Fitness firm run by scammers will pay no money back to students
PUBLISHED: 15:21 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:31 08 September 2020
Fitness students owed thousands of pounds by a firm which was run by scammers have been told they will get no money back.
Customers paid hundreds of pounds each to Lowestoft company FitLearn to take online personal trainer courses. But many were left with no qualifications and part-complete courses, after it collapsed.
Its founder Scott Wolfe, 39, from Unthank Road, Norwich, was jailed last year for four years for running fake online nutrition courses through a separate company.
His partner Katie Hope, 35, was also jailed for two years for her part in the fraud.
But before Scott and Wolfe were jailed, and while under investigation by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, they ran FitLearn Ltd.
Students paid money for personal trainer courses and qualifications which they never received.
In April an acquaintance of Wolfe’s called Neil Debenham took over FitLearn and it was put into liquidation in July.
The company, based at the Phoenix Enterprise Park in Lowestoft, owed £525,000 when it appointed liquidators. The vast majority of the money owed, £473,700, was to students.
Another £30,300 was owed to banks and finance companies, almost £6,000 to a landlord and £12,500 to trade creditors.
Now the company’s liquidator, Jamie Playford from Leadings, confirmed no money would be paid to creditors.
A total of £200,000 was received in claims from creditors.
In documents filed on Companies House, he said £82,000 retrieved from the company through the liquidation would only cover the cost and expenses of the liquidation, meaning there would be nothing left for those owed.
Mr Playford wrote that he received £76,000 back from one company, called ETeacher Limited, after challenging why they were paid that sum for “website design services”.
But when the liquidator looked at bank statements he found the company was heavily overdrawn.
Amy Griffiths, 38, from Cardiff set up a Facebook group called “FitLearn Scam Victims” after paying £600 for a course which she said she was not given enough time to complete.
“I’ve seen nothing, but knew we couldn’t get a penny. The whole thing is a mockery.”
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