Ice Crystal Augustus appointment terminatedIce Crystal Augustus appointment terminated

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‘Malicious’ changes to car dealer group Vertu Motors’ Companies House details are put right

  • Vertu Motors’ Companies House listing was sabotaged
  • It suddenly falsely showed resignation of some directors and others being appointed
  • Companies House said early investigations showed its systems weren’t at fault
  • The changes have now been corrected and the dealer group has successfully obtained an injunction against the perpetrator

Time 4:19 pm, November 8, 2023

Unauthorised changes to Vertu Motors’ public record on the Companies House website have been corrected after malicious alterations were made last week.

Last week, Car Dealer broke the news that Vertu’s details had been changed to say that some directors had resigned and two others appointed – one apparently called ‘Mr Ice Crystal Augustus’.

Vertu Motors said the changes had been carried out by ‘a malicious actor’, adding that none of the alterations were legal and the board of directors was unchanged.


It added that it was working with Companies House to have the changes corrected and was seeking a court injunction to stop any further ones.

In an announcement after markets had closed today, the dealer group said: ‘Vertu Motors confirms that its Companies House records now accurately record the current directors of the company.

‘The incorrect filings will be removed from the record by Companies House in due course.


‘Vertu Motors has also been successful in obtaining an injunction against the malicious actor responsible for the previous false amendments, preventing this individual and his associated company from purporting to represent the company in any capacity in the future.’

Vertu has said it wants to know how someone could access Companies House’s systems to make the alterations.

Companies House told Car Dealer it was investigating and anyone guilty of such sabotage could be fined and/or jailed for up to two years.

It subsequently told us last Friday that early investigations had found nothing to suggest that its systems were at fault, adding: ‘We will continue to investigate and take appropriate action if there is evidence that an offence has been committed.

‘The new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, which achieved Royal Assent last week, will significantly enhance the role and powers of the Registrar of Companies.

‘The Act will enable us to query, reject and, in some cases, remove information that seems incorrect or inconsistent with information already on the register.’

The false details were still being displayed then but they have now been put right, with the non-existent ‘Ice Crystal August’ removed as a director, as was the dubious-sounding ‘Vertu Motors 888 Ltd’.

Meanwhile, directors Kenneth Lever, Karen Anderson, Jonathan Mewett, David Crane and Pauline Best, who were falsely reported on the Companies House website to have resigned, are now showing as having been reinstated.

Car Dealer asked Companies House for a comment about the latest turn of events, whether it had been able to ascertain what caused the problem, and if anyone was going to be held to account for the changes.


In reply, it issued a statement that simply said: ‘We are investigating the matter and working closely with the company to resolve the situation. No issues with Companies House systems have been identified.’

This story was originally published at 4.19pm on November 8, updated at 5.47pm the same day with Vertu’s statement that was issued after the stock market closed that day, and further updated at 8.13am on November 10 with the comment from Companies House

 

 

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.



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