Investment

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.

Offshore banker William Cooper arrested in Antigua

Antigua continued its battle to clean up the image of its offshore financial services sector this month with the arrest of a notorious banker and an attempt to force another suspect bank into receivership. American-born William W. Cooper, aged 59, was arrested in Antigua on May 18 after a warrant was issued against him in the United States, where he has been criminally indicted for alleged money laundering and fraud.

Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance trial hears accusations of fraud

The Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance trial began, as scheduled, on May 4 and most of the rest of the month was spent hearing allegations of lies, deceit and fraud against people who were at one time considered to be among the crème de la crème of the local business community.

Star Capital Fund investor criticizes Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

A Canadian investor in the failed Star Capital Fund has criticized regulators in the Cayman Islands over their lack of interest in investigating apparent illegalities in the operation and liquidation of the mutual fund. Alan Hammaker, who lost US$20,000 in the fund, said his experience as a foreign investor in a Cayman mutual fund has left him disillusioned not only with the island but with the offshore world in general.

Attorneys arrive for Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance trial

Some of the UK's top attorneys began arriving in Bermuda this month to prepare for the island's biggest ever civil trial, involving the alleged asset-stripping of the failed Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company by some of the island's most prominent businessmen and companies. The trial, which is due to start on May 4, is expected to last four months and there have been no indications in the run-up to the off that the case will be settled.

Marc Harris withdrawn as witness as libel trial draws near

The Harris Organization's libel complaint against Offshore Business News & Research, Inc, which publishes this newsletter, and the company's principal, David Marchant, is due to start on May 24 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (in Miami). We were also notified this month that the group's founder, chairman and sole owner of its common stock, Marc Harris, has been withdrawn from The Harris Organization's witness list.

Fraudsters try to sell Caribbean Bank of Commerce

The Russian criminals behind the Caribbean Bank of Commerce, which Antiguan regulators have been trying to close down for over a year, have put the bank up for sale. A representative of CBC this month sent out mass e-mails offering four different banks for sale, including the Caribbean Bank of Commerce.

Second Mezzanine Capital affiliate adjudged ‘stock of the month’

For the second month out of four, a company closely associated with Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed Mezzanine Capital Ltd. - which has been implicated in the manipulation of penny stocks - has been adjudged 'Stock of the Month' by www.hotstocknews.com, which promotes stocks over the Internet. NetVoice Technologies Inc. received the 'honor' in April, following on from a similar award in February to XtraNet Systems. Both companies gave the stock promotion firm shares in return for the plugs.

SEC brings action against CBT Holding Corp. and principals

The Securities & Exchange Commission this month brought two separate actions against US businessmen accused of operating a fraudulent investment offering involving a Nevis company. At least 148 people invested a total of $6.4 million to buy what they were told were Certificates of Deposit bearing annual interest of 12 per cent, claimed the SEC.

SEC freezes assets of ‘New Utopia’

A scheme to build a new offshore tax haven called New Utopia off the coast of the Cayman Islands has collapsed following legal action by the Securities & Exchange Commission. A federal judge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this month granted the SEC's application to freeze all money raised by Lazarus Long (a.k.a. Howard Turney) for his New Utopia project through a fraudulent bond offering.

Grenada asks FBI to investigate offshore bank

Grenada began to come to grips this month with a financial scandal that is threatening to make the island the laughing stock of the offshore world. Three months after Offshore Alert exposed it as a fraud, the First International Bank of Grenada appears to be on the verge of being closed down by the local government.

More firms list on dubious World Investors’ Stock Exchange

One of the First International Bank of Grenada's partners in crime, the Grenada-based World Investors' Stock Exchange, has stepped up its efforts to part the public from their savings. The shares of seven new companies were listed on WISE this month to go with the only other previous listing, that of EcoMed International, which we recently revealed had a false prospectus.

Rudolph Linschoten arrested in Florida

A businessman who is alleged to have defrauded about 170 investors out of more than $6 million through a high-yield investment scheme is in custody after being arrested this month in Florida. The FBI picked up Rudolph Linschoten, who also goes by the name Rudolph Van Lin, in Fort Lauderdale on April 18.

State of Maine v. The Boston Group et al: Consent Agreement

Consent Agreement in The State of Maine Bureau of Banking, Securities Division v. The Boston Group, Anthony Peter Allocca, Michael Allocca Jr., Mark Antony Angelo, Angelo Achilles Armenta, Jeffrey Scott Blitz, Francis Joshua Coady, Nils Christian Hellpap, Clifford Frederick Mastricola, Andrew DeWayne Morgan, Jackie Eugene Rumph, and David Leonard Sheppard.

Florida regulator investigates ‘insurers’ operated by Harris Organization

The Department of Banking and Finance in Florida is investigating an alleged scam involving two insurance companies run by The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama. It has been alleged that investors were duped into investing funds with Florida-registered Lifeblood Biomedical Inc. on the grounds that their investment was fully insured by Threshold Insurance Services Ltd. and Caribbean General Insurance Corporation, which are both operated by The Harris Organization. However, following the collapse of Lifeblood Biomedical last year after raising $10 million, the insurance companies have refused to pay investors' claims, alleging that agreements on their letterhead and signed by the President of both insurers, Ilka M. Barria, are bogus.

Regulators asked to investigate Star Capital Fund

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has been asked to investigate a failed mutual fund that was run and promoted by the staff of Lines Overseas Management (Cayman) and administered by Alexandria Bancorp.A Canadian investor has made a written request for an inquiry on the grounds that a number of laws may have been broken during the operation and current liquidation of Star Capital Fund.

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.

Grenada bank scam: Injunction bid against Offshore Alert fails

The First International Bank of Grenada, the International Deposit Insurance Corporation and the World Investors Stock Exchange this month failed in their bid to obtain a court injunction preventing Offshore Alert from continuing to report on their fraudulent activities.Attorneys representing these entities filed hundreds of pages of documents at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in an effort to obtain an emergency injunction preventing Offshore Alert from continuing to report on their dubious activities.

US businessman arrested after using Cayman firm to invest in Cuba

A Florida businessman who allegedly used a Cayman Islands company to illegally invest in Cuba was this month charged with violating the seldom-enforced Trading with the Enemy Act.Thomas H. Boylan, 43, has been accused of investing $920,000 in a seaport and airport development at the Port of Mariel in Cuba.

Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance trial set to start on May 4, 1999

What is probably the most eagerly-awaited civil trial in Bermuda's history - involving the alleged $50 million asset-stripping of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company while it was known to be insolvent - is scheduled to start on May 4, 1999. The trial, in which some of the island's best-known businessmen and companies are defendants, is expected to last four months.

Mezzanine Capital linked to manipulation of penny stocks

A Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed company whose minority shareholders include subsidiaries of the Bank of Bermuda and financial services firm Lines Overseas Management is caught up in what appears to be a scheme to defraud investors on the NASDAQ over-the-counter market, Offshore Alert can disclose. We have uncovered an astonishing list of proven abuses and allegations of fraud and dishonesty against individuals and companies associated with Bermuda-registered investment holding company Mezzanine Capital Ltd., including its Chairman and President, Eric Chess Bronk, although we have found nothing to incriminate LOM or the Bank of Bermuda.

Grenada scam bank offers annual interest of 250 per cent

Offshore Alert's story about the banking/insurance scam that appeared in last month's edition of the newsletter has created quite a stir in the Caribbean. Several newspapers in the region followed up on the scandal, including those in Nevis, St. Vincent and Bermuda, and we received requests for assistance from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the the FBI.

Dubious past of attorney David Hampton Tedder

OffshoreAlert has carried out further research into attorney David Hampton Tedder, who featured in a story last month about a Bahamas-registered IBC, Global Investments Inc., which appears to be selling unregistered securities in the United States. In California alone, Tedder has filed for a bankruptcy, has appeared as a debtor in 12 judgments at State Court and as a defendant in 23 lawsuits at State Court. Additionally, he appears as a debtor in 33 liens.

‘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.

Scott Oliver’s bank: The hunt is over

Lines Overseas Management is standing by its Cayman-based salesman Scott Oliver despite the fact that a bank he is linked with is part of a major fraud and is operating illegally from Bermuda, where LOM is headquartered. LOM has decided not to fire him even though, five months after Offshore Alert caught him claiming in LOM marketing material to be 'an advisor to the International Exchange Bank of Bermuda', we have found that such a bank has indeed been operating illegally on the island.

Aaron Day, Arnold Goldstein and two non-existent Bahamas companies

Nine months after threatening to sue us for alleging that he promoted the services of The Harris Organization of Panama, Florida-based attorney and offshore author Arnold Goldstein has written to thank us for calling his attention to a dubious web-site that promotes his products and services.

Details of alleged fraud against Bahamas attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle

Bahamas attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle is facing a criminal investigation into an alleged attempt to swindle clients of UBS (Bahamas) Limited out of $2.2 million. Police have been asked to look into the matter following incriminating evidence that was unearthed during the execution of an Anton Piller order issued by the Bahamas Supreme Court last month as part of a civil action brought by UBS.

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.

Marc Harris-OBNR lawsuit due to be tried in May

The Harris Organization's $30 million libel action against Offshore Business News & Research, Inc. and its principal, David Marchant, is scheduled to go to trial in May of this year at the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami).
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.

Bahamas company may be committing illegal acts in the US

Bahamas-registered Global Investments Inc. appears to be selling unregistered securities in the US in which investors are investing on the belief they are likely to get high rates of return. Some investors in Alabama have been putting their life savings into the scheme and some have even borrowed against their pensions, OffshoreAlert has been told.

Balmore Funds SA et al v. NCT Audio Products Inc. et al: Notice of Removal

Notice of Removal in Balmore Funds SA, if the British Virgin Islands, and Austost Anstalt Schaan, of Liechtenstein v. NCT Audio Products Inc. and NCT Group, Inc., formerly known as Noise Cancellation Technologies Inc., at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Archer Capital Inc.: Karl Martell Letter to Florida Division of Corporations

An apparent attempt by Karl Martell to distance himself from Archer Capital, Inc. following criminal action in Germany against his former business partner, Klaus Weyers, for alleged securities fraud. In this letter to Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, Martell claimed that Archer Capital Inc. and the officers of the company "do not have an association to the address 9423 Chelsea Dr N. Plantation, FL. 33324" and that it is "a private residence owned by Karl Martell", notwithstanding the fact that the address was the official registered office for Archer Capital, Inc., of which Martell was the Company Secretary, and also the contact address for Martell and Archer Capital directors Weyers and Dirk Mohrmann in filings with the Florida Division of Corporations. Martell resigned as Company Secretary approximately one week prior to sending this letter.

Conferences cater to the shadier side of the offshore world

Mexico played host this month to two seminars organized by individuals and groups operating on the murkier side of the offshore world. Cancun was the venue over December 9-11 for the 'Offshore Wealth Summit', which was put on by Jerome Schneider, who is one of the most reviled figures in the offshore world.

New Utopia appears to be an advance fee fraud

Offshore Alert has uncovered evidence that a widely-publicised scheme to build a new offshore tax haven called New Utopia off the coast of the Cayman Islands to, inter alia, compete with Bermuda in offshore insurance appears to be an elaborate advance fee fraud. That allegation is supported by the fact that the public is currently being urged to order New Utopian currency by sending off funds to an Antiguan bank that we exposed as a fraud last month.

The fiasco surrounding the collapse of American International Bank and the dubious track record of William Cooper

Further information has come our way this month that sheds more light on the collapse of American International Bank and the fiasco that ensued after the same people who caused its problems attempted to transfer the business into another entity they controlled. It seems that American businessman William W. Cooper and his wife, who co-owned AIB, closed down the bank at the end of December, 1997 and transferred its business on January 2 to a new Antigua-registered entity called Overseas Development Bank Ltd.

Investors allegedly defrauded of $5 million in Bahamas/Florida bond scheme

The SEC has obtained a federal court order against a Bahamas-registered IBC, a Florida company and businessmen in the United States who participated in an allegedly fraudulent bond sale and prime bank note scam that earned nearly $5 million. According to the SEC's complaint, the bonds offered for sale were historical bonds, including those issued in the 19th Century by now defunct railroads and allegedly backed by gold.

IDIC – a bogus insurance company in Nevis

A Nevis company that purports to provide insurance for depositors at offshore banks may be a scam similar to one used to attract funds to the European Union Bank in Antigua that was closed down last year after fleecing investors of several millions of dollars, we can disclose. International Depositor's Reinsurance Corporation Ltd., which does business as International Deposit Insurance Corporation or IDIC, has all the hallmarks of a fraud. It is in breach of Nevis law by using the word 'Insurance' in its trading name and by passing itself off as an insurance company in its promotional literature at its web-site at http://www.depositinsurance.com.

Melvin Ford’s plan to buy American International Bank falls through

A proposal to buy American International Bank Ltd. that was put forward by a businessman with a history of operating shady schemes has fallen through, we have been told. AIB's receiver, Edward St. Clair Smith, is now believed to be trying to sell the insolvent bank to other interested parties for $3.5 million, according to a source.

Antigua regulators issue order against AC Banking Group

Regulators in Antigua - where scams run by Eastern Europeans seem to be rife - have issued a cease and desist order against a Latvian-linked group that falsely claims to be licensed in the jurisdiction. The offending parties are Atlantic Caribbean Bank and Trust Ltd. and its associate firm AC Banking Group Ltd.

Hunt continues for Scott Oliver’s ‘fictitious’ bank

As regular readers of this newsletter should be aware, we recently caught Lines Overseas Management salesman Scott Oliver lying to potential clients about his credentials by claiming he was on the board of advisors of the International Exchange Bank of Bermuda, which does not exist. After being exposed, Oliver sent out e-mails to associates in which he claimed that "this bank was not registered in Bermuda as initially discussed but instead was registered in another British Commonwealth offshore jurisdiction". He also declared that he was no longer an advisor to the 'bank'.

Archer Capital, Inc.: Karl Martell Resigns as Registered Agent

Resignation of Karl Martell as Registered Agent of Archer Capital, Inc., filed with the Florida Secretary of State on or around December 31, 1998. Six weeks later, an arrest warrant was issued in Germany against Archer Capital director Klaus Peter Weyers, who was accused of securities fraud.