Insider Talking: July 31, 2003

Police in Bermuda have carried out raids on several offices on the island, including those of law firm Appleby Spurling and Kempe, looking for documents as part of a criminal investigation, reported The Royal Gazette newspaper on July 22, 2003; A Canadian Alliance MP wants Canada to investigate the possibility of annexing the idyllic Turks and Caicos Islands, reported the National Post, of Canada, on July 15, 2003; A court in Zurich, Switzerland, has sentenced Greek businessman Panagiotis A. Papadakis to 23 months and 16 days in prison for fraud, according to a newsletter published by the International Chamber of Commerce's Commercial Crimes Bureau; Former janitor John Wayne Zidar, 60, who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that took in approximately $74 million from about 3,200 people in the United States and elsewhere, including Bermuda, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on July 28, 2003 at the U. S. District Court for the District of Western Washington; Mazars Neville Russell, the administrators of the Imperial Consolidated Group, have recovered relatively few assets for distribution to its clients and creditors, if a recent filing with Companies House for England & Wales is anything to go by; Just 15 months after they were formed, voluntary applications have been made to strike off two companies that were set up by former senior officers of the Imperial Consolidated Group to carry on in business as IC was collapsing after defrauding investors of $345 million; and A publicly-traded firm in the United States has written off its entire $1 million investment with Omnicorp Bank, which was closed down by regulators in St. Vincent last year but only after the bank's depositors were asked to convert their CDs to preferred shares in a highly dubious U. S.-registered, Canadian-based firm called Solara Ventures.