New Barbados Tourism Authority Director charged with tax evasion?

Is there more than one Verla Depeiza?

Well, folks, I don’t know what to think about this one. Way back April of 2009 Attorney-at-law Verla Depeiza (photo above) spoke at a DLP lunchtime lecture and called for Freedom of Information legislation. We thought she delivered a great lecture about the law and the rule of law and how integrity and FOI legislation would safeguard our society. Oh, and yes, she’s a hopeful DLP candidate for next election after Christ Church West Member of Parliament Dr. William Duguid abandons Barbados for Canada.

Then recently we heard Verla Depeiza was about to be named as a Director at the Barbados Tourism Authority. We were pleased because we thought she would push for more transparency and accountability. And integrity.

Now we see one Verla Depeiza charged with four counts of failing to file income tax returns. First off, we don’t know if it’s the same Verla Depeiza, but it’s not like the name is “Walcott” if ya know what I mean.

“Verla DePeiza – four charges.”

Could it be some bureaucratic oversight with Depeiza’s name on company papers but as a lawyer? Or is Verla Depieza’s political career about to crash and burn?

Stay tuned, folks – and don’t forget that there might be a political side to the charges too, because that sometimes happens ‘pon de rock known as Barbados.

You should read the story at the Nation News website here, but as usual we’ll reprint the entire story because The Nation has a habit of changing history…

26 on tax charges

LAWYERS, MANAGING DIRECTORS of companies and a cross-section of other business people appeared in court yesterday charged with failing to file income tax returns.

And out of the 26 summoned, three, including a gynaecologist, were ordered arrested and brought after they were personally served with summonses, by marshals, but did not appear in court.

The charging of the 26 follows the Inland Revenue Department decision to crack down on people who have failed to comply with income tax regulations.

Some of the 26 were before Acting Magistrate Manila Renée in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court where they were accused that being people who carried on businesses in various income years and who were required by Section 52 (1) of the Income Tax Act to deliver to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue in the prescribed form a return of his (for those accused in a personal capacity) or of its (for those charged as principals of a company) assessable income for the said income, together with such additional information, they failed to file the said returns.

Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman asked that warrants be issued for Camille Hope, Maurice Smith and Clarence Fergusson, after the court realised that each of them was personally served with summonses to appear but did not.

Another man, Anthony White, was summonsed with a warning, while two of the matters against attorney Ona Harewood were discontinued after it was proven that she was studying overseas for two of the years for which she was charged.

She still faces two charges.

Information that another accused, Daphne Adderley had left the island prompted the acting magistrate to comment: “We need to do like Trinidad and make people get a tax clearance before they leave the island. We may need to tie it to people as they come and go,” she said.

Meanwhile, one accused stressed that he did not have anything to file and called the situation “extremely stressful”.

Those who appeared had their matters adjourned; some will reappear on June 10; others on May 13 and one on May 6.


THOSE ACCUSED OF FAILING to file income tax, either personal or as representatives of a business, for various years are:

Daphne Adderley – four charges.

DaCosta Brathwaite – eight charges.

Trevor Browne – five charges.

Pauline Cato – four charges.

Gregory Catwell – three charges.

Enric Connolly – four charges.

Jerry Clarke –  four charges.

Ona Harewood – two charges.

Denise Haynes – four charges.

Paul Hibbert – four charges.

Camille Hope – four charges.

Steve Jemmott – four charges.

James Husbands – four charges.

Deighton Moore – four charges.

Victor Pinto – three charges.

Maurice Scott – four charges.

Anthony White – four charges.

Bandele Serrano – four charges.

Kaye Williams – four charges.

Therold Fields – four charges.

Clarence Fergusson – four charges.

Verla DePeiza – four charges.

Dereck Daniel – eight charges.

Akinola Abayomi – four charges.

Livingston Forde – four charges.

Photo: Barbados Advocate


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Politics

22 responses to “New Barbados Tourism Authority Director charged with tax evasion?

  1. what will they think of next

    James Husbands – four charges. BREAK, BREAK, BREAK?

    Bandele Serrano – four charges. He too?

  2. what will they think of next

    Now we are getting somewhere!

  3. rasta man

    @what will they think of next:you mean BREAK, BREAK,BREAK and BREAK. LOL

  4. Anon

    The rich pay income tax in Barbados? I thought it was only the middle class.

    Maybe these few became a bit complacent.

  5. Carmen

    This story in Daily Mail UK is a much bigger threat to tourism on the island than tax evasion.

  6. Rubbert

    Certainly new that many have been charged with tax evasion.

    NOT news that many have been doing it. Know how many lawyers etc have not paid for years?

    Do you really think all the speedboat operators, bar owners etc pay their taxes correctly?

    How about those rich who have investments overseas, do they pay on overseas income?

    How about those who own houses and apartments for rent, think they pay their taxes, all?

    The salartied workers support this country’s tax regime, PAYE cannot be hidden.

  7. We need an INCOME TAX REVOLT

    Income tax want pelting way: put the whole Dept. out of work: let them repair potholes for a substitute job: get a REAL job for a change.

    Income Taxation is old fashioned BS especially in view of OTHER consumption-based taxation at every single turn!
    GET RID OF INCOME TAX -it sux!

    I refuse to file: screw them:
    I don’t even make enough to make it worth their while, or mine-
    –they LIKE un-necessary paperwork?
    How dumb are they? “Because the law says I must file”?? Ha HA

  8. Josquin Desprez

    Verla DePeiza – four charges?

    I wonder if Carson C. Cadogan read this.

  9. Johnny Postle

    Well if it is she is just one of the many liars practicing law under corruption and fraud. Opps that should be lawyers

  10. Carmen

    Hello Bajans. Stop Reading about tax and read what they are saying about your beautiful island in the British Newspapers.


  11. reaction

    What image would you be referring to?
    The police don’t care and are paid accordingly.

    Be very areful with the Depeiza allegations. Is it a broad based enforcement or a focused victimization?
    Who specifically laid the charges and under whose direction and why?

    Maybe our esteemed investigative journalists on the island can give us the details? lol

  12. ruth arnetta

    i bet my last dollar nothing more is going to be heard of this issue. barbadians doindeed have short memmories. this is not the first time that some of the many many high profile tax or national insurance dodgers have been identified publicly, but after the euphoria nothing was heard of the outcome.what about the bjerham issue, is he still getting treatment? or perhaps thematter is subjudice.

  13. taxation of undeclared offshore accounts

    How does the government tax what they do not know about and what do they do with other Caribbean jurisdictions and elsewhere to find out?

  14. Britty Brat

    @ ruth arnetta
    … i bet my last dollar nothing more is going to be heard of this issue…

    You are soooo right!!! people who reach a certain ‘height’ in Barbados would NEVER see jail. One fool went to jail because he did it all wrong … JUMAN. It was predictable that Jippy Doyle would spend a littel VACATION, appeal and get off. Recently we had a police sargeant ‘feeling up bubbies’. It was clear as crystal that he was guilty as sin, but the usual happened. The other sargeant asked he if he mad, but cant remember why he asked it. How cynical??? look in jail, small herb smokers, littel dope peddlers, loiterers, petty thieves, etc. Any BIGUPS yet??? OH NO… NEVER.

  15. lee

    Reactions are better late than never.
    Heath was/is trying to bring attention to a serious problem that affects not only the image of this country but every female child and woman that resides on or visits this rock.
    It is not only the government and the police that are not reacting or even speaking to this subject it is the majority of the media. I laud the Nation for printing an albeit edited version of Heaths interview with the Sunday Times. No one else did, on or offline.
    I wasn’t on island when Diane Davis, a 61 year old mother of 4 and grandmother, was beaten and raped so when the Heath article brought my attention to it I searched the news. Nothing in the local press whatsoever and only one article in Britain, Check it out, you might understand why Heath is willing to relive her nightmare of 7 years ago.
    It seems to me that the powers that be and those that are in a position to influence do not care about the public and do not wish to be proactive. This attitude will come back to bite them in the ass.
    These crimes happen elsewhere, everywhere for that matter but their existence in many if not most jurisdictions is recognized and police to public and public to police communication and interaction occurs so that communities and neighbourhoods are made aware that someone is committing serious, violent crimes in their area. It heightens vigilance and makes it harder for the bad guys.
    Our police officers should have better training and when they absorb that training they should be paid much more than they are at present but only when they put their new skills to work.

  16. Donna Symmonds

    Donna C. Symmonds LL.B. (Hons) Lond.
    Equitas Chambers, Alexander House.
    Pinfold Street, Bridgetown, BB 11127 Barbados, W.I.
    Tel: (246) 429-9045 • Fax (246) 429-3355

    Consultants: Algernon W. Symmonds, G.C.M, Q.C.
    Leslie F Haynes, Q.C.

    April 8, 2011

    The Managing Editor
    Barbados Free Press By Email

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Re: Court Report carried in Barbados Free Press on 2nd April 2011

    I act on behalf of Mrs Denise Haynes in the above-captioned matter.

    I am instructed by my client who complains about a story reported in Barbados Free Press on the 2nd day of April 2011 regarding persons charged with failing to file income tax returns.

    The report indicates inter alia the following:
    “………………..while two of the matters against attorney Ona Harewood were discontinued after it was proven that she was studying overseas for two of the years for which she was charged.”

    “Those who appeared had their matters adjourned; some will reappear on June 10; others on May 13 and one on May 6”

    The report ended by listing the persons who appeared before the Court including my client, Mrs Denise Haynes, whom I represented in Court on the 1st day of April 2011 in the matter referred to in the above-mentioned newspaper report.

    This report failed to detail that all of the charges against Mrs Haynes were discontinued unconditionally since she had proven to the Department of Inland Revenue prior to 1st April 2011 that she had not been resident nor had she carried on a business in Barbados during the income years for which the said charges related.


    April 8, 2011

    The Managing Editor
    Barbados Free Press By Email

    This said report is not a fair and accurate account of what transpired in Court on the 1st day of April 2011 with regard to my client and, as a result of the publication of the said report as aforesaid, my client has been held up in the public to ridicule and condemnation and her reputation as an Attorney-at-Law injured. My client regards this above- specified story as defamatory.
    I ask, therefore, that you publish in Barbados Free Press by Thursday 14th April 2011 a full and complete withdrawal and apology( in terms approved by me and my client) and in a position similar to and with equal prominence as the story of which my client complains. In addition, my client must be indemnified in respect of damages and costs incurred in this matter.

    Your urgent response is awaited.

    Yours faithfully,

    (Not signed as sent electronically)

    Donna C. Symmonds

    c. Mrs Denise Haynes

  17. rasta man

    @BFP.What yuh gonna do now???

  18. sam cooke and duppy

    freedom of speech always under attack tsk tsk

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  20. Adrian Hinds

    …Defamed my ass. She was charged was she not? All charges being drop does not remove the fact nor make lie of the truth of being charged in the first place, and what about the other media source from which BFP got the story and gave due credit too? Have they been likewise issued a libel threat? and have they responded? I say until they do, BFP have nothing to apologize for or to retract. If and when the source from whence BFP got their story are asked to and thereby issues a retraction, BFP can do likewise and carry that story as well. Stay strong BFP. You can be sure that this story will now grow wings.

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