British Virgin Islands

Lancer Offshore boss seeks to halt US lawsuit

Offshore hedge fund boss Michael Lauer has claimed there is an "excellent likelihood of a successful reorganization" of Lancer Partners L. P., an investment partnership he operated which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on April 16, 2003.

Winding-Up petitions filed against five offshore banks

Petitions to wind-up five offshore banks are due to be heard at Grenada High Court on Thursday, July 24, 2003.The banks are Bank Crozier Ltd., DIAK Bank Ltd., Anglo American Bank Ltd., Wellington Bank & Trust Ltd., and Cornerstone International Saving & Investment Bank Ltd.

USA v. James Carroll Sexton et al: Criminal Indictment

Indictment in USA v. James Carroll Sexton, James Carroll Sexton, Jr., a.k.a. Jimmy Sexton; Rudolf Walter Ritter, and Egon Walter Fink at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Lancer Offshore assets frozen, Receiver appointed after SEC action

A United States court today issued a temporary order freezing the assets of the Lancer Offshore Group, which has been implicated in massive securities fraud.The assets have been frozen until at least July 18, 2003 when a hearing has been scheduled at the U. S District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

University’s Pension Plan invested $67 m in Lancer Offshore

The University of Montreal Pension Plan invested US$67 million - representing more than eight per cent of its total assets - in the now-insolvent Lancer Offshore fund, according to a lawsuit.Another major investor was the AXA group, whose investment vehicles put in $15.25 million in June, 2002 - less than three months before the New York Post newspaper began raising questions about the Fund and six months before the Fund announced it was suspending cash redemptions.

Insider Talking: June 30, 2003

The Bank of Bermuda sacked 14 staff in June after catching them distributing pornographic e-mails, reported The Royal Gazette newspaper; Imperial Consolidated co-founders Jared Brook and Lincoln Fraser are close to being arrested by the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom, according to the June 12, 2003 edition of 'Private Eye', a British satirical magazine; Meanwhile, UK-registered financial services firm Kingsbridge Holdings PLC has partly blamed its "very disappointing" loss of £1.397 million (US$2.3 million) for the six months ended February 28, 2003 on Imperial Consolidated; While owners of web-sites in the United States are legally protected against libel actions from people who believe they have been defamed on Internet message boards, that does not appear to be the case in the Cayman Islands; In the United States, where there is a tax protester, there is usually an illegal offshore investment scheme not far behind and Eddie Ray Kahn, who lives in Sorrento, Florida, is no exception; The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission issued a warning about Richmont Investments Inc. on April 10, 2003; Former Bank of Bermuda (Cayman) officer Marc Vanmarsenille, who lost his job in the aftermath of the Cash 4 Titles fiasco, is a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed at the Turks & Caicos Islands Supreme Court on November 7, 2002; At the same court, a lawsuit has been filed against TCI-registered Sealand Housing Corporation in an attempt to collect on a judgment awarded in the UK High Court; Two businessmen previously exposed in OffshoreAlert for their involvement in the sale and operation of sham offshore credit unions involving Nevis, Panama and the United States have each been sentenced to 25 years in prison, ten of which is suspended, for defrauding a 101-year-old woman out of her life savings; and If creditors of Bahamas-based Suisse Security Bank & Trust were wondering why the winding-up of the bank is taking so long, they should read the prelude to the recently-released written judgment by Bahamas Supreme Court Justice Austin Davis in which he turned down the bank's attempt to regain its banking license, which was suspended on March 5, 2001 and revoked on April 2, 2001.

AXA is latest creditor to file suit against Lancer Offshore group

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against the Lancer Offshore Group, which has collapsed with estimated liabilities of approximately $350 million and assets largely comprising shares in dubious, thinly-traded firms that appear to be vehicles for securities fraud.

Arrest warrants issued for directors of UK/offshore-based investment group

Two businessmen whose investment group includes an offshore IBC that was held out to the public as an investment fund have had arrest warrants issued against them in the United States. British national Sendjer Shefket, 43, and U. S. citizen Yen Lung Chen, 51, have been accused of operating a high yield investment scam.

Lancer Offshore hearing adjourned again in the BVI

A hearing to force an offshore hedge fund group into administration has been further adjourned until September 8, 2003 at the British Virgin Islands High Court. The hearing into the affairs of Lancer Offshore Inc. and The Omnifund Ltd. began over one day on May 30, 2003, reconvened over one day on June 11 and will not now continue for another three months.

Lancer Offshore Inc. et al

Public Announcement about Lancer Offshore Inc. and The OmniFund  Ltd. by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.

Lancer Offshore court hearing adjourned in British Virgin Islands

An application by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission to force an offshore hedge fund group into administration has been adjourned to June 11. A hearing on the application against Lancer Offshore Inc. and The Omnifund Ltd. took place on Friday, May 30, 2003 but was not concluded. It was adjourned for 12 days because the judge is traveling this week.

Insider Talking: May 31, 2003

In a libel action at Grenada High Court, Grenada attorney Anselm B. Clouden has been awarded $2,500 in damages and $450 in costs against the First International Bank of Grenada and its one time CEO, Van A. Brink. The award

BVI regulator acts against Lancer Offshore

An insolvent offshore hedge fund has been given a reprieve for now, at least from being forced into administration after it found out about an ex parte court application before it was heard.An application to place Lancer Offshore Inc. and

Imperial Consolidated founders declared bankrupt

Lincoln Julian Fraser and Jared Bentley Brook, co-founders of the Imperial Consolidated Group, were both declared bankrupt at Grimsby County Court, England on May 2, 2003. It is the second bankruptcy in just over seven years for Fraser at the age of just 31-years-old.

Lancer Offshore Inc. et al(2)

Press Release about Lancer Offshore Inc. and The OmniFund Ltd. by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.

Lancer investment partnership files for bankruptcy, pop star among creditors

American pop star Britney Spears and jailed former Sotheby's Chairman Alfred Taubman are among investors in the Lancer Offshore Fund Group, which has collapsed amid suspicions of securities fraud.They were among 110 "Equity Security Holders" listed by one of the group's investment partnerships, Lancer Partners, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Connecticut on April 16, 2003.

Insider Talking: April 30, 2003

Nevis Premier Vance Amory seeks independence yet again, Panama ignores multi-million dollar frauds against foreigners but leaps into action when foreigners defraud locals of a relative pittance, U. S. helps BVI authorities obtain evidence against Canadian national Terry Turl, judgment for $2.7 million entered against David Rose, criminal proceedings in Texas against Yank Barry take another extraordinary twist, Towry Law seeks to recover £30 million defrauded from clients, Grenada intends to revoke license of Bank Crozier, Patrick English ordered to testify at trial of civil action involving the Bank of Bermuda, criminal action stated against Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine branch of Parex Bank, Cayman prosecutors drop money laundering charges against Melvin Taves because of his age, and Banca del Gottardo files complaint in Switzerland against unnamed parties who alleged that it held accounts in the name of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, including one in the Bahamas. 

US assists BVI with airport corruption probe

The United States authorities have assisted the British Virgin Islands government in an investigation into alleged corruption regarding contracts at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport.Katherine M. Ho, Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, filed a notice at the local Federal Court on March 17, 2003 stating that she had finished compiling evidence in accordance with a request by the BVI Government under a mutual legal assistance treaty.

Investors in failed Cayman fund file fraud lawsuit

A lawsuit alleging fraud has been filed by multiple plaintiffs who say they invested approximately $79 million in three failed hedge funds, including Cayman Islands-domiliced Bristol Fund.

Switzerland: Gunter Tschudinet al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Switzerland into alleged fraud, theft and money laundering by Gunter Tschudin, Gabriele Borjan, Raymond Schmitt and Luigi Piffaretti.

British Virgin Islands: Terry Turl

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in the British Virgin Islands into alleged fraud and theft by Terry Turl regarding North South Yacht Charters.

Estate of cancer victim sues asset protection firm

Asset protection firm Merrill Scott & Associates (in Receivership) helped a U. S.-based doctor hide millions of dollars from his creditors, including a woman dying from cancer, it has been alleged. MSA set up offshore structures for Dr. Thomas Shelton Powers in several offshore centers, including the Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Nevis and Panama, according to a complaint filed at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 24, 2002.

Lancer Offshore losses could be as high as $400 million

Investors in a British Virgin Islands-registered offshore hedge fund with ties to convicted or suspected fraudsters might be staring at losses totalling $400 million. That is the capital contribution believed to have gone into Lancer Offshore Inc., much of whose "assets" comprise interests in dubious, loss-making, penny stock firms whose shares are thinly-traded.

Bankruptcy petitions filed against Imperial Consolidated founders

Bankruptcy petitions have been filed against Lincoln Fraser and Jared Brook, co-founders of the fraudulently-operated Imperial Consolidated Group, which collapsed owing more than $300 million. The petitions were filed at Grimsby County Court, England on March 7, 2003 and are scheduled to be heard on May 2, 2003, according to a court spokesperson.

Lancer Offshore, suspends cash redemptions and sues New York Post

Lancer Offshore Inc., which is registered in the British Virgin Islands and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, has brought a libel lawsuit against the New York Post - one month after notifying investors it was effectively suspending cash redemptions. The libel action was filed at New York State Supreme Court on February 14, 2003 after the Post published three negative articles about the Fund, which purports to have assets valued at $1 billion, and/or its principal, Michael Lauer.

Insider Talking: February 28, 2003

Christopher Stone, ex-Managing Director of now-defunct, Dominica-based Investors Bank and Trust Ltd. was released from custody in Belgium in February on bail of 125,000 Euros, said a source; A default judgment for $130 million was entered against Bahamas-registered Vavasseur Corp. at the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia on February 21, 2003 for its part in an international Ponzi scheme; Grenada Supreme Court issued a $125 million judgment against Van Arthur Brink, a.k.a. Gilbert Allen Ziegler, former head of the First International Bank of Grenada; Allen Wheatley, former Financial Secretary of the British Virgin Islands, was sentenced to serve five months in prison on February 17 after being found guilty of corruption charges; Cayman Islands-based businessman Kenneth Dart has acquired a 5.7 per cent stake in financially crippled, Bermuda-based insurance firm Mutual Risk Management; British trader Sean Alexander Quinn, 36, was released from prison in Barbados on December 5, 2002 after pleading guilty to an amended charge of money laundering; Receivers for the fraudulently-operated asset planning group Merrill Scott & Associates have found $1.03 million of assets in the Cayman Islands; The Bahamas Ministry of Finance expects to receive a report on the status of the financially-troubled Bahamas International Securities Exchange in the first week of March, 2003; The number of companies incorporating in the Cayman Islands has steadily decreased over the last three years, according to a report by Cayman Net News based on information provided by the Registry General; Florida-based Briton Edward Myles Chism Jr., 63, was taken into custody in Florida on February 7, 2003 - one day after being criminally indicted on three counts of tax evasion at federal court in Miami; Bermuda may be about to lose its grip at the top of the offshore world; and The Irish Minister for Justice has applied to Ireland's High Court for an order directing the Cayman Islands branch of Ansbacher International to pay US$3.1 million to cover the costs of a long-running inquiry into corruption and tax evasion.

Imperium Bank Ltd.: Section 304 Petition

Section 304 Petition for Assistance in Insolvency Proceedings in Grenada by Marcus Wide, as the Foreign Representative of Imperium Bank Ltd., at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Imperial Consolidated Ltd.: Section 304 Petition

Section 304 Petition for Assistance in Insolvency Proceedings in the United Kingdom by Philip Lyon and Alistair Wood, as the Foreign Representatives of Imperial Consolidated Ltd., a.k.a. Imperial Consolidated Group Plc and Imperial Consolidated Plc, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Insider Talking: January 31, 2003

In all of the hullabaloo surrounding the collapse of the Euro Bank trial in Cayman after the judge determined that the island's senior anti-money laundering officer, Brian Gibbs, had lied and destroyed evidence, it was easy to overlook a snippet in Gibbs' November 26, 2002 witness statement about Johnny Johnson; An order for the extradition of offshore banker William Cooper from Antigua to face a money laundering indictment in the United States was thrown out by a judge in Antigua on January 13, 2003 because the application was made before an extradition treaty between the two countries was ratified and before money laundering was criminalized on the Caribbean island; Edouardos Stamatiou, whose Argentina-based firm Tucuman Land Holdings Ltd. received £151 million ($237 million) of the $345 million defrauded from clients of the Imperial Consolidated Group and won't give it back, is a former principal of The Cayman Financial Brokerage House, which … surprise, surprise … was forcibly closed down in October, 1999; Another post-Imperial Consolidated scam, known as Property International, is in financial trouble after not very long in business; And, to conclude our segment on Imperial Consolidated, we have been passed the name of yet another company which allegedly brokered client funds into the fraudulently-operated group - Lighthouse Strategies; Canadian national David Voth has been fined CDN$12,000 in Canada for failing to file tax returns; Bahamas-based Suisse Security Bank & Trust, which is in provisional liquidation, has asked a U. S. judge to order two parties who unsuccessfully sued the bank in New York to place $1.3 million into court to cover its legal fees and damages; Trading on the over-the-counter market of shares in a company that Bermuda-based Lines Overseas Management was helping to do a reverse take-over of has been temporarily suspended pending an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States; and Famed U. S. attorney Johnnie Cochrane may be helping to broker a settlement in the long-running battle for control of the assets of Eurofed Bank in Antigua.

Evergreen Trustee sues Bank of Butterfield, Lions Gate Management et al

Bermuda-based Bank of Butterfield and Bahamas-based offshore provider Lions Gate Management have been named as defendants in the latest wave of lawsuits filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed mutual fund which defrauded its investors of over $200 million. Twenty-two new actions were filed at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Orlando, on January 23, 2003 and four previously-dismissed lawsuits have been reopened, said Bankruptcy Trustee Bill Cuthill.

Bank of Butterfield sued for $115 million by Evergreen Security Bankruptcy Trustee

Bermuda-based Bank of Butterfield is being sued for $115 million by the by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed mutual fund which defrauded its investors of over $200 million. The Bank is being sued in its capacity as a custodian for Evergreen, as is Bear Stearns, which is a defendant in a separate action.

Doubts raised about latest Imperial Consolidated spin-off

Citigroup has cast doubt on the legitimacy of a new investment scheme whose participants include two key players in the $345 million fraud perpetrated by the Imperial Consolidated Group.Edouardos Stamatiou and Robert Raven are involved in an attempt by United Financial Corporation S. A. to sell $110 million one-year Certificates of Deposit bearing annual interest of up to 14 per cent.

US indicts Jerome Schneider and Eric Witmeyer

Offshore promoter Jerome Schneider and his alleged business partner, Eric J. Witmeyer, are expected to be arraigned next week after they were criminally indicted in the United States.Although they were indicted on December 19, 2002, neither was required to put in a court appearance by year-end, which prosecutors said was due to the difficulties of the Holiday season.

Mainlandexpress Bank

Advisory Warning against Mainlandexpress Bank by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.

Security Trust Insurance Limited

Advisory Warning against Security Trust Insurance Limited by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.

AMB Amerbank et al

Advisory Warning against ABN Amerbank, Amerbank Ltd., Antilles Merchant Bank Ltd. and Privaty Bank Ltd. by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.

Insider Talking: October 31, 2002

In the wake of action taken by Swiss authorities against the Zurich based Sovereign Finance Group, which is being investigated for money laundering involving Russia and the Caribbean, regulators in St. Vincent & the Grenadines are taking action against Sovereign

Evergreen Security’s William Zylka sentenced to 6-18 years in prison

A principal of an unlicensed mutual fund incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and managed in Florida was sentenced in October to serve six to 18 years in state prison in the United States.William J. Zylka, who helped to operate Evergreen Security Ltd., had previously pleaded guilty to multiple counts of grand larceny, fraud and conspiracy at New York State Supreme Court.

Finland: Ismo Sakari Pentikainen

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Finland into Ismo Sakari Pentikainen and Martti Untamo Sihvola for alleged embezzlement.

Alleged money launderers sue Stanford International Bank

Antigua-licensed Stanford International Bank is being sued by two Mexican clients who had approximately $3 million forfeited to the United States authorities as part of a narcotics money laundering investigation. Two lawsuits have been filed in Miami by Juan Alberto Zepeda Mendez and Jorge Bastida Gallardo and their British Virgin Islands-registered IBCs, Radon Trading Ltd. and Kadir Overseas Ltd., respectively.

United Kingdom: Nathan Meyyappan et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner for a criminal investigation in the United Kingdom into Nathan Meyyappan, Richard Parfett and Ronan Moss for allegedly dishonestly receiving stolen goods, dishonestly arranging to receive stolen goods, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

Former Imperial Consolidated insiders set up new investment scam

A new investment scam that has arisen out of the ashes of the failed Imperial Consolidated Group is being run along virtually identical lines, OffshoreAlert can reveal. Potential investors in a British Virgin Islands-registered firm doing business as 'Property International' are being offered annual interest rates of 18 per cent by Imperial's former management and promoters.

More criminal indictments in Evergreen Security investigation

Two businessmen whose interests have included Bahamas investment firms and a Bermuda reinsurer have been criminally indicted in the United States for their alleged involvement in a massive investment fraud.Jon Knight, 56, and J. Anthony Huggins, 63, stole $6.5 million from an account at the Bank of Butterfield in the name of British Virgin Islands-registered Evergreen Security, according to the complaint.

Three convicted drug dealers own preferred shares in The Harris Organization

New evidence obtained by OffshoreAlert shows that THREE convicted drug dealers are beneficial owners of the British Virgin Islands-registered parent of The Harris Organization financial services group. The traffickers all own preferred shares, which purport to pay annual interest of 10% in the case of Wallace Stull and James Somerville, and 7% for Lawrence Boulanger.

Imperial Consolidated administrator awaits results of geological survey in Argentina

The results of an independent geological survey of 4.5 million acres of land in Argentina to which the Imperial Consolidated Group has mining rights are expected to be known by the end of August. They will go a long way to determining the level of dividend creditors can reasonably expect, said a spokesman for Imperial's UK-based administrator, Mazars Neville Russell.

Two new lawsuits filed in Evergreen Security bankruptcy

Two new civil lawsuits have been filed against parties believed to have contributed to the collapse of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed 'mutual fund' that is believed to have defrauded investors of approximately $200 million.On July 9, 2002, Evergreen's Bankruptcy Trustee, Bill Cuthill Jr., announced he had sued Bahamas resident Greg A. White for an amount that could exceed $50 million.

Brek Energy – past allegations against CFO

OffshoreAlert has uncovered further information casting doubt on the legitimacy of Nasdaq-listed Brek Energy, whose dismal operating results caused the Bank of Bermuda to write off its entire $14.3 million investment.We have obtained details of allegations of impropriety against the firm's Chief Financial Officer in 1995 relating to a former employer.

Bahamas resident sued for more than $50 million by Evergreen Security’s Bankruptcy Trustee

A civil complaint has been filed against Bahamas resident Greg A. White as part of the investigation into Evergreen Security, whose principals defrauded its clients of more than $200 million.The action, which seeks to recover more than $50 million, was filed at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Orlando, by Evergreen's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustee, R. W. (Bill) Cuthill, Jr.