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11 November 2010: Pensions Ombudsman secures 9 convictions against employers

 

Pensions Ombudsman secures 9 convictions for refusal to supply information and documentation.
 
The Pensions Ombudsman, Mr Paul Kenny, disclosed that over the past ten months, he had secured 9 convictions throughout the country against employers, primarily in the construction industry, who were the subject of complaints that they had deducted pension contributions but had failed to remit them to the pension scheme. The court proceedings had taken place in Dublin (2), Cork (2), Wexford, Waterford, Donegal, Cavan and Leitrim.
 
Details of the individual cases are set out in the appendix.
 
Commenting on the court proceedings, Mr Kenny said that the legal actions arose from failure to engage with the investigative process. He pointed out that at the stage the legal proceedings were issued, he was simply responding to a complaint by asking for information and documentation. He was not alleging any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, people refused to either respond to his requests or provide him with the required documentation. "Seeing that in 7 of the 9 cases, the relevant documentation was given to me either on or before the date of the court hearing, it seems particularly pointless to run the risk of obtaining a criminal record and incurring legal costs and fines when the simple and straightforward solution was to provide me with the information in the first place" -- Mr Kenny said. He continued "it is ironic, to say the least, that in some cases the level of fines and costs actually exceeded the value of pension contributions alleged not to have been paid".
 
"I am not sure what motivates these people. Do they think they are outside the law? Do they believe that if they ignore my Office, the matter will go away? If they have acted inappropriately in the past, is it not much more simple to face up to the matter and try and resolve the problem -- and this can be and has been has been done in the past -- rather than compound it with a criminal conviction and fine" he said.
 
In the two other cases, the Pensions Ombudsman will continue to seek the relevant information and documentation and will seek a court order to this effect, if necessary or appropriate. 
 
Once the relevant documentation and information is available, the complaint will be investigated and if wrongdoing is confirmed and the matter cannot be resolved through mediation, a legally binding determination will issue in favour of the complainant which can only be appealed to the High Court within 21 days.
 
 
For further information contact Mr. Paul Kenny, Pensions Ombudsman at (01) 647 1650, or see www.pensionsombudsman.ie.
 
11 November, 2010
 
Ends



 


Date
Respondent
Reason for Legal Proceedings
District Court Location
Complaint Allegation
Result
 
 
16th March 2010
Thomas White
Thomas White & Son (Construction) Ltd, Ballyclemock, Newbawn, Co. Wexford
Failure to Comply with Section 137 (1) Request
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wexford District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €2,500; €1,852 costs - all documents provided on or before court date
 
19th March 2010
Michael Maurice Walsh & Liam Walsh
Melcarne Developments Ltd, Grannagh Business Complex, Grannagh, Via Waterford
Waterford District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €1,000 for each of the 2 defendant; €2,215 costs - all documents provided on or before court date
 
17th May 2010
Eric McCarthy,
Evolution Electrical Alarm Services
13A Rathbeale Crescent, Swords, Co. Dublin
Swords District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €2,500; €2,300 costs - all documents provided on or before court date
 
13th July 2010
William & Elaine Sisk
William Sisk Plastering Ltd
18 Barrymore Court, Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Cork City District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €350; €1,326 costs - all documents provided on or before court date
 
 
28th September 2010
Paul Cronin, PC Scaffolding Ltd, 9 Rivergrove, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Cork City District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Adjourned 8th December 2010 to allow accused to pay costs of €1,289.35 to OPO in mitigation. If paid no conviction imposed.- all documents provided on or before court date
 
5th October 2010
John J. Dolan, John J. Dolan Scaffolding Ltd, Liskey, Ballindrait, Lifford, Co. Donegal
Letterkenny District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €750; €1,500 costs
 
12th October 2010
Sean Nolan, Finchwood Developments Ltd, Killyglasson, Blacklion, Co. Cavan
Ballyconnell District Court
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €2,500; €1,998.50 costs - all documents provided on or before court date
 
19th October 2010
Seamus Sutcliffe, South Dublin Motors, Cookstown Industrial Estate Extension, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Dublin District Court, Richmond Court Complex
Deduction and Non Remittance of Pension Deductions
Fined €3,500; €2,215 costs – all documents provided on or before court date
10th November 2010
Michael Moran
Drumshanbo Construction Ltd
Cornashamsogue
Drumshanbo
Co. Leitrim
Manorhamilton District Court
 
Failure to Register with scheme and failure to Remit Pension Deductions
Fined €200; €1,250 costs