Liquidations & Insolvencies

  • Home
  • Liquidations & Insolvencies

Offshore Redux? The View From The US and UK

During the 2008 credit crisis, offshore funds found themselves in distress over a combination of unrealistic NAV valuations, investments into failed asset classes (such as asset-backed securities) and a lack […]

Bahamas court authorizes payments to Leadenhall Bank cardholders

After more than five years of waiting patiently while the parties responsible for their woes argued in court, holders of credit cards issued by Bahamas-based Leadenhall Bank & Trust may soon be getting a portion of their security deposits back.

Depositor took $6 m out of AIDT one month before liquidation, says liquidator

A Costa Rica-based company associated with accused securities fraudster Jonathan Curshen transferred $6 million from a Colorado-based offshore bank to Liechtenstein just 33 days before the bank went into liquidation.That was, perhaps, the most startling fact contained in documentation that recently became publicly-available as part of the liquidation of American Intercapital Depository & Trust, which was closed down last November after its local regulator considered the bank "hopelessly insolvent" and its management untrustworthy.

New liquidators of Bear Stearns funds sue Cayman service providers, seek $1.5 b

Four individuals and companies in the Cayman Islands have been added as defendants to a civil complaint in the United States in which the liquidators of two Bear Stearns-sponsored offshore hedge funds are trying to recover $1.5 billion. Walkers Fund Services Limited, two of its officers, Canadian national Scott Lennon, and U. S. national Michelle Wilson-Clarke, and Deloitte & Touche (Cayman) have been accused of participating in a scheme to defraud investors in the funds and then cover it up. They were added as defendants in an amended complaint that was filed at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 30, 2008, amending an original complaint that was filed on April 4, 2008. The causes of action against the Walkers defendants are aiding and abetting fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and, against Deloitte and Touche (Cayman), violations of the Securities Exchange Act, fraud; professional malpractice, gross negligence and negligence; breach of contract, aiding and abetting fraud, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.

Investment advisers accused of “massive fraud” against offshore firms and others

Two former officers of a U. S.-based investment adviser have been accused of perpetrating a "massive fraud" against clients, who include an offshore bank and several offshore hedge funds.The conduct of Eric A. Bloom, 42, a resident of Northbrook, Illinois, and Charles K. Mosley, 43, a resident of Vernon Hills, Illinois, caused the loss of "several hundred million dollars" of approximately $1.4 billion of assets under management that their Chicago-based firm, Sentinel Management Group Inc., had at the time it filed for bankruptcy last year, according to the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Client’s $25 m trading loss caused collapse of financial group, says liquidator

A trading loss of $25 million by a Canadian client with a checkered past has emerged as the principal reason for the collapse of a Bahamas-based financial services group earlier this year.Caledonia Corporate Management Limited allowed 39-year-old Ontario resident George Georgiou to start trading without providing any cash or security of his own, instead lending him millions of dollars and pledging other clients' assets as collateral, which were subsequently sold to meet a margin call. As Caledonia's problems mounted, the firm's principals then siphoned off virtually all of its remaining assets for no consideration to new companies they created, managed and controlled, leaving behind a shell that had unaudited assets of US$269,113 and liabilities that management listed as US$57,391 but which, in reality, will include the full amount of Georgiou's trading losses.

AT&T Corp. sues BetonSports for $2.5 m

Offshore gaming firm BetonSports, which was criminally indicted in 2006 for soliciting bettors in the United States, is being sued for $2.5 million for allegedly breaching an agreement with a US-based telecommunications carrier.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee seeks return of ‘fraudulent’ transfers

Ten weeks after a judge dismissed the main counts of an $80 million claim against Goldman Sachs and others, the Bankruptcy Trustee of Bermuda-based AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd., formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd., has filed an amended complaint in which he is seeking reduced damages of just $815,638. The amended complaint was filed at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on April 29, 2008 by Richard E. O'Connell, the Bankruptcy Trustee of AlphaStar and several related entities.

Cayman fund liquidators abandon attempt to have liquidation recognized in US

The provisional liquidators of a Cayman Islands hedge fund have abandoned their attempt to have the Cayman liquidation proceedings recognized in the United States after a U. S. Bankruptcy Judge ruled that Cayman was not the Fund's Center of Main Interests. Hugh Dickson, Stephen John Akers, and Paul Andrew Billingham, as JPLs of Basis Yield Alpha Fund (Master), filed a motion to dismiss their petition on April 3, 2008 at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and the petition was dismissed by the court on April 30.

Cayman fund liquidators sue PwC et al for $263 m over Refco scandal

The Cayman liquidators of an offshore hedge fund group that collapsed as a result of a scandal at commodities and futures broker Refco are seeking more than $263 million in damages, fees and costs against multiple defendants, including the funds' auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (Cayman). Kenneth Krys and Christopher Stride filed a complaint at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York on March 5, 2008, which was transferred by the defendants to the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 26, 2008.

Clients file lawsuit against Bahamas-based Caledonia Group

A civil complaint has been filed in the Bahamas by certain clients who are facing heavy losses from the collapse of the Caledonia Corporate Management Group Limited following trading losses estimated to be at least $20 million.

BVI and TCI feeder funds added as parties to Lake Shore Group litigation

Eight companies domiciled in the British Virgin Islands, four in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and one each in the United States and the United Kingdom have been added as parties in litigation brought by the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission against the Lake Shore group of hedge funds.

Cayman judge removes Bear Stearns fund liquidators, criticizes Walkers SPV director

Investors in two Bear Stearns-operated offshore hedge funds which have a combined insolvency estimated at more than $550 million have won a legal battle in the Cayman Islands to name their own liquidators. In a verbal opinion rendered on February 22, 2008 at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie ordered the removal of Simon Whicker and Kris Beighton, of KPMG, as Joint Voluntary Liquidators of Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage (Overseas) Ltd. and Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies (Overseas) Ltd.

Ex-Lancer Offshore principal & four associates indicted for fraud in US

Former hedge fund manager Michael Lauer and four others have been indicted in the United States on charges that they helped to defraud investors in the Lancer Offshore group of more than $200 million. Lauer, Martin Garvey, Eric Hauser, Laurence Isaacson, and Milton Barbarosh were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and six counts of fraud at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on January 29, 2008. The indictment was sealed until February 19, 2008 so arrests could be effected.

Another Grenada bank collapses in scandalous circumstances

Long after the scandalous failures of all of Grenada's more than 40 offshore banks with heavy losses to depositors, one of the jurisdiction's local banks has gone the same route, the principal difference being that, this time, the victims will include locals, not just foreigners. Capital Bank International Ltd., which began operating as a bank in 1988, went into receivership by order of the Grenada High Court on February 15, 2008 following an application from the Minister of Finance, Keith Mitchell, who is also the country's Prime Minister. David Holukoff, the Grenada-based Managing Director of Kroll Associates UK Limited, was appointed Receiver.

Goldman Sachs & Stirling Cooke’s D&O win legal victory regarding alleged fraud cover-up

An action in New York to hold Goldman Sachs and several former officers and directors of Bermuda-based Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd. liable for allegedly "squandering" $80 million of the fraudulently-operated insurance broker's corporate assets has failed. On February 19, 2008, Chief U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein dismissed all of the core counts alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against the Goldman Sachs and the D&O defendants in a complaint brought by the group's Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Cayman fund administrator settles hedge fund litigation for $19 million

UBS Fund Services (Cayman) Ltd. has agreed to pay $19 million to settle litigation brought against it as administrator of a failed offshore hedge fund that allegedly defrauded investors out of more than $200 million The settlement agreement between UBS Fund Services, and Stephen J. Harmelin, as Receiver for Philadelphia Alternative Asset Management Company, LLC and related parties, including Cayman-domiciled Philadelphia Alternative Asset Fund LP, was entered into on January 30, 2008.

Insider Talking: February 11, 2008

A bitterly-fought civil action filed by Bermuda-domiciled IPOC International Growth Fund Limited against US-based intelligence-gathering and risk management firm Diligence LLC and one of Diligence's clients, the law firm of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers LLC, is over; In the British Virgin Islands, an order placing Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited into provisional liquidation was issued by the local High Court on December 21, 2007 following an application on December 5, 2007 by the insurer itself; and One of the most memorable moments of the 5th OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference last April was when the Bermuda Monetary Authority's Director of Enforcement would not answer a question from OffshoreAlert's publisher asking him to name a single Bermudian or Bermuda-owned company that the regulator had ever penalized in its entire history, which spans 39 years.

Legion Insurance insolvency worsens

The net deficit of Legion Insurance Company, a former operating subsidiary of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management Ltd., increased by $15 million to $637 million in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest liquidators report.

Cayman directors of Bear Stearns funds reject Massachusetts regulator’s subpoenas

Two senior officers of a Cayman Islands mutual fund administrator have refused to comply with subpoenas requiring them to provide evidence in the United States about two failed offshore funds operated by Bear Stearns. Scott Lennon and Michelle Wilson-Clarke, each a Senior Vice President at Walkers Fund Services Limited, were subpoenaed by the Enforcement Section of the Securities Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of State for an investigation into Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Master Fund Ltd. and Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Master Fund Ltd., of which they were directors and which collapsed in July, 2007, wiping out $1.6 billion in investor capital.

Lake Shore over $100 m insolvent, Bermuda manager fined $25,000 per day for contempt

The Lake Shore group of offshore investment funds appears to be insolvent by more than $100 million, according to its Receiver, Robb Evans & Associates LLC.In its first Receiver's report that was filed at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on December 5, 2007, Robb Evans painted a gloomy picture for investors and creditors of the group, whose funds were domiciled in the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands and managed by a Bermuda company.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee settles with Clarendon Insurance for $42 m

The now-defunct, Bermuda-based insurance broker best-known as Stirling Cooke Brown has agreed to pay up to $42.3 million to settle claims with its one-time business partner, Clarendon Insurance Group. A motion to approve the settlement was filed by Stirling Cooke's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard E. O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 30, 2007.

Condor Insurance’s assets illegally transferred to Bahamas copy-cat firm, say liquidators

The liquidators of a Nevis-licensed offshore insurer have filed a complaint in the United States in an attempt to recover assets that they claim were fraudulently transferred to an unlicensed Bahamas insurer. Richard Fogerty, of Kroll (Cayman) Ltd., and William Tacon, of Kroll (BVI) Ltd., as liquidators of Condor Insurance Ltd., filed an adversary proceeding at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on November 20, 2007. Defendants are Condor Guaranty Inc., a Bahamas corporation with addresses of 15 Lillian Court, Lucaya, Freeport, Grand Bahama, and 1145 Robinson Avenue, Ocean Springs, Mississippi 39564, and PetroQuest Resources Inc., a Nevada corporation headquartered in Arlington, Texas.

Colorado regulators close down ‘offshore bank’

Colorado's banking regulators have closed down the state's last remaining 'offshore bank', claiming the institution is "hopelessly insolvent" and its managers untrustworthy. American Intercapital Holding, LLC, doing business as American Intercapital Depository & Trust and formerly known as American International Depository & Trust, was placed in "immediate involuntary liquidation" by an order of the Colorado Division of Banking's State Banking Board on November 19, 2007 immediately following an emergency meeting. State Banking Commissioner Richard Fulkerson has been appointed liquidator and Philip Feigin, a former Colorado State Securities Commissioner now working for the law firm of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, as Deputy Receiver.

Legion Insurance’s net deficit increases to $622 m

The net deficit of Legion Insurance Company, a former operating subsidiary of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management Ltd., increased by $8 million to $622 million in the first six months of 2007, according to the latest liquidator's report. At June 30, 3007, Legion had assets of $2.73 billion and liabilities of $3.35 billion, reported the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which is liquidating Legion.

KPMG & Citco sued again over collapse of BVI hedge fund

KPMG and Citco Fund Services in the Netherlands Antilles have been dragged back into litigation concerning a failed British Virgin Islands-registered hedge fund called Dobbins Offshore Ltd.A new lawsuit was filed against KPMG and Citco at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on July 11, 2007 - nearly 13 months after they were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds from a previous action at the same court.

PwC agrees to pay $22.5 m to settle Lancer litigation

Accounting group PricewaterhouseCoopers has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle claims regarding its audits of the fraudulently-operated Lancer Offshore group of hedge funds, which collapsed in 2003 with losses estimated at more than $400 million.

Offshore hedge fund group refuses to turn over records, claims US regulator

A contempt of court motion has been filed in the United States against a Bermuda-based firm that manages several hedge funds registered in the British Virgin Islands and also has ties to Canada and Switzerland.Lake Shore Asset Management Limited, which is believed to manage at least $466 million, has refused to turn over documents to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in breach of a Statutory Ex-Parte Restraining Order issued seven days earlier, stated the regulator in its contempt motion at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on July 3, 2007.

Nevis-domiciled Condor Insurance goes into liquidation

Condor Insurance Ltd. went into liquidation at the High Court of St. Kitts and Nevis on May 18 following a petition by New York Stock Exchange-listed Infineon Technologies AG, which is registered in Germany.Richard Fogerty, of Kroll (Cayman) Limited, and William Tycon, of Kroll (BVI) Limited, were appointed joint official liquidators. Another creditor, Pro Med Reinsurance Limited, which, like Condor, is incorporated in Nevis, was granted permission to appear in the liquidation.

KPMG (Vanuatu) sued following collapse of viaticals firm

KPMG (Vanuatu) is among several defendants who are being sued for $45 million in damages by the Receiver of a failed viaticals company that was allegedly operated as a Ponzi scheme.The lawsuit was filed by Michael J. Quilling, as Receiver for ABC Viaticals Inc. and related parties, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on March 6, 2007.The defendants are International Fidelity & Surety Limited and International Consultants & Management Ltd., both “allegedly” incorporated in Vanuatu, sharing the same registered agent of Trusco Holdings Limited, at Hawkes Law House, Rue Pasteur, Port Vila, Vanuatu; Surety Marketing Source LLC, incorporated in Michigan; KPMG (Vanuatu), a partnership organized in Vanuatu; Hawkes Law, a Vanuatu accounting firm which has a correspondent relationship with KPMG; KPMG International, organized in Switzerland; Boswell Dermott & Pawlett LLP, formed in the United Kingdom; Mohan & Associates, incorporated in India; David A. Goldenberg, a resident of Michigan; DAG Investments LLC, incorporated in Michigan; LPG Investments LLC, incorporated in Michigan; WED Marketing LLC, incorporated in Michigan; Galax Holdings Ltd., based in the United Kingdom; Mark Wolok, a resident of Michigan; Linda Wolok, a resident of Michigan; and Arie Kotler, a resident of Manhattan, NY.

Bahamas hedge fund sues Cayman hedge fund over redemption

The Receiver of a failed hedge fund group that was partially based in the Bahamas has filed a civil complaint against a Cayman Islands hedge fund in an attempt to recover $48,700.Arthur Steinberg, of New Jersey, filed a complaint at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 15, 2007 in his capacity as Receiver for Northshore Asset Management LLC, which is based in Chicago, Illinois; Ardent Research Partners L.P., organized in New York; Ardent Research Partners Ltd., incorporated in the Bahamas; Saldutti Capital Management, L.P., organized in New York; Kevin Kelley, a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut; Robert Wildeman, a resident of Chicago, Illinois; and Glenn Sherman, a resident of Chicago, Illinois. The sole defendant is M. Kingdon Offshore Ltd., a hedge fund that is organized in the Cayman Islands and whose shares are listed on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.

Ex-Evergreen Security insiders forced into personal bankruptcy

After a contested legal battle that lasted more than eight months, two former principals of the fraudulently-operated Evergreen Security offshore mutual fund - and a Florida investment firm they ran - have been forced into bankruptcy in the United States.Involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions against Jon M. Knight, of Sorrento, Florida; J. Anthony Huggins, of Orlando, Florida; and their Florida corporation Atlantic Portfolio Analytics & Management Inc. were approved at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida on March 29, 2007.

Insolvencies of ex-MRM subsidiaries balloon in 2006

The net insolvencies of two former operating subsidiaries of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management Ltd. rocketed from $334.3 million to $852.6 million in 2006, according to their liquidator. The deficits of Legion Insurance Company and Villanova Insurance Company increased from $225.3 million to $614 million and from $109 million to $238.6 million, respectively, during the year.

Bear Stearns ordered to pay $159 m for hedge fund due diligence failure

Securities broker Bear Stearns Securities Corp. has been ordered to pay $159 million to the estate of a failed offshore hedge fund for ignoring red flags about the fund's fraudulent operating practices. The judgment at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York is a huge boost for creditors of the British Virgin Islands-registered, New York-based Manhattan Investment Fund Ltd., whose net insolvency before the ruling was $391 million.

Arthur Andersen agrees to pay $1.2 m to settle Stirling Cooke litigation

Arthur Andersen has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle litigation regarding its audits of now-defunct Bermuda-based broker AlphaStar Insurance Group Limited, formerly Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings. A motion to approve the settlement was filed with the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on February 16, 2007 by AlphaStar's Chapter 7 Trustee, Richard E. O'Connell. The deadline for objections to the Andersen agreement is March 8 and a hearing to approve it is scheduled to be held on March 13.

Colorado regulator takes action to close down ‘offshore’ bank

Colorado's banking regulator has taken legal action in an attempt to close down American International Depository & Trust, which bills itself as the “first Old-World International Private Bank in the United States”. AIDT is defending the action at Colorado's Office of Administrative Courts and has obtained an order sealing the case in an attempt to limit the damage to its business.

Man Financial sues UBS (Cayman) after hedge fund collapse

Fund administrator UBS Fund Services (Cayman) Ltd. has been dragged into litigation concerning a hedge fund group that allegedly concealed $179 million of losses from investors before collapsing. On January 22, 2007, UBS was added as a third-party defendant to an action that was started nine months ago at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Delaware-incorporated, New York-based futures broker Man Financial Inc. and others by C. Clark Hodgson, Jr., as Receiver for Philadelphia Alternative Asset Management Company, LLC (“PAAMCo”), Philadelphia Alternative Asset Fund, Ltd. (the “Offshore Fund”), Philadelphia Alternative Asset Feeder Fund, LLC, Philadelphia Alternative Asset Fund, LP, and Option Capital Fund, LP. The case has been set for trial in May, 2007.

Lancer Offshore Latest: Two new lawsuits, plus summary judgment motion against Michael Lauer

The Receiver for the Lancer Offshore Group has filed two new complaints against recipients of money transfers that were made while the failed hedge fund group was insolvent. In one case, the defendants are Redwood Financial Group Inc., The Redwood Group Inc., both of Redwood Drive, Westminster, Maryland; Robert D. Maum, of Cowdray Park Drive, Greenwich, Connecticut; and James W. Raker, of Wynfield Road, West Friendship, Maryland. In the other action, the defendants are attorney Kenneth E. Chyten and the Law Offices of Kenneth E. Chyten, both of Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

Ponzi victims claim millions went out of offshore bank prior to receivership

Fraudulent conveyances totaling “millions of dollars” were made from Bahamas-based Leadenhall Bank & Trust Limited just before the bank went into voluntary receivership in 2005, it has been claimed. The allegation was made in a filing at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by class action attorneys pursuing a claim for $100 million against the bank on behalf of approximately 2,300 victims of a Ponzi scheme known as Cash 4 Titles.

Sabourin and Sun owes clients more than US$10 million

A Toronto-based group controlled by a former janitor that specialized in helping Canadians move their money offshore has collapsed owing more than US$10 million to at least 25 creditors.Details are contained in court filings at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where Sabourin and Sun is in litigation with Judith Laiken, an elderly client who claims to have been defrauded.

Bermuda insurer had sham Cayman assets, claims liquidator

A Bermuda-licensed insurer that is insolvent by an estimated $7 million forged a fake accounting document in the name of Deloitte & Touche in the Cayman Islands to try to convince regulators it was solvent, according to its provisional liquidators.The alleged ploy did not work, however, and Hatteras Reinsurance Limited was petitioned into provisional liquidation “in the public interest” by the Bermuda Monetary Authority at Bermuda Supreme Court on June 7, 2006.

Trade and Commerce Bank liquidator sues Arthur Andersen over audits

A civil complaint has been filed in the Cayman Islands against Arthur Andersen LLP for alleged negligence concerning audits of a failed Cayman Islands-licensed bank.The action has been filed at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands by Christopher Johnson, as liquidator of Trade and Commerce Bank, which went into liquidation in August, 2002.

Offshore bankers told to pay-up or go to prison

Two former offshore bankers have been ordered to appear before a United States federal court in Illinois on August 31, 2006 to explain how they intend to pay a financial penalty of $7.2 million.If David Pollock and Paul Jones fail to show up, warrants for their arrest will be issued for contempt of court, stated U. S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman in a judgment on August 3. Both are U. S. citizens, with Pollock currently residing in St. Lucia and Jones, a former bank examiner for the state of Ohio, living in Cape Coral, Florida, according to court records.

Lancer Offshore Receiver seeks $5.2 m in new lawsuit

The Receiver for the Lancer Offshore group has filed another complaint in the United States in his attempt to recover assets for creditors/investors who are collectively owed more than $400 million.Marty Steinberg, representing the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission, filed his latest action against Off the Map Productions LLC, a.k.a. OTM Productions, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on June 29, 2006.

Legion Insurance and Villanova Insurance insolvent by an estimated $334 m

Two former operating subsidiaries of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management Ltd. had a combined net deficit of $334.4 million as of December 31, 2005, according to their liquidator.Legion Insurance Company and Villanova Insurance Company had deficits of $225.4 million and $109 million, respectively, stated their Statutory Liquidator, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken, in her report for the fourth quarter of 2005.