Liquidations & Insolvencies

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Lancer Offshore officer pleads guilty to fraud

Bruce Cowen, who was a senior officer with the collapsed Lancer Offshore group, has pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy in the United States.Cowen pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on August 21, 2003.

Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance Brokers Ltd. goes into administration

After the loss of a major lawsuit, Stirling Cooke Brown Insurance Brokers Ltd. has gone into administration in the United Kingdom.Paul Evans and Dan Schwarzmann, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, were appointed joint administrators on July 17, 2003 - nine days after a judgment in a U. K. High Court action filed by Sphere Drake Insurance.

Liquidators seek to depose former New Cap Re boss

The liquidators of New Cap Reinsurance Corporation (Bermuda) Ltd. have been granted a request for judicial assistance by a United States court.The decision on July 8, 2003 by the U. S. District Court for the District of Connecticut allows liquidators John McKenna and Gareth Hughes to depose Udayan Ghose.

Mixed month for Mutual Risk Management

July was a significant month for Mutual Risk Management, with two of its subsidiaries going into liquidation in the United States and a scheme of arrangement being approved for the company itself.The bad news for the firm came when liquidation orders were issued for Legion Insurance and Villanova Insurance by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on July 28.

Euro Bank Corp. (Cayman) creditors to receive 100 cents in the dollar

Clients of Cayman Islands-based Euro Bank Corp. (in liquidation) are to be re-paid their entire principal and some will even receive interest, they have been informed. The payment of a final dividend of 20 cents - bringing the total dividend to 100 cents in the dollar of principal - was approved by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on May 1, 2003.

US court freezes assets of Dominica Gov’t-controlled bank

Nearly $5 million belonging to the government-controlled National Commercial Bank of Dominica has been frozen in the United States after an offshore bank client was found to be in contempt of court.The U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois froze $4,793,472 at NCB's correspondent account at the Bank of America in Miami, Florida on July 9, 2003.

Lancer Offshore boss seeks to halt US lawsuit

Offshore hedge fund boss Michael Lauer has claimed there is an "excellent likelihood of a successful reorganization" of Lancer Partners L. P., an investment partnership he operated which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on April 16, 2003.

Lancer Offshore assets frozen, Receiver appointed after SEC action

A United States court today issued a temporary order freezing the assets of the Lancer Offshore Group, which has been implicated in massive securities fraud.The assets have been frozen until at least July 18, 2003 when a hearing has been scheduled at the U. S District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

University’s Pension Plan invested $67 m in Lancer Offshore

The University of Montreal Pension Plan invested US$67 million - representing more than eight per cent of its total assets - in the now-insolvent Lancer Offshore fund, according to a lawsuit.Another major investor was the AXA group, whose investment vehicles put in $15.25 million in June, 2002 - less than three months before the New York Post newspaper began raising questions about the Fund and six months before the Fund announced it was suspending cash redemptions.

MRM subsidiaries to go into liquidation, judge criticizes Pennsylvania regulator

A Pennsylvania judge has criticized state insurance regulators in the United States and reinsurers for failing to save two property and casualty subsidiaries of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management. On June 26, Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt granted petitions from Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken to liquidate Legion Insurance Co. and Villanova Insurance Co.

AXA is latest creditor to file suit against Lancer Offshore group

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against the Lancer Offshore Group, which has collapsed with estimated liabilities of approximately $350 million and assets largely comprising shares in dubious, thinly-traded firms that appear to be vehicles for securities fraud.

Principals of Bahamas bank accused of hiding assets

The principals of Bahamas-based Suisse Security Bank & Trust have allegedly put more than $31 million of client funds in jeopardy due to their "interference and obstruction" with its provisional liquidation.This includes $5.5 million in cash that was transferred out of an account at Barclays Bank in Nassau in April, 2001 after the bank was closed down by regulators, according to investigators.

Lancer Offshore hearing adjourned again in the BVI

A hearing to force an offshore hedge fund group into administration has been further adjourned until September 8, 2003 at the British Virgin Islands High Court. The hearing into the affairs of Lancer Offshore Inc. and The Omnifund Ltd. began over one day on May 30, 2003, reconvened over one day on June 11 and will not now continue for another three months.

Lancer Offshore court hearing adjourned in British Virgin Islands

An application by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission to force an offshore hedge fund group into administration has been adjourned to June 11. A hearing on the application against Lancer Offshore Inc. and The Omnifund Ltd. took place on Friday, May 30, 2003 but was not concluded. It was adjourned for 12 days because the judge is traveling this week.

Sterling International Bank sued in Canada

A 'paper' company registered on the Caribbean island of Nevis has filed a lawsuit in Canada against an insolvent offshore 'shell' bank in an effort to recover $1.08 million that it claims to have deposited. Nevis-domiciled Kachina Inc., formerly Praxis Inc., is seeking a judgment for $1,088,588 against Sterling International Bank Inc., which, according to the complaint, was licensed in Nauru on November 28, 1994 and went into provisional liquidation on September 27, 2000.

Lancer investment partnership files for bankruptcy, pop star among creditors

American pop star Britney Spears and jailed former Sotheby's Chairman Alfred Taubman are among investors in the Lancer Offshore Fund Group, which has collapsed amid suspicions of securities fraud.They were among 110 "Equity Security Holders" listed by one of the group's investment partnerships, Lancer Partners, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Connecticut on April 16, 2003.

Lancer Offshore losses could be as high as $400 million

Investors in a British Virgin Islands-registered offshore hedge fund with ties to convicted or suspected fraudsters might be staring at losses totalling $400 million. That is the capital contribution believed to have gone into Lancer Offshore Inc., much of whose "assets" comprise interests in dubious, loss-making, penny stock firms whose shares are thinly-traded.

MRM seeks protection at US Bankruptcy Court

Mutual Risk Management has filed a bankruptcy petition in the United States and is seeking an automatic stay of all of the legal proceedings that have been filed against it and a ban on new actions.

New Cash 4 Titles lawsuits filed against Bahamas firms

The Receiver of the Cash 4 Titles Ponzi scheme, which is estimated to have caused losses to investors of more than $300 million, has filed a lawsuit in the United States against three Bahamas-based firms. Leadenhall Bank and Trust Ltd., Axxess International Ltd. and Axxess International (Bahamas) Ltd. are defendants in an action filed at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on November 27, 2002.

Evergreen Trustee sues Bank of Butterfield, Lions Gate Management et al

Bermuda-based Bank of Butterfield and Bahamas-based offshore provider Lions Gate Management have been named as defendants in the latest wave of lawsuits filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed mutual fund which defrauded its investors of over $200 million. Twenty-two new actions were filed at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Orlando, on January 23, 2003 and four previously-dismissed lawsuits have been reopened, said Bankruptcy Trustee Bill Cuthill.

Bank of Butterfield sued for $115 million by Evergreen Security Bankruptcy Trustee

Bermuda-based Bank of Butterfield is being sued for $115 million by the by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed mutual fund which defrauded its investors of over $200 million. The Bank is being sued in its capacity as a custodian for Evergreen, as is Bear Stearns, which is a defendant in a separate action.

Carolina Re insiders sued over $485 m dividend payouts

The Joint Liquidators of Bermuda-registered Carolina Reinsurance Ltd. have filed a civil lawsuit in the United States against the firm's shareholders and auditor.They are seeking damages for tens of millions of dollars of dividends they claim were taken out of the company when it was insolvent.

Ian Renert may be target of criminal investigation

Former offshore fund manager Ian Renert might be facing criminal action in the United States to go along with a civil lawsuit alleging securities fraud that was brought against him by the SEC.Documents filed in the civil case indicate that Renert is also being investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

MRM allegedly offers $100 million to settle Legion claims

Mutual Risk Management has made a $100 million offer to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to settle all claims relating to its subsidiary in rehabilitation, Legion Insurance Co., it has been claimed.Details about the purported offer are contained in the latest of several civil lawsuits filed by clients and shareholders against the MRM group in the United States and Bermuda.

Omnicorp Bank attempts to restructure

Omnicorp Bank, of St. Vincent, is attempting to convert from an offshore bank to an investment fund in an attempt to stave off liquidation.Canadian national Nelson Bayford, who controls the bank, has been approaching depositors requesting that they convert their interest from debt to shares, said two sources.

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.

Two new lawsuits filed in Evergreen Security bankruptcy

Two new civil lawsuits have been filed against parties believed to have contributed to the collapse of Evergreen Security, an unlicensed 'mutual fund' that is believed to have defrauded investors of approximately $200 million.On July 9, 2002, Evergreen's Bankruptcy Trustee, Bill Cuthill Jr., announced he had sued Bahamas resident Greg A. White for an amount that could exceed $50 million.

Bahamas resident sued for more than $50 million by Evergreen Security’s Bankruptcy Trustee

A civil complaint has been filed against Bahamas resident Greg A. White as part of the investigation into Evergreen Security, whose principals defrauded its clients of more than $200 million.The action, which seeks to recover more than $50 million, was filed at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Orlando, by Evergreen's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustee, R. W. (Bill) Cuthill, Jr.

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.

Bermuda firm suspected of fraudulent transfer of assets

A company partly-owned by former Bermuda Premier Sir David Gibbons and other Bermuda-based investors is being investigated for a suspected fraudulent conveyance of assets in the United States. It is the latest chapter in the sordid saga of NimsTec Ltd., a 3-D technology firm which - together with predecessor companies and affiliates - has lurched from one fiasco to another over many years.

Euro Bank liquidators pay first dividend

The liquidators of Euro Bank Corporation have paid a first dividend totaling US$70 million to creditors, representing 80 cents on the dollar to recognized claimants.Liquidators Michael Pilling and Ian Wight, of Deloitte & Touche, told creditors in a letter dated May 13, 2002 to expect a final return of at least 100 per cent of their respective claims.

76 lawsuits filed against Evergreen Security brokers

Seventy-six new lawsuits have been filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee of a fraudulently-run offshore 'mutual fund' known as Evergreen Security, which is insolvent by approximately $200 million. The actions, which have been filed in Florida, seek to reclaim more than $8.1 million that was allegedly fraudulently transferred by way of commissions to promoters of Evergreen.

Grenada regulators take administrative control of Imperium Bank

The future of the Imperial Consolidated Group has been thrown into doubt after regulators in Grenada took administrative control of its offshore bank. Imperium Bank cannot make any financial disbursements without the consent of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is conducting a 15-day review of its books at the behest of the government.

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.

AvantGuard spokesman discusses possible liquidation

A spokesman for AvantGuard Bank and Trust has said it may go into liquidation whatever the outcome of recent action taken against it by regulators in Grenada.The administrative functions of AvantGuard Bank were taken over for an initial 15-day period by the Grenada Ministry of Finance at the end of April in a clampdown that saw similar action taken against Imperium Bank and CornerStone International Savings and Investment Bank.

Grenada acts against three offshore banks

Grenada's Minister of Finance, Anthony Boatswain, has publicly announced that a review is being carried out of three offshore banks: Imperium Bank, AvantGuard Bank and CornerStone International Savings and Investment Bank.

Owner of Bermuda hotel files for bankruptcy with debts totaling $54 m

The owner of White Sands Hotel in Bermuda has filed for bankruptcy in the United States citing debts of $54.13 million and assets of just $6,005. James M. Dwyer filed for bankruptcy on December 6, 2001 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

MRM insurance subsidiaries taken over by Pennsylvania regulator

Mutual Risk Management subsidiaries Legion Insurance Co. and Villanova Insurance Co. have gone into "voluntary rehabilitation" following court action by Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken. The rehabilitation orders, which were granted by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on March 28, 2002, become effective April 1, 2002.

Creditor forces Mariner International Bank into Receivership

A Receiver has been appointed for St. Vincent & the Grenadines-licensed Mariner International Bank Ltd. following a court application from a creditor claiming to be owed US$818,379. The local High Court appointed chartered accountant Linton A. Lewis as Receiver of MIB on March 15, 2002. Lewis is a former head of the Offshore Finance Authority in St. Vincent.

Former BTCB CEO arrested in US & charged with money laundering

A Venezuelan businessman who was CEO of Dominica-based British Trade and Commerce Bank before it was forced into Receivership has been charged with money laundering in the United States. Rodolfo A. Requena, 51, was arrested on November 13, 2001 after a sealed complaint was filed against him eight days earlier at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Miami.

Steps taken to recover SSBT assets in United States

The Provisional Liquidator of Bahamas-based Suisse Security Bank and Trust has taken steps to recover approximately $13 million of the bank's assets held in the United States. Raymond Winder filed a petition at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on February 22, 2002.

Merrill Scott reinvents itself with a new name and allegedly stolen property

Items that were stolen from the premises of Merrill Scott and Associates four days after an SEC lawsuit was filed against the firm were allegedly found in the office of a new firm set up by former employees. That is a claim being made by the attorney who has been appointed Receiver for the Merrill Scott group, which was based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Bahamas.

Enron’s Cayman liquidation petitions

OffshoreAlert has obtained further details of two petitions filed at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on January 25, 2002 in relation to two subsidiaries of failed energy firm Enron Corp. The actions, which were filed by Huntlaw Corporate Services Ltd., are applications to wind up Enron Bahamas LNG Ltd. and Enron LNG Shipping Company in order to preserve and sell their assets.

Enron Re has assets of just $9.58 million

Enron Corp's Bermuda-registered captive, Enron Re Ltd., has assets of just $9.58 million to meet its liabilities, according to bankruptcy court filings. Creditors of the firm include Enron Corp., Enron North America, Risk Management & Trading Corp., European Finance Re and Harrington International Insurance Ltd.

Enron’s Bermuda captive goes into liquidation

Enron Corp's Bermuda-registered captive, Enron Re Ltd., has assets of just $9.58 million to meet its liabilities, according to its liquidators. The self-insurance vehicle was ordered into provisional liquidation at Bermuda Supreme Court on January 2, 2002 following an application by the Supervisor of Insurance and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Robo Enterprises files for bankruptcy

An oil and gas company which was promoted as an investment opportunity at Institute of Global Prosperity conferences has filed for bankruptcy amid allegations of fraud.Robo Exploration Inc., a.k.a. Robo Enterprises Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky on October 23, 2001.