Insider Talking: July 31, 2004

    How absurd has the criminal case in Texas involving Bahamas resident Yank Barry become?; A recent land-mark opinion by the United States Supreme Court that effectively determined federal sentencing guidelines were unconstitutional has formed the basis of an appeal by jailed former offshore services provider Marc Harris against his sentence of 17 years in prison and a financial penalty of $26 million for fraud, money laundering and tax evasion; The Central Bank of Belize has warned that an entity calling itself ‘Development & Holding Bank of Belize’ is not licensed; In July, the Bermuda Monetary Authority also issued warnings about suspect or bogus companies claiming to have ties to the jurisdiction; The United States FBI is establishing an office in the Bahamas, reported the Nassau Guardian; On July 19, 2004, a United States podiatrist admitted to using an offshore bank and credit card account to launder money and evade New York City state and federal taxes on more than $300,000 in income, according to a press release from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, which prosecuted the case at the state Supreme Court; Germain Bourgeois, the former investment manager of the University of Montreal Pension Plan, is suspected of receiving payments in return for “convincing” three parties to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the Lancer Offshore group of funds; and A civil lawsuit has been filed at the Turks & Caicos Islands Supreme Court against a solicitor who was recently disqualified from serving as a company director in the U. K. by the Department of Trade & Industry for his part in a timeshare scam.