Two information technology companies which outsourced work to India have been wound up by a UK court for generating unsolicited pop-ups that misled people into thinking there was a fault with their computer.
Msinfosys Support Ltd and MS Global Support Ltd were wound up in the “public interest” by the High Court in England back in March and the Official Receiver was appointed liquidator of the companies, the UK’s Insolvency Service said on Monday.
The court was told that the two companies generated unsolicited pop-up error messages and when people phoned-up to check what was wrong, some were led to believe there was a fault with their computers.
The Insolvency Service started confidential investigations into Msinfosys Support and MS Global Support after complaints were received from customers.
Investigators found that the Indian-origin director, Vikram Singh, had no real control of either company and work was outsourced to a company in India called Underpin Services Private Limited.
Vikram Singh admitted both companies were Underpin’s businesses and allowed Underpin to trade in the UK, the High Court was told.
“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,” said Edna Okhiria, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service.
“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,” said Okhiria.
The records of the two companies were kept and maintained by Underpin in India and were not available for inspection in the UK, a breach of the Companies Act 2006.
The High Court judge presiding over the case commented that Singh’s response, his lack of knowledge and the lack of relevant records showed the companies’ accounts “ran in a chaotic manner”.
Msinfosys Support Ltd and MS Global Support Ltd did not defend the petitions at the hearing and the Insolvency and Companies Court (ICC) in the High Court concluded consumers had been “misled” by the companies and that it was appropriate the companies were wound up to protect the public.
Company Investigations, as part of the Insolvency Service, said it uses powers under the UK’s Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the country, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).