Company must pay pension case costs

No convictions recorded against company or owners

A company facing charges under the Pensions Law was ordered to pay $3,000 last week toward the cost of prosecuting the case against it.

Charges against DSM Investments Ltd., trading as Millennium Equipment, first came to Summary Court in late 2014. The company was accused of failing to provide a pension plan for four workers during four different time frames between March 2006 and April 2014.

In August 2015, Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson confirmed to Magistrate Philippa McFarlane that negotiations had been completed and defendants Sydney Michael Shaw and Matthew Ian Wight, described as part owners of the company, had agreed to pay outstanding pensions and interest.

Mr. Shaw entered guilty pleas on behalf of the company.

Mr. Ferguson said the Crown would be applying for costs because significant work had been undertaken by the Pensions Office in relation to the accounting and negotiations.

With a partial payment already made, the matter was reviewed in November 2015, and again in February this year, when further payments were confirmed.

On Aug. 11, the Crown advised the court that a final payment of $5,078 had been made and the case could be brought to a close. Defense attorney Richard Barton said pension payments totaled just over $28,000.

Mr. Barton urged the court not to record any convictions against the company or the part owners. He pointed out that once the amounts owed had been determined, they responded quite rapidly because they wanted to make sure that the people who were entitled to the pensions had been “made whole.” They had demonstrated remorse and a determination to make things right.

Defendants remorseful

Magistrate McFarlane accepted the defendants’ remorse and the level of seriousness they had displayed toward the offenses. She ordered the company to pay $3,000 toward the prosecution’s costs. For the charges of failing to provide a pension plan for the employees, she ordered that no convictions be recorded.

Two other charges remain for failing to pay contribution arrears within the time given by the pensions superintendent. The magistrate left these on file. That means the Crown has until Oct. 31 to review them and proceed, failing which the matters are to be entirely adjourned and no further action can be taken by the Crown.

For two charges against Mr. Shaw alone, including failure without reasonable cause to provide information as requested, the Crown offered no evidence.