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ACSLaw UK Boss of Limited Means Found Living in a Mansion and Driving a Bentley

Posted: 26th May, 2011 By: MarkJ
acslaw andrew crossley home ukThe boss of defunct solicitors firm ACS:Law UK, Andrew Jonathan Crossley, whom recently escaped a £200,000 data breach fine from the governments Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) because of his "limited means" to pay (Crossley ended up paying just £1,000), has been discovered living in a £700k mansion (estimated) and driving a £200k Bentley Arnage.

ACS:Law made its money by "bullying" customers of UK ISPs ( e.g. Sky Broadband and PlusNet ), specifically those whom they suspected of being involved with "illegal" internet copyright infringement (P2P File Sharing), into paying hefty fines. However, the firms lax security later allowed thousands (6,000) of private customer records from several major broadband providers to be leaked online.

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said earlier this month:

"As Mr Crossley was a sole trader it falls on the individual to pay the fine. Were it not for the fact that ACS Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed, given the severity of the breach. Penalties are a tool for achieving compliance with the law and, as set out in our criteria, we take people’s circumstances and their ability to pay into account."

Crossley reportedly issued a sworn statement to the ICO that reflected his currently weak financial situation and thus an inability to pay the hefty fine. As a result the ICO cut their fine down to £1,000, which reduced to £800 because it was paid on time.

Crossley's definition of "limited means" would appear to differ from that of most people. A crafty investigation by PC Pro was able to track the lawyer down to his current home, a sprawling mansion on a private lane in West Sussex. Hard times indeed. The car, at least, isn't in his own name.

Meanwhile Crossley is expected to go before a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on 3rd June 2011 (here). He also faces a Wasted Costs claim of £90,000 (here), which is due to be heard in the London Patents County Court (Judge Birss QC) on 17th June.
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