The owner of one of the three stooge companies that helped Peverel’s subsidiary Cirrus wrongly win lucrative contracts at retirement sites deeply regrets his involvement in the scam.
Jeremy Owen, 38, of Owens Installations, says he got caught up in the Cirrus scandal because he was young and naïve and wishes he could “turn the clock back”.
Peverel has offered £100,000 to the contingency funds of the sites affected and terms the sum a “goodwill” payment.
But Owen was the only one involved in the entire scandal who paid his formal censure: a £1,777 fine.
Peverel and Cirrus got away with orchestrating the scam scot-free after the Office of Fair Trading offered them a “leniency” deal for their co-operation with its inquiry.
MPs Sir Peter Bottomley and Ed Davey have described this decision as “outrageous”.
The other two stooges, Glyn Jackson Communication (fined £35,700) and Peter O’Rourke Electrical (fined £15,933), avoided any financial penalty by going into administration in 2012.
Owen chose not to do so and paid up.
Speaking to Carlex, Owen said:
“We learn by our mistakes. I do not want to have anything to do with Peverel or with Cirrus or any of the other companies that were involved.
“I worked for Peverel for 14 years. But it is a chapter of my life that I would like to close.
“It was a good company, but then greed took over and it became corrupt.
“If you could turn the clock back I would hope not to have been so naïve. I just wish I had not got involved. I am very sorry to have done so.”
Owen was astonished to learn from Carlex that Glyn Jackson was back working at a Peverel site, the Adelphi in Harrogate. Reported on Carlex here
“I was told that Glyn Jackson would not ever work on Peverel schemes again, so I am surprised that he is being re-employed.
“I obviously paid my fine and I am the only person who did so. I did not simply fold the company as the others did.
“I cannot believe that the OFT investigators let those responsible for this walk away scot-free.”
Owen declines to discuss the matter in detail, but says:
“I did not make much money out of the scam.
“No payments were made to me for tendering for the sites. It was not quite as dark and seedy as that. You were paid back by contracts to install systems at other sites.
“But I never installed equipment at sites where I had nominally bid for the work.”
Mr Owen is adamant that the scam went to the heart of Cirrus.
“I cannot imagine anyone in the management structure not being perfectly well aware of what was going on.
“I have no loyalty to Peverel or to Cirrus. I think what we were doing was completely corrupt.
“I felt it was right that I pay my dues.”
Sir Peter Bottomley has said that the pensioner victims of the scam, that ran between 2005 and 2009, were “the direct victims of unlawful and probably criminal actions”.