and Industry issued a winding-up order against Alchemy.

Powertag is believed to be a similar, multi-layered marketing organisation where subscribers are offered huge returns for an initial subscription fee and monthly instalments.

'The directors of Powertag Ltd (the founders of Alchemy) have informed their members that yet again they have run circles around the DTI and VAT and will continue to trade unaffected,' a statement from the company said.

Police were called to the of Alchemy Foundation offices on Thursday after the Official Receiver was obstructed in his efforts to remove assets following the wind-up petition.

A DTI statement said: 'Inquiries under Section 447 of the Companies Act revealed that it was not in the public interest for The Alchemy Foundation to continue to enlist new members.'

The DTI said it was also looking at the activities of Powertag.

Alchemy, which until recently was represented by the publicist Max Clifford, declined to comment further yesterday.

The DTI's clampdown follows the high-profile collapse of MMM, a similar organisation in Russia.

Last month the DTI wound up a similar company, 3T Publications, which had signed a deal to sponsor Barnsley Football Club. The club said it had been paid but would not say whether the team would take to the field with the name of a wound-up company splashed on its shirts.

'You can appreciate it is a sensitive issue,' a club spokesman said.

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