January 17, 2013 11:01

MP accuses HMV of theft over gift voucher scandal as Irish stores close

Experts estimate as many as £100 million in vouchers sold are now worthless

MP accuses HMV of theft over gift voucher scandal as Irish stores close

Photo: PA

A Conservative MP has accused HMV bosses of committing theft over its decision not to honour gift vouchers after it went into administration on Monday (January 14).

Conservative backbencher Sir Tony Baldry claimed the retailer was committing theft by continuing to sell vouchers when they must have been aware that "there was little prospect of those vouchers or gift cards ever being redeemed".

He added that the company's "directors and management must have known that the company was at very real risk of failure" when they continued selling vouchers "all through Christmas and up until the day they went into administration", The Guardian reports.

A spokesperson from HMV told NME yesterday: "We of course understand the strength of feeling on this matter and are very sorry, but we hope that customers will understand that we are currently in administration and therefore not in a position to accept gift cards and vouchers."

Meanwhile, staff at the retailer's two stores in Limerick, Ireland have staged a sit-in. According to RTE, staff say that they are attempting to secure wages owed to them, including holiday pay and money they earned over Christmas.

As Reuters reports, all 16 of HMV's Irish stores, which employ around 300 people, are under receivership and will remain closed under the process. Unlike going into administration, receivership is not aimed at keeping the company operating as a chief concern.

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