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Archive for April, 2023

Reporting Crime at Sirius Open Source

Arrest - Mark Taylor SiriUS: I steal money from Sirius staff

Summary: The seriously rogue company, Sirius Open Source (it is not Open Source), has run out of time; with the doors closing and with evidence-gathering concluding, it’s time to face the music

MY earlier post hinted that this coming week, starting this weekend, we shall escalate a little, starting with a mini series about crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’. These crimes started the very year I joined (2011), based on hard, verifiable (and already-verified) evidence. In parallel, special law-enforcing authorities in the UK shall be getting involved. Such involvement is imperative. The crime was committed by more than one person and several culprits are based in the United Kingdom.

As the title suggests, as before, none of the enablers and beneficiaries would speak about this. Their consistent approach boils down to hide, keep quiet, pretend not to exist. At this stage there is no other choice but to proceed with prosecution and arrest. Litigation isn’t necessary, just as you’d not sue a thief who broke into your house; you phone the police and report the crime. We’ve already gathered the evidence for almost everything. It just took time, but it spares cops the typical excuses/stalling. The Pension Regulator isn’t a cop; hence, it doesn’t deal with crimes.

As noted several days ago, we got formal (written) letters confirming our allegations. We no longer explore draining out NOW: Pensions (bank details for withdrawal or cheque for us to pick up with paperwork signed) because after months of insistent reminders the company finally did the right thing and followed that up days later. It’s just a blunder and a scandal that it took so long and involved them lying about half a dozen times (managers also). How many people out there, outside Sirius, are similarly scammed but aren’t aware of it. Probably a lot.

Sirius management does not wish to talk about it. When the special crime units phone them all up they will be forced to talk. Those who will face or accept unpleasant consequences did it to themselves. And they did that at great expense to other, innocent, unknowing people (this was covered by several external entities, including Standard Life).

Integrity Financial Management Ltd. Also Helped Facilitate Fraud

Plunder on behalf of Sirius is “Planning for tomorrow”? Using the name of Standard Life and fake/false payslips?

Integrity Financial Management Ltd. page 1

Summary: The facilitator of a scam was contacted the other day (Integrity Financial Management Ltd.); their staff too seems to have played a role in the pension fraud, so we’ve contacted Integrity Financial Management directly, however it chose not to respond and instead pretended not to be aware of anything — a major blunder and an actual crime against GNU/Linux administrators and programmers

INITIAL CONTACT was made the other day with Integrity Financial Management Ltd. That firm may have facilitated the crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ and it needs to know about it. We have the names of the people who managed these accounts.

You may not be aware of this, but your firm facilitated fraud at Standard Life

http://techrights.org/2023/04/17/fraud-at-sirius-open-source-with-integrity-financial-management/

Myself and former colleagues are still trying to hold accountable the culprits

http://techrights.org/wiki/Crimes_of_Sirius_Open_Source#Fraud_Investigation

Why did you issue all this material to us? Why did you facilitate theft of pension funds?

Please contact us as soon as possible to clarify the matter.

Just because they’re not replying does not mean they’re off the hook. This is a typical business strategy; they try to ignore anything that’s not convenient to them, hoping it would miraculously go away.

As we also noted earlier this week, Sirius had engaged in financial fraud and it is now registered at the address of the accountant, so that’s another potential legal liability for them.

So far I’ve spent about 10 hours on the phone all in all. And even when each time you phone you know exactly what needs to be achieved and try to get to that as fast as possible, they delay and obstruct. It’s an actual method, tiring down the complainant or bleeding people to death with phone bills (like legal bills/lawyer fees as barrier). It’s a bit like a network of organised crime made to over up its own doing. It is well coordinated to dodge accountability. Business as usual.

As an example of endless delays, consider NOW: Pensions. I contacted them back in January and it took until now (late April) to finally receive a letter of assurance that can be regarded as satisfactory.

In fact, sent just after 4PM yesterday (by E-mail):

Dear Dr Schestowitz,

NOW: Pensions Trust (“the Scheme”)

I write about your complaint. I would like to thank you for your patience while we have investigated this matter and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

I can confirm we sent a letter (the information in the letter applies to all members in a NOW Pension Scheme) to your home address on the 12th of April 2023. For reference I have attached the correspondence to this email.

This has been protected with a case-sensitive password. The password is your national insurance number followed by an exclamation mark. [...]

Should you consider that this does not bring the matter to a conclusion, you can request that the Trustees review the matter through the Internal Dispute Resolution Process (IDRP).

[...]

Yours sincerely

Craig Aitken

NOW: Pensions Trust Administration Team

And here is a mildly-redacted (home address) PDF of the document. We redacted a photograph of the physical thing earlier this week. Why did it take so long to issue such a letter? With NOW: Pensions alone my wife and I must have spent about 4 hours over the telephone; it costs a fortune as they don’t have a free line and they keep you waiting on the line a lot (when they don’t leave you pressing buttons and ‘speaking’ to a bot).

Deaths in England and Wales This Spring Vastly Higher (21% Higher) Than in Prior — Including COVID-19 — Years

I HAVE just checked again and new numbers, for week 13 at least, came out this morning, 5 days after the last time. The numbers are astonishing as they show 2,000+ more deaths than the 5-year average (including pandemic years).

So for a single week, week 13, we’ve leapt from 9,580 to to 11,584 deaths (+2,004).

2023 week 13 ONS deaths

Compared to 2019:

2019 and average week 13

Sirius Open Source Pays the Price for Many Years of Criminal Behaviour

Video download link | md5sum 54b92623f894a04b61343f93c5d75ba5
Sirius Corruption Roundup
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes committed by my last employer are becoming very apparent and crystal clear to see; meanwhile there are other crime victims coming out of the woodwork and we shall give them a voice, not just further information

THE Sirius ‘Open Source’ series is being followed closely by a lot of people. It’s routinely mentioned in Techrights and Tux Machines, even my personal site for more important topics/aspects.

Many people are impacted by this issue, even if one person is more vocal about it (I’m fortunate to have a platform in which I can speak about this). For the sake of geeks, and for human/labour rights (or “tech rights”), we need to expose what happened in the company I knew from the inside for nearly 12 years. We have lots left to publish and plenty is still being investigated (several things are always being investigated in parallel).

As the a video above notes upfront, I didn’t expect to cover any criminal aspects, but while doing the first batch I stumbled upon anomalies and started contacting authorities, companies, former colleagues etc. It didn’t take long to realise what sort of hydra we had all along dealt with; many workers were robbed and bullied, but the company threatened people not to speak about it with colleagues. Well, enough is enough and the ‘dirty laundry’ will come out. The world needs to see a workplace that isn’t just toxic but also corrupt. Many insiders (back then) didn’t realise the scale of the abuse, but they realised this afterwards or are coming to realise it now (with more facts being made publicly available). The company must have had several hundreds of workers over the years (if one counts associates and partners, maybe 300) and quite a few of them got burned. They’re not alone anymore and accountability will be pursued. The CEO of the company ran away last month, but he too cannot hide. He’s still in the UK, hiding in his ‘tax shell’ (registered at the address of the accountant). At the moment we explore all the legal avenues; exposing what was in the NDA (signed with the Gates Foundation when staff was compelled to sign a new contract in a likely illegal fashion) would be a cherry on the cake. Maybe there will also be arrests, but that can take a long time. That’s OK. We have patience. The facts are on our side.

Letter From NOW: Pensions Regarding Misconduct and Theft at Sirius Open Source

Summary: Having just contacted NOW: Pensions (and several times more this past week), while moreover working on 3 leads at the same time, they finally (belatedly) gave a real assurance

Today we’ll share a bunch of photographic evidence regarding crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’, a firm that claims to be Britain’s “most respected” firm in this domain/area (‘Open Source’). Of course it’s a lie. Not just the part about “respected”…

“They kept lying to cover up prior lies, in effect lying to me like half a dozen times already.”Half a day ago I sent the following E-mail message to NOW: Pensions. About an hour ago I finally received a letter addressed to my wife and I. After nearly 3 months!!! Months of endless remainders after repeated lies.

Here is the E-mail I sent last night:

A few days ago Standard Life sent a whole bunch of us a formal letter concluding that Sirius had engaged in pension fraud and stole money from us for many years. This is a criminal matter. This is now formalised.

My wife and I are coming to collect our funds from NOW: Pensions this week. Please specify the time that best suits you. We live not far from your office.

Suffice to say, repeated lying by your staff — including by managers — will be duly noted. We trust neither you nor Sirius.

The sad thing is that pension providers have helped the perpetrators of crimes, covering up for them instead of working to protect the victims, who are the people’s whose money is actually making its way into the accounts of reckless gamblers at the pension firms. Who do you work for? Are you working for employers who commit crimes instead of employees (whose money you are taking)?

Silence on this matter won’t help you. Au contraire. Please respond today.

They kept lying to cover up prior lies, in effect lying to me like half a dozen times already. It’s circular and when challenged on the lies, more lies follow. Those people are handling (gambling with) people’s money. Trillions of dollars are managed by those sorts of firms.

As victims, we can progress along some lines. Standard Life, which we’ll tackle separately later, tried victim-blaming (we have this on record). That’s akin to saying to a rape victim that it is his/her fault, e.g. “why didn’t you sense s/he’d rape you after the date?”

Many technical people suspected something was amiss and when phoning Standard Life we were only obstructed, so in effect Standard Life allowed the fraud to carry on. Standard Life cannot simply pretend to have not benefited from this.

“Standard Life cannot simply pretend to have not benefited from this.”Forgive my tone (rants) or at least understand the cynicism after being secretly robbed for years by my employers whom I foolishly trusted, as did my colleagues (they were robbed too). The main criminal, the ringleader so to speak, now hides in some ‘basement’ (by the looks of it, a tiny apartment) somewhere not far from the Gates Foundation. Well, all the doors are closing in on him and gradually, over time, those who facilitated and collaborated, are paying the high price.

Below is the letter that literally came through the door less than an hour ago (at the time of writing).

NOW: Pensions BNY Mellon page 1

NOW: Pensions BNY Mellon page 2

GNU/Linux Engineers Got Robbed by Sirius Open Source Limited

Video download link | md5sum c4ca62ca5c8ebc2a7974b42f3ff4d884
Why the Pension Story is Relevant to Us
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ will be the subject of many future posts and today we explain why this is a subject of relevance to Techrights

THE pension situation where I worked for nearly 12 years impacts a lot of people and it helps reveal rampant corruption in the pension ‘industry’. I’ve been thinking about this deeply for days, also in light of several news items about France and about the US pension promises being unsustainable. Are people meant to ever retire? Are people living to work? Or they do work to eventually live? (Hours after work or after they leave work altogether)

We have a lot more information in the pipeline, albeit we’re limited by what we can say at any one time. The reasons are explained in the video above as well.

Why did the accounting people allow pension fraud to carry on for so long? Could they not refrain from collaborating? In fact, who does the accounting anyway? There might be an even more sinister scandal therein and we’re investigating the matter.

Another question: can one actually withdraw a pension early? The state would say that’s possible, but companies lie their way or simply hide when the subject comes up (e.g. bank details specified or time for cheque to be picked up with paperwork signed). The outcome of any hypothetical investigations into this turn out to be ugly. The pensions seem like a black hole. You can put money in, or think you put money in, but you can never take anything out.

Our approach here has been multifaceted; the goals and methods are many. Since we deal with an actual criminal matter, we cannot be ignored by pension providers, police etc. They cannot simply turn a blind eye. Everyone agrees that pension providers are very sensitive about their brand/reputation (more so than banks). There are several reasons for this, but those are beyond the scope of this post.

As noted in the video above, many in the “tech” sector have a decent salary and thus pensions. Employers typically enroll staff as means of lock-in or “loyalty”. Millions of programmers and GNU/Linux engineers have been subjected to this, so it is on topic and very much relevant now that the media starts questioning the viability of pension-like systems (in the long run). Discussing the matter can compel them to double-check these things and, in general, it’ll help guard workers’ rights.

The coming week should be interesting as we investigate along several separate lines. First, the accountancy. I wrote to them this weekend:

Hi,

I am writing to you as a person who recently resigned from your client, Sirius Corporation.

You may or may not know this, but Sirius Corporation and a shell called Sirius Open Source Ltd. changed their company address to your address this past October. I confronted the company’s CEO in length over it (40-minute phonecall). He supplies a false address. The company claims to be based at your address. This CEO resigned only weeks ago.

To make matter worse, the company committed serious pension fraud, as confirmed to me and ex-colleagues on April 11. We have formal letters from Standard Life to share with you. This is now a criminal matter and a serious issue that may unfold in months to come. It represents potential reputational harm to your firm.

We expect the the person you’re dealing with might face extradition proceeding and prosecution for fraud, committed against many people for years.

I can discuss this over the telephone with you. It’s an urgent matter.

In addition, we’ll show what happens when you ask a pension provider to explain lies from many employees, including a manager. We’ll then show what happens when one asks for an “unauthorised” (but legal) withdrawal.

Finally, we can show what happens when trying to tackle criminals directly. Imagine the “big boss” pretending that he does not even exist; while he was stealing a lot of money from his staff in secret he worked out secret deals, eventually one with Bill Gates under an NDA.

To be very clear, this is not about the money; this is not about “destroying Sirius” either but about holding criminals fully accountable and doing justice for the victims, of whom there are many (Standard Life actively obstructs inquiry into how many).

The crime in this case was committed against GNU/Linux enthusiasts. It was committed by people who are not even using Linux but are recommending the Linux Foundation. Yes, that one! Remember that Linux Foundation is not for Linux. Linux is for Linux Foundation, but Linux Foundation is not for Linux but for Microsoft et al. It’s not a reciprocal relationship but an exploitative one. The same is true in Sirius. The company has oppressed and exploited people who actually use what the company uses in its marketing.

For comparison’s sake, to paraphrase a friend, there’s the Linux Foundation, which has Microsoft staff on the BoD. In Sirius, the management staff does not use Linux. Then we have the Linux Foundation, whose director doesn’t even use Linux. Or Linux Foundation, which fails to protect the kernel from hostile code. In the case of Sirius, money was taken from Bill Gates in secret. We still cannot figure out what the NDA was meant to hide and why there was a relocation to Washington. Then we have the Linux Foundation, whose bureaucrats have higher salaries than key developers. Remember that Sirius paid its technical staff like 3 or 4 times below market standards (for this kind of job and working times).

Compare this to the Linux Foundation, which has Linux-hostile board members. In Sirius, some managers just bullied the staff and oppressed people like it was a hobby

The Linux Foundation, which advertises for its most hostile competitor, seems like an apt analogy here for many reasons. The bottom line is, the company engaged in fraud (we only found out this year) and its victims are many people who actually use GNU/Linux, unlike the perpetrators of the fraud.

Standard Life ‘Investigated’ Sirius Pension Fraud Without Even Collecting Any Evidence or Contacting Sirius

Video download link | md5sum e02b55eac9a1d3690b44015080f5f9c2
So-called Pension Investigation
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes of Sirius Corporation were discussed with Standard Life several times this week; Standard Life workers are evasive and they’re belittling the matter as they try to wash their hands of us despite partial culpability (legitimising the fraud, not protecting their reputation)

THE VIDEO above is a tad long, so processing took a long time and since then we’ve found out that the “French court approves Macron’s unpopular plan to raise pension age”; the English-speaking media in France calls it a “deeply unpopular pensions overhaul,” taking note of “three months of strikes and mass protests.” Of course due to the publicity/media sophistry, Macron will be mentioned in relation to other things. A lot of the media will go on and on about Macron and Taiwan, not his ongoing attacks on millions of people in his own country.

Regardless of what happened in France some hours ago, the video above explains our own ordeals at Sirius ‘Open Source’, a company which basically robbed its own staff under the guise of “pension” (which never existed). To make matters far worse, a very large pension provider (one of the largest in the UK) is trying to cover things up. I confronted them about contradictory messages, including some from managers. Well, they see something that says “2016″ and now they are denying it. Surely they see something there, but they don’t wish to talk about it. If one is patient enough to watch the entire video, one can see them trying to manufacture pretexts to avoid talking about it (stuff about politeness or manners).

The short story is, they’re protecting themselves and the perpetrators that paid them (to help scam a lot of technical people). In the process they’re trying to shield colleagues from hard and perfectly suitable questions — queries that come from the victims. They assume they can write some words on “digital” “papers” and then pretend that everything will be OK. If ‘interrogated’ a bit in real time (no chance to run away), they’re unprepared and that helps reveal the gory details. They belittle the severity of the matter and pretend it is the fault of the victims (falling prey, even if many technical and well-educated people were preyed upon). Victim-blaming is tasteless and cruel. Sometimes they even pretend to be the victim (yes, Standard Life!) because poor wee them need to hear from people who were defrauded.

As before, or as usual, workers there are casually making excuses about the person not being at “the desk” (until suddenly the person is) or “in a meeting” (but actually, not really…. they still speak in the background). They use Microsoft Teams and they make some contradictory statements about availability of colleagues.

In the middle of the video notice how he admits that I was repeatedly given false information by a Standard Life manager called Leah Brown. She kept saying “my hands are tied” when asked about a scheme that she said ended in 2016 (now we’re being told 2012, so that’s a contradiction). If for 4 years the company had not even a single scheme with any pension provider, how come it kept taking money for “pension” for 4 years without getting caught?

Upon further questioning, Standard Life basically admitted that the level of “investigation” (another manager, Laura, had promised us this) was super-shallow. They were just running some names through a database and then claimed “name not found” (does that take almost 40 days to do?) and it was likely done by only one person at Standard Life. So their allocation of resources for fraud investigation are rather revealing; they barely mind.

If in almost 40 days all that Standard Life can do is run some names or National Insurance numbers through a simple database and then check a range of dates for some company, then Standard Life is making itself look silly, to put it politely.

If this took almost 40 days, what does that say about productivity levels or the level of service at Standard Life?

Towards the end I asked the guy to speak to another person. I asked to escalate this to his boss (he is not a manager), but he declined and impolitely hung up the phone. Just minutes before that I scrutinised him for having not even contacted the company, Sirius. Well, any proper investigation speaks to the accused/defendant in order to gather facts, but Standard Life wanted to just issue a digital letter with almost no new information. Standard Life just showed portions of its database, namely dates. Standard Life never asked any of us for actual evidence such as letters or payslips. They had almost no material to actually work with. They let time pass… and pass… and pass. In the meantime, about one month ago, the company’s CEO ran away from the scene of the crime and tampered with evidence by deleting his whole past with this company. This way it’s a lot harder to prosecute the company or its leadership. The other manager is already a fugitive hiding in another country.

To be clear, this whole thing isn’t about my gullibility; many got scammed for over 10 years and those are technical people. In fact it took 3 months to finally get answers because of the stonewalling and stalling by Standard Life. Even today it was very difficult to actually progress the call; the guy probably pretended to be busy because he didn’t want to speak to me (but could not properly walk away or hope I’d simply go away).

I asked him politely, how are you going to prevent this from happening again? Their protocols are clearly ripe for this kind of abuse, so they’re facilitating this scam by “lending” the brand.

In summary, this is more like an embarrassing hand-washing exercise by Standard Life, going up to a very high level at the firm. I spoke to several managers there. As it turned out (during the call), they’re reading Techrights closely.

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