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    Imperial Consolidated files lawsuit against OBNR, seeks injunction

    Imperial Consolidated PLC has followed in the footsteps of The Harris Organization and the First International Bank of Grenada and filed a libel lawsuit against OBNR and its principal, David Marchant. While the previous two lawsuits were filed at federal court in Miami, Imperial Consolidated filed its complaint at state court, specifically the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County, Florida, on February 21, 2001.

    Imperial Consolidated Plc’s first audit reveals little about health of entire group

    UK-based Imperial Consolidated PLC filed its first-ever audit with Companies House in early February but it shed little light on the financial status of the overall group. Although the firm is described as the "Imperial Consolidated PLC Group of Companies" in its audit, the results of none of its overseas affiliates are included, nor are some of the group's UK companies.

    Grenada bank with dignitaries as directors implicated in fraud

    A bank whose directors include an ex-Prime Minister, a former Governor-General and two Justices of the Peace has become Grenada's latest offshore financial institution to be implicated in fraud. A promoter and 'Honorary Director' of Windsor International Bank & Trust, Douglas E. Castle, is being sued in the United States for allegedly defrauding a client of $244,636.

    Leon Brener v. Malcolm Alan Novack et al: Complaint

    Complaint in Leon Brener v. Malcolm Alan Novack, Marilyn Novack, Watermark (International) Holdings Ltd., Buckingham Holdings International Ltd., Pembroke Trading Company Ltd., and Gabelle Holdings Ltd. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

    Insider Talking: December 31, 2000

    During the course of 2000, Offshore Alert received many telephone calls and e-mails from clients of The Harris Organization financial services group in Panama who claimed to have been defrauded of various amounts of money; After Tony Vigna was recently deported from Panama to face criminal charges in Miami, further details emerged of a fake British passport that was obtained for him by The Harris Organization when he fled the US before being indicted; Standard Hellier Bank and Allianz Trade Reinsurance web-sites become inactive after investigation by Offshore Alert; We have been told by the Grenada Supreme Court that between 10 and 15 civil lawsuits have now been filed against the First International Bank of Grenada group; The default judgment entered against the Bank of Bermuda in favor of the Receiver of the Cash 4 Titles alleged Ponzi scheme at a US federal court on November 20, 2000 was set aside ten days later; Clyde DHood, the small-town electrician in Illinois who persuaded thousands of suckers all over the world to mail him millions of dollars just by promising high returns, remains in jail after his bail application was turned down; Canadian crook Jordan Bionda seems to subscribe to the philosophy that 'the best form of defense is attack'; and Americans are regarded virtually all over the world as being parochial in that they tend not to travel abroad, generally know little about other countries or world affairs and, rather insultingly to the rest of the world's population, give themselves titles such as 'World Champions' when they win a national championship, be it in basketball, baseball, American football or whatever.

    BVI-domiciled Kading Companies SA agrees to SEC Cease and Desist Order

    A British Virgin Islands-domiciled company and its President have agreed to a Cease and Desist Order and a civil penalty following an administrative proceeding brought by the SEC. Kading Companies S.A. and Kevin H. Kading, 42, were among four Respondents accused of acting as broker-dealers in the United States without being registered by the SEC. The other Respondents were Utah-registered Joning Corp. (f.k.a. Global Stock Exchange Corp.), which was 55 per cent-owned by Kading Corp; and John O. Jones Jr., 54, Joning's President.

    Offshore firms sued after family trust was alleged defrauded

    Some of the biggest names in offshore finance have been named as defendants in a civil lawsuit filed in the United States by investors who claim to have been defrauded of $5 million. Defendants are Matheson Trustees (BVI) Limited, Matheson Trust Company (BVI) Limited, Bank of Bermuda, Credit Suisse, of Switzerland; UBS, of Switzerland; and KPMG, of the British Virgin Islands.

    BVI firm blames Lines Overseas Management for $980,000 investment loss

    A BVI-registered firm is appealing a Bermuda judge's ruling that it must provide a $100,000 security deposit before it can proceed with a negligence claim against investment firm Lines Overseas Management. Overseas Finance Management will argue that it is unfair to expect a plaintiff to put up additional funds to pursue a claim against a defendant accused of squandering virtually all of its assets.

    BVI and Bahamas funds used in alleged $70 million fraud aimed at Latin Americans

    Two offshore funds allegedly involved in a $70 million scheme to defraud investors who mainly resided in Latin America have been put into receivership following court action in the United States. Bahamas-registered United World Capital Fund Limited and BVI-registered United World Capital Limited consented to the receivership after being named as defendants in an SEC lawsuit filed in Texas.

    Default judgment against BVI firm in $6.2 million fraud case

    A default judgment has been entered against British Virgin Islands-registered Hedley Finance Ltd. and its administrator, Christian Dante, for involvement in a $6.2 million investment fraud. They participated in a fraud which raised $6.2 million through the sale of bogus prime bank notes to investors who were promised returns of between 20 and 100 per cent every ten international banking days.

    Offshore shareholders face huge losses after First Ecom share price collapses

    A publicly-traded company whose principal shareholders include the Bank of Bermuda and Lines Overseas Management is well on the way to becoming an e-commerce flop. The share price of First Inc. hit an all-time low of $1.063 on NASDAQ on November 30, 2000 just nine months after a trading high of $34 on the over-the-counter market.

    Accounts in Jersey and BVI used for insider trading

    A Vancouver-based businessman who used a Jersey-registered trust and a BVI-registered IBC to conduct illegal insider trades in firms he managed has been fined $50,000 by Canadian securities regulators. David Michael Patterson admitted that he did not file insider-trading reports for trades he made through a British Virgin Islands firm in shares of four companies where he was an officer or director.

    Marc Harris gets temporary reprieve after being closed down

    After months of ignoring blatant illegalities, Panamanian regulators finally acted against The Harris Organization financial services group this month and suspended its business operations. However, an Order by La Comisión Nacional de Valores (National Securities Commission) was itself suspended by the Panamanian Supreme Court following an application by The Harris Organization.

    Equity Management clients seek other victims

    Clients of Bahamas-based Equity Management Group, Antigua-based Fullerton Financial Corp. and BVI-based Capital Advisory Corporation are being invited to join legal action that is being prepared against the now defunct companies and their principals.

    Panama suspends operations of The Harris Organization

    La Prensa newspaper in Panama reported today that La Comisión Nacional de Valores, which is the Panamanian equivalent of the SEC in the United States, has suspended the business operations of The Harris Organization financial services group, which is headquartered in Panama but has its main entities incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and Nevis.

    Harris Organization-controlled motel put into receivership

    A Florida motel controlled by The Harris Organization has been put into receivership after the Panama-based financial services group defaulted on an $11,820 per month mortgage. A receiver for Neptune's Hideaway Motel Inc., in Key Largo, was appointed by the 16th Judicial Court for Monroe County on June 20, 2000 after an application on June 6 by creditor LRJ Realty Inc.

    Keith King panned in Isle of Man judgment

    A now defunct Isle of Man stockbroking company controlled by offshore businessman Keith King has lost a second civil lawsuit brought by a former client. Defendant City & International Securities was found to have illegally transferred GBP200,000 out of the account of The Mannin Foundation, of Liechtenstein, to fund a new stockbroking firm that collapsed within 12 months and was compulsorily wound up by the Isle of Man High Court.

    Insider Talking: July 31, 2000

    Robin Cotterell released on bail pending trial on money laundering charge, SG Hambros and Coutts settle Bahamas lawsuit, casino web-site's links to the Bahamas, where Internet gaming is prohibited; Canadian regulators issues warning about Cayman International Holdings, First International Bank of Grenada fraudsters open a new bank, investors in Versailles finance group apply to liquidate BVI firm Trading Partners, Harris Organization has Nov. 24 deadline to obtain investment manager's license in Panama, Imperial Consolidated Securities SA offers "High-Yield Investment Facility", Cayman Islands passes Electronic Transactions Bill and Computer Misuse Bill.

    Major countries strike hard against offshore centers

    The high stakes poker game between onshore and offshore governments lost six players recently but another 35 have 12 months to decide whether the OECD is bluffing with the threat of sanctions.Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius and San Marino have all signed an 'Advanced Letter of Commitment' agreeing to co-operate with international tax investigations.

    Resumption of Isle of Man trial involving Keith King company

    A civil trial in the Isle of Man involving a company controlled by Keith King, the founding boss of the First Nevisian group in Nevis, was due to resume on May 30.The trial, which was adjourned earlier in the year, concerns a claim for GBP200,000 (approximately US$300,000) made against King's firm City & International Securities by former clients Virginia Anne Callow and Dr. Herbert Batliner, as Trustees of The Mannin Foundation.

    OECD backs off publishing an offshore ‘hit list’

    The much-vaunted publication of a tax haven 'hit list' by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has been put off for at least a year. The OECD had planned to name those territories deemed to engage in "harmful tax practices" in June of this year, after which the 29 OECD member countries would seek to punish those on the list by introducing "defensive measures".

    Insider Talking: April 30, 2000

    The low-down on Imperial Consolidated's City UK Ltd., Antigua-based Accord Insurance goes to ground; and Mezzanine Capital's Eric Chess Bronk, complaints to SEC about clampdown on broker activities.

    ‘It all seems very strange’ – A look at the Imperial Consolidated Group in the UK

    In the course of our inquiries into the Imperial Consolidated Group, which has regional offices in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Grenada, Offshore Alert talked with a local journalist in Lincolnshire who visited ICG's offices at Brookenby about 12-18 months ago. His report, which appears below, confirmed that the group is one of the largest private employers in the area and has added to the mystique that surrounds ICG, which has become one of the highest profile offshore companies over the last few years.

    UK pressures offshore centers to report suspicious tax transactions

    Anyone who still has doubts that UK Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands will be forced to co-operate with foreign tax investigations should read a paper published by the UK Treasury in February. Titled 'Exchange of Information and the Draft Directive on Taxation of Savings', it makes it clear that UK Overseas Territories are being pressured not only to co-operate with requests for information on tax matters but to take the initiative and report suspicious tax-related transactions.

    Bear Stearns accused of preferential treatment over failed BVI fund

    Bear Stearns has been accused of tipping off privileged clients so that they could cash out of the BVI-registered Manhattan Investment Fund before it collapsed in January with losses of about $450 million. It has also been claimed that the broker exceeded "generally accepted margin limitations" in extending credit to the fund, thus contributing to the size of its losses.

    Harris Organization associate deported from Panama

    A fugitive American businessman who has been helping The Harris Organization run investment schemes through IBCs set up in the Bahamas and the BVI was deported this month from Panama to the US. Within days of his deportation, Brent A. Wagman was criminally indicted in Texas on charges of masterminding a scheme that defrauded mainly elderly victims of approximately $30 million.

    Bermuda tops Year 2000 Telecommunications Review

    Telecommunications Review in Bermuda-Caribbean region: Bermuda continues to offer by far the cheapest overseas telecommunications rates compared with its rival offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, we can disclose. While rates have generally fallen in many islands since our last survey in April, 1997, the gap between Bermuda and the pack remains huge, largely due to the introduction of competition for international calls. 

    More lawsuits following collapse of $500 million hedge fund

    The barrage of litigation surrounding the collapse in January of BVI-registered Manhattan Investment Fund and the disappearance of nearly $500 million continued this month. Five lawsuits were filed at Bermuda Supreme Court during February to go along with the four that were filed at the same court the previous month and one in New York.

    Harris Organization moves closer to collapse

    There are increasing indications that The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama is edging closer to collapse. Several of the group's clients have contacted Offshore Alert recently to complain that their requests to redeem all or part of their investments have been ignored.

    Lawsuits fly in Bermuda following collapse of $500 m hedge fund

    Four lawsuits were filed at Bermuda Supreme Court in the last week of January following the collapse of the Manhattan Investment Fund Ltd., which was registered in the British Virgin Islands, managed in New York City and administered and audited in Bermuda.

    Insider Talking: January 31, 2000

    Liquidators of First Cayman Bank reach settlement with former Cayman government minister McKeeva Bush, First Nevisian's Keith Leslie King testifies at civil trial in the Isle of Man, Jordan Bionda denies he is a fraudster, conman Keem Kalfon promotes his Global Heritage Asset Protection 'fund', attorney Julian Hall is declared bankrupt in Bermuda, Bermuda's international business sector voices concern over Government plans to introduce tougher new work permit rules for foreign workers, offshore crook Marc Harris compares himself to Albert Einstein, Florida judge orders Harris Organization to pay costs after losing a libel action against OffshoreAlert's publisher.

    BVI implements new anti-money laundering measures

    The British Virgin Islands government has implemented two new measures designed to combat money laundering. They are the Anti-Money Laundering Code of Practice (made under section 27 of the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act) and the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct (Designated Countries and Territories) Order 1999 (made under section 32 of the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act 1997).

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Harris Organization/OffshoreAlert trial set to start on July 6, 1999

    The civil libel trial between Offshore Business News & Research, Inc., which publishes this newsletter, and The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama will start at the United States District Court for the District of Southern Florida (in Miami) on July 6. After two postponements by the court because of scheduling problems, a definite date has now been set for the trial, which is scheduled to last for about one week.

    Harris Organization-OBNR trial put back by court

    The libel trial involving The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama and Offshore Business News & Research, Inc., which publishes this newsletter, has been put back to an unnamed date by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

    Insider Talking: May 31, 1999

    Offshore promoter Adam Starchild's criminal past, Cayman politicians receive huge pay increases, clients of Marc Harris' Threshold Insurance Services claim to have been ripped off.

    Details of allegations against Keith King in South Africa

    Further information came OffshoreAlert's way recently about the nature of the allegations that led to the South African authorities issuing an arrest warrant against Keith Leslie King, the senior principal of First Nevisian, a Nevis-based stockbroking/corporate services group.We have obtained a document that originated from the Director of the Office for Serious Economic Offences in Pretoria dated May 15, 1996 that states: "This office is presently conducting an investigation into alleged fraudulent transactions in South African gilts (government and municipal stocks). The alleged falsification of stock certificates is an important element of the investigation.

    Interclaim (Bermuda) freezes $200 m of assets controlled by callous white-collar criminals

    Debt recovery firm Interclaim (Bermuda) Limited made international headlines recently after a series of daring legal manoeuvres in several countries against the type of heartless criminals who have become accustomed to getting away with their crimes.The company, which operates from Dublin, Ireland, has successfully frozen in the region of US$200 million of assets linked with Blair Down, a Canadian businessman who created his wealth by ripping off the elderly.