Institute bans accountant for forging signature

The ICAEW has excluded an accountant for at least a year for registering a client as a company secretary for a firm on a Companies House document.

Edward Hopson from North Humberside also falsified the client’s signature on form 288A in October 2006.

A disciplinary tribunal heard that Hopson believed the person would consent to being appointed company secretary but had not made sure.

Hopson’s client, a county councillor, then reportedly received backlash from...

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allenlunn's picture

disciplinary action    2 thanks

allenlunn | | Permalink

Life in the professional sector gets more complicated and sophisticated every year.It requires great effort sometimes to keep abreast of legislation and compliance especially when working on one's own. There's no-one to unburden yourself with nor share knowledge. Consequently, objectives and sound judgement is impaired.This ultimately has an adverse shift away from the core workload resulting in more mistakes and setbacks.

Dr a lunn

George Gretton's picture

Forging a signature with "good intentions"......?    6 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Forging a signature with "good intentions"......?

Who is the Greater Spotted Moron; the "Accountant" bod who forged a signature, or the investigating bod who talked of doing so with "good intentions"?

---

"But the fact he forged a signature without a client’s consent to mislead the public record...."

Whose words go like that? GSM3?

You simply don't forge ANYBODY'S SIGNATURE in a Professional Context; the Client's consent or absence of same does not make a flying fig of a difference.

If a Client asks you to forge his or her signature then you simply say, truly politely

"No Way, Hose",

unless you have Power of Attorney over that Client's affairs, when ya ain't forging or frigging anything.

Can we all be a bit more careful in out accurate use of language? I'd hate to have to get all filosophical yet again.

Yours, George, Wednesday 11th September 2013, 13:25 BST. 

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disciplinary action    4 thanks

karen.morriscook | | Permalink

Well said Dr Lunn.

The professional bodies seem to be more interested in whether or not someone has signed the top of piece of  paper than whether the figures are correct or the client has received a good service and good advice. 

I am in a partnership and we share out the work load but if you are by yourself it must be almost impossible to keep up with both the increasing demands of clients, ever changing tax rules and then on top over burdensome compliance.  I think that qualified sole traders will soon become an extinct breed.

forged signature

karen.morriscook | | Permalink

Obviously I was not referring to the forged signature with the above comment.  I cannot understand why an accountant would put themselves at risk in that way but I can also understand the comment re "best intentions" as I am quite sure that he didn't intend to cause the problems that he did.  Of course you cannot forge someones signature and expect to suffer no consequences. 

George Gretton's picture

Back to Basics, Karen......?    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Back to Basics, Karen......?

Perhaps the Accountant was suffering from "The Sole Practitioner Syndrome", where you end up thinking, in your Uncle Ernie like Isolation, that you can do exactly what you feel like doing at any particular point in time, bar none; like even thinking of forging a signature, in ANY circumstances. You simply don't do that, and not even on account of the possible consequences. You just don't go there! Otherwise

ANYTHING GOES!

---

Working in Professional Isolation is a very dangerous thing indeed; I'm hotly pursuing a possibly rogue Psychotherapist in this context, who may have gone right off the rails through isolation and neglect. After the Professional Register complaint, then there may be the Courts, and six-figure damages.

---

I worked as a Sole Practitioner for a while, but I had the safety net of The AIMS Partnership to help me keep on the straight and narrow.

I hear Dr Lunn above, and I have already burdened this site with a heavy paper on Sole Practitioners forming themselves into Local Peer Review Groups, precisely so as to be able to run your concerns past other Professionals. 

This prompted a concern about sitting down with one's immediate competitors, which is a valid concern.

Perhaps we can introduce the concept into Accounting of a "Supervisor" Role, just as is, (or is actually not), in a number of Health Professions, where it is of critical importance that, for instance, Psychotherapists run their case-load past a Peer or Senior Supervisor, for the Supervisor to, (very quickly, on the "Review" principle), sound the alarm when session psychodynamics have run amok, without the therapist knowing about it, which routinely happens.

I would be both happy and well placed to support, on an individual basis, active Sole Practitioners, or even Small Practices where a difficult problem had arisen. 

I'm a very experienced human being (first and foremost) and Accountant, with Commercial, Third Sector and Practice experience, and as it happens with a Mega-Ton of Psychological Experience, born of a very difficult and painful life story.

My working base is NW2 London, Cricklewood, just near Staples Corner at the junction of the North Circular and the M1. I'm a very good and discriminating listener, and could reflect concerns back to people for whom I adopt a supervisor / reviewer role.

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If I had had somebody in such a role when I produced my Mizzbrazil Accounts back in 2006, who had cast an eye over my accounts for the Company, then I would not have failed to split out the £2 share capital from the £15k of losses, which omission had me ridiculed here on AW. A safety net would have caught me before I landed with a thud.

George@Grettons.Co.Uk

Yours, George, Wednesday 11th September 2013, 14;17 BST

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mr. mischief's picture

Sheer ICAEW hypocrisy    16 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

ICAEW is great at bullying all the little guys for their little failings.  Tell me, ICAEW, how many Big 4 audit partners have you struck off for their dodgy clean audit reports in 2006 and 2007 on the 200-plus European banks later found to be utterly insolvent and in need of bailouts?

Auditing would have a much stronger public image if guys like that were properly held to task.

The old forge    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Who discovered it and who complained?

I have never forged a client's signature.  But in 1972 or thenabouts, when I was a manager, a client brought in her husband's tax return and other data. Like a great many sole traders she kept the books, and attended to the paper work.  I completed the rerurn and asked her to get him to sign it.  "Oh it's OK, I'll sign it" she said. "No you can't do that, because he is making a declaration, blah bah blah." "But I always have" she protested, with a sweet little smile.. 

What should I have done? (No, I didn't sign it. ).

 

Although signing someone into an onerous office without their knowledge is something  a bit diferent..

George Gretton's picture

Ken, you woz spot on!    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Ken, you woz spot on!

If you had thrown away one of your most basic responsibilities, which was to tell the truth and advise, strongly, others to do the same, then what would you have been doing to yourself?

Yes, I am one of those always devoted to serving my decent and honest Clients, but NO, I neither do daft things on their account, or advise them to do daft things. And in the long term they appreciate that.

"George always goes the extra mile", is what Clenio wrote of me. And that was after we had closed down his loss-making business, obviously to his dismay and dissappointment. 

If the Client, on being read the polite version of the Riot Act of 1714, does not get the point of you abiding by the most fundamental rules, then avoid the slippery slope and insist, or walk away.

If a Client prevaricates successfully on something so basic, then what will be asked next?

A decent and honest Client, of the sort that you truly want to work with, will look back on your insistence with respect, and for me it's mutual respect that builds decent relationships.

Yours, George. Wednesday 11th September 2013, 14:55 BST

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disciplinary action    1 thanks

raj@accounts-tax.com | | Permalink

I full agree with Dr Lunn in that sole practitioners are already fully burdened with ever increasing expectations of their regulatory bodies, the HMRC, clients and the ever increasing all round rules and legislation changes. HMRC are hell bent on expecting Practitioners to provide more data and information in electronic format on a more regular basis (such as payroll on-line submissions), with the changes in recent years to submit other returns such as self assessment, VAT, P35's, corporation tax returns, etc, on-line; all this would have reduced the HMRC's human resources, but instead of appreciating this extra effort, we have all those dreadful additional deadlines and penalties to deal with, ensuring that the small practitioner is always living with abnormal stress levels. Unfair competition and unfair practices of struggling unqualified or inexperienced Accountants do not help matters either. Poor cash flows and profits caused by struggling clients do not help matters as the firm is not always in a good position to invest in new technology and tools, senior staff or administrative resources. Breaches of any regulations is unacceptable, but our regulatory bodies are always keener to pursue and penalise the small or sole practitioner even for lesser important matters such as quality of working paper files (even though the end product is materially accurate), whilst letting off the top 4 firms off with relatively smaller fines and punishment for much more serious regulatory offences and negligences. With their obvious limitations, sole or small practitioners have increasingly been easy prey for all authorities and I personally do not think that this position is likely to change in future. I have spent all my working life successfully training and encouraging students, but in recent years, there is some reluctance in over encouraging them to make a career in very small firms. I better get back to work before some deadlines are missed!

Bankrupt Britain destroying professional careers    3 thanks

Accountant on Mars | | Permalink

karen.morriscook wrote:

Well said Dr Lunn.

The professional bodies seem to be more interested in whether or not someone has signed the top of piece of  paper than whether the figures are correct or the client has received a good service and good advice. 

I am in a partnership and we share out the work load but if you are by yourself it must be almost impossible to keep up with both the increasing demands of clients, ever changing tax rules and then on top over burdensome compliance.  I think that qualified sole traders will soon become an extinct breed.

I am in full agreement with this comment.I know Eddie Hopson professionally and personally and once mistakenly turned down a job to work for him.I find him a very astute person professionally and personally and cannot help but feel for him.It makes you wonder where this country is going to end up with professional people,who are sole proprietors,working in excess of 3000 hours per year,having no social life and then being made to struggle on benefits,having had their reputation and livelihood taken away.If I was 20 years younger I would move to New Zealand and let this country rot and go to the dogs, because that is what is happening.The coalition and Labour party are overseeing this destruction of our country with their henchmen,judges,solicitors,courts and police helping them.And what happens is there are good men and women out there struggling with their tarnished careers,criminal records and prison sentences be served and when they come out the ever declining working population having to pay them benefits with their reduced tax bills.Lets face it we will join Greece and Spain and become the bankrupt laughing stock of the world.

I agree with most    1 thanks

Gaffer | | Permalink

George B should be right at home if he was a quality assurance auditor, and rightly despised too.  Some of his statements reveal a great similarity to the policeman "Javert" that relentlessly pursues  the poor guy who stole some bread "Jean Valjean" in the story by Victor Hugo, and the recent 2012 movie of the same name.   "The law is the law" says Javert, who eventually goes insane and commits suicide.  Good riddance claps the audience.

Regards

Gaffer -  September 11 2013

George Gretton's picture

Does anybody know who Is George B in this context?    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Does anybody know who Is George B in this context?

I don't think that anybody` from the Bush Political Die-Nasty of the US has contributed.

If it is a reference to me, then I'm intrigued, and will respond with interest.

I both saw the film of "Les Miserables" recently, and also met a man who played one of the three alternate "Gavroche"s in the original French stage version in Paris.

While some people cringe at some of the emotionality of the film, I love the singing, especially the high tenor stuff, and above all "Tables and Chairs".

Yours, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 08:40

===

makes you wonder

The Black Knight | | Permalink

also falsified the client’s signature on form 288A in October 2006.

Makes you wonder what else he falsified.

Clearly didn't know the difference between right and wrong.

It is about time some of this behaviour that is deemed acceptable but really just criminal was stamped out.

Can't condone falsifying signatures, but the Big 4 do much worse    3 thanks

BryanS1958 | | Permalink

Of course falsifying signatures isn't acceptable, even though the consequences probably couldn't have been foreseen.  However, this inconvenienced one person and was rectifiable.  The Big 4 firms have been failing to adequately audit banks and other large companies and institutions for years, leading to untold financial suffering and distress for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people worldwide due to bank bailouts, quantative easing, etc - how many Big 4 partners have been struck off as a result?  Probably none.

two wrongs don't make a right though    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Two wrongs don't make a right though!

pembo's picture

bullies    4 thanks

pembo | | Permalink

totally with Mr Mischief and Accountants on Mars on this. This country has worked on the shooting fish in the barrel principle for decades because its far easier than going after the real criminals.

The report on this case said

"The appearance on the public record of her apparent consent to be a company secretary of a limited company suggested that she had failed to declare her interest in the relevant register of members’ interests. A member of the public complained and eventually the police became involved ".

Heavy stuff eh and of course far more serious that the failure of MPs to properly declare interests. And are we really expected to believe that this councillor was entirely unaware that this may happen ? Of course we all agree he should not have done this but lets have some proportionality and common sense. As for the "member of public that complained" he or she needs to get out more as do some of the holier than though brigade as posts passim who are oh so quick to judge.  

" "

George Gretton's picture

On signatures, for starters.....

George Gretton | | Permalink

On signatures, for starters.....

If I was asked in a Professional Context to falsify somebody's signature, I would not engage in an internal debate about which might not or might be the consequences; that might prove an error-prone process, and I might do something daft like accede to the request, perhaps under emotional or other pressure.

I do not go anywhere beyond saying "No". 

I would offer to sign something in my OWN name (as long as I was happy with the content of what I was signing), so long as I could ALSO print my name, and add:

pp Tom Smith

where my Grade 3 Latin "O" Level reminds me that this is translated as

"For and on Behalf of"

which is one of those translations that really does the job well of conveying accurate meaning.

That would be open and transparent, and it would give the person at the other end the choice of whether or not to accept that document as acceptably validated. 

---

My younger son once signed something in my name with his own hand / writing.

But at the time I was incarcerated, I think, in an Acute NHS Psychiatric Ward, and he took that step on my behalf as my son, to sort something innocuous out. He did well, in my view. But the relationship between he and I was and is personal / family, as opposed to Professional. He is my son.

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I'll be back.........on the Subject of that Gentleman's Club for SOME Members that seems to be The ICAEW, which is currently MY Institute as well, at least as I write.

Will they get to chucking me out first, or will I get to go in there, while still a "Member", looking into the Perversion of the Course of Justice.

When I refer to "Members", think of those adverts for the likes of, if I remember it right "Spearmint Rhino 'Gentlemens' Club", where you can see vague images of lap- and pole- dancers in the background.

Now if the people who frequent those places are "Gentlemen", where I aspire to behave as a Gentleman in most of (but certainly not all) of what I do, then the Moon is indeed a Balloon, and it's also made of Cheese, even if Neil Armstrong didn't know what he was walking on.

Bloody Hell, what an adventure that was, the subsequent Apollo 13 episode included!

Yours, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 13:19 BST, Sausage Roll Lunch safely eaten.

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DMGbus's picture

Correct motivation but technically wrong    1 thanks

DMGbus | | Permalink

The tribunal said it believed Hopson hadn’t committed the wrongdoing for any personal gain, but as an expedient to help his client.

We do not know what pressure the client put on the advisor, nor what consequences might have accrued had the form not been fraudulently signed to help the client.

What the court DID find was motivation to help the client, with no perceivable disadvantage to anyone from the advisor viewpoint.

It is a trap that all advisors need to be aware of and resist pressure (however great) or temptation to, effectively, be "too helpful".

Now, had it been a case of great public interest with lots of money lost by investors, the country's banking system almost destroyed or thousands of jobs lost by workers (instead of political inconvenience for the victim) then it might be a worthy penalty to deprive someone of several years income.    It is of concern that in major public interest cases there is no proportionate penalty for the wrong do_ers.maybe it is a case of "the little man is a soft target" (he can't afford to spend a 5 or 6 figure sum on a defence unlike major wrong do_ers so we can make an example of him and look good in the process).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No No No

The Black Knight | | Permalink

What do we deem acceptable then?

Signing a passport application for someone we have not met.

Signing accounts we have not prepared or audited.

Signing someones tax return

This was a forgery after all, the reason he was caught out is neither here nor there.

What sort of reasonable law abiding subject would not realise that this was wrong?

Why all the emotive language?    2 thanks

Ken Howard | | Permalink

Why all the emotive language?  We've had comments about how hard it is to be a sole practitioner, working long hours, ever increasing regulations, etc.  Why is any of that relevant, and is it really such a problem?

The fact is that this guy forged a signature on an official document.  He's supposed to be a professional.  At the end of the day, this isn't acceptable behaviour whatever the motivation or pressure.  What on earth was he thinking about?  

As for apocalytic warnings of the end of the sole practitioner?  There are more sole practitioners than ever.  A whole new breed of "one man bands", many unqualified, have now stormed the market.  Made easier with online accounting, HMRC & Co House electronic filings, etc - you don't need receptionists, typists anymore.  Regulations etc needn't be a problem if you research and understand them - yes, compliance reviews etc are a pain and probably achieve little, but the likes of MLR checking etc soon becomes routine, as does RTI for payroll - nothing but minor irritations and certainly nothing that precludes the end of the world as we know it.  As for working long hours - why?  No need, just choose your clients and charge a decent/fair rate and you can earn a decent living on normal hours.

Let's get some sense of perspective.

pembo's picture

Envy

pembo | | Permalink

you Black Knight that your life is so black and white.... must make everyday existence so easy. Guess you have never taken a box of paper home from the office for your own use eh ? The spirit of Lord Denning must look down aghast at the society we've created.

George Gretton's picture

Pembo, you ever heard of Logic, the two-valued sort.....?

George Gretton | | Permalink

Pembo, you ever heard of Logic, the two-valued sort.....?

If you keep the foundations of your thinking appropriately clear, then you are likely to screw up less at higher and everyday levels.

Why do you choose to cast aspersions on somebody? 

Some of us draw on the likes of Denning, and take his thoughts forward; he would be warmed and delighted at some of the thoughts and views expressed here.

If you can only bring cynicism, then please don't bother. Some of us try to go forwards, to constructively create and debate.

Yours, irate, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 14:26 BST

===

excluded for a year

The Black Knight | | Permalink

pembo wrote:

you Black Knight that your life is so black and white.... must make everyday existence so easy. Guess you have never taken a box of paper home from the office for your own use eh ? The spirit of Lord Denning must look down aghast at the society we've created.

He has only been excluded for a year! That is where the proportionality is.

No fine!

and certainly not £14M

He has not been prosecuted. I think forgery might be a criminal offence?

mmm Shall I forge someones signature or not today? It's not a difficult one is it?

mitigating factors might be: blackmail, gun to head, love

but please not "look at those greedy bankers, MP's and rich accountants"

 

Unforeseeable Consequences    1 thanks

J Lessels | | Permalink

When you do something dodgy like forging a signature (I don't!), you do not know what the consequences might be. It's no good thinking it doesn't matter and who cares. You just don't know what will happen. It's what old Rumsfeld called the Unknown unknowns.

My bad

Gaffer | | Permalink

Sorry George, yes it was you I referred to and so it should have said George G.  Does being banned for one year mean he cannot service his clients for a year?  If so, he would then have to start from scratch since who would go back to him after having to find another accountant.  The punishment does not fit the "crime".

Regards,

Gaffer 9/12 Thursday

George Gretton's picture

The name of the ICAEW has been taken in vain........

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello All,

The name of the ICAEW has been taken in vain quite a lot in this thread; I’m going to add a little chilli-pepper spice to the flavour of our discussions.

John and Rachel, fasten your seat belts, and pop a valium. That will save on the cleaning bill. Note that I will only report objective FACTS and accurate NARRATIVES, and leave adult readers to draw their own conclusions, if they feel so moved.

And this is LONG; but at least AW can accept long accounts and narratives, unlike LinkedIn where you have to chop missives into 4,000 character chunks. I have posted a five or six parter there.. I simply don’t do 140 character “Tweets”.

---

On the 21st June 2012 I received a polite and constructive email from a Mrs Corrie Pike of Member Records at ICAEW pointing out that while I flagged myself as “Self Employed” on my Member’s Profile, I didn’t have a Practising Certificate. She pointed me at the Ethics Advisory Department if I felt that it would be a good idea to check the situation out.

What she didn’t know, but did not need to know and would not have known, was that, primarily through shocking psychological ill-health, I had at that stage (and the same is true as I write today) only earned £6,000 gross since February 2008, where those earnings had arisen through what at least started as Bookkeeping work.

So I was not at the time of her enquiry exactly coining or printing money, as is the lot of some High Roller “Principals Engaged in Public Practice” in very large, and indeed medium sized, “Firms”.

I went ahead and did some checking out, and spoke to some delightful people about “Our” ICAEW. I debated whether or not to continue as an ICAEW Member, since when I get any paid work it will be in Information Systems, but decided that I wanted to stick with my 30 year association with “my” Institute, on the grossly mistaken basis, as it turned out, of goodwill and positive association.

---

I also encountered some comprehensive morons, at the end of August 2012, in the context of my proposed letterhead. A sample from an email that I received from one goes:

“You may be asked to justify or explain the following information;

‘Information Systems Expert’

‘Nemesis of Charlatans’

‘Dedicated to the Service and Protection of Honest and Decent People’

This could be by a member of the public or by a quality assurance reviewer during a visit.”

Qué, Senor Fawlty? Is some “member of the public” or a “quality assurance manager” going to pronounce in this way on me?

They are unlikely to have the foggiest idea of who and what I am! Feck that!

I freely acknowledge that I have a “different” letterhead, but that’s because I’m a “different” sort of person from most of my fellow ICAEW Members. I think about all sorts of things, and not necessarily on conventional lines.

That makes me an excellent Accountant, because I take little, or even nothing, for granted.

---

That put my consideration as to whether I wanted to carry on being a Member slightly on hold.

But in parallel, and at the end of July 2012, I had come across, for the first time, Simpleton Simon, Company Secretary and Executive Director (on over £80k as per accounts) of the £7m net assets Institute of Brewing and Distilling, who famously told me over the phone, when I was offering to sort out his accounting carnage, how much he rued the fact that an organisation such as his had to file accounts in the Public Domain, as at Companies House and the Charity Commission. He’s a real stickler for procedure, then.

That set me running as a greyhound after a hare, and I started poking around in all sorts of tender places. I’ll serialise the fine detail after it has all blown sky high. It’s absolutely hilarious, albeit vomit-inducingly so.

As a natural Professional Courtesy I informed Chantrey Vellacott of my interest and concerns about the activities of their client since 2002, The IBD, but the reception to my communications was not even lukewarm.

It ultimately went as here, in a letter dated 12th September 2012.

Note that the signatory is not the lead author of the billet doux; that was GNL, who may or may not be Geoff Lowe, a Consultant at Chantrey Vellacott.

https://app.box.com/s/7zxkh9880ligal89ab7x

For those who do not download the letter for inspection, the general drift is “Urinate off, Mr Gretton!” Touchy! Feely!

---

After that, there was I going about my normal business poking my nose into bad smells, when I got a “Kind Regards” email from a Maria Fuller of the ICAEW on the 18th September, six days after my gem from Chantrey Vellacott, whose email footer categorises her as a

“Complaints Case Worker, Professional Standards”,

with Subject: “Are you in breach of Principal Bye-law 51?” Here it is.

https://app.box.com/s/qzt7mye8lwo2kxoom8km

Now this affected sensitive old me in a very acute way. I quickly took in the “Complaints Case Worker, Professional Standards” line.

So after I had changed my underpants, so as to deal with the runny brown material that had suddenly ended up there, I telephoned the Metropolitan Police, and that afternoon a very decent Roving Police Constable came to see me at home, to start the process of what resulted in my making the Crime Report that ended up with DS Nathan Tozer of Westminster CID at Charing Cross, in respect of which he has not been moved to move these last 10 months, and said to me one day

“I don’t want to be rude, but will you please wait for Action Fraud / NFIB to formally issue the case to me.”

I took the hint. And now the CC is on the case instead, after I nicked them with an absolute howler of being suckered.

---

I did also send some pretty wild emails in response, and had some interesting dialogues, but then, on the 21st September, I received the real nutty whacker of a defective and profoundly stupid letter. Enjoy most of all the two [tbc] bits in the formal charge.

https://app.box.com/s/bigda9lnuyb9w5mokk7i

The subsequent dialogue between me ‘n the ICAEW, which was very widely circulated indeed, then got actively HOT.

But after the “Rumble in The Jungle, Part II”, the Moron at The Institute finally backed down, utterly gracelessly in my view, with a final parting “warning shot”, late in November 2012.

As readers may note, I’m not much of a bod for respecting “Private and confidential”, when I sincerely don’t give a manure about confidentiality or secrecy, when those concepts are simply being abused by abusers of truth, in my view.

https://app.box.com/s/cud9edwkistcncduzlnh

Felicity closes her letter to me with an impeccably helpful:

“If you have any queries, please contact me.”

But I have this fantasy / dream that the next time I interact with her will be on the occasion of a Thames Valley Police Interview of her under Caution, with a Detective Constable or Sergeant.

But then, as in the case of the wonderful John Lennon, I always was a dreamer, and an Imaginer. I dream of a world where the many shits of it are in prison.

---

I note that I copied in my even wilder emails to the PA’s of the President of The ICAEW and of the CEO of The ICAEW, but never got any responses or acknowledgements.

I also emailed, on another occasion, and as already documented on AW, a whole load of Chantrey Vellacott Partners, and DFK Senior Managers, but never got a dickey bird back.

---

So what scale of Problem do we actually have here, Houston? How many Venerable Organisations are going to do an Arthur Andersen when the manure descends, briefly, onto the rotating air circulator, before heading off in all directions?

Who will end up liberally plastered with runny dung? Watch this space.

Yours, George on a Ratty Day, Thursday 12th September 2013, 17:01 BST

=======================================

davidwinch's picture

A criminal offence?    1 thanks

davidwinch | | Permalink

The Black Knight wrote:

He has not been prosecuted. I think forgery might be a criminal offence?

I think you might have in mind s1 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.  I am not a lawyer but, for what it's worth, I don't think what was done here amounts to the criminal offence of forgery because I do not think the accountant in question intended any harm to come to anyone as a result of his signing the Companies House form in the name of (and as if he were) his client.  (But that doesn't mean I think on a professional level it was perfectly OK to do that.)

David

George Gretton's picture

OK, Gaffer, I take your point about proportionality.....

George Gretton | | Permalink

OK, Gaffer, I take your point about proportionality.....

...., more or less.

Having his Accounting Career destroyed seems out of proportion, when other High and Mighty people get away with Blue, Black and Red Murder.

---

I generally look inside rather than outside, at personal responsibility first and foremost.

---

And please don't "Javert" me!

He was a transparent and obvious psychopath, interested only in destroying good people. I have encountered too many such people, including the one that I naturally trusted the most in my infancy and childhood world.

I am also interested (as a natural result and consequence of my experiences) in destroying people, but I target scumbags. I recognise and go for evil, that Hugo represents via Javert, in such contrast to Javert's primary target. 

Russell Crowe's depiction of Javert was, as ever for Crowe, magnificent; except that for me he let too  much of his own decency come through, and Javert had no decency at all, and in the end realised it.

Then, Mr and Colonel Kurtz-like, he topped himself - his own Horror was too much to bear. 

---

I specialise in spotting psychopaths and sociopaths, who can lie without showing any of the normal and decent symptoms of doing so, and wrap all sorts of people, social workers, policemen, and lawyers, around their little finger. One recent one was an ICAEW FCA, and he beat the crap out of me in public.

For me one has to observe very carefully ALL of a person's behaviour; the psychos always, and inevitably, let something slip when they are off-guard. They like to brag.

You can probably work out from what I write that I an a decent and honest person, rather than a psychopath, but then that's entirely for you to decide.

Yours, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 17:41 BST

===

 

George Gretton's picture

But that doesn't mean I think on a professional level it was....

George Gretton | | Permalink

But that doesn't mean I think on a professional level it was perfectly OK to do that.

Hello David, isn't that a bit sloppy on the semantic front?

Did you mean to say " ..level it was remotely acceptable to do that"?

I wriggle around with these single / double negatives in my IS work, and a very smart friend and colleague picked me up on it; the erudite subject was whether or not a classification was null or not-not null, or something like that. Hairy! Profound!

Did you actually mean to say, but were to polite to say "(But) I do think that he was absolutely bonkers to do so at a Professional level"? 

Your observation seems to lead to ambiguity.

Yours, George the quadruple negative, Thursday 12th September 2013, 18:27 BST.

I once heard Gareth Evans doing a ten or so multiple negatives, at immense speed. His mind was like that.

===. 

 

Honest and decent yes.

Gaffer | | Permalink

Hi George,

Agreed, you are not Javert.  It's just that sometimes you deal in absolutes, and that risks submerging your humanity, if only temporarily.  'Nuff said.  I better get back to work.

Regards,

Gaffer (Toronto Canada)

 

davidwinch's picture

@George

davidwinch | | Permalink

In this case the accountant produced a formal document (submitted to Companies House) which purported to be signed by a person who had not signed it and had not given his consent to his name being signed on it.

As a consequence the accountant was disciplined by his professional body.

I think that is fair enough even though (in my view at least) no criminal offence had been committed.

I don't think there is any ambiguity there!

David

George Gretton's picture

Hello Gaffer of Toronto, thank you for your kind post....

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello Gaffer of Toronto, thank you for your kind post....

You refer most appropriately to profound issues, including absolutes, and the issue of me retaining my humanity while doing what I believe, with passion, is right. I am, as well as being a very angry man, also a very caring and loving man.

I am who I am (as said Popeye) on account of having a catastrophically disastrous early and not-so-early childhood, abuse-wise, including a sexual assault. It took me over 50 years to emerge from the consequences of that, and I'm still very angry, both about what went down for me in the first place, and also about the obstacles that were put in my way by deniers and worse while I was trying to extricate from the dungeon into which I was thrown, aged 5 and then 7. 

I vent my anger onto the sort of people who themselves to harm, and sometimes I am very, very rough and aggressive in the process. Thank you for reminding me to also keep my humanity close to hand.

I am now closely associated with a wonderful UK Charity called "The National Association for People Abused in Childhood" - www.napac.org.uk. 

I'm always on the scrounge for the Charity - there's a donation place on the website, and I also have a page called "George Gretton" on the Just Giving Website - that's NOT the "Charity Giving" site that got closed down for obvious fraud, that we discussed here on AW.

Yours, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 19:19 BST

===

George Gretton's picture

David; Agreed; No ambiguity at all.

George Gretton | | Permalink

David; Agreed; No ambiguity at all.

On a compassionate note (and see my stuff above!) we can note that the person concerned really and truly shot himself in the foot, with very severe consequences indeed. 

Codd alone knows how he will generate income for himself and any family dependents. He may need to make a career change. He may have blown his effective right to work as a Professional and Qualified Accountant. Such things happen, even just through carelessness.

Oh that a few Very Senior Partners in Very Large Firms with an equally large degree of Naked Irresponsibility would also take career changes. 

As Bill Gates at last worked out, helping other human beings in need is much more rewarding than the Daylight Robbery that he perpetuated on us all. 

And I'll get Micro-SITH yet, in Operating Systems, Calculation Sheets, and Information Systems, that used to be called RDBMSs, as in SQL Server.

Yours, George, off for supper, Thursday 12th September 2013, 19:31 BST

===

 

 

George Gretton's picture

Loads of downloads!

George Gretton | | Permalink

Loads of downloads!

I get emails when people take a dip into my Box Directory tree to preview or download files.

There are plenty of people taking a butchers this evening, of the files that I flagged earlier. Enjoy!

And I escaped the North and North West traffic carnage (lorry accident near Neasden; the North Circular totally blocked anti-clockwise) and have re-located to an Italian Restaurant in Hemel. Delicious lamb!

Yours, George, Thursday 12th September 2013, 20:57 BST

===

 

Nichola Ross Martin's picture

There's forgery and forgery...    1 thanks

Nichola Ross Martin | | Permalink

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

George Gretton's picture

Parable for the day

George Gretton | | Permalink

Parable for the day

The office block where I now have my office is next to a warehouse and yard, where the entrance to the yard is just inside a side street off the relatively main Coles Green Road, NW2.

The side street is one way, coming in the direction of the mainer road. There are the standard no entry signs guarding the side road.

Van drivers had become accustomed to "slip" by the no entry signs so as to save on a two minute trip round the block to enter the yard legally. What particularly incensed me is that they carried out these defective and actively dangerous manoeuvres at some speed, say 20 MPH, and the corner is relatively blind; this was an accident waiting to happen, either involving another vehicle or, much worse, a pedestrian.

I paid yet another of my visits to the London Roadsafe website and made my report of the situation. They wrote a letter to the Company concerned; as ever they could not prosecute because there was no other witness. But that was a good outcome in my book; the negligent managers of the business, who should have told their drivers what not to do, had been warned.

There would have been no situation had the drivers simply and automatically respected the no entry signs, without a moment's hesitation or "thought". 

I then equate fabricating a signature to driving through a no entry sign. They are both hazardous. And the actual situation had become aggravated; I have encountered both a van and a cyclist going the wrong way along the one way street; perceptions can become confused.

So it's much easier to keep it simple; let's stay Simple Men and Women.

Here's Klaus Nomi's wondrous "Simple Man", who naturally follow the rules that are there to keep us safe..

https://app.box.com/s/7bho3kf4qrpzzsdtktgu

Yours, George-with-a-hangover, Friedegg 13th September 2013, 09:33 BST.

Another Friday the 13th!

My mitral valve replacement heart surgery was in such a day. The surgery itself was very successful, but due to entirely predictable chemical complications I stayed unconscious for three or four weeks, while, also predictably, my kidneys packed up for a spell.

===

 

 

George Gretton's picture

Hello Nicola, we have a Slippery Slope Slituation......

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello Nicola, we have a Slippery Slope Slituation......

Our use of the word "signature" in the language has become blurred and confused, so that its true meaning has been Lost, Ludwig.

Let's get back to a signature being a personal thing, as opposed to some sort of authority statement, and let's make the "pp" explicit by writing, in English longhand, "For and on behalf of" when that is what is going on. Many people put the pp in a wrong place, in front of their own signature; writing out the whole meaning would show that up.

Yours, George, Friday 13th September 2013, 09:45 BST

Afterthought; people have been downloading the files that I referred you all to: does anybody want to offer their own interpretation of my situation vis-a-vis the ICAEW, as to what was actually going down?

===

 But I wondering how many    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

 But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks. Or even knows!In my audit days I "observed the cheque signing procedure". The cheques were signed by a primitive computer system and the control machine was strictly controlled.   And yet in many a small organisation, one of the two cheque signatories would pre-sign the cheques and go away, thus defeating the object of having two signatories.

And how many board meetings in small companies, which we auditors were obliged to "peruse  the minutes of", actually took place? What about the preprinted minutes  banks give you to sign when a new cheque signatory is appointed?  

Years ago, as a manager,   I was  asked to witness the signature of the senior partner on legal documents.  He had gone out, It looked like his writing. I  complied.  It was apparently their standard procedure.  Should I have done?

What is the present position with tax returns? Before I retired if it was getting near filing date I used to e-mail the returns to the cllient, and post the signature page and authorisation to file. If the client e-mailed me to say he would sign I accepted that.  It saved late filing penatlries.  Suppose he had died before he could sign it?  

A  partner in one of the (then) big eight  told me she signed 2000 letters a day. She was amused that some clients thought she  read them.

 

And in the instance I discussed earlier, when the client's wife wanted to sign her husband's tax return on the grounds she always had done, this being in the days before independent taxation, I was presented with a signed return after I had momentarily looked out of the window. 

I should mention that all these instances were more than 30 years ago. None of these instances are in the same league as the poor fellow who signed a form and forgot to  ask if he should.  

But one instinctively thinks forgery is wrong even with the consent of the purported signatory.  I suggest it's because it's basically a lie, it is saying that someone has put pen to paper when one has not. 

 

 

 

His accounting career hasn't been destroyed    2 thanks

Ken Howard | | Permalink

George Gretton wrote:
Having his Accounting Career destroyed seems out of proportion

His "accounting career" hasn't been destroyed.  He's been chucked out of the ICAEW.  He can still operate as an accountancy practice - like loads do - on an unqualified basis.  If he has a good reputation with his clients, most would stick with him.  He also has his experience and the fact that he did once qualify which should enable him to gain an employed position if he wanted to do that.  All that has happened is that he has breached the rules of a professional body and has been struck off from that body as a result.  I'm sure he still has options to gain professional recognition via another professional body, maybe such as the AAT or ICPA etc depending on their rules/opinion of this matter.

George Gretton's picture

Ken, thanks for the balance.......    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Ken, thanks for the balance.......

I'm reminded that one of my brothers, then an FCA, when confronted with a compliance visit from the ICAEW, decided to resign his membership; since he is not Codd's Gift to orderly filing. There's Random Access Memory, RAM, in computer science, and then there's RAF, as in random access filing elsewhere in Paper terms.

I'm pretty sure that he told his clients, and they did not depart en masse. They know full well that he's another decent an honest person, devoted to serving his clients well, albeit not without the odd quirk as a brother. But he was very kind to me in my childhood; he was 5 years older.

And a few months ago we discussed a Ken who got slung out of the Scottish Institute for refusing to do his CPD, which did not really relate to his work and career in the Brewing Industry. So wise people will not necessarily judge a person on account of getting slung out of an Institute, and will take other and wider factors into account.

But I would think twice about engaging in a professional relationship with somebody who has made such a fundamental error of judgement. He has form in my book. Once bitten, twice shy.

Yours, George, Friday the 33rd September 2013, 11:35 BST, in denial that it's Friday the 13th.

===

Indeed

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Ken Howard wrote:

George Gretton wrote:
Having his Accounting Career destroyed seems out of proportion

His "accounting career" hasn't been destroyed.  He's been chucked out of the ICAEW.  He can still operate as an accountancy practice - like loads do - on an unqualified basis.  If he has a good reputation with his clients, most would stick with him.  He also has his experience and the fact that he did once qualify which should enable him to gain an employed position if he wanted to do that.  All that has happened is that he has breached the rules of a professional body and has been struck off from that body as a result.  I'm sure he still has options to gain professional recognition via another professional body, maybe such as the AAT or ICPA etc depending on their rules/opinion of this matter.

Indeed.

He might even find that he has less costs of regulation and is now able to sign any documents in any manner he now sees fit.

How many company directors don't realise they are company directors? That will be the wife that never gave her consent then?

Ignoring the forged bit...Signatures are either important or they are not. The trust placed in that signature is reliant on your professional ethics and standards of behaviour so it is of the utmost importance that these matters are taken seriously.

I always make sure that the persons signature I am witnessing is present, that those signatures are not backdated, that it is the person signing and I have known them for the requisite amount of time, If it is the children's passports I drag them in too, No excuses. Because then I know I can put my hand on my heart and say I did things properly.

If clients do not agree with these standards then the law provides work arounds E.G.  in that a director can now sign a passport application and that director could easily be your local criminal who will not necessarily need to identify you or even be the person he purports to be. I assume this was introduced to alleviate the problem of illegal immigrants achieving a reduction in the figures.

The Australian embassy actually checks your validity, but they don't like immigrants.

More of a problem than it used to be

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

it's more of a problem than it used to be.

does a consent to act as a director need to be in writing for example?

You just need some ID questions to appoint anyone and you could make them up given companies house filing cabinet rules.

I thought you said "I consent"

No I said "you're bent"

 

George Gretton's picture

Re BK: “How many Company Directors don’t realise……”    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Re BK: “How many Company Directors don’t realise……”

[John and Rachel, as ever there’s nothing defamatory here; it’s all straight fact. So stay calm.]

Once again your observation pings in on my ol’ Mates at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

I think that I have “encouraged” about four former Director / Trustees of that supposedly £7m net asset “Charity”, with the Charitable Purpose of Money Laundering, to resign their Directorships, to my immense satisfaction, and to the inevitable embarrassment of The Ugly Sister and Simpleton Simon.

Those four individuals were surprised to learn that their Duties as Company Directors were more onerous than giving speeches at black tie dinners, as “Section Presidents” and the like, and also were more onerous than being photogenic, Dr Michaela Miedl of Switzerland. Phew, she took a long time to go.

I got one bod to resign just two weeks after his appointment was filed; that was a result.

I’ve also spelt out the true situation to the California-based Professor Charles William Bamforth, recently appointed “Vice-President”, but he’s sticking to his guns. When it all blows I’ll report him to his University.

---

But the latest “Appointment” is turning out to be interesting.

I got my Companies House Monitor message of a filing re the IBD, and it turned out that a Graeme Hall had just been appointed as Director.

He seems to be a classic case of a “reputable” patsy Director; one other ongoing such Director (a nice young man, from a telephone conversation with him) is a night shift manager at a brewery in Eire; he’s even less somebody who is going to understand a 35 page set of fictions posing as “Accounts”.

What does £1.2m borrowed from restricted reserves to prop up general reserves mean to either of these guys?

What does a £655k PYA signify, along with the bald statement that the bank recs have not been materially right for years, and in particular were “out” by £350k in last year’s filed accounts?

Very, very little, by intention!

There are no Accountants at all, on the Board; they would be as welcome as I was when I offered to sort out their crashing systems and rogue accounting records.

“NO THANKYOU”, said Simpleton Simon. His Pie Man is the Ugly Sister!

Graeme is a, or the, Senior Manager of the distribution plant of a brewer called Frederic Robinson Limited, a HUGELY successful Cheshire based operation with reserves of £70m. It’s a TOTALLY family business; all of the Directors, and also the Company Secretary, have “Robinson” as a part of their surname, even if it is part of a now double-barrelled name.

I contacted the PA to the 80 plus year old Chairman of the Company, Mr Peter Robinson, who, it seems, is still absolutely The Boss, to suggest to Mr Peter that he might want to instruct his employee to distance himself prontissimo from any association with the IBD, since it would taint Robinsons to have a Director of The IBD as an employee when it all blows.

I contacted him on the default assumption that he and his company were all kosher, and that he would thank me very much for alerting him as to the potentially embarrassing problem that might bring his Company into disrepute (a word that I actively used to him via his PA).

But he hasn’t even acknowledged receipt of my Intelligence, and I gave them the option to get access to all of my IBD files. His PA has passed my “missive” (as she called it) to him, and he has NOT asked her to download my material, where I, as ever, flagged the 2011 “Accounts”.

So, I ask in a Freudian way, what is the Significance of his lack of responsive behaviour? Is he too busy to fend off odium for his Company?

Ca sent du poisson, Hastings? Do we have yet another problem, Houston?

Molson Coors were not interested in chatting, not was somebody at the Medical Research Council, where £650k went, that almost exclusively ended up funding a Single Medical Professor’s work. And the Prof is involved in another International Alcohol Industry Charity!

Phew, it’s a small world. Lightning strikes at the same spot every time the bell strikes in this Alcohol (and other Drugs?) Industry Charitable World.

Yours, George, Friday 33rd September 2013, 12:56 BST – now recovered from my hangover.

And somebody may have downloaded “Simple Man”; I hope that it brightens that person’s day.

===

Had a cheque

ghewitt | | Permalink

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

signed by a non-signatory. It went through unchallenged. It was for 500 odd pounds. The bank said they didn't usually bother checking if it was under 5000. Nice.

that's

The Black Knight | | Permalink

ghewitt wrote:

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

signed by a non-signatory. It went through unchallenged. It was for 500 odd pounds. The bank said they didn't usually bother checking if it was under 5000. Nice.

That's because you should use chip and pin otherwise you are leaving yourself open to fraud sir!

The purpose of banking is to move your money around and charge you for doing it.

Changing the signatures on an account is a nigh on impossible task so people (charity, club and volunteer sector mainly) have worked out that anyone can sign the cheque and it will go through. After all it is no different to giving the internet passwords to the secretary or the bookkeeper. Saves all the hassle and you can help yourself whenever you need too.

If it's allowed it must be perfectly acceptable and normal behaviour.

Is there actually a crime if a non signatory signs a cheque for an unauthorised amount to a dodgy geezer in the belief that he needed the money for charity begins at home principles?

It really is truly amazing that fraud has not taken off as our leading industry (but perhaps the figures are suppressed as it wouldn't look good in the telegraph)

George Gretton's picture

Sailor; according to The ICAEW you work at Ainsworths of Nelson

George Gretton | | Permalink

Sailor; according to The ICAEW you work at Ainsworths of Nelson, and that is or was on your profile here on AW

Can you clarify your actual name, whether or not you are a qualified accountant, and where you work. The we will all know who and what we are talking to.

My name is George Gretton, as suggested by my member name here, and I am an ICAEW FCA, at least as we speak,

I qualified with Spicer & Pegler of St Mary Axe, London, in 1982. I can be found on the wwww, in connection with being an accountant and in connection with my pursuit of the IBD. 

I'll be engaging in hopefully intelligent debate with Alison-from-"Intuit", but we still need to attend to your blistering observations, that need to be clarified, now including your 

"Closed years are clearly closed, other than for minor things like immaterial late expense claims" additional late gem. 

Talk about digging holes for yourself and those connected with you.......an employee expense claim, too late to account for.......?

Yours, George, having a very, very bad day indeed - found myself last night unable to exit my office via a (sole) fire exit that had been jammed shut. WW III being started, Monday 16th September 2013, 10:01 BST.

===

Had a cheque    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

I paid a credit card company, and kept a copy of my cheque, always a good idea with credit card companies.  I discovered I had dated it March instead of December, no idea why. So I rang the card company   , who said they had paid it in, but not to worry, as "they won't notice." They didn't. it went through.

 

I paid a cheque into my bank, who pointed out  it was unsigned. They said "if it comes back we'll charge you £4.00".  I knew the drawer, it was a few hundred, I knew he would be in funds and would not have deliberately left it unsigned. (Some people do, but not the kind of client I wanted).   This also went though, and my understanding is cheques don't physically leave the bank anyway, I may be wrong.

 

So what was the point of that ancient audit test, where you had to get a pile of cleared cheques and check them against the cash book? Something to do with teeming and lading i think. 

 

 

 

 

George Gretton's picture

BK: "It really is truly amazing that fraud has not ......"

George Gretton | | Permalink

BK: "It really is truly amazing that fraud has not taken off as our leading industry...."

Now, BK, would you like to reconsider that statement?

With, for instance, Companies House legislation favouring the fraudulent so blatantly, on an increasing basis, can you sustain your perhaps generous view?

---

Charity Commission, please, please would you go and get in there at the IBD. 

Then Brian and I, and perhaps Dave, can get in there and shine the light of truth on accounting entries.

Then all sorts of "Institutions" will bite the dust; The Institute of Brewing and Distilling will just pave the way for "Firms" and another "Institute", with 140,000 members.

Yours, George, Monday 16th September 2013, 10:31 BST.

Just off to the local Fire Station to ask about door rammers.

===

 

Numpties    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

The door is clearly wide open for fraudsters to take advantage,

from companies house, HMRC, banking, supported by a complete lack of enforcement.

It is almost as if the primary purpose of establishing government department procedures is to encourage the fraud industry and obstruct the prosecution of the offenders.

Only the very stupid get caught. Most of the reported convictions recently are so daft you have to wonder at the level of stupidity. When it would have been so easy to steal more and remain undetected and or even confuse or pass the blame to someone else.

How often are these crimes discovered by chance events.

a mobile phone spotter noticing mobile phone numbers, a complainant, an aggrieved wife, etc etc

Half of these frauds should never have got off the ground.

Why didn't the chap above sign the form in his own name, no one would have checked (provided it was in black ink and didn't spread outside the box). It would then NOT have been an act of forgery but a mild silly moment? Consent would have been verbal and the form completed with the right intentions argument may well have kept him safe.

or he could have just made up a name as company secretary and filed that!

Companies house don't even check if company secretaries of PLC's are real let alone qualified to act as such. Much less directors and secretaries.

Maybe    3 thanks

ghewitt | | Permalink

He should have filed on line and just ticked the correct box. No signature needed.

Looking through this post (don't ask me why I bother - hope springs eternal, dammit) I think what a pathetic world we live in. All this underhandedness, forgery, fraud et-al is all over money. Pieces of paper that we give a value to, that people are willing to kill another person for. To do what with. Buy another trinket, another car, go on a holiday, say ooo look at me I'm rich?. Totally mindless. We spend our days toiling at some God-forsaken job to get pieces of paper, if that - usually just an increase in a number on our bank account. And then what? Sure, yes, yes, I know we need some money to do this and that - we are told and educated that this is how it works. But why? There has to be a better way than spending most of our lives working for paper and then just dying. Alan Watts told a great story of how we constantly chase the future and in the end find out the whole thing is a hoax and life passes us by as we strive to 'make it'.

I urge you to just stand back and look at the madness you call your life; how you are manipulated by the media and the crap-o-vision that governs how and what you think, how corporations and governments control you and how we are slaves trying to 'make it'. What the 'it' actually is I have no idea - big house (big deal), big car (big deal), latest whizzy gadget (big deal).

On your death-bed, with 10 minutes to live will ANY of this matter? Will you be wishing that you had spent more time at the office? I doubt it.

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