May 29, 2017

Cirrus sites have received ‘goodwill’ payments, says Entwistle

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Retirement sites that were identified by the Office of Fair Trading in the price-fixing scandal involving Peverel / Cirrus have received their “goodwill” payments, Janet Entwistle of Peverel said yesterday.

At a meeting with Carlex and Sir Peter Bottomley in Westminster, Entwistle said that she was confident all sites affected by the rigged tendering process had been identified.

There would not be further payouts.

Although the Office of Fair Trading identified the 65 sites affected, it did not quantify the amount of money wrongly taken between 2005-2009.

It confined itself to saying that sites were “likely” to have suffered loss.

Entwistle confirmed that she would not agree to the issue being referred to mediation.

As a result, any site believing it ought to be compensated will have to launch a tribunal action.

If you wish to consider this, please contact Carlex.

Minutes were taken at the meeting, and will need the agreement of all parties before being published.

Comments

  1. Michael Epstein says:

    In view of Janet Entwistle’s position concerning the Cirrus/Peverel price fixing scandal, I thought it might prove instructive to have a closer look at the Cirrus audited accounts.
    If we go back to 2004, we can see that Cirrus posted a turnover of £7,491,162 with a cost of sales £5,891,159. During the price fixing period admitted to by Peverel we can see that by 2009 the accounts show an increase in turnover to £14,286,559 with a cost of sales £11,038,358.
    By 2012 the turnover has fallen to £11,363,496 with a cost of sales £8,556,383.
    Given these figures is Miss Entwistle sure that £100,000 covers the cost of the price fixing?

    • Michael Epstein,

      The fact that the turnover had almost doubled in the period between 2005 and 2009 and then the drop in after 2009/12 to all most £4m less, it still shows a healthy turnover.

      The higher amount in turnover could be, that along with an updated Warden Call System (WCS) comes a contract for Cirrus for our Door Entry and Emergency Call System?

      We will be paying £633.00 for this Cirrus contract for the Warden Call System, that is as far as we can find out, is purely as a retainer.

      I have only known one repair/replace of a door opening system at ABC since 2008 so we have paid out some £4,000.00 for one repair in 8 years?

      We also pay £1,035.00 for Careline to Monitor the Warden Call System so we have paid out some £12,000.00 to The Peverel Group on top of the £21,000.00 we paid for the updated system?

      We do not have any communal doors and only 12 working door entry systems that allow a resident to open the ground floor door from the 1st floor.

      ,

  2. ME,
    I think our Janet has been a bit clever as she has possible bought off some of the developments and they are unlikely to return the money are they?

    The developments could of each received, one sixty fifth of £100,000 which is only £1,538.46 for each development, remember this is not compensation but A GOODWILL GESTURE FROM JANET were she hopes that this will keep the 65 development quite and will possibly not allow a further case to be held against them. Remember friends Janet was a Barrister in a previous life?

    As we have been informed, that the first person who noted the extreme costs back in 2009 had other contractors price for the same work. The result was the same work could have been undertaken for 50% less than the Cirrus Tender?

    We were informed in 2006/07 that we were required to update our Warden Call System (WCS) at a Budget meeting in 2006/07 by our Area manager. We were informed that the WCS was now obsolete and parts were no longer available? A supposed lightening strike took out the system in 2007 and Cirrus and Jackson were the tenderers? These were the same contractors/tenderers who were found guilty of Price Fixing?

    We paid out £21,000 plus for the new updated system and the following year received 95% of the cost a figure of £20,000 from an Insurance Claim.

    Why would an Insurance Company pay out £20,000 for an obsolete system?

    Assume that we had been price fixed and that we were to receive £1,538.46 divide this by 29 as they had also cheated the Freeholder then we would each have received £53.05 each.

    We could have been overcharged £11,000 for our WCS, which meant we were possibly over charged £379 each?

    Peverel Retirement could have made £326 from each resident a total of £11,000 from our development alone?

    Peverel could have made £9,500, over and above the true cost for the upgrade?

    What fine were Peverel/Cirrus asked pay by the OFT, having been found guilty of cheating, NOT A PENNY
    NOTHING, NO FINE?

    The OFT then have the cheek, to say that if other developments are now found to be also Price Fixed by Peverel/Cirrus the decision will stand and Peverel/Cirrus will not be fined???

  3. Michael Epstein says:

    It is of great significance that Miss Entwistle says that the developments affected by the price fixing fraud have received their goodwill payments. Remember, she did train as a barrister, so she would choose her words with great care. That developments “received” the goodwill payments only means that Peverel allocated those funds to the service charge accounts. That does not mean that those funds have been accepted in full and final settlement, or that any agreement has been reached.
    The consequences of the price fixing fraud are spinning out of Peverel’s control to such an extent that a culture of disbelief and panic is beginning to set in at New Milton.
    Peverel assumed wrongly that they could put the price fixing fraud behind them and move on.
    Quite the reverse has happened. The issue remains centre stage and will do for a very long time.
    Any legal challenge for refunds will have to meet two burdens of proof.
    Did fraudulent activity take place? Clearly, Yes, Peverel have admitted it. How much was the fraud worth?
    In her own words Miss Entwistle states “she cannot calculate the amount”
    Doubtless a court would be guided by the fact that Miss Entwistle refuses mediation to agree an amount and would take into account the near doubling of turnover during the period of the price fixing fraud.

  4. Paul Joseph says:

    Michael,

    I was going to say that the mere disbursement of a goodwill payment is meaningless unless the recipients accept it in full and final settlement but you have beaten me to it. So let me hazard a guess that Peverel may have also sent letters asking for a signature or for notification of any non-acceptance (in suitably clever language, possibly opaque to the legal innocent) within X days, and that X days may have already passed.

    A difficulty with this, admitted speculation, is that it is likely that in the majority of cases there is nobody authorised to sign on behalf of those who have been defrauded.

    Peverel has claimed (e.g., in a submission to the London Assembly) to support the formation of Residents’ Associations, entities which might well be entitled to sign. Unfortunately, Peverel’s claim is unsupported by any evidence and there is a considerable body of evidence that it did its level best to frustrate the formation of Residents’ Associations.

    A case perhaps of being hoist on a petard of one’s own making?

  5. Michael/Paul,

    I understand what has been said and fear for the 65 developments, as rightly stated that the cynical payment into the Service Charges is in this case, a very clever way of keeping the residents quite.

    Most of them will not be aware that they have been offered possibly the magnificent sum of £51.00 each?

    When considering what we had paid out for our updated system some over £800.00 each from the Service Charges, which include a retaining contract of over £600.00 a year as a retainer, where they are paid even when nothing is needing of amendment or repair?

    The system we had, cost us £800.00 for each resident, and as we are only 28 residents we would have received £1,538.00 for the whole development, having paid out £21,000.00 for a system that was not in need of updating.

    Where is the good will, when THE VERY PAYMENTS were out of the money that:

    PEVEREL/CIRRUS HAD BEEN CHEATING THE VERY PENSIONERS THAT THEY CALL CUSTOMRS?

    We at ABC paid £12,000.00 for Management Services to Peverel Retirement, whist their Sister Company Cirrus had admitted to cheating residents.

    The OFT said don’t worry we know you cheated, but carry on and don’t worry, we will slap your wrist and you can keep all of the money you received from the CARTEL.

    Just a follow up from the OFT the person in charge of the investigation CE has been moved on???

  6. Michael Epstein says:

    We talk about residents being cheated as a direct consequence of the the Cirrus/Peverel price fixing fraud.
    Technically that is wrong. It is the service charge trust accounts that have been defrauded.
    By offering a “goodwill payment” demonstrates that service charge trust accounts held by Peverel have no protection against fraud. That should worry every resident.

    • That too is wrong Michael as it is the landlord that has been defrauded and those costs are passed on as service charges. An issue is therefore what involvement the landlord and their agents partners etc had in the fraud as victims and or particpants. In turn it is a question of what remedies the leaseholder has in pursuing those costs against the landlord under their contract, the lease, and in law. Any account under someone else’s control, or accesible by others, is open to fraud, and there are civil and criminal remedies. A desireable outcome of the OFT investigation should be mandatory money protection schemes.

      • What Landlord are you talking about ?? Its the freeholder ( with current rights to claim Lessor’s powers under the lease contract ) which has appointed Peverel to be the MA for the service charge account.

        • Depends on the lease, if say Peveral are named in the lease or there is head lessor, they are the landlord for these points. if in your example the freeholder has direct leases with the flatowners and P are only an MA, then P are only agents, and it is teh freeholder who is landlord and who has been defrauded. The argument is then if they or their agents were party to that and in turn defrauded the flat owners.

  7. To anybody who still support the Leasehold.
    A development build 1983 just over 30 years ago with a Lease for 120 years. Now the Leaseholders
    have to get an EXTENSION TO IT in order preventing the price go up and when it falls down to 80
    years they have pay await for it A MARRIAGE VALUE to the Landlord, Freeholder in this case Estates & Management. I thought the marriage is between two people.

    Anything to rip off the Leaseholders. 120 years actually is not 120 years and what is the marriage to do with the Leaseholders. Some of the Leaseholders got theirs extended and paid over £10K including all cost
    Legal etc for Estate and Management who paid £0 ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
    It is a disgrace and makes the Leaseholders treated as a laughing stock, second class citizen. The medieval rip off Leasehold is only in UK.
    Every single reasonable, fair, respectful Leaseholder and Citizen of this country should take action and get rid off it replacing it by Commonhold like every civilized country in the world.