This comment was made on the blog yesterday in the context of Companies House only employing six staff to check the filings of nearly four million UK companies:
If what is described here as the modus operandi and staffing levels, Companies House is by default, at least, aiding and abetting fraudulent activities many of which may well be criminal?
Alongside the destaffing of HMRC it’s a wonder ‘we’ have any tax income at all.
I think the point is an interesting one. And it is true. I think Companies House is aiding and abetting criminal activity by failing to ensure company law is adhered to by failing to provide the resources required to undertake proper company regualation.
But let me be clear, it'shardly alone in being an organisation that aids and abets crime and money laundering. To take another example, every time a telephone company provides services to someone making bulk calls that seek to exploit the vulnerable in a fraudulent fashion it too aids and abets crime by failing to put the systems in place to prevent this happening. And the reason why they fail? Profit, of course, derived from the crime.
It's the same with those delivering bulk mail that is fraudulent.
And the ISPs who deliver emails claiming to be from HMRC.
All these agencies claim to be bystanders whilst a crime goes on and that it is not their job to stop the abuse. I do not see why not. Prosecute just one director in a large company for aiding and abetting crime in this way and see what happens then. Alternatively, make them liable for the losses as banks are for insurance misselling. The acivities would stop overnight, just as a charge against the director of a public agency that failed to stop crime would overnight change the attitude of those who have willingly imposed cuts without considering they are responsible for the consequences.
Will it happen? I doubt it. The elite don't criminalise the elite because they think the elite couldn't possibly do something as tawdry as assist crime when pursuing profit or imposing public sector cuts. But to expose the fact that this is exactly what they do is now necessary. Use the laws that are available, in the case of the companies I note by simply alleging that they have profited by faciliating money laundering, and then see everything change. Just one prosecution would do.
I'll live in hope.