Latest Air21 News
Oct 21, 2015
Banned director whose company ripped off 'PPI claimants' became boss of another after name change 20:55, 21 Oct 2015 In 2013, Mohammed Mashedi was banned from running companies for 11 years - but reappeared as Mohammed Mashadi, an apparently senior figure at Air21 Shares Get daily news by email Invalid e-mail Thanks for subscribing!Could not subscribe, try again later Mashedi with changed name in promo video What a difference a letter makes. If you search online for Mohammed Mashadi, your first hit is the Twitter feed for what appears to be a prominent figure at Air21 Ltd. This company sells call centre services, helping firms that want to make irritating marketing calls. Anyone thinking of doing business with it would find no reason to believe that Mashadi has a dodgy past. Unless you change the spelling of his last name by one letter to Mashedi. This Birmingham sham promised to help get compensation for people who had been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance . Customers paid upfront fees but, as the Insolvency Service found, “no refunds were forthcoming”. One of them told me: “Total Refund has only helped me incur more charges.” In 2013, Mashedi was banned from running companies for 11 years. He is the same person as the Mashadi of Air21. Air21 video with his original name There’s nothing wrong with a banned director getting a job, so long as he’s not involved in the management of a limited company. But his role at Air21, where he used to be a director, does seem to be rather senior. His Twitter posts included recruiting staff: “We’re looking for a telecoms billing manager to join asap.” And there are posts recruiting clients, like one plugging: “The idiots guide to setting up a call centre in Pakistan.” On the home page of air21group.co.uk, there is a promotional video featuring just two people – one of them being Mashadi – in which he’s billed as the “Co Founder”. Wind back to July 2013, three months before his director disqualification, and you can find another video of him plugging Air21 under the original spelling of his surname. The 33-year-old owned a third of the company until earlier this month. Another shareholder was Abdul Kausar – his last name is just one letter different from Abdul Kawsar, a co-director at Total Refund who also got an 11-year directorship ban. After I contacted Air21, things moved quickly. Director Shahid Ahmed, who was never a Total Refund director, announced that Mashadi and Kausar had been bought out of their shareholdings and left the company. “I noticed their history and it was impacting on this completely separate business,” he said. As for the reason it’s taken two years to notice, Ahmed put this down to being busy “fire-fighting” other issues at the company. But wasn’t he at all suspicious when they both changed their names in 2013? “They said their names had been incorrectly spelled and they wanted to change them back to the right way,” Ahmed says. It’s easy to see why he’s glad to be shot of the pair. According to an Insolvency Service report, many of the PPI victims of Total Refund were elderly and vulnerable. “One client who was 94 years old, could not even remember the sales call, had never even had a credit card and so had no PPI to reclaim,” it reads. “In addition, 115 Total Refund customers told the Ministry of Justice, which regulates claim companies, that payment was taken from their credit or debit cards without their authorisation.” In total 1,295 customers claimed almost £900,000 in the liquidation and other creditors were owed as much again.