Bonum Certa Men Certa

Former Staff of Sirius Open Source Responds to Revelations About the Company's Crimes

Previously/context:

  1. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension
  2. Sirius Finished
  3. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction
  4. When the Pension Vanishes
  5. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate (Sirius Financial Crisis): Company May Have Squandered/Plundered the Pensions of Many People
  6. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Pension Providers That Repeatedly Lie to the Clients and Don't Respond to Messages
  7. NOW: Pensions Lies to Its Customers and Protects Abusers
  8. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: It's Beginning to Look Like a Criminal Matter and Sirius is in Serious Trouble
  9. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: A Long Story Merits Many Videos
  10. An Update on Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: It's Looking Worse Than Ever


Summary: Crimes committed by the company that I left months ago are coming to light; today we share some reactions from other former staff (without naming anybody)

TODAY we take a look at the nature of the crimes of Sirius 'Open Source', what pension providers are saying, and what former colleagues say about the company upon realising that it is corrupt (spoiler: some aren't even surprised).

We shall start with the pension providers, with focus on Standard Life (the other provider has not even responded yet!) as about 6 hours after I complained about it (and made this meme) Standard Life contacted me by E-mail to say: (days late already)

Dear Dr Schestowitz

Thank you for your email.

We are carefully considering the concerns you have raised. I'm sorry if the time this is taking is frustrating for you, but we believe it is appropriate given the situation.

I will be in touch with you again as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆ ⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆

Complaint Consultant


This does not say anything concrete. It has been like this since March 7th and we're soon in April. Sirius is running out of clients, i.e. out of revenue stream. How long must one wait? When it comes to Standard Life, the interactions over the telephone go back to January. Why does this take so long to progress? What does that tell us about the pensions/financial sector (Standard Life is a giant in this sector)?

About a month ago I said to the company, Sirius: "I spoke to numerous managers at Standard Life for 3 months. They reached the conclusion that myself and colleagues never had any money deposited there -- money taken for "Pension" off of our salary, as per the payslips for 5+ years. This suggests pension fraud and an actual crime. I assume, moreover, that [wife] (as Director and spouse) was fully aware of this. In the name of journalistic integrity I must first ask you if this is patently false -- a chance for you to comment in your defence. A lack of reply can be interpreted as implicit admission of guilt."

"To paraphrase what you said in a call back in November, "it doesn't look good.""

"The company is totally unable to defend itself, but will enforcement and prosecution follow?"There has been no response since. None. They know they're guilty. Days later I wrote to say: "You did not respond. I assume you have nothing to say in your defense. My E-mails to [CEO] are bouncing, so I assume he wants nothing to do with the company anymore. A month ago you failed to provide a physical address for the company. Now it is moreover headless (the CEO left). [PA] is still based in the UK and E-mails to her are not bouncing, so I will assume she is best point of contact."

Still no response. The company is totally unable to defend itself, but will enforcement and prosecution follow? If not, the same people can commit the same crimes again, without any consequences. Are we living in a state of anarchy where businesses and managers can defraud staff and then just refuse to even communicate? Are we living in a state of affairs where pension providers and police can just look the other way, even when presented with hard evidence of the crimes?

"You are choosing not to reply," I said to them. "It does not improve matters. For neither of you. [PA] was fully aware of what had gone on because: 1) colleagues asked her about this pension (even years ago) and she did not get back with an answer. 2) she was at the company in the years of that pension scheme and she was involved in what seems to be deliberate embezzlement of funds, along with both [wife] and you."

So at least 3 people in management are legally liable. Two of them are still in England, whereas one is 'in hiding' in the US. Hiding in some basement with a rib shirt on.

"So at least 3 people in management are legally liable. Two of them are still in England, whereas one is in hiding in the US."When will authorities do something on this matter? How many hours on the phone are required for action? How many E-mails? So far we're talking about 30 E-mails and 6 hours over the telephone. That's just counting my own role, not colleagues'.

"I've already proceeded to legal consultation on this," I told them. "If I receive no reply by Monday, we (myself and others who are impacted; I spoke to a lot of former staff) shall escalate and potentially file a class action lawsuit, pressing charges along criminal lines (possible extradition after warrant of arrest). The pension provider is also on the case, at the managers' level. They're very unhappy about what happened."

This was a while ago. Notice the ultimatum: "You need to correct what has happened and we're still open to a settlement/compromise to avoid another escalation (after Monday, 13th of March)."

Days passed since it first became clear that the company had committed a crime. The CEO vanished (left abruptly) and then deleted any connection he ever had with the company. Even a few days after the 13th of March. The company also finally (belatedly) removed us from its pages. There must be a bit of a panic, knowing they engaged in fraud for over 5 years and are finally being investigated for it.

"Days passed since it first became clear that the company had committed a crime. The CEO vanished (left abruptly) and then deleted any connection he ever had with the company.""Our money was embezzled," I told other victims. "[wife], [husband] and [PA] knew what they were doing. They never paid to Standard Life the money they specified in our payslips (management at Standard Life told me this). We need to sue the company while it still exists to hold them accountable. Some lawyers would agree to do this for a percent of the money awarded rather than per hour spent. Will you join us? I spoke to a lot of past staff."

Depending on the outcome of the investigations (yes, plural), we'll proceed sensibly. If the company cannot pay for its crimes, the pension provider/s will.

One other victim noted: "Have you got any details confirming it was embezzled [...] Shouldn't we be able to make a claim against Standard Life / the IFA for never notifying us money was transferred or wasn't being paid?"

"If the company cannot pay for its crimes, the pension provider/s will."I still have everything on record (audio) and full names of two managers I spoke to. It's rather well documented, not just what I made public. I am no expert when it comes to pension-related laws, but the other victim may be right. It may be possible to hold the pension provider accountable too. They never ever contacted us.

So anyway, the pension series might turn out to (at least!) have some educational value; all this time-wasting will turn into "making a point" at a time when people don't trust financial institutions anyway. It might also become a class action lawsuit, in case stolen money can still be recovered (we're taking about potentially 50,000 pounds or a lot more; it's hard to assess until we know all the victims).

Having been in touch with other potential victims, it seems clear they're rather disturbed by the discovery and very sympathetic towards other colleagues. Been a long time since we last spoke in some cases, but they're still around and they still recall the Sirius pension. "I left Sirius a few months ago and the CEO left days ago," I told them. "Turns out the company plundered people's old pensions (2011), so this likely affects you as an employee."

Back then we didn't yet have it confirmed that the company committed crimes, but it seemed clear it was being verified and soon validated. I asked: "Did you have a pension with the company at the time? A bunch of us are grouping, as the company apparently committed a crime."

"Having been in touch with other potential victims, it seems clear they're rather disturbed by the discovery and very sympathetic towards other colleagues."For the sake of privacy/confidentiality, I won't name anybody here. But their responses are telling.

One of them said: "It has indeed been a long time! How are things with you? I'm still working remotely: turns out it's a thing now :)"

Yes, working from home is definitely a thing now. Some of us still do that.

"I didn't have a pension with Sirius," a former colleague told me, as "I was only there [redacted] months or so and never got it arranged - but if they raided your pensions you definitely should chase it up. Good luck with your case!"

My wife and I both left when the company had gone rogue. I will continue to chase the pension'gate' even if just to show how pension providers respond to such matters. Spending so much time on the telephone over 3 months is indicative of institutional failure far broader than Sirius itself.

"I’m shocked (although not totally surprised) to hear that," another former colleague told me. "Are you talking about [boss]? I hadn’t realized they’d moved to America..."

"A lot of workers were so 'ad hoc' that they didn't realise what was going on. Even their alleged "pension" was basically a fraud."They didn't. He's hiding there after taking some cash from the Gates slush fund (under an NDA!) while tricking all staff to sign an employment contract they never saw before, joining a shell valued at one pound without being properly informed. This in itself is very likely illegal, as we noted here before. The former colleague told me: "I didn’t have a pension (nor even an employment contract!) so don’t have any skin in this game but keep me posted on how you get on."

So even back then the company had staff with no "employment contract!"

"Sorry to hear that!" said another former colleague. "I honestly don't remember. I'm currently traveling, but will check my docs and let you know tomorrow! Thanks for the heads up..."

A lot of workers were so 'ad hoc' that they didn't realise what was going on. Even their alleged "pension" was basically a fraud.

We'll keep abreast of any updates and publish them as deemed suitable.

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