Bribery & Corruption

Banking-insurance scam advertisements ask investors to sign away their assets

Avertisement from 'Vincent Lachmi' and 'Dr. Vincent Kumar' starts appearing on the Internet in connection with fraud perpetrated in the names of the International Deposit Insurance Corporation, the World Investors Stock Exchange, Fidelity International Bank, International Exchange Bank and the First International Bank of Grenada.
Van Brink (l) & Robert Skirving (r)

OffshoreAlert exposes massive offshore banking and insurance fraud

Offshore Alert can today expose a massive fraud involving at least three banks, an insurance company and a stock exchange into which investors are believed to have invested tens of millions of dollars. Participants in the scam include the World Investors Stock Exchange in Grenada, the International Deposit Insurance Corporation in Nevis, the First International Bank of Grenada, the International Exchange Bank, which is registered in either Nauru or Grenada but operated out of Bermuda and Texas; and Fidelity International Bank, which is registered in Nauru but operated from St. Vincent.

‘Caribbean Bank of Crooks’

Offshore Alert can this month reveal further details about an Internet bank in Antigua that is perpetrating a fraud so crude that it illustrates why the island has developed such a poor reputation in the offshore world. The fraud is all the more disturbing because the bank's legal representative in Antigua is Steadroy Benjamin, who is a Senator for the ruling Antigua Labour Party and is the Deputy Speaker of the Antiguan House of Representatives.

Marc Harris latest: Liquidity crisis deepens, another client goes to prison

More information has come our way this month that sheds further light on the current and past turmoil of The Harris Organization of Panama, including details of liquidity problems, the conviction of another one of its clients on a drug trafficking charge and allegations of 'bounty hunting' against two of the group's officers. The financial services group, which we have previously reported as being insolvent, running a Ponzi scheme, ripping off clients and laundering the proceeds of crime, seems to be in financial trouble.

Cayman government continues its immoral ways

In what might rank as one of the most immoral decisions ever made by a democratic government anywhere in the world, Cayman Minister of Land John McLean has been allowed to keep his ministerial position even though a vote to oust him was carried by eight to six in the Legislative Assembly. Members of the Legislative Assembly who were trying to remove McLean from office for allegedly illegally obtaining over 200 acres of Crown Land worth tens of millions of dollars fell one vote short of the required nine votes needed to pass their motion.

US government battles for jurisdiction over Swiss American Bank

A battle for legal jurisdiction between the US government and four offshore financial institutions in a $7 million forfeiture case contains a number of important issues that will affect all companies and individuals who operate offshore but have US clients.Among arguments being put forward by the US government for jurisdiction over banking entities located in Antigua, Switzerland and Panama is the fact that the offshore companies sell their services over the Internet, which can be accessed in the US; that Swiss American Bank has advertised in the in-flight magazine of American Airlines; and that SAB has correspondent banking relationships with banks in the States.

Scandal-plagued Cayman government faces new crisis over John McLean

The Cayman Islands government is facing its second scandal within seven months following an announcement that Minister of Land John McLean has been cleared of illegally obtaining Crown Land worth tens of millions of dollars - despite evidence to the contrary. The circumstances of the official whitewash of McLean are such that it calls into question the ability of the current government to administer its affairs in a competent or moral manner, including regulating its offshore financial services sector.

First Cayman Bank liquidators prepare to sue directors

The liquidators of First Cayman Bank have opened negotiations with the bank's directors and officers with a view to holding them financially accountable for their responsibilities. A lawsuit for negligence is also being considered against the bank's auditors. This and the fact that professional fees and disbursements totalling $1.16 million were incurred in the first 23 weeks of provisional or official liquidation were the highlights of the second report of FCB's liquidators, Ian Wight and Michael Pilling, of Deloitte & Touche, dated May 14.

Cayman government back pedals on John McLean land investigation

Following pressure from Offshore Alert, the Cayman government has done a U-turn and launched a fresh investigation into the suspicious circumstances in which Minister of Land John McLean came into possession of Crown Land worth tens of millions of dollars. In a letter dated March 17, Attorney General Richard Coles, acting on behalf of the Governor, John Owen, wrote to us stating that McLean "is concerned that the matter should be clarified as soon as possible".

Pressure mounts on John McLean to explain Cayman land deal

Pressure was mounting this month on Cayman Minister of Land John McLean to publicly explain how he came into possession of 200 acres of Crown Land with a potential quarrying value of tens of millions of dollars.Cayman Governor John Owen has been asked to investigate the matter and it was raised yesterday on the floor of the Legislative Assembly by Frank McField, who was ruled out of order by the Speaker. McLean, who has not attended recent Legislative Assembly hearings, was not in attendance.

FCO announces end of bank secrecy in overseas territories

The clearest indication yet that the UK government will force its Overseas Territories to co-operate with foreign regulators investigating both fiscal and regulatory offences was given this week to Offshore Alert.Offshore centres like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands are being told by the UK government to introduce within two years legislation that will be virtually identical to the UK Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990.

John McLean facing legal battle over Cayman land

Cayman's minister for land, John McLean, is facing possible legal action after he was awarded Crown land potentially worth millions of dollars that another local resident claims is legally his.Leroy Johnson has consulted attorneys about bringing a civil lawsuit against McLean and has even gone so far as to file a criminal complaint against the minister with the Cayman police, alleging theft.

Cayman MLA John Jefferson Jr. loses civil lawsuit

Cayman's National Team government has taken no action against one of its members, John Jefferson Jr., who lost a civil lawsuit that included evidence of dishonesty on his part and a letter indicating he may have attempted to extort money from a foreign airline by abusing his position as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.

McKeeva Bush to be fired after First Cayman Bank collapses

McKeeva Bush, a director of First Cayman Bank who lied about his directorship after the bank collapsed amid allegations of fraud, is expected to be officially removed as a government minister when the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly begins its next session on Friday, October 31.Bush has become an acute embarrassment to the Cayman government since First Cayman collapsed earlier this month, particularly with an international banking conference taking place on the island.

Cayman Islands: Gilbert Connolly

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in the Cayman Islands into alleged corruption by Gilbert Connolly while serving as Superintendent of Insurance.