Shame on you David Levy
On Thursday May 10th 2018, David Levy posted an email to various games rights holders, sending a carbon copy to both Darren Melbourne and Paul Andrews. Both Darren and Paul sent a reply to the same games rights holders and, on Friday May 11th 2018, Paul published the emails in the public discussion facebook group with the following post:
As Levy has made it clear he will publish any email from me he sees fit to, I thought it only right we reciprocated when I feel it is relevant for backers to see these emails. Yesterday Levy sent out an email ‘to all games rights owners’ - I am presuming as some of you are in this group you actually received this email? First (separated by lines) is the email from Levy, then the short response from Darren who some of this was aimed at, and then the response from me.
I have not added the cut and paste email he used from one of my employees (used out of context as usual) which was sent as part of the royalty sheets given to Levy on our departure, detailing the outstanding royalties due but not paid on that date (as we did not have the funds to right then) but it basically said we have paid three (larger) games rights owners, and you (Levy) need to pay everyone else in due course. For clarity that royalty sheet on that date was based on income that HAD been received before that date. It did not include income received AFTER we left of course, did not include the near two years of sales of the original Vega since that date of course. I have also not attached the two court documents as again you have all seen them before and they are just another side show.
As you will see, I make it very clear I am happy to prove his accusations wrong (with proof) at any point, but I also make the point this should be done when he has delivered all the backers Vega Plus units any day. The email responses were copied in to (at least some) games rights owners, SKY, various lawyers and accountants, and some other relevant parties. None of this on our part will stop you getting your Vega Plus consoles any minute. I should point out at time of writing nearly 24 hours later Levy has not responded to anyone I am aware with answers to my very simple questions.
Happy Friday….— Paul Andrews
The original email sent by David Levy to games rights owners:
To all games rights owners re your games in the Vega and Vega+ games consoles.
Dear Rights Owner,
You will probably have seen recently that Retro Computers Ltd will finally be starting to send out our Vega+ units in the coming days. You might also be aware that for the past two years our company and ourselves personally have been the victims of a horrendous and aggressive campaign of abuse and intimidation generated by our company’s former Managing Director Paul Andrews and his cohorts, which has been responsible for the delays in the Vega+ project. Amongst many other things Mr Andrews and his business partner Chris Smith have done to damage our company and the Vega+ project, they failed and refused to hand over to us the software IP for the Vega+, which forced us to start the software development from scratch, at considerable cost and loss of time. They also failed and refused to hand over the software and hardware IP for the Vega, for which Retro Computers Ltd had paid (actually overpaid) Chris Smith £30,000, which was £10,000 more than he had originally demanded.
Another problem we have faced during the past two years is that our company’s former sales agent, Nicholas Cooper, who is a very longstanding friend and business associate of Mr Andrews, misappropriated more than £80,000 in sales revenues. We litigated against Mr Cooper and his company, Cornerstone Media International Ltd, and were granted a number of Court Orders by the judge (see attachments), who made Mr Cooper personally liable for the missing money after he had put his company into liquidation in January 2017. Those orders cover some, but not all, of the misappropriated money, plus our legal costs. Mr Cooper then declared himself bankrupt in an attempt to avoid paying Retro Computers Ltd the misappropriated money and the legal costs, but he is still under investigation. Interestingly, during the Court process against Mr Cooper and his company, Mr Andrews sent him letters of support (attached) saying that he and Mr Smith did not want Retro Computers Ltd, in which each of them still owns a 25% interest, to litigate against him and Cornerstone for the return of the misappropriated funds etc. Some of the money which Mr Cooper and his company misappropriated would, if we had received it, been passed on to the games rights owners and to charity, as per the requests made by the games rights owners regarding their games.
Retro Computers Ltd is almost completely up to date with its royalty payments to the games rights owners and the charity. But Paul Andrews would have people believe otherwise. He has publicly stated, as have two of his cohorts, that our company owes hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties on the sales of the Vega, yet in an email to our company (addressed to me) dated April 11th 2016, accompanied by an email of the same date to Mr Andrews from his employee Joe Larkins (who is responsible for calculating the royalties arising from Mr Andrews various businesses), Mr Andrews claims that the amount outstanding in royalties to the end of January 2016 was not hundreds of thousands of pounds, but £13,396.26. Both of those emails are appended below. That amount does not allow for royalties paid since January 2016. And the mythical hundreds of thousands of pounds mentioned later by Mr Andrews cannot be explained by the sales of the Vega since the beginning of February 2016. We are taking the step of releasing these emails from Mr Larkins and Mr Andrews so that all can see the extent to which Mr Andrews has lied about the “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
We have suffered further damage from one of Mr Andrews’ cohorts, his business partner Darren Melbourne, who on October 1st 2016 wrote to our then solicitors in relation to the royalties Retro Computers Ltd had paid to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (“GOSH”), announcing that:
“Failure to deliver a royalty statement and the accompanying proof of payment will leave me with no alternative but to take action against RCL. This action shall include but not be limited to notifying the Police of suspected criminal activity, notifying the press of the fact that RCL is withholding money under false pretences from a registered charity, notifying other rights holders of RCL's failure to pay royalties. I've been in the games industry for over thirty years and I personally know at least three quarters of all of the rights holders of games on the Vega. I will write to each rights holder encouraging them to approach RCL for the royalties that are owed in respect of their titles. I will also encourage them to withdraw permission for their games to be used on the Vega+.”
By coincidence Mr Melbourne’s attacks on our company, and his repeated pestering on the telephone of the staff at GOSH, reached a crescendo on the very day when our management team had been invited to the hospital for a tour, as a “thank you” for the substantial royalties we had paid to them as a donation.
Mr Melbourne’s actions in contacting rights owners caused, not surprisingly, considerable confusion and concern amongst those games rights owners who had kindly agreed to have their games included in the Vega.
To put your minds at rest, only a very modest amount in royalties is still outstanding, and this will be paid, together with a royalty statement, as soon as we have completed the task at hand of shipping the Vega+ to all 4,700 of our Indiegogo backers. At the same time we will be accounting for and paying royalties to the games rights owners for those games incorporated in our new model - the Vega+
If you have any questions about your royalties please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please do not expect an answer until we have announced on our web site and Facebook page that the shipping of the Vega+ is in full flow.
Kind regards,— David Levy
[Chairman – Retro Computers Ltd]
Games industry veteran Darren Melbourne sent the following reply:
Thank you for this well constructed work of fiction.
I shall for the time being overlook your slurs and attacks on me personally and instead invite everyone who is cc'd on this email a question:
Who has received all of their royalty statements from David Levy/Suzanne Martin and RCL? Who has received all of their royalty payments from RCL?
I have taken the liberty of including a couple of other rights holders who I know you have NOT paid!!
All the very best with the release of the VEGA+ to ALL 5,000 backers!!
Kindest Regards— Darren Melbourne
Paul Andrews also replied to all parties and requested further information from David Levy.
Can I echo Darren’s comments about this marvellous work of fiction, I think it was said by Suzanne about a journalist some time ago (who reported on RCL) that ‘he would not be winning a Pulitzer anytime soon’ I can only echo this comment, about your email text.
As all the current directors of RCL know, as all the current directors and representatives of Sinclair Research Ltd, know, as myself and Chris know, we have copies of the RCL bank statements, (from its opening of course), then from the period myself and Chris left, and then the bank account was placed in the control of Suzanne Martin, but the bank statements sent to David Levy’s home address. This period covers from April 2016 to July 2017. So please don’t ask the directors of SRL to lie and say they have not seen them.
Despite our legal and logged request for RCL to carry out audited accounts, you did not. You have also refused to answer the very direct question to you, and your accountant, and lawyer, did you or did you not receive the request from myself and Chris asking you to carry out the legally required audit of the accounts. Please confirm did you or did you not know you were requested to do audited accounts for RCL?
The £20k paid to GOSH was only for the initial 4000 odd units from Indiegogo and so on. I presume that you are not saying you have paid more since to GOSH? If not you owe a sick children’s charity money David, and to quote you own words back at yourself, shame on you.
All the current directors of RCL, all the current directors of SRL, and myself and Chris (having seen the bank statements from April 2016, to July 2017) are aware substantial income was paid to RCL for stock of the original Vega unit. I am more than happy to provide this information to a neutral accountant, with all facts and info attached, if you yourself agree to this, and that all information of gross sales are in turn reported to all rights owners, and interested parties. As you are saying the accounts you did submit (late) for RCL are correct, you should have no issue confirming to all the rights owners you are happy for this to happen, (especially as they should have been audited anyway). Then if I am wrong I will apologise to all parties, if I am right...?
The email you quote from one of my staff, is correct that the royalties due (on income received at that point in time into the RCL bank account) to rights owners which we had enough funds to pay on that date, where paid, and that the rest of the rights owners needed paying from that sheet (who had not been paid on that date due to no funds being available?). So not really sure of your point there. It clearly states it does not include any money owed from distributors/wholesalers (i.e. Cornerstone/Cinram) at that point not yet paid to RCL.
The money owed to RCL from Cornerstone, (or not as the case may be) is a smoke screen, in that I have never included that income (as not received by RCL) in any estimates of money owed to rights owners or GOSH. I have only included the substantial sums I know were received between April 2016 and July 107 from Cinram, and Pqube, into the RCL bank account, or are you seriously saying you have not had that income and the bank statements are incorrect?
The silly false accusations you are throwing at all of us, is actually quite sad David, (apart from being untrue), it is you who has attacked us, writing to our employers, writing to our business contacts, writing to our clients, attacking my disabled wife in public posts, paying for Facebook adverts about us, I could go on, but I only feel pity for you, nothing more so I wont. Any letters we have sent have been truthful and accurate.
You broke the shareholders agreement David spending huge sums on lawyers not permitted by the agreement, that’s without going into a ton of other issues with regards funds in and out of RCL after we left.
You have promised to backers for two years you will deliver, and I think its 11 times now you have not met your own promises. You can blame me, Chris, Darren, and everyone else, but you know I have the proof that its just not true. Happy to prove any accusation you have against me David, you know it, I know it.
While I am writing, can you also please confirm which date and location the shareholders meeting will be held on as legally requested.
Please confirm to the rights owners why you have not paid them in the past 18 months odd, yet you say you will soon. Can you 100% confirm the correct amounts will be paid to all, can you 100% confirm you have those funds in the RCL bank account right now?
Can you please confirm to all, how many Vega Plus units have been made to be delivered in the next few days?
Can you please confirm the games list that backers are asking for?
Finally please confirm to all, that RCL is not trading insolvent. That debts do not far outweigh current funds held, or owed for sales.
Please stop trying to divert attention from the matter in hand David, deliver 4500 odd Vega Plus consoles in the next week or so as promised, and then if you want to take the rest of the issues further then let’s, but stop trying to blame everyone in the rest of the world for your own failings David.
Regards— Paul Andrews