Business scam director disqualified
A director of the UK’s most complained about business has become the last to be disqualified following a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) investigation.
Ronald Alexander Porter was a director of Edinburgh-based telesales company Berger & Co plc which scammed £4 million from businesses around the country.
Berger cold-called firms offering reports on management and HR issues on a ’21 day free review’ basis.
It did not, however, always make it clear recipients would be charged between £295 and £395 if the reports were not returned within the trial period.
Demands for payments were often backed up by threats of litigation, usually in a Country Court some distance from where their business was based.
Some 40% of companies invoiced actually paid up making Berger’s annual turnover more than £1 million a year.
Between August 1999 and December 2000, however, Trading Standards received 796 complaints about the company, giving it the infamous title of most complained about business.
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For his involvement in the firm, Porter was disqualified from holding a director role for five years.
In November 2004, managing director Filip Peter Lademacher was disqualified for 13 years, while two other directors, Ian Armstrong and David Stirrat, received disqualifications of 6 years each.
The directors have so far made more than £70,000 in contribution to the DTI’s costs.