Feeds

Regulator can chase liquidator over phone scam fine

Premium rate watchdogs score High Court victory

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A High Court judge has told the liquidators of a premium rate phone scam they can be sued over a huge fine levied by regulators before it went titsup in 2005.

PhonepayPlus, the watchdog formerly known as ICSTIS, won the right to sue for a debt of £1.9m, which covers a £1.3m fine it imposed on the now defunct Allied Communications, plus costs.

Accountants carrying out the liquidation of Allied Communications have now agreed to hand over a slice of the corpse of the defunct premium rate operator to the regulator.

PhonepayPlus said it doesn't know how much of the £1.9m it'll recover yet. In a statement it told The Reg: "The final settlement that will be granted to PhonepayPlus is now in the hands of the liquidators. PhonepayPlus expects that this process will take three to six months." It promised to make the figure public when it finds out.

UK firm Allied Communications was fined £1.3m plus costs in 2005 for being at the centre of a network of 16 dodgy autodialler rackets. Automated equipment would call unsuspecting marks to tell them they had won a fabulous cash prize or holiday, if they called back a high-priced winners' line.

Regulators used emergency powers to shut down the scams, but several months later had not received a penny of the punishment.

Allied Telecommunications then went into adminstration, leaving £921,000 cash. ICSTIS laid claim to scraps of the carrion, but the corporate undertakers UHY Hacker Young "resisted", so the case ended up in court this September.

The liquidators' arguments centred around the role in the original fine played by Ofcom and which regulator is responsible for enforcement. Mr Justice Walker of the Queen's Bench Division rejected this and other objections, and ruled that ICSTIS/PhonepayPlus has a right to sue for its share of Allied Telecommunications' cash.

The regulator and the liquidator have now agreed to agree on a suitable compromise.

PhonepayPlus said: "PhonepayPlus is determined that those that fail to fulfil their responsibilities, so causing financial harm to consumers and reputational harm to legitimate businesses, are held to account for their actions."

The liquidator was not available for comment.

The transcript of the High Court judgement is here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.