Bribery & Corruption


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    OffshoreAlert Awards For 1999

    Annual OffshoreAlert Awards for: Worst Regulator, Worst Regulated Jurisdictions, Lie of the Year, Coward of the Year, Crooks of the Year, Jurisdiction in Most Need of a PR Make-Over, Most Small-Minded Decision, Most Arrogant Jurisdiction, Most Stupid Comments, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Award, and Most Responsible Regulators.

    IDIC moves to Grenada after being closed down in two jurisdictions

    Grenada regulators have allowed the sham insurer known as IDIC to incorporate on the island after regulators in Nevis and Dominica closed down the company, we can disclose. IDIC was closed down by Nevis regulators on January 27, 1999 and, the following month, was shut down in Dominica, where it had moved.

    Eurofed Bank goes into receivership

    Antigua-registered Eurofed Bank Ltd. has been placed into receivership by the island's regulators over its suspected involvement in money laundering. Eurofed, which also has a banking license in Grenada, went into receivership on or around November 15 after being implicated in a scandal involving Pavlo Lazarenko, a former Prime Minister of the Ukraine.

    FIBG latest: Dodgy share offerings and more ‘paper’ firms list on sham stock exchange

    The latest phase of what is turning out to be one of the most extravagant offshore frauds ever involves the sale of shares over the Internet, supposedly to finance a 120-room luxury resort hotel in Grenada and an on-line casino. Investors in the resort project are "guaranteed" annual dividends of between 25-30 per cent, depending on the amount invested, even before anything has been built, while shareholders of the casino venture are promised 35 per cent annually.

    La Prensa newspaper charged over Harris Organization stories

    La Prensa newspaper in Panama and some of its journalists have had a criminal libel brought against them after several articles on The Harris Organization financial services group.La Prensa has alleged improper links between The Harris Organization, the Attorney-General, José Antonio Sossa; and a Panamanian attorney, Carlos Jones; allegations which have been denied by the subjects of the articles.

    FIBG ‘auditor’ has no CPA licence, co-owner indicted in US

    Offshore Alert can this month report further disturbing revelations about the First International Bank of Grenada that make a mockery of the island as a legitimate financial centre.One of the most shocking discoveries is that the annual financial statement filed recently by the bank with regulators was signed by a former bankrupt with a criminal record who is passing himself off as a CPA.Nevada-based accountant Kenneth Nelson Craig had his CPA licence revoked in the US in 1996 after committing an appalling number of offences, including swindling three clients out of $81,000.Equally disturbing is news that one of FIBG's owners, Roger V. Cagle, has been criminally indicted in New Jersey on charges of racketeering, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

    Harris Organization appeals libel decision

    The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama has served official notice that it will appeal its loss of a recent libel lawsuit against Offshore Business News & Research Inc., which publishes Offshore Alert. The grounds for the appeal were not known at press time.

    Crown Meridian, Sattva Investment Bank and Offshore Investment Services join FIBG scam

    Grenada-registered Crown Meridian Bank has followed in the footsteps of its sister bank, First International Bank of Grenada, by promising depositors annual interest rates of 200 per cent and falsely claiming deposits are insured by the sham insurer IDIC, we can disclose.Crown Meridian is run by the same people who control FIBG and was licensed by Grenada's regulators on February 1, 1999 - three days after Offshore Alert exposed FIBG as a scam.

    Libel trial judge asks: ‘Where is Marc Harris?’

    The libel trial involving The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama and Offshore Business News & Research ended on July 30 with Judge Michael Moore asking: "Where is Marc Harris?" Harris was nowhere to be seen during six days of testimony even though he was the main subject matter of the March 31, 1998 Offshore Alert article that was being complained about.

    First International Bank of Grenada launches Pyramid scheme

    The First International Bank of Grenada and the sham insurer known as IDIC have launched an international pyramid scheme as the latest phase of their plan to part investors from their money. There is also concern that FIBG may have become involved in stock manipulation involving a Florida-registered penny stock firm that trades on the NASDAQ over-the-counter market.

    Leroy Johnson starts legal fight to reclaim Cayman land

    Cayman citizen Leroy Johnson has started legal proceedings as the latest phase of his long battle to reclaim ownership of over 200 acres of quarrying land potentially worth tens of millions of dollars that has mysteriously ended up in the control of the island's Minister of Land, John Bonwell McLean.Johnson, through his attorney Keith Collins, of Collins Broadhurst & Furniss, filed a lawsuit on March 5, 1999 in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands against Cayman's Registrar of Lands, Clarke Buchanan.

    First International Bank of Grenada Ltd. et al v. David Marchant et al: Libel Complaint

    Libel Complaint in First International Bank of Grenada Ltd., of Grenada; International Depositors' Reinsurance Corporation, Ltd., doing business as IDIC, of Nevis, and World Investors' Stock Exchange, of Grenada v. David Marchant and Offshore Business News & Research, Inc. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

    ‘I see no evidence of fraud by FIBG,’ writes Grenada regulator Michael Creft

    Letter to OffshoreAlert from Grenada's financial regulator Michael Creft regarding the First International Bank of Grenada, World Investors' Stock Exchange, Fidelity International Bank, International Exchange Bank, and International Deposit Insurance Corporation. Disturbingly, the letter was faxed to OffshoreAlert from FIBG's office.

    Attorneys threaten OffshoreAlert with lawsuit over exposé of insurance-banking fraud

    Offshore Alert has received two letters from attorneys threatening to sue us over the banking/insurance scandal involving World Investors Stock Exchange, International Deposit Insurance Corporation, First International Bank of Grenada, International Exchange Bank and Fidelity International Bank, that is exposed in the January 29, 1999 edition of Offshore Alert.

    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.