Embezzlement of a Security Guard Company in Canada
It infuriates me to see inept CEOs and executive managements, who drives their businesses to bankruptcy. This is more so when the incompetence revolves around embezzling business funds by the major shareholder to such an extent, that the business is no longer able to pay any of its employees for months and is forced to shutdown. One such company is SecuriWorld Canada, a company that I had personally known. Its head office was situated in Port Coquitlam, BC and was started by Moe and Heather Shubear in 2016 to provide security services such as patrolling, security guards, concierge clerks, and site security, in Vancouver and its surrounding areas.It showed much promise at the start and could have been more successful, but ended up bankrupt, unable to pay wages worth hundreds of thousands dollars to its employees.
In the first two years, their business had expanded pretty rapidly to other parts of British Colombia. However, the primarily reason for this was that they were able to provide cheap services through hiring guards who were mostly south-east Asian immigrants and laborers with work permits being paid the minimum wages by the company. While this itself is questionable business practices, however this is nothing new in overtly competitive industries to underpay employees.
The major problem with the business however, started this year. Several complaints from guards came in of not receiving their paychecks on time or not at all. Cases occurred, where guards were not being paid and when HR was being contacted, no reply was being sent. Some of these guards were later paid and while some not, and as this issue escalated without resolve, several of the former guards of Securiworld were forced to file legal complaint to the ministry of labor of Canada.
The first legal notice against Securiworld Canada came on May 31st. Which stated that the employment standard branch had received multiple complaints under the Employment standard Act alleging former employees not getting paid. A second notice was then sent on June 27th when further employees of the company sent legal complaints to the Ministry of Labor. The worst part for the company was that while in the following months after the legal notice, the company continued to not pay its guards, did not notify of its possible shutdown and instead tried to continue its operations to milk as much money as possible from its contracts, before filling for bankruptcy.
Around this time, I had the opportunity to contact some of the employees over email, almost all employees had more than a month due of paycheck which the company was not paying, their office stayed mostly closed at that time and the management did not notify anything to its employees. While talking to the employees, I had also found out that the last paychecks that the company issued, almost all of them bounced back. Securiworld never paid these back. One employee at a point even emailed about the reason for such mistreatment when he was with the company for two years, no one from the administration bothered to reply to them.
Although it was not known to me at that time, one insider of upper management later informed me that Heather Shubear, Vice President of Securiworld and the major shareholder, had embezzled all of the money from the business account for personals use, what she did after taking up all the money and her current whereabouts is not known. Others of the executive management may start another security guard company, providing the same services under a different brand name. If that happens, I hope that they learn the lesson from the failed company, not continue the same malpractices and strive to provide better business services.
Business Blog written by Zayed Ahmed, Founder and CEO of ASL BPO, a startup BPO firm that provides outsourcing solutions to businesses world wide.