Statement by Dr David Levy, Chairman of Retro Computers Ltd 1st June 2018
Paul Andrews, by his own admission, created our company's Indiegogo campaign and, up until very recently, and only after multiple threats to Indegogo, was his name removed from the campaign. Like a contract you cannot retrospectively remove
or erase your name from such an agreement. The undertakings made by Andrews as owner of the campaign, and the campaign itself, were based on his assertion that Chris Smith's work was at a certain stage, with a working prototype ready to
go into production. Andrews and Smith subsequently withheld those IP assets and some of the company's funds, depriving not only Retro Computers Ltd, but also the backers - the most important people in all of this - of the benefits of a completed
project and delivery of the Vega+. He turned Retro Computers Ltd and his new company, Retro Games Ltd, into his own personal fiefdom.
As you will have seen, we are still determined to deliver the Vega+ to the backers and we will do so unless we are prevented by circumstances entirely beyond our control. We wish to thank the many backers who have been and still are fully supportive
of our finishing the project. They are more than aware of the real problems we have faced, far more than we had realised, and we thank them very sincerely for their ongoing support and kindness.
Those who have been following the saga of our disputes with Paul Andrews, Chris Smith, Nicholas Cooper and Darren Melbourne, will have seen that they have done just about everything in their power to damage Retro Computers Ltd, to prevent the
Vega+ project from coming to fruition, and to attack the company and ourselves by way of a horrendous, malicious, intimidating online campaign, extending back more than two years. You will also know that their efforts to kill the Vega+ project
include Paul Andrews contacting just about all of our trading partners, threatening them with legal action or attempting to disaffect them from working with us on this project. What we do know is that none of our current partners
is prepared to work with Andrews.
Darren Melbourne's efforts have been mainly in the direction of disaffecting the games rights owners to persuade them to terminate their licence agreements with RCL. And even acquiring rights and subsequently withdrawing them. Melbourne has
also intimidated rights owners by emailing them saying that their reputations would be damaged if they did not remove their games from RCL's collection. This type of intimidating behaviour has also extended to those of our backers who have supported
us online with good wishes for our completion of the project, who as a result of displaying their support for RCL received threatening and intimidating messages inviting them "politely" to withdraw their comments. This included threats of legal
action by Andrews. Andrew' efforts in this direction have included using a fake law firm, LSB International Legal Services operating from his home address, using the credentials (the Solicitors Regulatory Authority registration number) of
a genuine law firm (Crawfords) which is no longer trading, all of which he has publicly admitted and confirmed in another online publication. We can now confirm that he used his fake firm to intimidate not only the current board but several
other supplier or partners including Indiegogo.
This information has been passed to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority who are investigating the matter.
Some of the rights owners acceeded to Melbourne's request, but we have replaced their games with others for which we have licenses from the owners. Furthermore, Andrews and Smith have consistently refused to hand over to the RCL management team the
company's IP for the Vega+, which forced us to commission the development of new software, hardware and CADs for the plastics, at very considerable cost and causing very considerable delays.
When we announced shipping we immediately received a fake press release stating that 75% of the shareholders in RCL were seeking to remove all the current directors. Simultaneously we were served with a notice, to call a General Meeting
of RCL to remove all the shareholders (not the directors). This was signed by 50% of the shareholders, i.e. Andrews and Smith, and not by 75% as stated in their press release. We then established that Andrews had issued the press release without
Sinclair Research Ltd's knowledge, stating it to be on behalf of three shareholders (Andrews, Smith and SRL), without the knowledge or permission of SRL who then issued their own statement:
"In the light of the press statement by Retro Computers Ltd that deliveries of the Vega+ product are due to commence in approximately a week’s time Sinclair Research Ltd does not intend to replace the directors at the forthcoming shareholder
meeting. The statement released by Smith and Andrews on Friday 27th does not reflect Sinclair Research's current position on this matter."
The lengths to which Andrews and Smith have gone in their attempts to kill the Vega+ project, while at the same time Andrews was professing publicly (online) to want RCL to succeed and the project to be completed and delivered, is
perhaps best illustrated by their support for RCL's erstwhile sales agent Nicholas Cooper and his company Cornerstone Media International Ltd. You probably know that Cooper/Cornerstone were brought on board the Vega marketing plans by Paul Andrews,
having been longtime friends (15 years or so) and having previously carried out business together (and they were still doing business together). When Andrews recommended Cooper/Cornerstone as RCL's sales agent I took Andrews at face value
and trusted his recommendation, but that mistake resulted in the misappropriation of almost £100,000 of RCL's sales revenues, by Cooper/Cornerstone, and substantial legal costs in attempting to recover that money. (There is a further £225,000
approx of unexplained transfers from Cornerstone's bank account.) Cooper and Cornerstone were never permitted to receive money directly on behalf of RCL and all the money received by Cornerstone relating to sales of the Vega was received
outside of the scope of the contract between RCL and Cornerstone.
Investigations by forensic accountants are ongoing, in the search to discover where various monies from Cornerstone's bank account ended up, some of which was the misappropriated sales revenues from RCL. Only today we received the first report from
these forensic accountants, which I am appending below. You will already know that Cooper put his company into liquidation on January 31st 2017, and then declared himself bankrupt in November 2017. You will see from the report below that Nicholas
Cooper spent a tremendous amount of money at casinos, supporting his gambling habit partly with RCL's money. Yet Andrews and Smith wrote letters for Cooper to use in his defence in Court, letters stating that they did not want RCL to attempt
to recover the misappropriated sales revenues. Paul Andrews has sought to use and publicize the RCL shareholders agreement to try to stop RCL's legal action against Cooper/Cornerstone, but in fact the RCL shareholders agreement was repudiated
by Andrews and Smith by their resignations as directors on April 8th 2016, so it was no longer in force. Thereafter Andrews and Smith withheld the company's IP and most of its accounting paperwork. Smith, through his lawyers accepts the
The online campaign against RCL and against Suzanne and myself personally, had its roots in the misappropriation of those sales revenues. The day after Cooper told Suzanne in a phone call (in mid-April 2016) that money from RCL's sales to Argos would
be paid to Andrews UK Ltd, a company whose sole owner and director is Paul Andrews, the online onslaught against us started. Cooper quickly corrected himself in that phone call when he realised what he had said, but by then the cat was out of
the bag. RCL's sales revenues would not be paid to Retro Computers Ltd but to Andrews, who has denied receiving any of it. In May 2016 we asked Mr Andrews and Mr Smith to explain where the missing sales revenues were, but Andrews was either
unwilling or unable to answer the question. Instead, he instigated a dramatic increase in the ferocity of the online campaign against us. Later in 2016 we formally asked Andrews to repay to RCL a sum in excess of £80,000 which he had paid
from the RCL account to various of his own companies, without any supporting documentary evidence as to the expenditure. To date, this amount remains unpaid.
For the above reasons and others we are very clear that it is Paul Andrews, with the help of his cohorts, who has been the vilest enemy of RCL and the Vega+ project, even though he and Smith still own 50% of the equity in the company.
It is Andrews and his cohorts who have been preventing RCL from delivering the Vega+ up to now. We ask ourselves why Andrews and Smith, with 50% of the company, would not want the company to recover the misappropriated money, to be successful,
and to deliver to the backers. Andrews paid himself, via his companies,more than £80,000 out of the approx £150,000 raised by RCL's first Indiegogo campaign, putting RCL in a precarious position. In fact, at the time when Andrews and
Smith resigned, the company was heavily in debt, with Andrews having been the Managing Director and responsible for the financial management of the company, and with the two of them having been the only people on the bank mandate and
therefore the only ones who could make payments from the RCL bank account. Additionally, we recently became aware that, having paid his own company, Mikrogen Media, tens of thousands of pounds from the RCL bank account, Smith then filed dormant
accounts for that company for the corresponding period, filed at Companies House where Chris Smith is an employee.
As I say, we are still determined to deliver the Vega+ unless we are prevented from doing so as a result of the actions of Andrews and his cohorts. But if we are prevented from doing so, and if there is any legal action against the company and/or
its current directors, then Paul Andrews will be brought in as a co-defendant, since he was the owner of the Indiegogo campaign, and both he and Smith were the root cause of RCL's problems.
Dr David Levy