Taxpayers may have to foot millions of pounds in legal bills following the abandonment of a Government bid to penalise directors of a Christmas hamper business which collapsed six years ago leaving tens of thousands of savers out of pocket, a businessman involved has said.
A Government companies watchdog has discontinued High Court action against former bosses at Farepak and its parent firm.
The Insolvency Service, which is part of the department headed by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable, wanted former bosses at Farepak, and its parent firm, disqualified from being company directors. Former bosses contested disqualification applications.
Lawyers representing the Insolvency Service called a halt after "consideration of evidence" given at a High Court trial.
After the hearing Sir Clive Thompson, one of the former Farepak bosses targeted, estimated that the litigation would cost £20m in total and said he and other former Farepak bosses would be asking the court to order Mr Cable's department to foot the bill.