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Bermuda Court of Appeal stymies U. S. securities fraud investigation

The former president of Bermuda-based investment firm Lines Overseas Management Ltd. appears to have won his battle to keep potentially incriminating telephone recordings out of the hands of the SEC in the United States.In a ruling on March 23, 2006, Bermuda Court of Appeal allowed Brian Lines' appeal against a decision by Bermuda Supreme Court that LOM must disclose “recordings, transcripts, summaries or excerpts” of telephone conversations made on Lines' extension while he worked for LOM. Justices Zacca, Nazareth, and Sir Murray Stuart-Smith also upheld the lower court's ruling that the SEC was not entitled to any “recordings, transcripts, summaries or excerpts of interviews undertaken” as part of an investigation into LOM by its local regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The court granted Lines an injunction restraining LOM and its subsidiary, LOM Securities (Bermuda) Ltd., from disclosing material regarding both of these matters to the SEC.