Road leads to general manager
The general manager of a coral rendering company will be summoned to appear in December after the District “A” Magistrates’ Court found that “all roads [led] to him” yesterday.
The company, Telling Caribbean, has been accused of failing, refusing to or neglecting to furnish, inform or to produce documents which were required by a National Insurance inspector on November 21, 2016; that the company failed to pay contributions since 2010 for its employees who are/were employed at the company and that the company failed to produce or furnish the National Insurance Office with the contributions schedule in respect of the employees that are/were employed between 2010 and present.
The matter had suffered a number of adjournments as the National Insurance Department sought to find who should be standing in the dock.
General manager Wayne Gonsalves, who first appeared on behalf of the company, said he was not the owner of the company.
The department then sought to bring director Michelle Wood, but Philip McWatt, the attorney for Telling Caribbean, told the court she was overseas recuperating from breast cancer and wasn’t sure when she would be returning.
Both parties undertook to find the name of the corporate secretary and submit it to the court, but discovered the company did not have a corporate secretary.
And yesterday, attorney McWatt sought leave to withdraw from the matter saying director Michelle Wood revealed she had no plans to return to the island.
“She basically has informed me that there are no other directors that can be served,” said McWatt.
“I told her this was unacceptable and that she needs to take better responsibility. I have told her that her actions have become a professional embarrassment and that I would be seeking leave to withdraw,” the attorney told the court.
“It seems to me,” said Trevor Gibbs, the attorney for the National Insurance Department, “that the accused is treating the court and the complainants with scant regard.
“It seems to me that the accused is aware of the matter and she has refused to appear in this matter. It leaves me no choice but to proceed in her absence.”
The issue prompted Magistrate Douglas Frederick to note that was why companies should be incorporated with a corporate secretary.
“It should be properly done so that when things come up, there should be a company secretary. And this is one company that does not have a company secretary,” the magistrate said.
National Insurance inspector Cynthia Lynch testified of how she spoke to Gonsalves, sent emails to him, went with another inspector to his office and sent him registered mail, all in an attempt to get the outstanding contribution schedules from the company.
She said Gonsalves had maintained Michelle Wood was the owner of the business and she was the one responsible for submitting the schedule. Up to this day the National Insurance Department had not received any paperwork or contributions, the witness said.
“All the evidence speaks to Mr Gonsalves,” Magistrate Frederick said.
“So Mr Gonsalves should be here. It’s like all roads lead to Mr Gonsalves when you hear her (Ms Lynch’s) evidence.
“This lady who is overseas that is another matter but he is the one who you have to descend on,” the magistrate said.
The court adjourned the matter until December 8 when Gonsalves is expected to appear. (HLE)