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Old 22.02.2011, 11:25
Mikers Mikers is offline
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Re: Legal Action for overpayment

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A nameless third party, lets call him Bob, worked as a contractor in Switzerland recently. His contract was a convaluted set-up, working through an agency for an offshore consultancy whose client was based in Zurich. Due to the fact that the offshore consultancy did not have any business based in Switzerland, Bob was informed by the agency he had to use a particular payroll company, who would act as his direct employer in Switzerland and from whom he would recieve his wages.

Wages thus went Client in Zurich -> Offshore Consultancy -> Agency -> Payroll Company.

During the time of the contract, the payroll company changed their name and business address several times, as well as the contract between themseleves and Bob. Not suprisingly, Bob's wages were always late and often much less than was due to him, which meant he had to spend hours on the phone chasing them every month.

Eventually the contract ended, and Bob managed, after much effort, to get the full amount owed to him within a few hundred quid, although the amounts and dates of backlog of wages did not correspond to the agreed monthly wage.

Sometime afterwards, Bob was contacted by the Payroll Agency who claimed to have submitted a double payment by mistake, and wanted seven and a half grand back. This was of course nonsense, but they are now threatening legal action involving "swindle and fraud and a warrant" [for Bob's arrest].

Anyone got any advice of what Bob should do? He is reluctant to get involved in costly legal proceedings, but niether does he want to come down on the worng side of the law. Can he just ignore the whole thing, given that he is now back in London?
Depends on whether the arrangement was in the first place legal or involved tax evasion by both sides I would say. If they were doing the offshore umbrella loan with no-repayment tax avoidance measure I doubt they would pursue you because of risk to themselves.

If they were doing stuff just inside the law and they have overpaid you and can prove it then its up to them - they have to raise the necessary paperwork and costs to go after you. A few hundred you could just ignore them but at 7.5 I think they might pursue you.
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