Hope they collect every last penny.
A director of a company fined £40,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office has himself been ordered to pay out more than £100,000 as part of a long-running collection saga. When the ICO handed IT Protect Ltd a "monetary penalty notice" back in 2017 for making nuisance sales phone calls, it appears few were expecting the …
"the high cost of pursuing IT Protect may raise eyebrows among fans of strong enforcement."
It's almost as if having a robust legal system that doesn't just allow the government to crush you into pieces without due process costs time and money.
Note that if the director had paid the fine properly then no problem. But he didn't, and got apparently really bad (or no) legal advice. "I didn't pay the fine because I didn't like it" isn't going to work.
"Sending muggers and burglars to jail also is very expensive, it would be cheaper to give half the money to the naughty people in return for staying at home and behaving themselves"
I'm confused. Did you think I was against spending money to convict criminals? I'm not, I think more should be spent, particularly by HMRC for tax-dodging (as that's actually a profit, not an expenditure).
Yup. Here are the details of the real scam:
- Before the winding up Joint Liquidators and their staff fees estimated £30,000 + VAT = £36,000
- Actual liquidators fees Mazars £40,040.50 (hourly average £315.56), Chiron £45,742.75 (hourly average £347.33) = £85,783.25, so almost 2.4 times over budget
"Appendix D2 is a narrative summary of Liquidators' time costs .. why the work was necessary and whether the work provided a financial benefit to creditors." Ooh let's look at Appendix D2 then...
"The majority of this work derived no financial benefit for creditors". This is written no less than six times and there's no identifiable work which did provide benefit to creditors.
Let the three be publicly whipped for their refusal to pay the fine and blatant disregard for the law. Set up a booth nearby to sell rotten tomatos, feces, and other sorts of disgusting fodder the public can purchase for a quid (to help pay for all the crap the three have put us through) and then pelt the scumbags with while taunting them mercilously.
Public stocks, caning, naming and shaming, and if those fail to get folks to behave then ...
Bring out the COMFY CHAIR!
The ICO has a very bad track record for collecting on these fines. At least this shower of shites were pushed out of business but why is the ICO's enforcement so weak?
BA ain't paid
Marriot ain't paid
In fact if you Google around you'll find reports that 42% of fines aren't paid with a total of £7 million.
And those don't include the BA and Marriot fines.
So either the ICO ain't doing it's job properly, or the legal framework it operate within doesn't allow it to act properly. Either way there is a problem to solve.
Winding up takes too long, plenty of time to dispose of assets and plead poverty.
Legal judgement, followed immediately (as in the the following 5 mins) by receivers being appointed, banks notified, directors assets frozen and the company under administration until fines are paid. That'd scare the pants off legit companies enough to make sure they didn't transgress in the first place, scam outfits like this might actually be wound up with cash recovered.
Both companies are big enough to keep this in the courts for years, maybe in perpetuity, certainly long enough to deplete the ICO's legal funds until they give in and settle for 5% of the original fine.
For the companies facing such massive fines it woukd make perfect business sense to pay to kick them down the road forever.
It would only be 'okay' in the UK in the sense that parliament is sovereign and can do whatever it wants as long as both houses pass a bill which the government has put forward and the Crown then assents. That last step is not a given. I'm not sure the effort to get everyone on the same page would be all that different to amending the US constitution.
Both countries would also still be in breach of several international treaties, and the ECHR is probably the one which would have the most serious diplomatic consequences in the UK's case. The US executes people all the time so it's hard to imagine too much drama outside the US over skipping the troublesome trial part. I suppose some of the more boisterous States would get quite upset if the Federal government did it without their own representatives' approval though.
"Both countries would also still be in breach of several international treaties, and the ECHR is probably the one which would have the most serious diplomatic consequences in the UK's case"
No, it would be ok because we would only be breaching those treaties in a very specific and limited way.
(Sarcasm, just in case it's not obvious).
Interesting to note that on two recent attempts to use it in Canada's Parliament it was judged by their Speaker to be obsolete in the UK. Such is the nature of shared parliamentary tradition under the Westminster system that that precedent in turn reinforces the case in the UK that it actually is obsolete, as most practices not used in 200 years are anyway.
In reality it would be for the Speaker of the day to pull an opinion out of their ass and rationalise it however they can. Not quite as unconstitutional as the US's written protection backed by courts but a significant barrier.
"In reality it would be for the Speaker of the day to pull an opinion out of their ass and rationalise it however they can. Not quite as unconstitutional as the US's written protection backed by courts but a significant barrier."
I'd be highly surprised if any court in England would accept it. In which case it's essentially as protective as the US's version.
I think I have found a use for blockchain that isn't just some contrived PR crap.
The problem with many unwanted calls, is that they have hidden their real number, whether that be their mobile, landline or voip address.
Surely a system can be put in place that allows your telephony provider to interrogate the source of the call, and ascertain the credentials are genuine.
And perhaps that system could be blockchain, with each onward node adding to it, so an auditable route and it's source be proven.
Users can then choose to not receive any incoming calls from entities that cannot be verified, which the last leg connector can then divert to a recorded message and thus still get the connection fee.
The money made from deploying this scheme could be funnelled into training a crack team of knuckle draggers to inflict some serious "fines and penalties" in the absence of any real justice being meted out to scam callers.
Disqualification means nothing. He can just set up again with a new persona at Companies House; maybe spell his name differently or add an extra middle name, change the address etc. The number of people "owning" different Companies House records with multiple personas is unbelievable.
The big deal with being disqualified as that it removes the limitation of liability in a phoenix company.
That means that a disqualified director can be held personally liable for ALL the debts of any subsequently incorporated company, whether they're a director or shadow director.
Companies House have just completed a consultation where they have concluded that they need to do more data checking on directors - we'll see what that actually involves at some point!
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