Stirling Cooke

Mark Cooke: Disqualification

Press Release by the Bermuda Monetary Authority that it has disqualified Nicholas Mark Cooke, a citizen of the United Kingdom, after concluding he was "not a fit and proper person to perform any functions in relation to regulated activity under the Insurance Act".

Robert D. Ferguson et al v. Travelers Indemnity Company et al: Complaint

Complaint in Robert D. Ferguson, Kansa International Corporation, Ltd., bankruptcy estate, of Finland; Milo Family Limited Partnership, domiciled in Delaware, based in New York; Imipolex LLC, domiciled and based in Florida, as successor in interest to CJH Investments LP, of Nevada; Omphalos LLC, domiciled in Delaware, based in Florida, all as judgment creditors of Raydon Underwriting Management Company Limited, of Bermuda, v. Travelers Indemnity Company and Executive Risk Specialty Insurance Company at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Letter from Bermuda: Premier survives rebellion

I delayed writing this letter in the hope that a move to oust Premier Ewart Brown as the leader of the ruling Progressive Labour Party would succeed. Unfortunately, he has survived the challenge to his authority and that is bad

Goldman Sachs settles Stirling Cooke litigation for $450,000

Funds controlled by Goldman Sachs have paid $450,000 to settle litigation brought by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Bermuda domiciled ex insurance broker AlphaStar Insurance Group, formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings, which collapsed in 2003 after committing a fraud

Milo/Ferguson dispute with Hannover Re over Clarendon sale proceeds finally ends

A $75 million breach of contract lawsuit stemming from the sale of the Clarendon Insurance Group to Hannover Re in 1999 has been settled just 18 days before the start of trial. The complaint by former Clarendon principals Ralph Milo and Robert D. Ferguson against Lion Holding Inc., a Delaware corporation, was dismissed with prejudice at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 13, 2008, with each party bearing its own costs and attorneys' fees. There is nothing in the court records to indicate whether any money changed hands as part of the settlement.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee seeks return of ‘fraudulent’ transfers

Ten weeks after a judge dismissed the main counts of an $80 million claim against Goldman Sachs and others, the Bankruptcy Trustee of Bermuda-based AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd., formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd., has filed an amended complaint in which he is seeking reduced damages of just $815,638. The amended complaint was filed at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on April 29, 2008 by Richard E. O'Connell, the Bankruptcy Trustee of AlphaStar and several related entities.

Goldman Sachs & Stirling Cooke’s D&O win legal victory regarding alleged fraud cover-up

An action in New York to hold Goldman Sachs and several former officers and directors of Bermuda-based Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd. liable for allegedly "squandering" $80 million of the fraudulently-operated insurance broker's corporate assets has failed. On February 19, 2008, Chief U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein dismissed all of the core counts alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against the Goldman Sachs and the D&O defendants in a complaint brought by the group's Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Insider Talking: February 11, 2008

A bitterly-fought civil action filed by Bermuda-domiciled IPOC International Growth Fund Limited against US-based intelligence-gathering and risk management firm Diligence LLC and one of Diligence's clients, the law firm of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers LLC, is over; In the British Virgin Islands, an order placing Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited into provisional liquidation was issued by the local High Court on December 21, 2007 following an application on December 5, 2007 by the insurer itself; and One of the most memorable moments of the 5th OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference last April was when the Bermuda Monetary Authority's Director of Enforcement would not answer a question from OffshoreAlert's publisher asking him to name a single Bermudian or Bermuda-owned company that the regulator had ever penalized in its entire history, which spans 39 years.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee settles with Clarendon Insurance for $42 m

The now-defunct, Bermuda-based insurance broker best-known as Stirling Cooke Brown has agreed to pay up to $42.3 million to settle claims with its one-time business partner, Clarendon Insurance Group. A motion to approve the settlement was filed by Stirling Cooke's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard E. O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 30, 2007.

Insider Talking: November 11, 2007

News that the British Virgin Islands authorities are preparing criminal charges for money laundering against IPOC International Growth Fund Limited heaps pressure on Bermuda, where IPOC is domiciled, to do something more meaningful than Minister of Finance Paula Cox applying

Mark Cooke denies any involvement in Stirling Cooke fraud

In a recently-filed, colorfully-worded court document that often reads like it could have been written by the man himself, rather than the attorney whose name appears as the author, it is aggressively denied that Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings co-founder Nicholas Mark Cooke was involved in any financial improprieties or had any meaningful role in the group's collapse.

Trial date set for Clarendon Insurance dispute

Five years after legal action was started in the United States, a trial date has finally been set for a $75 million breach of contract dispute concerning the sale in 1999 of Clarendon Insurance Group Inc. to Hannover Re. January 7, 2008 is the scheduled start date at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for claims and counter-claims between former Clarendon principals Robert D. Ferguson and Ralph Milo, on the one side, and Lion Holding Inc., a Delaware corporation, on the other. Ferguson and Milo initiated the action on June 6, 2002. A second defendant, Hannover Re, was dismissed from the case on September 25, 2002.

Arthur Andersen agrees to pay $1.2 m to settle Stirling Cooke litigation

Arthur Andersen has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle litigation regarding its audits of now-defunct Bermuda-based broker AlphaStar Insurance Group Limited, formerly Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings. A motion to approve the settlement was filed with the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on February 16, 2007 by AlphaStar's Chapter 7 Trustee, Richard E. O'Connell. The deadline for objections to the Andersen agreement is March 8 and a hearing to approve it is scheduled to be held on March 13.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee sues Goldman Sachs, auditor, D&O, law firm for $80 m

Goldman Sachs refused to pull the plug on one of the biggest frauds the insurance industry has ever known for fear it would de-rail the 137-year-old investment banker's own $3.66 billion IPO in May, 1999, it has been claimed.The extraordinary allegation appears in a civil complaint that was filed recently in the United States by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Bermuda-based broker AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd., formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd., and several of its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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Goldman Sachs says it is ‘blameless’ in Stirling Cooke collapse, describes its governance as ‘textbook’

Despite taking Bermuda-based broker AlphaStar Insurance Group public in a $50 million IPO and being its biggest shareholder during an astonishing crime spree that caused losses estimated at more than $1 billion to the world insurance markets, Goldman Sachs is not accepting any responsibility for what happened.In fact, the actions of its two directors on AlphaStar's board, Reuben Jeffery III and Jean de Pourtales, were “a textbook illustration” of how to govern a company, according to Goldman's motion to dismiss the action on September 15, 2006.

Stirling Cooke claims expected to exceed $750 m, says Bankruptcy Trustee

Potential claims arising from the fraudulent activities of a Bermuda based insurance broker's British subsidiary may exceed $750 million, says the firm's U. S. Bankruptcy Trustee.It means that Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance Brokers Ltd. committed “one of the largest frauds

Insider Talking: April 6, 2006

Nicolas Eugene Grant St. James charged with cannabis possession in UK, a look at the record of criminal-friendly judge Jon Isaacs in the Bahamas, liquidator of Suisse Security Bank and Trust charges creditors extra if they want to receive his creditors' reports, long after denying it, Marcus Queree acknowledge's fraudster Robert Raven's involvement in the group of companies known as 'Sidera'; and a look at CFTC Chairman Reuben Jeffery III's role in one of the biggest insurance frauds in history.

Court allows Stirling Cooke Trustee to subpoena ex-officers

The Bankruptcy Trustee of the Bermuda-based group formerly known as Stirling Cooke has received court approval to subpoenas to three former officers as part of an investigation into its financial affairs. In an order dated December 19, 2005, U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein, sitting at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered that subpoenas can be served on former officers Stephen A. Crane, President, Chairman, and CEO; Anthony J. Del Tufo, Chief Financial Officer; and James Lawless, General Counsel, compelling them to provide documents and oral testimony.

11 new insurers & $10 b of capital hurtle towards Jan. 1 renewal bonanza

At least eleven new insurers have incorporated in Bermuda over the last two months, bringing with them capital that is likely to top $10 billion once financing has been completed. If Jan. 1 policy rates are as high as many expect them to be, these firms will have not so much a license to offer insurance as one to print money. All have set themselves capital-raising targets from $500 million to $1.5 billion, with $1 billion being the most popular target figure.

Banks ordered to turn over Stirling Cooke records

Five banks have been ordered to provide details of accounts maintained by the AlphaStar group of companies, formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown, to its Bankruptcy Trustee.An order directing The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd., Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, North Fork Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA to turn over the records to Trustee Richard O'Connell was issued at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on September 22, 2005.

Max Re sued over invalid insurance certificates

Even in bankruptcy, the now defunct, fraudulently operated Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance group is causing chaos in the insurance industry.The latest Bermuda firm to be affected is Max Re Capital Limited, which is a defendant in a civil lawsuit concerning

Court dismisses offshore insurance fraud indictment

A United States federal judge has dismissed a criminal indictment against all eight defendants who were accused of using several offshore reinsurers to commit a $45 million fraud.All 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering against Michael Arthur Reeve,

Judge Lynn Hughes dismisses offshore insurance fraud indictment

A United States federal judge has dismissed a criminal indictment against all eight defendants who were accused of using several offshore reinsurers to commit a $45 million fraud.All 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering against Michael Arthur Reeve,

Mutual Risk Management and John Hancock settle litigation

Mutual Risk Management Ltd. has settled litigation with Boston based John Hancock Life Insurance Company, which MRM blamed for causing its collapse.MRM's civil complaint against Hancock was dismissed with prejudice at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District

Discovery ends in Hannover Re/Clarendon dispute

Discovery in a $75 million legal dispute concerning the 1999 sale of Clarendon Insurance Group Inc. to Hannover Re was due to be concluded by June 30, 2005. In one of the final acts of discovery, Judge James Francis ruled on May 23, 2005 that Hannover Re employee Trevor Bolt must submit to a deposition.

Legion Insurance awarded $21.5 million in arbitration

Mutual Risk Management subsidiary Legion Insurance Company has been awarded $21.5 million in an arbitration against John Hancock Life Insurance Company.The award was for damages and expenses caused by Hancock's "failure to pay reinsurance proceeds to Legion", according to a

AlphaStar agrees to sell Realm National Insurance for $8 m

AlphaStar Insurance Group, formerly Stirling Cooke, has reached an agreement to sell its subsidiary, Realm National Insurance Company, to an Atlanta-based company for $8 million.The proposed buyer is Flagship Holdings Inc., according to filings at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, where AlphaStar is in chapter 11 proceedings.

MRM sues John Hancock for allegedly causing its collapse

Mutual Risk Management has filed a lawsuit against one of the non-paying reinsurers that it blames for causing the cash-flow problems that led to the group's collapse. MRM is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against John Hancock Life Insurance Company, formerly John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Insurance firms seek independent Trustee for AlphaStar Insurance Group

Three United States-based firms have asked a court to appoint an independent Bankruptcy Trustee for AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd. to prevent further fraud. The current management of AlphaStar and 11 of its subsidiaries, which all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on December 15, 2003, cannot be trusted, it was alleged.

AlphaStar files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Bermuda-domiciled AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd. and 11 of its subsidiaries have applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York. The group is seeking breathing room while it seeks buyers for its assets, including policy-issuing subsidiary Realm National Insurance Company, for which AlphaStar "is no longer able to provide capital".

Realm National deal subject to more litigation

The acrimonious, on again, off again proposed purchase of AlphaStar Insurance subsidiary Realm National Insurance Co. by Atlanta Insurance Marketing Inc, of Georgia, has become even uglier.Already subject to legal action between the intended seller and buyer, a new lawsuit

Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance Brokers Ltd. goes into administration

After the loss of a major lawsuit, Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance Brokers Ltd. has gone into administration in the United Kingdom.Paul Evans and Dan Schwarzmann, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, were appointed joint administrators on July 17, 2003 - nine days after a judgment in a U. K. High Court action filed by Sphere Drake Insurance.

From Bermuda to Baghdad: Ex-Director of crooked company to help re-build Iraq

A former senior officer with Goldman Sachs who was a director of Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings while it was committing massive fraud is about to be handed a major role in the reconstruction of Iraq.Notwithstanding that the company he helped to take public and govern lied and swindled its way to riches for insiders at the expense of shareholders, clients and the insurance industry in general, the career of Reuben Jeffery III has prospered.

AlphaStar Insurance Services sued in New Jersey

AlphaStar Insurance Services Inc., formerly Stirling Cooke Insurance Services Inc., has been named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in the United States by a construction group. The complaint was filed at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 30, 2003 by Casalino Interior Demolition Corp., Castle Demolition Corp., formerly Casalino Demolition Corp.; Sajac Management Corp., Castle Sanitation Corp., formerly Casalino Sanitation Corp.; Citywide Recycling Corp. and Casalino Construction Corp. of New York, all registered in New York.

Stirling Cooke loses High Court judgment to Sphere Drake Insurance

Two UK subsidiaries of the Bermuda-based AlphaStar Insurance Group, formerly Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings, have lost a UK High Court judgment that has implications for many related reinsurance lawsuits and arbitrations around the world.AlphaStar's share price fell from 13 cents to seven cents per share after the judgment was released today and many in the industry expect the decision to render the long-troubled firm insolvent.

ESG Re attempts to block arbitration by Reinsurance Services of Princeton

An underwriting subsidiary of Bermuda-based ESG Re has taken legal action in the United States in an attempt to prevent Reinsurance Services of Princeton from initiating arbitration proceedings against it. ESG Reinsurance Ireland Ltd., formerly known as European Specialty Reinsurance (Ireland) Ltd., filed a motion to enjoin arbitration against RSP at the U. S. District Court in New Jersey on April 11, 2003.

AlphaStar Insurance agrees to sell Realm National Insurance

Two months after talks were disclosed in InsideBermuda, AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd. announced on March 25 that it has agreed to sell three of its subsidiaries for approximately $9 million. AlphaStar, formerly Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings, has entered into a "definitive agreement" with American Insurance Managers Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia.

Stirling Cooke accuses US firm of trying to steal subsidiary

A U. S.-based insurance manager has been accused of trying to "steal" an underwriting subsidiary of AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd., previously known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings. American Insurance Managers Inc. entered into a "non-binding" agreement on October 2, 2002 to buy AlphaStar's New York-based underwriter Realm National Insurance, for $12 million.

Goldman Sachs sells AlphaStar shares for one-third of market price

Goldman Sachs has sold its entire 22.9 per cent stake in AlphaStar Insurance, formerly Stirling Cooke, back to the company for five cents per share - about one third of its current trading price. Goldman was keen to sell so that its investment vehicles could take a write off before the end of the tax year and agreed to buy at a discount to avoid creating the appearance of self-dealing, AlphaStar's CEO, Stephen Crane, told InsideBermuda.

Stirling Cooke sues American Insurance Managers, et al

Stirling Cooke North American Holdings Inc., AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd. and Realm National Insurance Company filed a civil lawsuit at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 27, 2002 alleging breach of contract against American Insurance Managers Inc., American Insurance Management Group Inc. and Atlanta Insurance Marketing Inc.

Five of seven Bermuda insurers report Q3 losses

Five of the seven Bermuda insurers reinsurers reported losses for the quarter ended September 30, 2001, with PartnerRe leading the way with a loss of $338.5 million, although the firm that appears to be on its last legs is Stirling