Star System: Aegis
Date: 2501-07-16
Small Activist group files suit against three Bluefall based corporations

HUGHES ISLAND, Bluefall “ Today, a group previously unknown in the Verge filed an open suit with the Bluefall judiciary seeking ‘financial compensation’ from three companies traded on Vessey. The Clone Compensation Committee, representing former clones created in the Borealis Republic, charged three companies with a failure to properly compensate individuals who had been created as clones during the pre-civil war Borealis Republic. The three companies targeted, New Arrival Life Stages Insurance, Aegis Frontier Petroleum, and Arriver Charters. Established in the Verge in 2497, all are companies that were seeded by the Tuvelov Consortium, and recently sold off to local Vessey traders through an Initial Public Offering. The Consortium, founded by Ariel Tuvelov in the early 23rd century, built its business around spaceports, cargo transportation, and finances in the Borealis Republic. During the 23rd, and 24th century, the consortium expanded as fast as the Republic. Today, just one part, Tuvelov Financial is the largest privately owned corporate group in the Borealis Republic. Overall, Tuvelov trusts encompass three private corporations, and a stock portfolio that encompasses many of the largest companies in the Republic. The company also retains interests in Far Reach, Concord Sagittarius, and in Rigunmor territory. It is the latter that has pushed the CCC to pursue consortium interests wherever they exist.

The history between Borealis and its clones is well known. Many clones were made to fill agricultural, manufacturing, and service jobs, while the nobles focused on ‘higher’ pursuits. In the later years of the antebellum republic, many clones created had come to increasingly suffer under corporate control. Labor laws, medical laws, and certain liberties were violated in the pursuit of ever-more perfect clones. The subsequent reforms made during the reformation, provided compensation considered adequate by many of the victims. However, this reformation which occurred in modern day Borealis and Concord territory, never covered any territory seized by the Rigunmor during the First Galactic War. The Rigunmor only belatedly allowed any reforms on ‘liberated’ territory. Many believe that lack of reform reverberates in Rigunmor society through today.

“It is utterly criminal what those ex-Borealin companies did. They unfairly profited off of the labor of individuals who were essentially born into bondage. That labor was turned into capital, which was then used to build an empire. When it looked as if they would be forced to come to terms with what they did the Rigunmor seized the territory, and let them get away scot-free. Meanwhile those who provided that labor are now left to rot in slums,” charged Emily Peterson, the Borealin lawyer leading the case. As evidence, she cited statistics suggesting that over eighty percent of all descendants of Borealin clones in Rigunmor territory remained in conditions ‘significantly below acceptable living standards’. Most specifically, they continue to lack access to education, adequate living units, advanced medical care, and to other necessities of modern life. While other Borealins who lived in this territory, have integrated into Rigunmor culture, or migrated back to the republic, these individuals have been trapped in a culture of despair.”

“This is utter nonsense,” counters Anna Sorinski, CEO of New Arrival Life Stages Insurance. “’The status of clones in territory annexed by the Rigunmor was dealt with under the Treaty of Earth. They were accepted as full citizens of the Consortium. The Treaty of Concord gave them additional protections, and the Consortium allowed many of these individuals to migrate to Concord territory. Anyway, the last affected individuals passed away in 2448. We are talking great-great grandchildren in many cases who are arguing that they were treated unfairly. And they are simply whiners who are unwilling to move on with their lives, determined to find others to blame their problems on.”

The law on which CCC is basing its suit is quite convoluted to say the least. The three corporations were spun from Tuvelov interests in Rigunmor space. Since the Rigunmor division of the Tuvelov Conglomerate was never indemnified under Borealin law, they were open to lawsuits under inconsistencies in Borealin law before the Civil War. Borealin court, however, has consistently thrown out such complaints as having been settled in both international treaties, and a side agreement made between Borealis and Rigunmor in 2481. However, an ancient Orion Nation law, passed in 2290, allowed for a citizen of the Orion Nation to file suit against a foreign power when that foreign power acted in contravention to its own laws. More importantly, it allows for seizure of assets of any such corporation, when such assets exist on Orion territory. CCC has filed under this law, seeking to secure the three corporations for its plaintiffs.

“Basically, they are attempting to rob Vessey shareholders of their wealth and transfer it to a bunch of down-on-their-luck Rigunmor citizens, ” said Joe Phi, local Vessey trader. He works for Sensible Investments, one of the larger brokerage firms representing citizens throughout the Verge. “They are going after these companies, under the mistaken belief that a bunch of simple locals will sympathize with a bunch of down-on-their luck Stellar Ringers. What they are really doing though is picking the pockets of Vergers because they can’t find relief in Stellar Ring space.” The three companies, are now majority-owned by citizens who have settled on Aegis, and it should be noted that the suit seeks to strip all current shareholders of ownership, and transfer it to the plaintiffs. Rumors on the grid suggest that many private traders on Aegis believe that Sensible was aware of the possibility of lawsuits, and failed to disclose it. Sensible was the broker who underwrote the IPO, and if true, this would be conceived as a major blow to a firm that many Vergers believed to be relatively clean compared to some on Vessey. Meanwhile, Vessey traders have not taken kindly to the lawsuits, punishing the three stocks by driving their price down nearly sixty- percent. Some grid-postings on Aegis messenger boards are suggesting that Vessey traders may have created the CCC in order to corner the three stocks. The plaintiff who filed the case is a Roy Geigerson. His citizenship on Aegis has been confirmed by TVN. However, his previous citizenship is unknown. One trader commented, “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was some convoluted ploy by the Tuvelov's or the Rigunmor to gain control over those companies.”

What the Bluefall courts are going to do is not certain. The Regent, who is believed to be courting several Rigunmor corporations for certain projects, has remained silent on the laws in question. The Rigunmor meanwhile, have threatened to pull out all contractors, and economic concerns, if this case goes forward. Concord officials, while sympathetic to the pleas of the destitute, are embarrassed by the persistence of this group. Officials in the Ring have noted in the past the great pains that Borealis has taken in compensating any wronged citizen, whether Borealin or not. They have also noted that other citizens in the Ring have not been nearly so fortunate. In the past, CCC has targeted businesses operating on Concord territory. CCC was instrumental in making Tuvelov interests in Concord Sagittarius address issues regarding the company’s involvement with the Hatire during the Second Galactic War. They have filed with the Rigunmor in seeking a dismissal of the case. Unfortunately, the Concord has found their hands somewhat tied by legal maneuvers done by the CCC in the Stellar Ring.

Unfortunately, this case has also drawn unwanted attention from several Verger separatists groups. “Once again, the web of Stellar Ring politics has ensnared us in its web. This should not be allowed, and everything must be done to prevent this from happening,” indicated a spokesman for July-22, a small Bluefall political group, known with its links to Verge separatists. More ominously, CFN’s political arm has also issued a statement on the case noting that “Arriver companies should not expect a stable business environment on the Verge.” To many, such statements from CFN are viewed as a bad harbinger of things to come.

CCC has not indicated what they plan to do if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Mantebron’s governor has issued a decree that amends local interpretation of the 2290 law in such a way as to prevent such a suit from being pursued in its courts. There are rumors that CCC may attempt to pursue such a case at Mary Belle, despite their known distaste for anything Orion. How such a suit could play out is not entirely certain, but it is believed that Life Stages already has hired lawyers in the system to deal with any such possibility. CFN though, has already indicated that any Tuvelov, or Rigunmor interests in the system would be ‘unwelcome’, even if they were only seeking judicial relief. TVN also broached the subject of possible alteration on Lison. Given the current relations between the Rigunmor and their former colony, it is believed that no one on Lison is interested in pursuing any case.

Reporter: arijur

November 11, 2010 - dblade

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