Local tech company FirmGuard has gone bankrupt. Image: Shutterstock
Another Australian tech company has gone into liquidation, allegedly leaving employees with large amounts of unpaid wages.
Sydney-based FirmGuard Pty Ltd, which provided governance, risk and compliance services, went into liquidation on August 1.
According to former chief executive Andrew Tierney, the company collapsed when it owed large sums of money in the form of unpaid wages and salaries to many employees.
Tierney said information age he had had payment issues with FirmGuard for a long time, but by April 2022 things had gotten worse.
“I never got paid on time,” Tierney said, “most were paid between two and four weeks late between July 1, 2021 (my start date) and April 31, 2022.”
“The payments started to decrease in amount and expand in time from then on.”
Tierney claims he is currently “owing approximately $149,804.88” in unpaid compensation, super warranty, time off, investment and more.
Tierney said he tried to work out a solution to the companies’ payment issues while on the job, going so far as to suggest that he “get another job and work on it after hours or on weekends at reduced pay. “so that the company can find their financial base.
“Then when contracts and income could support me, I would come back full time. He (the CEO of the company) didn’t want to do that and said he could keep paying me, and he would pay in time – it never happened,” he concluded.
At one point, Tierney allegedly received a highly unusual text message from the company’s CEO, Dan Usher, offering $1,000 of his personal savings while outstanding payment issues were being resolved – however, those funds were never released. showed up on Tierney’s bank statement.
“That’s when I started to totally lose confidence and panic.
“I felt a bit trapped because he owed me so much money, including investing in the business.
“If I left, I felt like I had no hope of seeing any money.”
Tierney further said that his last few months working with FirmGuard were particularly difficult, during which he used his personal savings to pay for his living expenses.
“My savings were wiped out over a period of 3 months. During that time, I learned that Dan owed money to other people as well.”
The stress of his unstable wages left Tierney with unexpected health complications, and in late June he was taken to hospital by ambulance with fears he might suffer a heart attack.
“I started getting calls from other people saying he owed them money and then I started panicking and ended up in hospital at the end of June.”
Doctors concluded that Tierney was suffering from a panic attack due to continued stress and subsequently placed him on a mental health regimen.
Eventually, Tierney sent a letter to the company’s advisory board and investors, informing them that FirmGuard owed him a significant amount of money.
The answer? Tierney was reportedly fired as chief executive and FirmGuard was then put into liquidation three days later, meaning the fair labor ombudsman would no longer be able to help with unpaid wages.
“It was really shocking because I felt it was more like Dan’s revenge than anything else.”
Tierney said he is currently applying for the Fair Entitlements Grant in hopes of receiving his allegedly due payments.