2 UK companies linked to India; IT scams wound up

London - Firms shut down in public interest and following an order from the HC.

By Prasun Sonwalkar

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Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 3:26 PM

Two United Kingdom (UK)-registered information technology (IT) companies that generated unsolicited pop-up error messages and led users to believe that there was a fault in their system that needed payment to fix, have been wound up in the public interest following a hearing at the high court (HC).

The Insolvency Service said on Wednesday (June 16) that the official receiver has been appointed liquidator for the two companies: Msinfosys Support Ltd and MS Global Support Ltd.

After receiving the error messages, when people phoned the companies to check what was wrong, some were led to believe there was a fault with their computers and that they were dealing with well-known software companies. Some paid money to fix their computers.

But officials said that neither Msinfosys Support nor MS Global Support were authorised to act on behalf of the larger software companies. The Insolvency Service started confidential investigations after complaints were received from customers.

It was found that the director, Vikram Singh, had no real control of either company or work was outsourced to a company in India called Underpin Services Private Limited. Singh admitted both companies were Underpin businesses and allowed Underpin to trade in the UK, the HC was told.

The records of the companies were kept and maintained by Underpin in India and were not available for inspection in the UK, which amounted to a breach of the Companies Act, 2006.

The judge commented on Singh’s response that his lack of knowledge and the lack of relevant records showed the companies’ accounts “ran in a chaotic manner”.

The two companies did not defend the petitions at the court hearing and the judge concluded that consumers had been misled by the companies and that it was appropriate the companies were wound up to protect the public.

Edna Okhiria, the chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Msinfosys Support Ltd and MS Global Support Ltd deliberately used false pretences to deceive consumers, with many paying the companies on the belief they were dealing with well-known software companies or their authorised representatives”.

“In reality, both companies were controlled by an overseas company with the director recognising he had no knowledge of what the company informed consumers. The court recognised the severity of this misconduct, and both have been removed from the business environment to protect the public from further harm,” Okhiria added.

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