The US jeweller, the middleman, and the UK Government
Together with EveryDoctor, we have launched legal proceedings against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) over the award of a PPE contract to a jeweller from Florida, who had no previous experience supplying PPE.
The Florida jeweller is called Michael Saiger. He was awarded more than £250million worth of contracts. We can’t tell you the profit he made, because inexplicably the Government has blanked out the numbers - but he boasts of having secured “lucrative contracts with the government of the United Kingdom”. And we know that he agreed to pay a middle man almost $50million to act as his go-between.
The price we paid the jeweller (£6.91) was £2.31 above the average price we paid others (£4.60) for those gowns during the pandemic, suggesting (if those others made a profit of 10%) a profit for the jeweller of £28 million, before he paid the middleman.
But our focus isn’t on the individuals who made staggering profits from the pandemic. If the Government is handing out free money, who could blame them for joining the queue? Our focus is on the Government which let them.
What were their reasons for deciding to award this huge contract to a jewellery specialist over other suppliers? Why did they pay over the odds for the PPE? What steps did they take to satisfy themselves that Saiger was up to the job of delivering on such a huge order of PPE. Did they check the reliability of the subcontractor?
We have instructed leading international firm Hausfeld & Co LLP and Jason Coppel QC and Patrick Halliday of 11KBW. Hausfeld will be paid nothing, unless the litigation succeeds. Jason and Patrick are working at heavily discounted rates.
If you are in a position to do so, you can support the crowdfunded legal challenge.
16th Nov: We issued the Pre Action Protocol letter: (available here)