Nuisance call boss gets 8-year ban after trying to dodge firms' £700k fines
Director applied to dissolve his companies to skip ICO penalty
A rogue company director branded one of the worst perpetrators in the nuisance calling game has been banned from running companies in the UK for eight years.
Welshman Richard Jones was responsible for setting up two companies that fell foul of Brit privacy watchdog the ICO after breaking direct marketing laws.
Your Money Rights was slapped with a £350,000 fine in September 2017 for making 146 million nuisance PPI calls – the highest it had issued at the time for a breach of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Just three months later, Jones' Mis-sold Products biz was handed the same-sized fine after it was found to have instigated 75 million calls in just four months.
The watchdog said that Jones was "one of the worst offenders the ICO has seen since the laws were introduced 15 years ago" – and said his offence was compounded by the fact he then attempted to dodge the fines by applying to have the firms wound up.
This is a common tactic to avoid paying up; figures released to The Register under the Freedom of Information Act showed that just £2.2m of the £8.5m fines handed out under PECR between 2010 and April 2018 were paid back.
The ICO moved to block Jones' efforts, reporting him to the Insolvency Service, which today announced he had been slapped him with an eight-year ban, effective from 1 March 2019.
"Nuisance marketing communications not only flagrantly breach regulations, but cause untold anguish and grief for a substantial number of people," said the Insolvency Service's chief investigator, David Brooks.
Brooks said the Insolvency Service has now dished out 100 years worth of bans to dodgy company directors, adding "we will continue to work closely with the ICO so that we can prevent rogue company directors from causing any more harm."
In December, new rules came into force that allow bosses to be held personally liable for nuisance calls made by their firms and grant the ICO the powers to fine them up to £500,000.
The ICO can do this if it has served a penalty on the firm itself and if the breach "took place with the consent or connivance of the officer" or "was attributable to any neglect on the part of the officer". ®