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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.