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Nobody Will Want to Work for Sirius ‘Open Source’ Anymore

Video download link | md5sum 9364e74c9fb26a531bfe13118066b89d
When Companies Lie to Applicants
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Pension fraud and other crimes rendered my last employer incapable of recruiting and retaining staff; we want to make this a cautionary tale for other companies and technical workers out there while at the same time working towards full accountability

I was running background checks on this company as “Seems too good to be true” situation,” a person told us about Sirius ‘Open Source’. It later turned out that this person was nearly ready to work for the company. But a little bit of research changed the plans.

As it turns out, our series continues to have a lot of impact even about a year later. We knew the company very well (I was there since 2011 and my wife since 2013), but we didn’t know until this year about the pension fraud. Things got really bad in the last 4 years and especially the last year (2022). The video above explains more.

“I’m just starting my Linux career,” the person above told me. He was under the impression Sirius was based in two places, so I had to clarify that the company is almost 100% UK, but it is hiding in the US (dodging the law since around 2019). Apparently it’s not so uncommon a practice (there is a new shell in the US, bearing the name “Inc.”).

“I’m stuck in a position as this would be a good stepping stone for me,” the person said, “but I don’t want to deal with company drama.”

“Also they offered an extremely low amount (25k) for a technical role (understandably, helpdesk but Linux based… hmm).”

“Reading your posts about them being skimpish with cash I can completely understand,” he added.

I explained to him that some salaries were in fact reduced over time, not even taking inflation into account (my highest per-hour salary was in 2011 when I had just joined the company!) and one co-worker from the southern hemisphere, now living with his wife in England, was paid 21k for the same position as his colleagues. So there was an element of exploitation and even a ground for litigation (if he chose to pursue that; it’s not cheap). Yes, same role, different salary.

I also mentioned the nepotism, lack of holiday pay and so on. There’s the whole “Google is your friend” mindset as well. “One of the questions I was being asked is “What are your skills like with Google workspace etc”,” the person recalled. So they’re still rejecting “Open Source”, even though it is in the company’s name.

“I hope this page gets more exposure so that people don’t fall for this,” the person added. “I’m still in two minds, because choices are pretty limited for junior devops type work and exposure in large enterprises.”

Remember this was in 2023 when companies laid off many people while imposing some strict “hiring freeze” policies. So many people were desperate to either get in or merely stay inside.

But “the gig won’t last long,” I told him, so it might not be worth the trouble. It can get uglier when HMRC and police get involved. This is an ongoing issue and we’ll make further progress.

There’s a lot more in the video above, but I’ve carefully omitted some details to protect the person in question from reprisal.

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Recruitment is Dead

Video download link | md5sum fc2ca023aa9cd6715b0568cf80397df3
Sirius Behind the Veil of Lies
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ have made it virtually impossible to attract people who can support GNU/Linux systems; there are lessons to learn here, both for employers and for employees

THE collapse of Sirius is still being chronicled here, albeit less frequently than before. At the end of July we saw that the company had sunk deeper into debt and headcount fell to about half what the company falsely claims in its Web site.

There is also a staff exodus (people fleeing); this includes high-level positions. This is still an ongoing or outstanding issue. How long before it’s a one-man shop with huge debt? Many workers got burned, some got burned out, and many has been secretly robbed for many years. The details are updated still and indexed under our Wiki pages; since leaving the company I was contacted by people who had applied for the positions. All of them regretted even applying!

“I have decided to withdraw from the offer made by [redacted],” one told me. “I have also carried out a credit reference check and it confirms a lot of what you have said. I cannot be associated with a company like that. I think I have dodged a bullet and wanted to thank you for your wiki entries. [...] I ran a check through companycheck.co.uk, it gave me a full history of the finances and a score of the likelihood of the company folding. There was also a history of Sirius spinning up shell companies. I do not like companies trying to dodge their responsibilities by playing the system.”

“I looked at the companies finances and compared that to [redacted]‘s version. It didn’t match up, also [redacted] claimed contractors were “perm” employees to make it look like the company was more successful than it actually was.”

The video above discusses this in greater depth. Some time tomorrow we intend to tell a similar story. What takes a bit of effort here is hiding people’s identities. The thing of utmost importance is to explain this from a more generalised point of views, as it’s safe to assume many other companies behave similarly. We try to explain the patterns.

Still Pursuing Truth and Justice About Sirius ‘Open Source’

Video download link | md5sum 2fe9f82c74ba241e589746e3621e7289
Sirius Open Source Investigation Still On
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series is still ongoing and we have some sporadic updates on it

TODAY I wanted to speak about the time when (more than a decade ago) my employer attacked a blind colleague of mine who had done nothing wrong. She was isolated from us and colleagues were prevented from talking to one another about what was happening. You see, they basically took down our Jabber server for many weeks and pretended it was due to some technical problem. Bear in mind that by that point Sirius had already quietly plundered us, collecting our money for a “pension” that did not exist (it’s a very serious crime, that’s pension fraud).

We’ll progress with our pursuits and find justice one way or another. There are many impending steps and we’ve made some breakthroughs. Right now it seems safe to say that the subject will come back for months to come, maybe even next year. I say a lot more in the video above. Later this week my wife plans to publish something. Her first article is related to this.

SIRIUS OPEN SOURCE LTD Report for 2022 is Out

It’s finally out (hours ago).

Sirius 2023 accounting

Sirius report for 2022 page 1

Sirius report for 2022 page 2

Sirius report for 2022 page 3

Sirius report for 2022 page 4

Sirius report for 2022 page 5: The accountant's address since 2 weeks prior

Sirius report for 2022 page 6

Sirius report for 2022 page 7

Sirius report for 2022 page 8

Sirius report for 2022 page 9

Note: The pension fraud would require investigating that shell abroad. 3 entities are deep in debt.

Sirius report for 2022 page 10

Sirius report for 2022 page 11

Summary: As noted the other day, Sirius ‘Open Source’ was eerily quiet or inactive and there was nothing for July until today (the very last day of the month) regarding its finances (e.g. balance sheet and headcount); the company still claims to be based where the accountant is (still the same accountancy) and the losses deepened last year, with only 166 pounds in the bank, a massive decrease in net assets, and debt growing by 20% (up until October 31st, i.e. a month before both my wife and I resigned, followed by several senior colleagues). This was only “[a]pproved and authorised by the director” today; the company claims to have “7″ member of staff, but that was a year ago and it’s a lot less now. As it turns out, selling out to Bill Gates and playing to the tune of Microsofters who dox employees was a big mistake Microsoft had attempted this years prior], as usual).

“Netscape hired me to represent their interests, and when I announced this, controversy ensued. Which is a nice way of saying that Microsoft went berserk; tried unsuccessfully to get me fired as co-editor, and then launched a vicious, deeply personal extended attack in which they tried to destroy my career and took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked there. It was a sideshow of a sideshow of the great campaign to bury Netscape and I’m sure the executives have forgotten; but I haven’t.”

Tim Bray

Ignoring Early Signs You Work for a Liar (Who Might Lie to You Too)

Video download link | md5sum af2ede5cedf3d71835d542e233f4bb36
Liars in Charge
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ will be covered here about once a week and today’s video deals with the last part, which explains a history of lying and perhaps infidelity too

THE attempts to compel the British government to hold Sirius accountable for financial crimes won’t end soon. The British government was the biggest client of Sirius, so there’s an incentive to bury it all under some rug somewhere.

We recently made the decision to slow down a bit and issue progress reports once or twice a week. Many victims deserve to know what’s happening and what was happening since 2011 (12.5 years ago; it may have started sooner, but I hadn’t been there yet).

There is no very clear outline at the moment, but we have about 10 more steps to go through and a lot of information in the pipeline. The above video mostly sums up what we covered earlier this week.

Partners in Crime at Sirius Open Source

Sirius  Threes Company
Partners in crime

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ are a subject we’ll likely cover for a long time to come (probably next year too) because they unearth a bunch of other scandals, both at home and abroad

THE place where I worked for nearly 12 years (I resigned this past December) and where my wife worked for over 9 years (she too resigned) is a bonfire or a dumpster fire at the moment.

We have a lot of things left to say, but we intentionally throttle it all down to about once a week (maximum effect and modest progress when there’s no rush or hurry). There’s a lot of new material in the pipeline already and the goals are specified clearly.

“These aren’t audited because of the size of the business, but an audit can be demanded.”Some time around 26/7/2023 (ish) there will be a financial disclosure here (obligatory) and maybe there too. It was July 26th last year (usually late July). These aren’t audited because of the size of the business, but an audit can be demanded.

We’ve meanwhile been contacted by one of the criminals, who is trying to induce guilt for seeking law enforcement, i.e. possible jail time for the perpetrators. Guilt-tripping like this isn’t a novel method; others tried it on us before. The main perpetrator, with his wife as an accomplice*, will be chased until justice is done. They were victimising my colleagues and I, both men and women, for over half a decade. We didn’t find out until this year.

Apropos, in today’s Daily Links we included this new post entitled “Enabling financial crime”. To quote:

This will, directly, make financial crime easier in the UK. Here is an example of how it will do so. Under the laws about money laundering, there is an offence called ‘tipping off’ which is exactly what it sounds like: if you tell someone that you suspect of laundering money about your suspicions then you are tipping them off and this is, not surprisingly, illegal as it would allow them to take appropriate action to avoid being caught. In particular in this official document is this description: [...]

To be clear, none of us (the engineers, the GNU/Linux sysadmins and programmers) was aware of the crimes. We were the victims. It took 3 months of persistent pushing and relentless phonecalls (expensive) to finally get the pension providers to acknowledge fraud had taken place. A full investigation by police and courts is in order. The main perpetrator still has years before retirement (burning the debt and starting afresh would be absurd) and the wife was born the same year as me. She knew what went on, not only as a spouse but also as the sole Director other than her husband. Unlike the (ex-)husband, she did not flee to Bill Gates’ home state after signing a non-disclosure agreement.
_____
* There are two little girls too; they’re probably not too happy about their dad running away like he did after his first marriage, leaving his two other girls to rot to the point where, according to what he told me in person, they’d not even speak to him. The two young girls were living like millionaires using the money their parents stole from workers. Now they’re probably living like poor kids, judging by today’s trends.

Business crimes aside, there is also moral depravity. We recently learned that after two messy and ugly break-ups (divorces) he’s already “working” on his next victim/s. Maybe make a fifth and sixth girl? Watch out, girl. He ruined the lives of at least 6 women already. The second wife asked my wife and I not to even mention to the third and fourth daughters that there was a first wife and two other daughters. What a mess. How long can you lie to a small child? “Mommy, is daddy a criminal? Why are we so poor all of a sudden? Why is daddy in another country?”

Holding Criminals Who Robbed Me and My Colleagues Accountable (Without Losing Sight of Free Software Activism)

Professor Larry Lessig, best known for Creative Commons, stepped aside and let Ito run the thing. He said he’d spend the next decade or period of his life battling political corruption, instead, seeing it was getting in his way all the time.

I myself left my job at age 40. Prior to that I had worked since my mid teens (on and off when I was younger and was a student) and I intend to spent all my time campaigning not just for Software Freedom but also for justice, seeing how rotten the system is. As readers of this blog know (ought to be well aware after hundreds of blog posts on this subject here), the crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ enjoy impunity or protection from the state. Every level at the state refuses or fails to hold criminals accountable! From what can be gathered, several people were involved in this crime, it was not just one “rotten apple”. It was the company’s head Mark Anthony Taylor, his then-wife Kelly Fitter Taylor, and Louise Catherine Laura Menezes, who assisted with payroll and likely helped produce lying payslips to staff.

At Sirius, many dubious, illegal, and unethical things were done, but strategically it is better to first focus 100% on the crimes. We have MANY avenues still left to explore/exhaust.

Pursuing this can take a lot of time, but it is very important. In order not to let this distract me from my main activities I’ve made this plan: record videos, write articles as priority #1, catch up with chats (all forms, not just IRC as medium) once an hour unless urgent, Daily Links focus only on Free software (FOSS), plus any other links only when idle or when extra time becomes available.

This month, July 2023, is expected to be a record month in terms of the number of blog posts, not counting the ones in schestowitz.com. Every Tuesday I try to keep up with mortality numbers, seeing that the “media” we have here refuses to even acknowledge we have a health crisis.

schestowitz.com will continue to be quite active and maybe finish 3,000 blog post by year’s end.

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