The fees for dealing with the administration of Christmas hamper firm Farepak have exceeded any potential compensation for its victims.
The business collapsed in 2006, and its customers - who were saving up to spread the cost of Christmas - are now set to receive £5.53m in compensation.
But administrator BDO said the cost to-date of winding up the company stands at £8.2m.
This includes BDO's own fees as well as those of insurers and PR executives.
Farepak ran a savings scheme that people paid into through the course of the year in order to receive a hamper and gifts at Christmas. When it collapsed, savers were left with an average loss of £400.
The Swindon-based company's former directors agreed to pay the equivalent of 15p in every pound towards the compensation claims.
Nine of those in charge face disqualification from acting as directors after the Insolvency Service lodged an application in the High Court in London in February on behalf of Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The case is continuing.