First International Bank of Grenada

  • Home
  • First International Bank of Grenada

David Rowe becomes latest ex-Grenada offshore banker to admit fraud

David Frank Rowe has become the latest in a long line of former principals of Grenada-licensed banks to admit his involvement in investment fraud in the United States. Rowe, 59, of Brandon, Mississippi, who was indicted as long ago as March 6, 2001, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in a plea agreement at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California on December 11, 2007.
michael-creft

Offshore bank bribed regulators and Prime Minister, says ex-chief regulator

Grenada's former chief offshore regulator, Michael Creft, has admitted that the fraudulently operated First International Bank of Grenada bribed regulators and Government members, including Prime Minister Keith Mitchell. Creft has also acknowledged that he committed perjury in support of FIBG's failed

Ex-FIBG insiders receive prison terms in Oregon

Eight years after their offshore scam was first exposed by OffshoreAlert, four former officers of the First International Bank of Grenada were sentenced yesterday to prison terms of between one-and-a-half and eight years.

USA v. Rita Regale et al: USA’s Sentencing Memorandum

USA's Sentencing Memorandum in USA v. Rita L. Regale, Douglas C. Ferguson, Robert J. Skirving, and Laurent E. Barnabe at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Editor's Note: This document is notable for its reference to testimony by Grenada's former chief financial services regulator, Michael Creft, in which he acknowledged bribery and corruption.

Another ex-Grenada offshore banker goes to prison in U. S.

A United States national has been sentenced to 33 months in prison and fined $4.7 million for his role in a now defunct, fraudulently operated offshore bank on the Caribbean island of Grenada.The sentence was handed down to John Edward

FIBG trial averted as final defendants plead guilty

The final two defendants in the criminal prosecution of five former officers and directors of the First International Bank of Grenada have pleaded guilty in the United States, thereby averting a trial into one of the most notorious offshore banking frauds in recent years.Douglas Christie Ferguson, 74, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and Laurent Barnabe, a 68-year-old Canadian national, pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on March 19 and March 27, 2006, respectively. Ferguson's plea agreement carries a recommendation that he serve 52 months in prison, while Barnabe's recommended prison-term is six years.

FIBG trial averted as final defendant pleads guilty

The final defendant in the criminal prosecution of five former officers and directors of the First International Bank of Grenada has pleaded guilty in the United States. Laurent Barnabe, a 68-year-old Canadian national, pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on March 27, 2006 - just seven days before the case was due to be tried. Barnabe's plea agreement includes a recommendation to the court that he be sentenced to six years in prison. Sentencing has been set for June 11, 2007.

Insider Talking: November 9, 2006

The cold reality of life behind bars has persuaded former offshore banker Paul Morgan Jones to start turning over his assets to the Receiver of Cash 4 Titles, which perpetrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history, operating from

Skirving and Regale plead guilty to conspiring to launder FIBG fraud proceeds

Two defendants face lengthy prison sentences after admitting their involvement in an investment fraud perpetrated by the First International Bank of Grenada.Robert Skirving and Rita Regale each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering regarding FIBG's fraudulent proceeds at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on July 19, 2006.

Insider Talking: July 10, 2006

Jeffrey Allen Weston sued by the SEC; and Chantal Williams distances herself from Martin Tremblay's Dominion Investments.

Ex-FIBG promoter convicted of separate offshore bank scam

A United States national who once promoted the First International Bank of Grenada has been convicted of perpetrating a separate fraud through another offshore bank.Paul James Peiffer, of S. W. York Street, Beaverton, Oregon, was convicted of 25 counts of wire fraud, one count of making a false bankruptcy filing, and one count of false oaths on February 15, 2006 following a jury trial at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Ex-FIBG insider Doug Ferguson pleads guilty to money laundering

The former head of a sham offshore insurer has become the third defendant to plead guilty in a criminal case in the United States against former officers and directors of the First International Bank of Grenada. Douglas Christie Ferguson, 74, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering at a change of plea hearing at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on March 19, 2007 just two weeks before his jury trial was set to begin.

Two more ex-Grenada offshore bankers convicted of fraud

The operators of yet another Grenada-licensed offshore bank have been convicted of fraud-related charges in the United States. Taansen Fairmont Sumeru, a.k.a. David Freeston, of Santa Barbara, California, and Jerome Harold Hall, a.k.a. JeRu Hall, of Fairfield, Iowa, were convicted jury of eight counts of securities fraud and nine counts of wire fraud at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California on January 24, 2006. Sumeru was also convicted of conspiring to launder money and failing to file federal income tax returns for 1999 and 2000.

Insider Talking: January 4, 2006

OffshoreAlert has previously reported about the long-running battle between Taiwan and China for influence in the Caribbean in which impoverished countries receive sizeable financial assistance in return for officially recognizing - or refusing to recognize - Taiwan as a country, depending on who is offering the most attractive deal; The Central Bank of Belize issued a warning about United eXchange International Bank on December 1, 2005; Richard Fogerty and James Cleaver, as joint official liquidators of Bancredit Cayman Limited (in liquidation), have filed two civil lawsuits in the United States in an attempt to collect $2.34 million of allegedly unpaid loans that were issued to customers of the banks; Why did First International Bank of Grenada founder Gilbert Allen Ziegler change his name to Van Arthur Brink in June, 1998?[ Florida-based attorney Nigel Scott Grant and his son, Nicolas E. Grant-St. James, who previously established and, in at least one instance, operated sham credit unions in St. Kitts & Nevis, are back in business together, this time onshore; and Kenneth Krys and Christopher Stride, of RSM Cayman Islands, were appointed as Joint Provisional Liquidators of PFA Assurance Group, Ltd. on September 19, 2005 following an investigation by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

Offshore banking fraudster dies of heart attack

The front-man for one of the most notorious offshore banking scams has died of a heart attack in Oregon before he could be tried on 147 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering. Van Arthur Brink, formerly known as Gilbert Allen Ziegler, passed away on Saturday, December 10, 2005, U. S. authorities have confirmed to OffshoreAlert. He was 54.

Second indictment against ex-FIBG director

A former director of the First International Bank of Grenada has been criminally indicted for a second time concerning another alleged offshore scam.The latest indictment against Robert Skirving was brought at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on March 15, 2005 and amended on April 20, 2005.

USA v. Gilbert A. Ziegler et al: Third Superseding Indictment

Third Superseding Indictment in USA v. Gilbert A. Ziegler, a.k.a. Van A. Brink; Rita L. Regale, a.k.a. Rita Brunges; Douglas C. Ferguson, Robert J. Skirving, and Laurent E. Barnabe, a.k.a. Larry Barnabe, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Uproar in Grenada over nomination for Attorney General

The Eastern Caribbean's Judicial and Legal Services Commission has rejected the Government of Grenada's nomination of Hugh Wildman as Attorney General. The decision, announced on March 1, 2005, follows a concerted effort by Grenada's legal community to block the appointment of Wildman, whom they believe is unsuitable for such an important position.

IRS and state regulators investigate offshore ‘credit union’

The IRS and regulators in Florida are investigating a company purportedly based in St. Kitts & Nevis and its affiliates, including a credit union. Details of the IRS investigation are contained in a petition to petition to enforce summonses that was filed at the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on April 19, 2004.

Insider Talking: June 30, 2004

In separate actions, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has announced its intention to revoke the Mutual Fund Administrator's license held by Signature Financial Group (Grand Cayman) Ltd., c/o P. O. Box 2494 GT, Grand Cayman, and that it has revoked the unrestricted Class 'B' Insurer's License held by Potomac Indemnity Company, effective April 6, 2004; Controversial newsletter publisher Pirate Investor LLC has obtained a subpoena against Yahoo! Inc. as part of its attempt to identify an anonymous Internet user who is suspected of a breach of copyright; The Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission issued notices over April-June, 2004 urging the public to "exercise the greatest possible caution" when dealing with several businesses; The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks in the United States, has issued advisories several 'banks'; If anyone wants a blueprint of how not to attempt to transport more than $10,000 out of the United States without correctly filling out the proper Customs forms, they could do a lot worse than study the case of 23-year-old Bahamian national Antunya Shenique Rahming; A Costa Rica-based private bank that targeted expatriates - Corporación Elca, S.A., more commonly known as Banco Elca - has been closed down by local regulator Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras; Evidence of corruption against Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and former Director of Public Prosecutions and current "Special Prosecutor" Hugh Wildman while he was Director of Public Prosecutions was referred to in a Judgment delivered in the UK High Court on June 24, 2004 in a civil lawsuit that had been filed against former First International Bank of Grenada CEO Lawrence Victor Jones by his former fiancé, Kerry Cox; Apart from being home to many a fraudulently-operated offshore company, the South Pacific island of Niue is also one of the biggest producers of Internet pornography in the world; The Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced on June 11, 2004 that it had concluded its proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against Trans Pacific Insurance Corporation, a Cayman Islands-registered insurers, and Triton Underwriting Insurance Agency Pty Ltd.; and Under the Progressive Labour Party Government, Bermuda — for so long a model, small-country jurisdiction — is hurtling towards being as openly corrupt as any of the islands in the Caribbean that it has historically looked down on.

House painter turned trader indicted in Oregon for forex scam

A house painter who held himself out to be an international currency trader and funneled the public's money through offshore accounts has been criminally indicted in the United States. Russell Warren Brent Cline, of Oregon, faces 39 counts of mail

Grenada PM lashes out after publication of bribery article

Last month's article in OffshoreAlert about an allegation that Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell accepted a $500,000 bribe from German fraudster Eric Resteiner has caused uproar on the island. As news of the story began to circulate in the country,

FIBG fugitives arrested after shoot-out in Uganda

Two men who allegedly masterminded a $206 million offshore fraud and then fled to Uganda are back in the United States following a shoot-out that left a bodyguard dead.Former First International Bank of Grenada principals Van Arthur Brink, a.k.a. Gilbert Allen Ziegler, 53, and Douglas C. Ferguson, 71, were arrested by police at their residential complex in Kampala, Uganda on May 28.

Insider Talking: April 30, 2004

Ian Renert and his unlicensed Bahamas-based investment fund group receive $1.5 m in penalties in securities fraud action, London-based barristrer Lawrence Jones in messy legal battle with former fiancée, Keith King and the Dominican Republic's Central Bank, AT&T Corp. sues the Bahamas Tourist Office for an allegedly unpaid bill of $104,361, Royal Bank of Scotland refused to explain massive exposure to the Cayman Islands, civil complaints filed in the Turks and Caicos Islands against Professional Capital Ltd. and Intalco Management Ltd., US Government obtains order allowing it to seize $2.6 m of narcotics trafficking proceeds held at Barclays Bank (Bahamas), US Government applies to seize 55-feet catamaran passenger ferry called 'The Preference' moored in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Netherlands Antilles-domiciled Overseas World Marketing NV sues Motivational Marketing Inc. in Florida.

Offshore fraudster Serdar Kalaycioglu jailed for 27 years

Former Canadian Space Agency engineer Serdar Kalaycioglu has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for his role in an offshore banking fraud. The sentence was delivered on April 26, 2004 by Judge Daniel Hurley at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach and is one of the longest ever handed down for an offshore-related scam.

US indicts another Grenada offshore banker – Richard Hinkle

Yet another operator of a Grenada licensed offshore bank has been indicted in the United States.Richard Henry Hinkle, 39, was indicted on 19 counts of fraud and 40 counts of money laundering at the U. S. District Court for the

Insider Talking: March 31, 2004

A company formed by British investment fraudsters Lincoln Fraser and Jared Brook to disrupt the administration liquidation of their failed Imperial Consolidated Group, including perpetrating an asset recovery fraud against Imperial's investors, is about to go the way of most,

Insider Talking: February 29, 2004

The U. S. Government is seeking to seize the alleged proceeds of narcotics trafficking that are held in accounts at Barclays Bank, in London, England in the name of British Virgin Islands-registered Auxerre Corporation; St. Kitts and Nevis-based Crowne Gold Inc., which is secretly controlled by offshore provider Terry Neal, has been slammed by an Ontario, Canada-based client for allegedly not assisting in the recovery of nearly US$6,000 that the client claims was defrauded from his account by a third-party; U. S.-based Spherion Corporation, which specializes in staffing, recruiting and workforce management, filed a civil complaint against the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism at federal court in the USA on January 29, 2004. Three former insiders of a now-defunct, Grenada-licensed offshore bank have each received non-custodial sentences for their participation in an investment fraud; Meanwhile, two other former insiders with another Grenada-licensed offshore bank, Robert John Skirving and Paul James Peiffer, both of Oregon, have suffered setbacks in their attempts to have their debts wiped out via bankruptcy; Investors who lost millions of dollars in the failed Bahamas-registered Oracle Fund have reached a settlement with the Fund's administrator, reported the Bahama Journal on January 23, 2004; The number of foreign-owned legal entities registered in Bermuda fell by 2.5 per cent from 13,870 to 13,528 during 2003, according to figures recently released by the Registrar of Companies; For a company that claims to manage so much money - more than $2.5 billion - Bermuda-based Orbis Investment Management Ltd. has surprisingly little transparency; A company in which St. Vincent and the Grenadines-licensed offshore bank Omnicorp Bank invested was named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the SEC at the U. S. District Court for the District of Utah on February 23, 2004; and A participant in an offshore-oriented scam perpetrated by an organization doing business as the Global Prosperity Group or the Institute of Global Prosperity has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the United States.

Jury finds former Canadian Space Agency engineer guilty of fraud involving offshore bank

Former Canadian Space Agency engineer Serdar Kalaycioglu has been found guilty of fraud involving an offshore bank and a bogus mutual fund following a jury trial in the United States that spanned seven weeks. After 21 days of hearing testimony and four days of deliberations, the jury found 40-year-old Kalaycioglu guilty of 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Five ex-FIBG insiders indicted in Oregon, four arrested

Five insiders with the First International Bank of Grenada have been criminally indicted in the United States for allegedly perpetrating a scam that cost investors more than $206 million. Gilbert Allen Ziegler, a.k.a. Van Arthur Brink, a U. S. national formerly of Oregon and Hawaii, now living in Uganda; Douglas C. Ferguson, a U. S. national formerly of Oregon; Laurent E. Barnabe, a.k.a. Larry Barnabe, a Canadian national residing in Las Vegas, Nevada; Rita L. Regale, a.k.a. Rita L. Brunges, a U. S. national formerly of Hawaii; and Robert J. Skirving, a U. S. national residing in Oregon, collectively face 146 counts at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Former FIBG promoters fined for a separate banking fraud

Promotional spiel used by two former insiders of the First International Bank of Grenada to promote a separate fraudulent investment scheme has been likened to a legendary comedy sketch by a judge.Their tale of purported high-reward, no-risk trading in "mid-term notes" resembled "the old Abbot and Costello routine of 'who's on first'", stated Circuit Judge Frank L. Bearden.

USA v. Gilbert A. Ziegler et al: Second Superseding Indictment

Second Superseding Indictment in USA vs. Gilbert Allen Ziegler, a.k.a. Van Arthur Brink; Rita Regale, a.k.a. Rita Brunges; Douglas Ferguson, Robert Skirving and Laurent Barnabe, a.k.a. Larry Barnabe, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Former FIBG director DuSean Berkich ‘commits suicide’, says attorney

A former director of the fraudulently operated First International Bank of Grenada has apparently committed suicide while awaiting sentence for another banking fraud, according to his attorney.DuSean Berkich apparently killed himself on August 10, 2003 - less than two months

Nevis firms sue alleged investment fraudsters

Four Nevis-registered firms who were members of a sham offshore credit union have filed a lawsuit alleging they were defrauded of approximately $3.7 million in a bogus foreign currency trading scheme. Diamond Investment Group LLC, Index Management Systems LLC, Austin Enterprises LLC and Bonita Holdings LLC filed an action at the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon on July 11, 2003.

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

Grenada ignores recommendation to close down ‘unlicensed’ bank

A local bank in Grenada whose core business is providing services to the island's offshore sector does not even have a valid license, according to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. But Capital Bank International is still operational because an ECCB recommendation to close it down has been ignored by Grenada's Minister of Finance, Anthony Boatswain.

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.

Insider Talking: September 30, 2002

The Imperial Consolidated fraud has taken a further turn for the bizarre with the distribution in September of several press releases, masquerading as news stories, by a newly incorporated British company called Matrix International (Management) Ltd., whose commercial address is

Thierry Nano sues liquidator of his offshore banks

Thierry Nano, who is wanted in the United States on suspicion of money laundering, has filed a civil complaint in New York against the liquidator of his offshore banks.Defendants in the action are PricewaterhouseCoopers and Marcus A. Wide, a PWC

Two more FIBG promoters file for bankruptcy in the United States

Two more men who were involved in the fraudulently-operated First International Bank of Grenada have filed for bankruptcy in the United States.Paul James Peiffer and Robert John Skirving separately filed for bankruptcy on May 20 and May 23, respectively, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.

FIBG stripped of assets just before collapse, says liquidator

First International Bank of Grenada founder Van Brink stripped $4.5 million of assets out of the bank not long before it went bust, according to its liquidator.In his third report to creditors dated June 1, 2002, Marcus A. Wide, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported that details of the asset transfers were contained "unsigned minutes from FIBG's June 2000 Board of Directors meeting".

Former FIBG director arrested for another alleged bank fraud

A former director of the fraudulently-operated First International Bank of Grenada has been arrested in the United States on suspicion of committing a $6.6 million fraud involving another bank.DuSean Berkich was arrested in California on May 3, 2002 - nine days after being criminally indicted at the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands on April 24.

FIBG liquidator warns creditors to expect no dividend

In his Third Report dated June 1, 2002, the liquidator of the First International Bank of Grenada has again warned creditors that there may not be any dividend distribution.Marcus A. Wide, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, advised "there is a real and distinct possibility that there will be no distribution whatsoever made by the Liquidator to the FIBG depositors/creditors".

The Importance of Due Diligence: Summary of failed libel actions against OffshoreAlert

The recent collapse of the Imperial Consolidated Group and the eviction of The Harris Organization from its office space in Panama (see 'Insider Talking') is further proof of the value of OffshoreAlert. Imperial Consolidated's dubious activities were first exposed in OffshoreAlert on November 30, 1999 - 29 months before its offshore bank was taken over by Grenada's regulators and, remarkably, more than two months before it was even established.

Cambridge International Bank files action against former principal

Cambridge International Bank & Trust, whose banking license was revoked in Grenada last year, has brought a lawsuit in the United States against its former principal, David Frank Rowe. The action was filed as an Adversary Proceeding at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on May 13, 2002.

Lawsuit filed against Meridian Investment Bank

A civil complaint has been filed in the United States against a now defunct Grenada licensed offshore bank and its principals by a client seeking the recovery of $6 million. In an action brought at the Circuit Court for the

Former offshore banker David Rowe files for bankruptcy

Former offshore banker David Frank Rowe has filed for bankruptcy in the United States citing liabilities of $33.1 million and cash assets of just ten dollars. His biggest liability is listed as $30 million relating to a breach of contract claim by the now-defunct, Grenada-based Cambridge International Bank and Trust, of which he was a principal.