Any “unhappy individuals” should make a complaint directly to her, she says in minutes of a meeting with Carlex on October 10.
Having orchestrated a price-fixing racket for four years (between 2005 and 2009), Peverel got off scot-free after the Office of Fair Trading gave it leniency accepting the preposterous fiction that Peverel had turned itself in rather than been rumbled.
Four years later – in December 2013 – when the OFT at last ruled that 65 retirement sites had been cheated, Peverel offered a “goodwill” payment of £100,000 to the affected sites.
(The whole OFT inquiry cost £500,000 and resulted in one fine of £1,777 to Owens Installations, the smallest stooge in the scam.)
The minutes of the meeting with Carlex (below), hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley, read: “If any site has information to show it has been charged more than the goodwill gesture we have paid, we would be prepared to look into individual cases. Peverel will continue to be open to look into any individual cases.”
Frustratingly, the 65 scammed sites are actually facing an open goal.
The OFT itself could not be clearer that if any site takes legal action against Peverel its report provides all the evidence required for proper compensation, rather than whatever Peverel wants to pay in “goodwill”.
An OFT letter to one Carlex reader says: “Subject to the Decision not being successfully appealed, the OFT’s findings in respect of these 65 tenders can be relied upon by those people who consider that they have suffered loss as a result in ‘follow-on’ damages claims.”
Although it was suggested by Carlex that Andy Davey, the head of Cirrus during some of the period when price-fixing took place, attend the meeting, he was not present. He is now “director of business excellence” for the Peverel group.
Although Carlex has long believed that 70 per cent of Peverel’s management business comes from the Tchenguiz Family Trust, its former owners, it was minuted and corrected by Peverel to read “around 50%”.