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Monday, May 22nd, 2023, 2:46 pm

The Next Step: Lawsuit Against Sirius or Standard Life?

Sirius management: here's your pension

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ are being ignored by the police, but that does not mean that holding Sirius accountable is not possible

MERELY two weeks from now it’ll be half a year since I left Sirius ‘Open Source’. I’ve since then demonstrated that crimes were committed and I received official letters (several from pension providers) to prove it. The police — as I dare say I expected all along — did nothing about it, but there are 4 more avenues we’ll turn to. There will be big scandals ahead, that’s for sure, assuming we can hold people accountable before they and the company vanish completely. Not only myself but others (former colleagues) suspected something was amiss. Proving it, however, was a big endeavour, owing partly to how pension fund managers operate in the UK (immensely arrogant; not even responding to mail!).

“It looks like the pension scheme failed to alert you and failed to alert the regulator,” one person told me recently. “If the employer becomes insolvent, will the incompetence at Standard Life make them liable to cover the loss?”

“They try to claim not to know us,” I responded. “This may be a sign that they know they could be liable,” I was told by this person (whose identity and role we prefer to keep private). “Do they have record of any of the employees at all?”

He kept on asking crucial questions: “Is there even one employee who has ever received correspondence direct from Standard Life in the past, either by email or by post?”

Standard Life and the IFA were in cahoots, and we have official papers to prove it. We shared some of these before.

“If you can get evidence that they knew of even one employee then that might be sufficient for all of you to launch a class action together against Standard Life,” the person noted. The pension fraud of Sirius would not have been possible without ‘outside help’…

There are several steps ahead of us now, “but the stronger the proof against them,” the person argued, “the harder it is for them to make excuses and the more serious their sentences / director bans.”

This is useful too, especially if they owe you expenses or salary.”

The company owed me money, aside from the money stolen for over 5 years (stolen from colleagues too). To quote the British government: “Anyone who’s owed money (the ‘creditor’) can make a statutory demand. You do not need a lawyer.”

Before that, however, we have 3 more escalation points to explore if not exhaust. This can take several more months. Setting the record straight is very important.

“There have been some cases where the courts looked beyond the company and seized personal assets of the directors,” the person said, citing this case. There are some caveats however. To quote the person:

You would need to get legal advice and probably have some evidence along these lines:

- who was the director at the time you started employment? They should have enrolled you in the pension

- any other directors since then

- assets of each director (house, shares, 2nd homes, cars, etc) – if they really have no assets then it may not be worth your time.

- evidence of criminal acts / decisions / gross negligence leading to the current problem. E.g. did they ever actively send you emails referring to the promised pension? Do you have records of discussing the pension during the hiring process? Same for all the other employees you are in contact with.

If the director is also the owner of the company then their share of the company is an asset and in the event that this person faces personal bankruptcy, you could ask to take the company from the liquidator.

You need to remember that the purpose of limited companies is to shield director and shareholder’s assets in the case of mistakes and accidents.

If you are going to challenge that principle then you really need to have convincing evidence that they knew they were doing something wrong.

As a reminder, there are documented cases of the company employing people without an actual work contract (likely illegal) and failing to pay contractors for their work. Sirius is registered as a “limited” company (“SIRIUS CORPORATION LIMITED” and “SIRIUS OPEN SOURCE LTD”). They probably foresaw this mess.

Either way, this saga is far from over. We’re only warming up.

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