NAME & SHAME – Is Helios and Matheson the next Satyam Scam in the making?

NAME & SHAME – Is Helios and Matheson the next Satyam Scam in the making?

To dear fellow citizens of the country, we request your kind attention. As you read this note, employees of Helios and Matheson, an IT services company are being cheated by the management of that company. The company has

Not paid months of salary for their employees,

Not paid their promised bonuses,

Not paid income tax to the Government of India that was deducted from employees’ payrolls,

Not remitted the deducted PF money to the PF accounts of employees,

Indulged in furnishing fake accounts in pay slip of employees.

The employees, unable to bear the victimization subjected by the company because of non-payment of salaries have now flown across to different parts of the country seeking better job opportunities for their livelihood. In order to get their salary and other dues from the company, they take the burden of traveling to company’s branch in Chennai only to face the mistreatment and fake promises of the company. There are still hundreds of employees on payrolls of Helios and Matheson whose careers are at stake.

630 Complaints on Helios and Matheson…

Forum for IT Employees (F.I.T.E), a Trade Union for IT and ITES employees have mobilized the former employees of Helios & Matheson and have launched a case at the Madras High Court against the company demanding payment of all dues. We F.I.T.E, comprising of workers of various IT and ITES companies have been fighting against various injustices happening in this sector and have launched cases on behalf of employees and against the managements of TCS, C-Cubed, HCL, IBM etc… We find that the plight of employees of Helios & Matheson outrageous and we definitely share the agony faced by them. This company has indulged in several fraudulent activities in the past. In the past few years, several people who have deposited money in Fixed Deposits and those who have invested money in the company have not been made repayments. Several depositors and Investors have registered complaints with various agencies like Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Enforcement Directorate(ED) and many other government bodies against the company. News reports confirm that as much as 630 complaints against Helios and Matheson Information Technology Ltd have been received by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Tamil Nadu Police department. EOW had registered FIR and initiated criminal proceedings against Helios and Matheson.

Whopping profits at the expense of employees’ livelihood?

The company had approached Madras High Court petitioning that it is a software company and not a finance company (like chit fund company) and so it should not be treated with criminal proceedings. However the High Court had quashed the petition and allowed criminal proceedings against the company by saying that “any interference would completely jeopardize the interests of more than 6500 depositors to whom a sum about of 55 crores is due”. The company’s turnover for the 12 month period from 1st October 2013 to 30th September 2014 is Rs.606.61 crores which is an increase of 37% comparatively to the previous year which was 443.94 crores. The company’s net Profit Before Tax for the same period was 74.12 crores, again a whopping 37% increase against the previous year which was 54.89 crores. Despite posting strong profits, the company doesn’t care to pay its depositors. When the investors and shareholders of the company itself are running from pillar to post to get their dues, then imagining the plight of the employees is disturbing. The company has already vacated from the branch addresses mentioned in its website – Ascendas and Nungambakkam and is operating silently even without a name board in T.Nagar.

Tax Evasion, anomalies in acquisition… still what other frauds?

Even after deducting incoming tax from salaries (when salaries were given), the employees were not given Form 16 making it clear that company has not remitted the tax to Government of India. Later the employees paid (again) the taxes directly to the government to avoid legal action and are now claiming the amount from the company. With the number of cases registered against Helios and Matheson and the financial irregularities observed in its acquisition of the company vMoksha a few years back, it looks like Helios and Matheson is next mini Satyam scam in the making. Taking into account the livelihood issues of the employees of the company, we fellow employees at F.I.T.E are standing up for their cause. As already said, we are fighting a case at Madras High Court against Helios and Matheson. We at this time request the support of fellow employees of IT and ITES companies and also the support of employees of other sectors in our pursuit against Helios and Matheson. We cannot continue to let corporate giants usurp employees’ blood and just vanish one day, can we?