Tag Archives: CLICO

Barbados continues the CLICO – Democratic Labour Party cover-up

In Trinidad…

“We are taking the position that CLICO was a massive fraud on the public.”

Ewart Williams, Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Governor, July 6, 2012

Meanwhile, in Barbados there is no mention of the ‘special relationship’ between CLICO and the governing Democratic Labour Party.

No mention at all in this Barbados Advocate article or anywhere else we can find…

Green light for CLICO restructuring

10/27/2012

A plan to restructure CLICO International Life Insurance Limited has been approved by the High Court of Barbados. So too has been the completion of the Forensic Audit into the insurance company’s affairs.

Judicial Manager for the company, Deloitte Consulting Ltd. (represented by Oliver Jordan and Patrick Toppin), made the announcement yesterday afternoon in a press release. Continue reading

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“Masterpiece of deception” will extinguish all rights of CLICO Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) holders

The NEL2 Con

by David Walker
Santa Rosa Consulting Team

“Of course all of this is against our laws here in T&T. The company continues to trade while insolvent – illegal. The company has not produced accounts for years – illegal. The company flouts a judgement of the court requiring it to pay according to contract – illegal. Policyholders are denied access even to their own statements of account – illegal. And the list goes on.”

Here we are, at what the authorities hope will be the two closing acts of the tragedy known as CLICO. Firstly there is a final push, through a device going by the name of NEL2, to extinguish all rights and claims of EFPA holders. Secondly we shall witness the winding up and consignment to the dustbin of history, that once all powerful company called CLICO, along with all its books and records.

This article is headlined NEL2 Con but you will have to bear with us while we explain the context in which the con is to be executed. It would be impossible to achieve this masterpiece of deception without all that went before it.

“What we will show you is that many apparently unconnected acts or omissions over the past three years have been for the clear and narrow purpose of facilitating their devious objectives.”

A deliberate program of financial misinformation Continue reading

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Barbados removes assets from CLICO victims: Sam Lord’s Castle to be expropriated by government

CLICO policy holders will never see a dollar for this ‘fire sale’ of assets

submitted by Parris Pauper

The Barbados Government is moving to ‘compulsorily acquire’ the Sam Lord’s Castle ruins and lands. As Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley stated, Sam Lord’s is being acquired “for housing purposes, tourism development and beach access.”

Sam Lord’s Castle has been owned by CLICO for almost ten years (memory fails – if someone has the exact date CLICO purchased Sam Lord’s, speak up please) and is an incredibly valuable piece of property if developed. The hold-up to development approval was always the historic Sam Lord’s Castle building, but just as Barbados Free Press predicted in April 2009 – a fire took care of that little impediment.

If anything, the burning of Sam Lord’s Castle raised the end value of the land because the historic building was totally destroyed and ceased to be a major political obstacle in new development. Only the facia remains and this could be incorporated into any new structure if it doesn’t totally fall down first.

With the collapse of CLICO, the DLP government moved to grab the asset. They didn’t move to protect the public interest in the historic building before the CLICO collapse because Leroy Parris, David Thompson and the DLP were tight as thieves and the idea was to allow Parris to let the building fall to ruin, then maximize the profit from the lands.

And there was also that one little sticking point about the DLP never acting responsibly at the time to protect the interests of Bajans: Prime Minister Thompson and Leroy Parris were godfather to each other’s children. Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer for over a decade when the company failed to file financial statements and broke the law, and CLICO Parris et al were major financial contributors to the DLP.

CLICO was a very messy conflict of interest indeed for Thompson and the DLP.

Fortunately for the DLP though, David Thompson is now conveniently dead and revered instead of being subject to what would have been a tsunami of Opposition attacks over the CLICO cover-up and conflicts of interest.

Now the DLP government is going to take Sam Lord’s and sell it to make some good profits. Or… perhaps sell it to friends at a low price so the friends can make the profits and kickback some contributions to the DLP. That’s how things work around here, you know.

Here is the one truth in my article that you should remember above all else if you are a CLICO policy holder or other victim…

The Barbados Government will never pay CLICO for Sam Lord’s Castle. No matter whether the asset is fairly valued or under-valued, not one dollar of government money will be transferred to the assets of CLICO where the money could benefit the victims.

Instead there will be some finagling with the books and some credit or swap against CLICO’s real or contrived debt to the government coffers.

The pillaging of the good CLICO assets continues to the ultimate detriment of the poor suckers who believed that the Barbados Superintendent of Insurance and the Barbados Government were looking after policyholders’ interests.

Parris and his gang were able to do what they did only because they had the cooperation and friendship of Caribbean governments. Indeed, it could truly be said that in the case of Barbados, CLICO, Parris and Thompson owned the DLP government.

Policyholders: kiss your assets goodbye.

Further Reading

BFP, October 21, 2010: Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP, April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

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Barbados court orders CLICO criminal charges stayed against Terrence Thornhill, Leroy Parris

Unethical, Corrupt: CLICO Bigshots Leroy Parris, Terrance Thornhill

No surprise at all!

Come on, folks! You know that Leroy Parris was the godfather to one of Prime Minister Thompson’s children. You know that Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer. You know that CLICO gave oodles of money to the Democratic Labour Party and let them use the corporate jet. You know that as a lawyer Prime Minister David Thompson money-laundered funds from CLICO to Leroy Parris. That’s what the auditors say.

We poor CLICO policy holders are suckers. The poor taxpayers are suckers.

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

Nothing changes ’bout hey.

Forget about your children’s futures and education: you and your children will be a long time paying (it’s called ‘bailing out’) the elites who built that Ponzi house of cards called CLICO.

I’m sure there’s some good legal reason why High Court Justice Kaye Goodridge ordered the Barbados Police to put the CLICO criminal charges on hold. Always is some good legal reason for doing what is done.

It’s just that we predicted this months ago. Futures destroyed, pensions gone, lifetimes of work and savings stolen… and nobody will ever pay.

Nothing changes ’bout hey. Nothing. Ever. Changes.

Further Reading

Nation News (read it at the Nation News website here)

Stop Order

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin has been ordered to stop the criminal matter brought against the president of CLICO International Life, Terrence Thornhill, at least for now. Continue reading

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Continued mismanagement of CLICO – CL Financial “devastating” to policy holders

Policy holders: Your Country Needs You

by David Walker of Santa Rosa Team

  • The realities of the “offer” are not as described by the Minister and others.
  • Once you sign, you have given up all rights, even if they don’t honour the stated terms.
  • The “offer” is open until June 2012, so only your financial circumstances should force you to sign now.

While the happenings at CLICO and CL Financial have already had a devastating effect on your lives, it pains me to say that the continued mismanagement of the companies is about to hit you even harder. Like every other taxpayer and citizen, you will suffer from both the immediate financial impact, and the long term destruction of our investment and business climate. And YOU are the only ones standing in the way of the impending catastrophe.

“When a nation abandons the rule of law, when there is no attempt at regulatory oversight, when accountability and transparency are non-existent, and when any pretense of equity is openly shunned by authority, the inevitable result will be economic decline.

Who would invest in a country where you cannot enforce contracts against a company? Who would leave their money in companies that do not offer audited statements for over five years, with evident impunity? The answer is obvious.”

Recently, the authorities took legal action against directors of e-Teck for failures far less severe and with much milder consequences than what happened at CLICO/CLF. No authority has seen it fit to take similar action against the directors of CLICO/CLF. The nation needs to cleanse itself of these heinous acts. YOU are the only ones who will take the necessary action against both former and present directors of CLICO/CLF.

The Regulators failed disastrously at CLICO/CLF. Rather than punishment and condemnation, they have been handed the reins at CLICO.

There is now no Regulator at CLICO as a result. The ills that the Regulator identified as causes of the collapse have been continued, even accelerated under his stewardship. We still see interlocking directorships and related party transactions at the expense of policyholders. Only YOU and your actions can force the Governor of the Central Bank to honour his role as Regulator, and look after the interests of policyholders. Continue reading

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Big problems with CL Financial bailout, Colman Commission obstruction

CL Financial bailout – The Truth about the Truth

by Afra Raymond

Continuing from last week’s critique of the revised bailout and its implications, I have further concerns as to the process by which the legislation was passed.

I am aware that the Members of Parliament were given a briefing on this matter, so that they would be better informed on this complex matter.  That briefing was conducted personally by the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank, together with their advisers and certain CLICO officials.

The briefing provided background information on these areas –

  • The status of the various outstanding audited accounts;
  • A ‘profile’ of the monies owed in terms of amounts owed to certain classes of policyholders.  I am told that quite a small number of these claimants held a large proportion of the monies being claimed;
  • The various lawsuits/judgments against the Central Bank;
  • The rationale given for extinguishing the right to sue the Central Bank in this matter was that public rights and stability were being given preference over the exercise of private rights.

I am also told that the Members of Parliament were not given copies of the presentations, which seems to have effectively limited them to gaining certain impressions or the limited notes they would have been able to take during the briefing.

That account of events, given to me by more than one Parliamentarian, seems to suggest that the very rationale of the exercise, said to be the elevation of public rights over private ones, could have been subverted.

The reality is that, despite the extensive debate on the matter, this is the position –

  • Accounts – There has still been no proper, clear statement on the status of these CL Financial and CLICO accounts, which is unsatisfactory.  An emerging view is that this is a calculated silence, since the companies are insolvent, which would make the Directors liable for the criminal offence of ‘trading while insolvent’.  That is a considerable issue, which could only be overcome by the State issuing a guarantee to the group’s creditors, which would have exposed the Treasury to the full extent of the huge claims.  The silence is a shabby ‘third way’, which gives a further insight into why the bailout remains untenable to so many of us.
  • There is no publicly-available profile of the monies owed in terms of amounts owed to certain classes of policyholders.  That is a major omission and one can only wonder why the information is being effectively suppressed.  In addition, there were statements that the claims of Credit Unions and Trade Unions will be fully-paid, which seems to be a favourable treatment in comparison to the individual claimants.
  • In respect of the lawsuits and judgments, I do not see how the block on lawsuits against the Central Bank can stop claims in foreign Courts.
  • The rationale of public rights being preferred over private rights is a solid one in a matter of this type, but upon reflection one is left with a different impression.  How can public rights be said to prevail in a situation where the public is denied the essential parts of the picture?

The Parliament benefits from briefings on complex and important matters, but it is unacceptable that those briefings should be somehow shrouded in secrecy.  The Minister of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank need to publish their full Parliamentary briefing, without delay, to remove any lingering doubts.  Good governance, transparency and accountability demand no less.

Florida: Just one of the Duprey family mansions

Non-payment of taxes by top CL Financial executives Continue reading

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Victor Stewart on Sam Lord’s Castle and how CLICO pillaged our island

As part of the family that owned Sam Lord’s Castle before the Marriotts, and as a current landowner at Castle Close, I find the whole CLICO subject to be somewhat ridiculous.

Isn’t it obvious what is going on??? CLICO came into Barbados with the support of powerful people in government, and proceeded to pillage our fair Island.

One of the obvious and terrible casualties was my family home (and what our family had raised to equal status with then-nacent Sandy Lane in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a premier resort hotel) that was part of our national heritage. Apparently nobody cares about tradition any more, but Barbados has a long and honoured tradition of respecting the rule of law and more particularly English common law and equity principles of how to conduct business with the people in your community. All of this has been apparently lost in the fight for political power, but I will make a prediction that sooner or later the people of Barbados will rise up and demand an explanation for what has been done in their name.

I can only pray that the burned-out shell that used to be my family’s and this Island’s delight might one day be reconstituted, unlike the sad arson memorial that is Farley Hill. Only time will tell.

Victor E. Stewart
Castle Close, St. Philip

Further Reading

BFP: October 22, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle as an over-valued asset in the CLICO – CL Financial pyramid fraud

BFP: October 21, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP: April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law

CLICO Indian Fraud: Should Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey go to jail for this alone?

Leroy Parris and good friend Government Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

My friends, you should go to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday to read this article, AND PLEASE DO!

But just in case it disappears from the net as happens in the Caribbean, we’re going to reprint the entire article here. But please… go to Newsday first to read the whole thing, okay?

WARNING: If you’re a CLICO victim, you’re going to be mad as hell after the first paragraph!

‘Clico fronted $38M in Indian business’
By ANDRE BAGOO Monday, October 3 2011

CLICO fronted $38 million in Indian business carried out by a Miami-based broker without the approval of the Central Bank, according to documents disclosed to the Commission of Inquiry into Clico which paint a picture of an insurance company with a long history of breaking the law and hiding key aspects of its operations from its books.

The documents disclose that $29.4 million in interest payments on a secret $302.4 million Home Mortgage Bank loan to Clico for the Lascelles de Mercado transaction was dressed up as “an amount receivable” from parent company CL Financial. Additionally, the company had “significant off balance sheet exposures” to connected companies totalling $2 billion, according to Central Bank estimates. Continue reading

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40 cents on the dollar for Clico victims? Michael Goodman says “Take that offer and shove it!”

by Michael Goodman

As a former Director of the Board of The Barbados Association of Retired Persons and a Clico Policyholder, I am absolutely horrified to read in the Saturday Sun of October 1st, that Douglas Skeete, apparently speaking on behalf of 27,000 BARP members (without having consulted them) suggests that liquidation of Clico is a preferable solution and that it would be “far better” for policyholders to settle for the likely return of just over 40 cents on the dollar from liquidation, than to wait five years for a new company and a promise of 100 per cent returns.

The Government of Barbados has already subjected thousands of Clico policyholders, many of whom are BARP members, to two and a half years of anxiety, depression, silence and arrogant dismissal, something about which BARP did absolutely nothing, until ‘joining forces’ with the active and effective Barbados Investors & Policyholders Alliance a few weeks ago…

… continue reading Mr. Goodman’s thoughts at Bajan Reporter’s What is going on at BARP? Former Director of BARP stressed at New CLICO Suggestion

Photo courtesy of Bajan Reporter

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Duprey, Parris, Thompson and some other people need to go to jail

CL Financial, CLICO – one huge unsustainable Ponzi Scheme

“Lawrence Duprey was paid $90 million a year from the deposits of policyholders in collapsed insurance company CLICO, attorney Neal Bisnath said yesterday.”

“CLICO invested US$445 million of policyholders’ money in a Florida real estate project called Capri, while the investment was worth only US$200 million.”

If Prime Minister David Thompson was alive today, he would have some difficult questions to answer about his activities as CLICO’s lawyer, and about how he and his government participated in building the house of cards Ponzi scheme known as CLICO. The public deserves the truth about what Thompson knew, what he did – and how his long-term service putting deals together for CLICO, Duprey and Parris put him in numerous conflicts of interest as Prime Minister.

David Thompson knew that CLICO policy holders were paying outrageous money to Duprey and Parris – probably illegally with no segregation of funds even where the rules called for this. David Thompson knew that the payments were being hidden. David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer when ten years of accounting records were illegally withheld.

“We know now that on May 15, 2005 while acting as CLICO’s lawyer, David Thompson signed a secret contract between CLICO and Leroy Parris’ private company that in effect deceived shareholders into believing that Parris was being paid less than he really was.”

…from the BFP article Leroy Parris’ defence of Prime Minister David Thompson rings hollow now

David Thompson knew that CLICO was being raped by Duprey and Parris. David Thompson was part of it and you can bet that when he became Prime Minister his senior Cabinet members had to have known the truth too. That house of cards was wobbling long before it collapsed – and the Thompson-Stuart government covered up and protected Leroy Parris for as long as they could. After all, the government politicians got their bizjet rides, the DLP got its funding and Thompson’s law firm got big contracts – paid for with policy holders’ funds.

Now the only “solution” that the Thompson/Stuart DLP Government can come up with is for taxpayers to “invest” more money. Well, I guess that’s better than riots in the streets.

As for Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey – they laughed all the way to the bank and they are laughing still. There are hundreds of millions of assets missing, just vanished into thin air at the end of fraudulent paper trails, but nobody will go to jail for this massive fraud and breach of the public trust. No big shot ever goes to jail in Barbados.

This Barbados Today article lays it all out…

Bisnath made the statements as he cross-examined Michael Carballo, the former group financial director of CL Financial, during the commission of enquiry into the collapse of CL Financial and the Hindu Credit Union at the Winsure Building, Richmond Street, Port of Spain, yesterday.

Bisnath said CLICO’s cash stream was also used to fund investments made by CL Financial.

“Is it true to say that from what we have seen CLICO was really used as a cash cow in the group?” Bisnath asked Carballo.

“Yes, because CLICO was really the one that had the cash flowing in it,” Carballo said.

“And that cash that was flowing happened to be policyholders’ money and Mr Duprey and CL were using CLICO policyholders’ monies without regard to the risk that it was putting those policyholders under,” Bisnath said.

Bisnath described Duprey as a “great investor of other people’s money”.

He said CLICO invested US$445 million of policyholders’ money in a Florida real estate project called Capri, while the investment was worth only US$200 million.

“We know in taking on risks he (Duprey) used policyholders’ money, not his personal money; and when you use OPM, other people’s money, you can have all kind of fancy dreams and you can make all kind of fancy investments because if you lose it, it is not your money you are losing,” Bisnath said.

“He (Duprey) could therefore have a bold and aggressive attitude toward business, and an insatiable risk appetite because it was not his money he was using,” Bisnath said.

Read the entire story at Barbados Today: Duprey paid $90 million a year

Further Reading

Trinidad Express: Duprey bagged $1.1b before bailout

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Coleman Commission into CL Financial: Ministry of Finance, Central Bank want to exclude Afra Raymond’s testimony

“A Commission of Enquiry can only make findings on the evidence submitted to it, so it would be very important for some people to have certain evidence omitted.”

The Colman Commission – Balancing the Scale

by Afra Raymond

The Colman Commission into the failure of CLF Financial and the Hindu Credit Union is just about to move into its second round of Hearings and the public can expect to have further testimony on the losses suffered by people who deposited monies with CL Financial.

I have made several submissions to the Commission and have been invited to give evidence. 

I am reliably informed that there have been strong and unanimous objections to my participation in the Colman Commission.  It would seem that only the Commission itself is interested in having my testimony go onto the record.

It is not surprising to me that objections of that sort would be arising now, but readers need to have a context.

The Colman Commission was established to find out how this fiasco occurred, recommend methods to stop a recurrence and also to identify responsible people who are apt for lawsuits or criminal charges.  The main parties can be expected to give self-serving evidence, designed to exonerate themselves from any blame.

We can also expect to hear more attempts to put the blame onto Wall Street, despite the claims in the CL Financial 2007 Annual Report – this is from the preamble -

…“The Next Wave of Growth” is the theme of this annual report, highlighting, to quote our Chairman, “that out of any crisis opportunities will emerge and our progress during the year under review prepares us to seize those opportunities and unlock value.” We have confidence in our ability to not only navigate this financial storm but to find fresh and profitable opportunities within it…

That Annual Report was published on 23rd January 2009 – yes, that is 10 days after Duprey wrote to the Central Bank Governor for urgent financial assistance and one week before the bailout was signed on 30th January.

The Colman Commission is a Public Inquiry into a matter of major importance; it was approved by the Cabinet and installed by the President of the Republic.  A Commission of Enquiry can only make findings on the evidence submitted to it, so it would be very important for some people to have certain evidence omitted. Continue reading

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BREAKING HERE FIRST: CBC sacks Peter Wickham over secret corruption briefings to US Ambassador

WikiLeaks “Confidential” US Embassy cable takes down Wickham

CADRES’ Peter Wickham revealed to US Diplomats: Campaign financing corruption, payoffs, “sweetheart deals”, political corruption by Leroy Parris & CLICO, drug money funding political campaigns, flying in of voters from USA.

“At the same time that Wickham was a political consultant, he provided secret briefings to US Embassy personnel about his clients’ activities. He’s finished. Who would hire him again?”

CBC senior executives “outraged”

Prime Minister Stuart said to be “beside himself” over CLICO / Leroy Parris revelations.

… CBC insider exclusive to Barbados Free Press

EXCLUSIVE to Barbados Free Press

(News media must attribute to “Barbados Free Press”)

The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sacked journalist and political analyst Peter Wickham on September 1st over the contents of a US Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks on August 30th, 2011.

A CBC insider tells only Barbados Free Press that the Barbados DLP government and CBC senior executives remain “outraged” after learning that Peter Wickham provided a series of secret briefings to US diplomats “over several years” where Mr. Wickham discussed and provided details about political corruption in the Caribbean. The briefings included information about the activities of clients and former clients.

Hitting the fan!

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is said to be “beside himself” over the cable, which reveals among other facts that CLICO executive, former CBC Chairman and DLP supporter Leroy Parris provided large sums of under the table money to the Dominica DLP in exchange for business and a diplomatic passport. Barbados government members are concerned that the cable will provide more fodder for BLP Opposition calls for details on CLICO financial abuses and CLICO’s political funding of the Barbados DLP. (Editor: No kidding!)

“Wickham met periodically with Embassy Officers over the past several years”

The February 3, 2006 “CONFIDENTIAL” cable was sent by Mary Kramer, (then US Ambassador to Barbados and the Caribbean) and is published at the end of this post. The WikiLeaks cable references other US Embassy cables that are not included in the WikiLeaks releases – indicating that the United States State Department is in possession of additional information that remains secret.

The February 3, 2006 cable also contains Mr. Wickham’s assessment of Caribbean political funding.

Wickham’s assessment and information makes an excellent case for Campaign Financing and disclosure laws in Barbados…

“The amount of money spent on political campaigns in the Caribbean has increased with each election, according to Peter Wickham, a consultant who has worked for various governments and political parties throughout the region.

With no campaign finance laws or disclosure requirements present in most countries, political parties are free to accept funding from any source, including wealthy expatriates seeking to curry favor for their business and personal interests.”

Comment:  The increasing availability of campaign funds to Caribbean political leaders, combined with a lack of legal control over how the money is raised, makes for a troubling situation in a region where many turn a blind eye to corruption.

A few hundred thousand dollars, a pittance to a wealthy businessperson in Barbados or the Cayman Islands, could buy a great deal of influence in one of the small, economically troubled countries in the region.  Some of this influence may be purchased to further legitimate business concerns, but as in the case of marijuana growers, or even the bearers of passports to which they are not entitled, the influence could be used for more nefarious purposes.”

… US Ambassador Mary Kramer in WikiLeaked cable from US Embassy Barbados

Peter Wickham unaware of reason for sacking

Saturday’s Nation newspaper quotes Peter Wickham as not knowing why the CBC sacked him. According to BFP’s source, Wickham may not yet be aware of the reason for his firing.

Says Wickham to The Nation…

“No rationale was given… Needless to say, I am not pleased.”

“Where there’s a termination letter there’s always the impression conveyed that there was incompetence, misbehaviour, non-performance or underperformance, and I hope that’s not the belief that goes out there,”

Peter Wickham quoted in the Nation story CBC sacks Wickham

If Mr. Wickham wishes to comment on our story, we’d be pleased to publish whatever he emails us. Barbados Free Press published Peter Wickham’s writing during the 2007 election when the newspapers refused.

February 3, 2006 “CONFIDENTIAL” US Embassy cable from Mary Kramer, then US Ambassador to Barbados… Continue reading

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Some Queries about the ongoing CLICO Debacle

Who are the CLICO receivers… really?

submitted by BFP reader “H”

Who are the CLICO receivers anyway … and who, working for what company, were appointed foot soldiers? And by whom? And who is paying the cost of the receivership proceedings? CLICO customers and investors, directors or the taxpayer? Surely not the latter.

What about the many CLICO subsidiaries like BAICO and Angostura? Are they liquid and still in operation or have they been shut down? And those overseas? Has a comprehensive list been published yet in the T&T press?

Should Lawrence Duprey be arrested and charged in Trinidad for Ponzi Scheming or embezzlement, like Allen Stanford was for the very same reasons in the US? Or are Trinidadians scared of touching corrupt billionaires like certain as yet uncharged and unconvicted ex-government ministers, past and current state enterprise directors, Calder Hart, Lawrence Duprey and his affiliated cronies …

I think that the entire CLICO debacle is deliberately being made complex and confusing to enable old criminals to manipulate or destroy incriminating evidence and get off scot-free and to lure newly emerging robbers to deliberately get a piece of the unsavory action in the prevailing mayhem …

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I have a problem with fellow CLICO policyholders

Time to join Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA)

by J. Payne

I have a severe problem with fellow CLICO policyholders in Barbados. What are you waiting for? Are you aware that the Judicial Manager has not filed a defence against Parris’s claim for $10 million from CLICO? Are you aware that, in the absence of that defence, Parris has already applied for a judgement from the Court? What is the matter with you? Do you feel that by staying silent and doing nothing that all will sort itself out in end? Without direct action by CLICO policyholders, nothing will be done. Worried about victimisation? This is YOUR money! So haven’t you been victimised already?

I urge all policyholders and those who know policyholders to join those of us already members of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA). We can and will take action to recover what is rightly ours, and nobody – not Parris, not the Judicial Manager, nor government will be allowed to conspire to keep us from a just end to this fiasco.

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Without fear of punishment CL Financial – CLICO Executives had no limits

“If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.”

This is an edited version of Afra Raymond’s address to the 4th Biennial Business Banking and Finance Conference (BBF4) held at the Trinidad Hilton from 22nd to 24th June, 2011.

The session he participated in was devoted to ‘Lessons from the Financial Crisis: The Resolution of Failed Entities’.

by Afra Raymond

Thanks for the invitation to speak at this forum, it was last-minute, but welcome, since our local Institutions of Higher Learning have not spent the necessary time to explain and analyse this financial fiasco.  I have been very critical of the Institute of Business, the Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Faculties of Economics and Management and the Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance, so it is great to see you making a start on this overdue work.  It is my pleasure to participate in these proceedings.

I want to start by shifting focus to the arena of the mind and the existence of elements such as moral and ethical values, as well as social standards.  In 1971 there was a famous series of psychological experiments in which selected students entered a two-week role-play as prison-guards in control of other people who were playing the role of prisoners.

That experiment was conducted at Stanford University in California and the results were that most of the prison guards adopted cruel behaviour with most of them being upset when the experiment was stopped after only six days.  The entire experiment was filmed and the prisoners suffered from regular acts of wickedness, abuse and sheer perversity – one-third of the guards acted sadistically.

The Stanford Prison Experiment as it is now known, was heavily criticised as being unethical and unprofessional.  Of course the other aspect is that it re-opened the perennial discussion into the nature of things.  The nature of our nature, as it were – ‘Are we humans naturally evil and cruel?’  The learning seems to be that well-adjusted and reasonable people can very quickly lose their moral compass in a situation with a lack of the conventional controls such as disapproval and laws.

The New Norms of the Governing Class…

No surprise to those familiar with history and politics, but the lesson for us in T&T is that…

If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.

We have never had a strong tradition of detecting and punishing White-Collar Criminals, so if we are to make a start in terms of the resolution of failed entities, that has to be the starting-point.  We cannot reconstruct or resolve the failed entities if we do not change that aspect of our culture – the absence of consequence has to be abolished. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Ethics, Offshore Investments

Colman Commission ignoring the smell of dirty money?

Afra Raymond asks where the money came from in the first place

Auntie Moses says that all money has a smell. Honestly-earned money smells clean and dishonest money stinks to high heaven. If you put too much of that dirty money in your purse, you start to stink too. So says Auntie Moses and she’s generally correct about those kinds of ethical issues.

Our friend Afra Raymond has noticed a little problem over at the Colman Commission into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle. I’ll let Afra explain it…

“There also seems to be a strange situation on CL Financial, since I am told that none of the affected people are willing to come forward to testify.  I am not very surprised at that and it is yet another indication of the extent of that toxic ‘Code of Silence‘.

What a shame!  25,000 policyholders said to be affected by the failure of CL Financial, yet only one is willing to testify.  Only One!   I wrote before in this space about the probability that a high proportion of those EFPA monies had never been screened by rigorous Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures.  I suggested to the Minister of Finance that provisions be made in the payout agreements for the applicants for bailout monies to have the source of their funds vetted for compliance with VAT, PAYE, Income and Corporation taxes.  The Minister did not adopt those proposals.

So, what we now have is the spectacle of the Colman Commission set up by the government to examine the causes of the collapse and finding that few want to speak, very few.  I don’t know if it’s dirty money, or ‘keeping it in the family‘ or what…but I do hope that Colman takes a robust approach by using his powers to sub-poena people to appear and testify.”

Read the whole dirty story at Afra Raymond Colman Commission considerations

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler silent on CLICO’s political donations to DLP

Sinckler: “Bajans aren’t mature or intelligent enough to see raw or incomplete data. They might draw conclusions different from what the government wants.”

How else should voters interpret Mr. Sinckler’s recent statement that the 30-day judicial manager’s report on CLICO International Life Insurance Limited should be kept hidden? Mr. Sinckler wants the big-ups and elites to put everything together in a tidy little report that directs Bajans to whatever conclusion the elites want to sell us.

“Let’s get this straight, Mr. Sinckler: Bajans don’t trust you or your government to tell the truth about CLICO.”

The late Prime Minister Thompson was way too close to CLICO’s Leroy Parris. David Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer when proper financial statements weren’t filed for ten years. And when it all hit the fan for CLICO and CL Financial, Thompson used the power of his Prime Minister’s office to deny judicial oversight. Not to mention the cushy job he gave to Leroy Parris at the CBC that allowed the government to control the news about this fraud.

“We know now that on May 15, 2005 while acting as CLICO’s lawyer, David Thompson signed a secret contract between CLICO and Leroy Parris’ private company that in effect deceived shareholders into believing that Parris was being paid less than he really was.”

…from the BFP article Leroy Parris’ defence of Prime Minister David Thompson rings hollow now

Friends forever: Finance Minister Sinckler & Leroy Parris chatting over champagne

Finally, the DLP received big money from CLICO in the form or political donations and who knows what else on the side, including executive jet use for free when the cost was tens of thousands of dollars or more per ride. The DLP was brought into power in good part through the big money of CLICO.

That was OUR MONEY that was given to the DLP. The money that policy holders and investors placed with CLICO in good faith and it was sucked out of the company into phony land purchases, mansions in Florida and who knows how much into YOUR POLITICAL POCKET MR. SINCKLER.

Answer the policy holders this Mr. Sinckler, or sit down and shut up:

“How much did the DLP Democratic Labour Party and the candidates receive from CLICO and associated companies and persons in the last 15 years?”

Until you answer that question Mr. Sinckler, just sit down and shut up. We’ve heard enough of your opinions on how this fraud should be investigated, thank you.

Signed,

A policy holder and a victim.

Further Reading

You should go to Barbados Today to read the story about Sinckler, but we’ll reprint the entire passage here because the Barbados news media has a habit of re-writing history and deleting stories, and that includes staff at Barbados Today who used to be at The Nation.

So read the story at Barbados Today, but if it’s gone, then read it here… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Retirement planning by CL Financial Directors & Officers: They got their money!

Florida: Just one of the Duprey family mansions

When did CL Financial & CLICO insiders know that the group was heading for collapse?

by Afra Raymond

When you consider increasing lifespans, inflation and the greater likelihood of major medical expense, it is clear that proper retirement planning should be a major factor for most people.

Central to the growth and long-term success of the CL Financial group was its ability to mobilise the retirement savings of the Caribbean people in pursuance of its wider commercial objectives.  I have been writing on how it all went wrong and who is to blame.

In preparing my submissions for the Colman Commission it occurred to me that the retirement planning of the 3 CL Financial chiefs is central to understanding the entire fiasco.  It is rich in irony.

Fiduciary Duty of Directors and Officers

When did the Directors and Officers of CL Financial (CLF) know that the group was heading to collapse? 

When did the Directors and Officers of the failed subsidiaries know? 

What did they know and when did they know it? How much warning did their management controls give them?

The questions are pertinent and the time-line is instructive – Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law