Police vs Yaniv Meydan, unresolved case for former employees of Genesis Global

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Police vs Yaniv Meydan, unresolved case for former employees of Genesis Global

In an ongoing legal battle, former employees of Genesis, a now-defunct company previously operating in Malta, were summoned to the Court of Magistrates on 9 April, under case number 72-54. The subpoena, issued by the police, was part of a criminal case against 50-year old Yaniv Meydan, who is an Australian national.

Despite the punctual arrival in court of the witnesses, who mostly were former employees of Genesis Global, none were asked to testify.

The crux of the issue lies in the inability of the police to notify the primarily responsible parties – the foreign directors of Genesis, in this case Yaniv Meydan. This has led to a significant procedural hurdle. Every offence has a prescriptive period within which the accused must be notified of the accusation. If this period is surpassed without notification, the accusation becomes time-barred.

In this case, the only directors/shareholders who did not resign was not present in Malta and therefore could not be notified. It is important to note that Yaniv Meydan was never a resident of Malta and the two other Maltese directors resigned from their responsibilities just before Genesis Global shut its offices in Malta. This resulted in the case becoming time-barred, as informed by the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER). Meyden is also still listed as director and CEO of Ocean Software UK PTY Ltd, registered in the UK

According to a number of former employees who wish to remain anonymous, it is alleged that the duty magistrate expressed disappointment at the recurrence of such cases. She empathized with the witnesses and acknowledged the trauma they must be experiencing. However, according to the former employees of Genesis, she said that her hands were tied due to procedural constraints.

Further complications

The situation is further complicated by the fact that proceedings can only take place if all accused parties are notified. It appears that the local directors had conveniently resigned before the company declared insolvency and therefore were not be summoned. Even if the case were to continue, a guilty verdict would not necessarily result in the accused paying the former employees. Instead, they would be fined, and the court would insist that all dues are paid. This is because the case is a criminal accusation under DIER, not a civil lawsuit to claim back wages.

This case has shed light on the loophole in the law and the complexities and challenges in prosecuting corporate malfeasance, particularly when it involves international entities. The former employees still hope is for a resolution that brings justice and closure to all parties involved.

Background

On 23 December 2023, employees were informed about the closure of the company. The decision was made by the owner in Australia, Yaniv Meydan who was residing in Israel and Australia at the time. Yaniv Meydan is the CEO of Meydan Group, and he has held various positions in different companies, including being the founder of Universal Equivalent Technology Ltd. and Openpay Group Ltd. He was also a board member at Axsesstoday. According to records, he is now based in Israel.

Genesis Global Ltd and its sister company Openpay, both owned by the Melbourne-based Meydan Group, faced severe financial difficulties leading to mass layoffs and receivership. Around 130 workers at Genesis Global in Malta were made redundant just before Christmas 2022, without receiving their December salaries. The company declared insolvency due to “serious financial difficulty”.

Around the same time, Openpay, one of Australia’s largest ‘buy-now pay-later’ financing companies, laid off 80 of its 140 employees and entered into receivership, despite announcing record quarterly results of A$10.1 million. The company’s shares were suspended on the ASX, and official receivers took control of the company’s assets, operations, and trading activities.

One must note that the downfall of Genesis Global in Malta may be traced back to May 2021, when Meydan chipped in $37.5 million into Openpay. This funding was “intended to support the international expansion” of Openpay but according to sources, the company was already in trouble. The Meydan Group, which is Yaniv Meydan’s family’s business, was the largest shareholders of Openpay

Openpay had been struggling for some time, failing to turn a profit since its debut on the Australian stock market in 2019. It faced problems securing A$41 million of financing, leaving it with a balance of just A$17 million, which breached its loan agreements and led to receivership proceedings.

Genesis Global bore the brunt of OpenPay’s losses that were reported in its Q2 FY23 financials. Both Genesis Global and Openpay went into receivership in Malta and Australia respectively. around the same time The two companies no longer appear on the Meydan Group’s portfolio on the company’s website. The only gambling-related business that remains in the portfolio is a bingo website. This series of events left the employees of Genesis Global without any pay.

In an interview conducted by SiGMA News with employment legal expert Dr Andrew Borg Cardona in December 2022, he stated that the prospects for the former employees of Genesis Global to receive compensation was not favourable. He explained that the likelihood of compensation depended on the financial status of the company and the line up of other creditors.

Employees’ perspective

Despite the harsh realities, the former employees of Genesis remain objective and realistic. They understand that the chances of receiving the monies owed to them – unpaid salaries and notice periods – are slim. The bitter pill of financial loss has been swallowed, but it has not dampened their spirit for justice.

Their expectations are now no longer centred on financial restitution. Instead, they yearn for justice. They hope to see the individuals responsible held accountable for their actions. But beyond this case, they aspire for something greater – a change in the system.

They believe that the current legislation regarding company formation by foreign nationals needs a thorough review and reform. The former employees argue that the existing laws have loopholes that can be exploited, leading to situations like the one they find themselves in.

In their view, stricter regulations need to be put in place to protect employees’ rights and ensure that foreign nationals setting up companies adhere to the laws of the land and that local directors remain accountable. The former employees of Genesis Global spoke in confidence with SiGMA News hoping that their unfortunate experience can serve as a catalyst for this much-needed change in legislation.

Ultimately, their story shows resilience in the face of adversity serving as a call to action for legislative reform. It is a narrative of lost earnings and benefits, but not of lost hope; of unpaid salaries, but the demand for justice and change have not been overlooked.

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