I have had to think about this long and hard, apportioning blame to the various parties involved.
I should stress that this compensation EXCLUDES:
- Unpaid dividends to me as joint beneficiary of the Hender Family Settlement
- Illegal “draw back” of dividends by the trust officers for illegal non existent loans
- Monies that I have identified or have been disclosed to me, paid to my brother only; for example the “advanced inheritance”
Monies and the reasons for the claims against individuals or organisations are detailed below:
LEON STOFFBERG, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF PREMIUM CREDIT LIMITED
The claim against this person amounts to £500,000
The reason for this claim is that after putting my career in jeopardy for disclosing the fraud to him, he directed me to then cover it up and preventing me from informing the outside investors, which was part of my duties as Finance Director.
The cover up was only instigated because of the family connection with the fraudster, Michael Cobb and the fall out that would cause within his family, particularly his sister, the wife of the fraudster.
This went against everything that I believed in and was trained to uphold, both professionally and ethically.
If the outside investors had discovered the cover up, as the person who was in sole charge of the finances, I would have been used as a scape goat and my career would have been over.
This claim also reflects that he did not have the gumption to sack his brother-in-law for the fraud, for fear of upsetting his sister, the fraudster’s wife, who benefited from artificially high incentives also,albeit indirectly.
Michael Cobb, head of the Commercial division; the fraudster
The claim against this person amounts to £750,000
This individual hid bad debts, amounting to tens of millions, in order for him to pretend that he was managing the division correctly and professionally. He also hid the bad debts to ensure that with low bad debts and a healthy surplus in his division, his incentive was artificially uplifted.
After committing the fraud, he also had the arrogant audacity of accusing me of betrayal by reporting to the chairman, his brother-in-law, details of the fraud itself.
Ken Garrodd, my immediate boss
The claim against this person, for whom I had and have no respect, amounts to £1m.
That may seem a particularly large figure, especially considering that he was not at “the top of the tree”. The claim, against Garrodd, is so large for one simple reason.
He and he alone destroyed my career.
I have already recounted the fact that he refused extra staff for my department FOUR TIMES so that particular fact does not bear repeating.
But because he DID refuse me extra staff, out of arrogance, wanting to keep the costs down and his incentives high or for whatever reason, he broke me.
Yes, I had a weakness but under Leon Stoffberg, I managed my staff and the the throughput very well. In fact, save for the debacle of the fraud, I worked well with Leon, highly respected him, as I still do and was firing on all cylinders.
I had already warned Garrodd that my team and I were getting stretched by the increase in activity of the company but he paid no heed. Writing report after report was just a delaying tactic and a very short sighted one at that.
Even the compensation that I received would have paid for extra staff and more qualified staff that I had already. Staff were thrown at the sales divisions, for obvious reasons but, with extra sales, comes extra workload for the people who have to manage it.
My team did a sterling job and any one of us could have broken but I broke first, as I took on the extra workload myself and just worked longer and longer hours.
Garrodd is not uncommon, as my department, like many others in different companies, are seen as pure cost centres, regardless of the fact that they facilitate the completion of the sales process.
Before joining Premium Credit, Garrodd moved from company to company, one of them being the failed lottery bid by Virgin. As to why he was chosen is beyond me; he was not hands on from the start and it quickly became apparent that all he was, was an “armchair director”, completely “hands off”. But he raked in the money. Bringing his Aston Martin to work was like putting two fingers up to his staff and those who worked under them.
I worked bloody hard to get my qualifications, building up experience as I went.
I was only 38/39 and he took all away all of my dreams, all of my aspirations and my future and so, out of all those with whom I worked, he has to pay the most
Graham Puttergill, Chairman of Premium Credit
I remember that when I was disgusted about the lack of acknowledgement of my efforts that was reflected in my bonus, I did go over Garrodd’s head and went straight to Graham.
I was very blunt and said that I was underappreciated; I had sacrificed a great deal for the company. I said that in order for one of the lady sales directors to get big bonuses, all they had to do was to walk into his office and flash their legs. I remember his exact words “David, you are not worthy of such a comment” but there was some truth in what I said.
But he has to contribute for one reason and one reason only.
I had sort of left following my breakdown and the family trust now held a great deal of shares. When the compensation was negotiated, it was quite clear that given my young age, experience and remuneration, the level of compensation was purposely depressed, due to the expectation that I would receive millions when the company was finally sold.
This was totally wrong because I should have been treated as an individual and any income that I may have received from the family trust was irrelevant.
To put it bluntly and remember that I was only 39 with my career over, the monetary compensation that I received only equated to 5 years of salary, if that and when I received shares, as did all of the junior management, my allocation was the second smallest. That was an insult.
Sharon Beckett, the sales director of the personal lines division, received £1m in shares, promptly resigned and then walked into a high paid job working for Leon Stoffberg. Lovely, if you can get it.
For the reason detailed above, Graham Puttergill’s contribution is £500,000