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Friday, June 30th, 2023, 1:01 am

Escalating to GLA (Greater London Authority) to See If It Can Compel Action Fraud to Take Action

Greater London Authority
There’s a dual responsibility here

Summary: As a victim of crimes committed by Sirius ‘Open Source’ I’ve contacted what was the biggest client (at some point) of Sirius ‘Open Source’ to see if they can get the police to actually do its job (this client is in charge of the police)

From what we can easily observe (since March), British police reacts to reports of crime if they’re something like murder (people nearby feel unsafe unless/until the killer gets caught) or there’s a strong POLITICAL will to solve the crime. So the reporter of a crime, typically a victim, must create that POLITICAL will, only then the police starts getting on with the program. Because they serve and protect their masters, not the victims.

On Monday I sent the following message to Greater London Authority, whose systems I worked on for a long time. I even built parts of their sites. Here’s my message to key people there:

Hi,

There’s substantial progress to report on the troubling case of Sirius Open Source, the Greater London Authority (London Municipality) contractor whose deal I helped secure in 2013 when I visited and spoke to staff. They know me by name, they know me in person. Some of you met me in person. Some of your colleagues did because I was working on their Greater London Authority (GLA) sites and microsites, with ample evidence I did a lot of work for them on the sites and beyond since 2013 (sometimes in 24/7 shift coverage, i.e. overnight). My wife did the same. You know her. Some of you met her in person. Don’t look away and pretend to be strangers, as we’ve now the victims of crimes committed by your chosen contractor. You renewed several times, pending reviews, typically in meetings which involved meeting in person those who defrauded me and my colleagues. You met them and renewed while they defrauded us (we did not know until this year). My wife and I were shocked. We both resigned this past December in light of abusive behaviour at Sirius Open Source, perpetrated by the managers.

Sirius management did this to us since 2011 if not a bit earlier. They kept this hidden from everybody. They forged payslips (the payslips lied). They committed very serious crimes.

Why am I reaching out to managers at Greater London Authority? The answer is very simple. They are in charge of Action Fraud and Sirius is/was your contractor (you were our client for almost a decade); as someone who worked for you in IT as a contractor since 2013 I think it is perfectly reasonable for me to ask you to intervene, as police is treating reports of crimes with complete disrespect (not even looking into them, based on the automated reply) and then stonewalling my MP; upon reporting the crime to Action Fraud they left me hanging for 4 weeks. I then contacted my MP, who in turn contacted Action Fraud directly. And guess what; a month has passed and Action Fraud did not bother replying to her. Is it normal for Action Fraud to gaslight victims of crimes for over 2 months? I’m not alone here. My former colleagues were defrauded similarly and we have formal letters affirming this. Standard Life issued them. It’s undeniable that a serious crime took place. The company never denied it. It’s just hiding. It refuses to talk about it.

It is my understanding, having visited my lawyer a few times, that you do have an obligation to all your staff, no matter if outsourced or contracted, and moreover you can compel Action Fraud to treat crime reports with respect in a timely manner. Is this how the British government treats workers, via contractors that are rogue? Action Fraud goes under London Police (Met), so the issue is now on your desk. I have the media/press on tap.

To avoid misunderstandings, this isn’t a sole case or an ‘accident’. The embezzlement started only a few months after I had joined the company in early 2011. So it’s not something that happened very recently. The matter was reported as a crime to the police, handled by a Members of Parliament, and also reported as tax fraud to HMRC (because it constituted misreporting taxes too).

At the end of the day you got a company that worked for you very cheaply[*], but it was cheap because it was secretly stealing money from staff, i.e. you benefited from the money stolen from your own workers.

This entire scenario makes outsourcing and such contracting practices look dubious in general, not just highly risky, for legal reasons as well.

Managers at GLA, along with elected politicians, are the ones allocating the budget for the police[**]. There’s thus double responsibility here, as managers of that budget and employer (via contractor) of the victims. Whether Action Fraud has itself devolved into a “fraud” (reputable media in the UK has investigated and found exactly that!) isn’t for me to decide. I have no say on the matter, but GLA is also in the middle of a scandal, which thus has multiple angles to it.

There’s also a potential conflict of interest here, which I am fully aware of. To the cops, the fraud report concerns a contractor of their sponsor. And of course they can always just conveniently deny the role of such a glaring factor, but that’s beside the main point that GLA must now take action to spare its own reputation.

This does look good at all for the system as a whole — a system wherein white-collar crime is being protected and victims are subjected to gaslighting and time-wasting processes, which I intend to pursue nonetheless. The press will be watching the matter, as will my former colleagues, who are also victims. Some of them now work for GLA directly.

Sincerely,

Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz
____
[*] They paid some of my colleagues 21,000 pounds a year for a role that should pay 2-3 times as much, not even counting the fact we all worked overnight and holidays (Christmas also); projects and high alertness tasks like 24/7 monitoring for the price close to minimum wage — sure you cannot get that anywhere near central London. But the low salary isn’t a crime, just an anecdote.

[**] https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/governance-and-spending/spending-money-wisely/mayors-budget

[***] https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/action-fraud/

Well, how curious that all of a sudden Action Fraud got in touch (just 4 hours later). “We do not investigate crime and we cannot assist in the recovery of any losses,” they said, but at least this got escalated. Curiously enough, none of the people addressed above bothered to reply, but it seems clear the matter got escalated to “ECONOMIC CRIME VICTIM CONTACT UNIT (VCoA)” (it is their face-saving department). “Strange statement from “action” fraud,” one person told me, seeing they claim they “do not investigate crime”, but from we can gather they did start investigating (another unit).

If people report crime to get a number (and a bot message) and then a list of URLs for “tips”, then one worries for people who lack the political connections. They cannot even blog about their experiences (some Twitter account can be shadowbanned) and rely too much on media/press bothering to give them a voice.

When starting this on Monday the timeframe for this step was 5 days, as I wanted to do this right and give them the whole working week to reply. I can report with certainty, however, that of the ~8 people contacted in the municipality none bothered to respond to me directly. Some know me in person as they worked with me.

In any case, assuming the police is on the case now, we won’t disclose any more details. Let them do their job.

This type is scenario is apparently not “uniquely British”. As Ryan from Illinois put it in his message to me only moments ago, “my spouse’s sister got the fraudulent life insurance and all that happened was that the insurance company shut the policy down. The police in two Illinois cities refused to take a report and the Department of Insurance said they weren’t an investigatory agency and the Attorney General didn’t respond at all. And this was basically leading up to a murder-for-hire, most likely. So you now have the policing system of the third most corrupt US state in London.”

To quote Ryan:

“We won’t take your report!” -Gurnee and Waukgan PD

“We won’t investigate this as a crime!” -IDoI

“We won’t even answer you!” -Illinois AG

It’s because they consider his sister as more important and of higher status. So they refuse to investigate crimes she commits against “unimportant people”. Felonies, even. Just by signing his name to that form she could theoretically do 2-5 years in prison for forgery. If they took the report. Never mind attempt to defraud an insurance company. [By murdering her sibling]

Laws are only laws if they’re enforced. Guess how quickly I’d be in the slammer if I signed “Maricel Almaria” to something to defraud insurance?

It’s one-way. She can defraud insurance companies and plan to murder her brother, and the police won’t even accept the report.

I contacted the FTC and reported her too. All they did was give me a case number in case we wanted to put a long term fraud alert on [the spouse]‘s credit report for 7 years.

There are many other examples. Let’s see what the police does next.

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