An executive at a recruitment agency recently revealed how the business closed after a former employee stole their clients - and then launched their own firm.
In an interview with The Hertfordshire Mercury, Jason Robinson claimed that the personal details of his client base were stolen by Greg Oram, a recruiter working for Alexander Leigh, which was later rebranded as HEF Recruitment.
"It was a Thursday, about 6.30pm in the evening, and I got back to my desk and looked at the phone he had just given me," he told the publication.
"I thought it was rebooting at first but it was frozen on an email and I suddenly saw all these names.
"I had this sort of sinking feeling. I was there until 1.30am going through the phone."
Robinson claims that Oram took the details by forwarding the data to a personal email account, and then transferred them to his new firm – Think Teachers – which was based two miles away.
"We lost an awful lot of business as a result of this. It led to clients not wanting to work with us,” said Robinson.
"They had heard both sides of the story and they sided with Greg. He was the one who had dealt with them on a day-to-day basis.
"He was clever and he was good at what he was doing. He basically made out the market was no good and we had nothing to work with.
"The whole plan was to get to a point where he could transfer the clients to the new business. For me, it's closed. I'm moving on and rebuilding my life. We set up the business in 2003 and for that to now be closed is terrible."
HEF Recruitment closed after a legal battle with Oram. However, Oram claims that the theft of clients was not the reason for the firm’s closure, saying that HEF still had their contacts in the health recruitment side of the company.
However, last month, the publication reports that Oram was found guilty of an offense under the Data Protection Act – he was fined £170, a victim surcharge of £30 and legal costs of £360.
Oram also told The Hertfordshire Mercury that he had “made a mistake”, but that the clients’ emails addresses and numbers were also made available by teachers on job search sites. He also went on to say that the data was deleted after two weeks and was not used in the launch of Think Teachers.