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.
A French magistrate has ordered a criminal investigation into several people accused of offenses against fugitive offshore banker Thierry Nano.Among those named in the complaint are two U. S. FBI Agents, an alleged FBI informant, the Prime Minister and chief offshore regulator of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent & The Grenadines, and a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Richard F. Downes, a former director of Dominica licensed Overseas Development Bank & Trust, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Downes has also been ordered to pay restitution of $48,339 and he
United States' Response to Defendant's Factual Objection and Motions for Downward Departure in USA v. Richard F. Downes at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Defendant's Objection to Presentence Report and Motion for Downward Departure in USA v. Richard F. Downes at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Rodolfo Requena, the former Chairman/President of now-defunct British Trade and Commerce Bank, of Dominica, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for money laundering.Requena, 51, was sentenced on July 17, 2002 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Miami. He also received two years of supervised release.
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".
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".
Following the convictions of William Abraczinskas and Malcolm West for money laundering only three months after their arrest, five more offshore bankers who were indicted in the same month must wait to see how the cases against them develop. Julien Giraud, of Dominica; Brian Boeger, of the United States; Richard F. Downes and Pamela Butson, who live in Spain; and Thierry Nano, formerly of St. Vincent & The Grenadines, all still have cases pending.
Four offshore bankers were arrested by United States law enforcement agencies in November and charged with money laundering.Two more have also been charged with money laundering but are still at large after warrants were issued but not executed.Those arrested were
Creditors of the First International Bank of Grenada have been informed by its liquidator that they might get back nothing from the liquidation. In a letter to creditors dated April 23, 2001, FIBG liquidator Marcus A. Wide, of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, wrote that "there will be a significant shortfall to creditors".
After allowing tens of millions of dollars to disappear and the crooks to flee the island, Grenada's government finally took over the First International Bank of Grenada this month. Government accountant Garvey Louison was appointed Receiver of FIBG on August 1 and immediately started preparing to liquidate the bank and all of its sub-banks.
On July 4, 2000, not long before Adrian Ball's audit of the First International Bank of Grenada was completed, the bank's chairman, Richard Downes, sent an extraordinary letter to FIBG's depositors.In the 10-page letter, Downes acknowledged that FIBG was "experiencing a severe cash-flow problem" and asked clients for their "forgiveness".He then called on depositors to help to overcome the problems through "the flow of positive energy" in order to "reverse the polarities" of the "negative energy" surrounding the bank.