Quoted from AndrewH:
Statement From Andrew Heighway
I am truly sorry to hear about the turn of events announced today.
In June 2017 I sold my controlling stake in Heighway Pinball Limited – including its commitments and liabilities - to a group of investors who claimed to want to put significant funds into the company, achieve mass production and deliver part-paid and fully-paid games to customers, as well as new machine sales.
Throughout the five years that I ran the company, we developed and sold games up until the time of my departure. This was never a ponzi scheme, as some have suggested. A mix of technical problems, supplier quality problems and unrealistic timeframes resulted in delays that financially crippled the company. We were all committed to delivering games to all paying customers. I personally apologise for the unrealistic timeframes.
There have been suggestions that I stole or diverted company funds for my own ventures. These are very serious accusations and never once have I been interviewed by the police for any alleged wrongdoings. The company’s accountants have never suggested any wrongdoings by me. It can be proven that the company owed me significant monies and not the other way round. I would therefore advise people to refrain from making any libellous or slanderous statements about me – as I will defend myself and my integrity.
I very much regret that the company’s owners have closed the company without honouring its commitments to all paying customers and I wish everyone the best in pursuing their claims against the investors or via the insolvency practitioners.
This situation has appalled me and I am extremely sorry for the anguish that it will inevitably cause.
Great to see that he's still answering his critics.
Since he's here, perhaps he could address a few concerns, seemingly common misconceptions, and clarify some of his above post.
Was the company sold for more than a token sum? If so, how was this value arrived at and agreed on at the time of sale, given that despite his claims 8 or 9 months earlier and continually thereafter, the machine was nowhere near production ready, there was no production line, and it would take many months of additional collective work by the team to reach a semi acceptable state? Add to that the significant liabilities, lack of tangible assets, questionable intangible assets, considerable debt, record of legal action against him or the company and further outstanding claims. What representations and assurances did he give to to the purchasing party or parties?
If it was a token sum, that would imply that the company was indeed worthless, and that the product, such as it was at that stage, very likely was too. Why would the acquiring party consider it a valueless proposition? Why would he be so keen to be shod of both ownership and legal responsibility if not being financially compensated? When he showed me round the warehouse 9 months prior to the sale, he told me that the following week he'd begin hiring 30 line workers to achieve mass production before the end of the year, as the machine was ready for customers - completely dismissing my concerns about reliability and further testing, as one of his engineers was staring at the floor shaking his head. How does he account for these massive discrepancies?
Perhaps not the police (yet). However, why were verdicts handed down against him by tribunals, why were there out of court settlements, why was there outstanding legal action against him for non payment (some of which was then taken care of by the new owners)? Virtually everyone I spoke to who claimed to have known him before he started the company said that he had a reputation for trying to avoid paying for product delivered or services rendered. This has been posted about by people with (claimed) direct experience recently. Is all of it untrue, or unfairly attributed? If so, how does he account for this extraordinary sleight against his character, and how did he become what would be the victim of fraud, sharp practice or slander by others claiming the same of him, so consistently?
If he can't refute all that, then are people not right to question what else he might have done? Given his well documented shenanigans with regard to refunds, and inconsistency with the fact that he repeated ad nauseum that customers' deposits towards machines did not fund development and could be refunded at any time, yet the accounts that he registered with Companies House appeared bone dry, it seems right that they should regard his assertions of no wrong-doing and no Ponzi with extreme suspicion. Many people have come out now claiming that he committed fraud against them personally in one to one interactions. Are they all wrong? Presumably they must be conspiring against him together, given how similar and conversant the pictures are that they paint.
It's good to know that he was so charitable in letting pass the apparently significant monies the company owed to him; where he was sole director from inception to sale. He has been alleged by some of his former colleagues and employees to have purchased NIB games with company money, and that some of these quickly found a way into his home, never returning to company premises. Did he either reimburse the company, or formally work out a deal whereby he received these instead of remuneration? Hopefully he remembered to pay the VAT once they passed into his direct possession, if they did? But maybe this is all untrue again? Made up by jilted employees for reasons best known only to themselves? Perhaps the latter are also responsible for the allegations that some staff spent long periods of work days being diverted to service machines which he owned, rather than on FTh / Alien where they were needed. If so, they must have fertile imaginations.
Quoted from Davidus56:
He promised me my games “at the front of the line” if I sent him payment in full. After I wrote a scathing post here, he asked to call me to discuss. He went into a lengthy narrative blaming everyone else, the pinball gods and whoever else he could lasso in for the failings of Heighway. I listened patiently. Then he offered me the pole position in a new venture he was undertaking provided I would sign a non disclosure agreement. I advised him of the old Star Trek line from ‘Scotty’ saying, “fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. So, to Andrew, Thanks, but no thanks, and good riddance.
A number of claims have been made against him with regard to attempted or purportedly successfully prosecuted advanced payment fraud, unscrupulous & misleading solicitation for investment, and other similar things. However, this poster's claim is particularly astonishing. According to the post, and apparently others who have acknowledged similar pitches privately, he was attempting to shake down or divert the company's customers into a new, unrelated venture. If he feels that the company owed him, or he was entitled to pay or compensation he claims not to have received, was this his way of seeking to redress the balance? Is that fair or ethical? Maybe another tick in the totally untrue column? If there is some substance, was this the hydrofoil thing that he would later claim was just a hobby? Despite having apparently purchased a 30 metre, 65 ton hydrofoil 15 months before his departure. Could people not be forgiven for thinking that, at best, his eye was off the ball? That's a pretty large distraction.
That should be enough for now, but since so many of his posts here and prognostications generally have proved to be verifiably false, is there any reason to think he's telling the truth this time? If there is, is this not likely be a case of the little boy who cried wolf?