Harlequin Hotels and Resorts issues statement blaming Paudie O‘Halloran for spreading lies

Harlequin controversy heats up

David Ames, Chairman of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, sent Barbados Free Press yet another statement – this one alleging that Paudie O’Halloran is “spreading these lies and trying to undermine the success of Harlequin‘s resorts in the Caribbean”.

BFP reprints the statement as received (and after being run through an OCR programme to extract the words). We include the original PDF so our readers can download the statement and verify it for themselves…

“Dear Barbados Free Press,

Please find attached a further statement from Dave Ames, this time regarding the small but organised online campaign against Harlequin.

Regards,
The Harlequin Team”

Harlequin Hotels and Resorts

12*” June 2012
A Statement from Dave Ames

As you know, There has been an increase in activity of people trying to undermine the success of Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines.

It is clear that the perpetrators behind a lot of this information are associated with a company called ICE Group, which was based in Barbados and ran by Paudie O‘Halloran.

It appears now that O‘Halloran is spreading malicious lies and feeding them through members of Government and Opposition Ministers. What most people don’t know is that when O‘Halloran left the country a number of years ago, he owed the Barbados Government over BDS 1 million and The Government of St Vincent over ECD 2 million.

It is obvious that the reason why he is spreading these lies and trying to undermine the success of Harlequin‘s resorts in the Caribbean is because it is the only way he can defend himself against the court cases that have been brought against him in St Vincent, Barbados and Ireland. It should be remembered that freezing orders on his assets are still in place in St Vincent and Barbados.

It is clear that with these cases and others being brought against him, and with him owing so many people so much money throughout the Caribbean, he will find it very difficult To return to the Caribbean as the damage he has done to the region will surely ensure the Governments will take action to protect the interests of their people.

Regards,

Dave Ames
Chairman

Download the original statement here.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

14 responses to “Harlequin Hotels and Resorts issues statement blaming Paudie O‘Halloran for spreading lies

  1. Anonymous

    interesting. what is the state of play in the court case in the caribbean as the irish court case findings by the judge effectively questioned the evidence that harlequin had brought forward and actually asked them to place i believe £150k upfront to cover any costs incured by o’halloran should he be successful. full court docs available on harlecon.net

  2. Henry

    Few people have issue with the physical Resort at Buccament Bay. Ames has many questions to answer about the payments to staff, suppliers and contractors. He also has serious questions to answer about his management or lack of, of investor’s money. This has been clearly highlighted in the fact that BDO his UK auditors disclaimed his wife’s UK accounts.

    On the 12th of June’s Searchlight newspaper http://www.mediafire.com/?vppxfog8aaf4pv0 Ames states that most of the information is being fed to the public by individuals whom he described as “illegal expats” living in St. Vincent, who previously worked with the company and that “they are giving out lies about what’s happening down here”.

    In the Barbados Free Press, Harlequin issued a Press release on June the 11th stating that the leader (Eustace) and deputy leader (Leacock) were responsible for much of the alarmist concerns with relevance to Harlequin and Ames.

    Well it would seem by the numbers of callers to radio programmes over the past few months stating that they either worked at the hotel or for Harlequin direct as well as subcontractors they all have in common one issue; “where is their money”. According to Ames these people are all misinformed and do not understand the system and he is the only one who knows the real story.

    Why are there at least 8 suppliers taking legal action against Ames, some attempting to get monies owed from 2010 or hasn’t the quantity surveyor got around to them yet? Why are there a number of investors seeking refunds through the courts? Why have Ames’s Third contractors KMI walked away from Harlequin and the works in Barbados and elsewhere just this last Monday?

    Why are there a number of disaffected employees of Harlequin and related companies reporting Harlequin and Ames to the relevant authorities?

    Why have Harlequins UK auditors wholly disclaimed the Harlequin UK Audited accounts even going as far as to question the legality of the dividends paid to the Ames family.

    Harlequin Hotels and Resorts in today’s press release now appear to be laying the blame for all the negative publicity firmly at the door of Paudie O’ Halloran and the ICE Group.

    Ames goes on to state that ICE Group owes monies to both the Barbados and St Vincent governments but he also acknowledges that Harlequin was granted ‘freezing orders’ against Ice group’s assets in those countries.

    How on earth is ICE expected to pay their creditors when their accounts are frozen by Ames?

    Is it true that Ames used forged documents to obtain the initial freezing orders? This according to documents publically available in St. Vincent and Ireland.

    Ames then goes on to state:

    It is clear that with these cases and others being brought against him, and with him owing so many people so much money throughout the Caribbean, he will find it very difficult to return to the Caribbean as the damage he has done to the region will surely ensure the Governments will take action to protect the interests of their people.

    Has anyone ever asked how much Ames owes the Caribbean Governments in unpaid taxes, electricity and water bills and his latest stunt in claiming to be a citizen of St. Vincent in order that he can avoid paying the Alien Land Holders License? Sadly the one person acting against the interests of both the people of the Caribbean and UK based investors appears to be Ames himself.

    Ames has only built 25% of “one” out of 6 resorts claiming in the Search Light that Buccament Bay in St. Vincent will be the best Resort in the Caribbean.

    Is Ames trying to get us to believe that all those who are owed money are really not owed any money, but are in truth loyal supporters of Mr. O’ Halloran and the ICE Group.?

    Is Ames saying that the print media in the UK (Basildon Echo) is controlled by Mr. O’ Halloran, that Andrew Drummond in Thailand is making this all up to support Mr. O’ Halloran, that the various purchaser websites that have appeared are all under the spell of Mr. O’ Halloran. That Mr Eustace and Mr Leacock are loyal supporters of Mr. O’ Halloran

    Were all the negative comments ref Harlequin which have been on the Worldwide Web for many years now, (Singing Pig), (Trip Advisor), (Pimlico Flats etc. etc. etc.) all orchestrated by Mr. O’ Halloran. Were the legal issues that Harlequin were having with DLA Piper all as a result of Mr. O Halloran’s influence. Was Alan Bell (former VP of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts and who Ames sacked amidst allegations of accounting Fraud) under the control of Mr. O’ Halloran. Did Mr. Ames not accuse Mr. Ken Picknell of all sorts of skullduggery in St. Vincent and is this why he sacked the first Barbados based contractor. Or was this more of the orchestrated campaign by Mr. O’ Halloran.

    On the 8th of November 2011 Harlequin and Ames issued a press statement. This was carried on BFP on November the 18th 2011 under the headline; Harlequin Hotels and Resorts goes nuclear to silence News Media. What happened to the defamation proceedings Ames was taking against Mr. O Halloran. This is what Ames said then, “Any person who republishes or repeats any of the defamatory statements posted by Mr. O’ Halloran will be identified and added as a defendant to the defamation proceedings. “ 7 months later the Harlecon.net site is still very much alive and well. And furthermore how come the Harlequin statement was removed from the BFP website??????

    Sadly Mr. Ames is clutching at straws and is doing everything in his power to divert the spotlight away from him, his family and his businesses. It is time that Ames was formally investigated in the Caribbean. Ames has always blamed any and everyone else for the issues that he clearly cannot address himself.

    It is worth noting that Ames and the Ames family through their UK company have taken in excess of BDS $ 62 Million in dividends and loans from what initially was purchaser funds. Nice money for a guy that already has been bankrupted twice.

    Here is the latest press release today from the Searchlight strangely not the same as the one released by Harlequin on BFP http://www.mediafire.com/?cn679jnx7ca132h

  3. 220

    Strange statement. Ames and Harlequin owe a huge amount more than that claimed above to suppliers and workers throughout the Caribbean and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of unbuilt homes and promises to investors. The man seems delusional and can’t be playing with a full deck. No progress at all at Merricks, Allamanda a long way off still also. Who really cares about what O’Halloran is doing? Harlequin’s problems are far bigger.

  4. 80

    i have no idea who is behind harlecon.net but if Ames & harlequin are so sure and have proof that it is O’Halloran/ ICE behind this website with whom they have current ongoing court cases surely they would/could have used this EVIDENCE as their current court case prohibits all parties from divulging info regarding this?? if is it ICE/O’halloran then they have clearly breached the court guidelines but then so too have HARLEQUIN in their latest and previous statement re O’Halloran.AGAIN HARLEQUIN there is a lot of bad press/radio reports locally and by contractors/sub contractors/ staff re non payment of monies due to them(apart from court cases currently being contested by various parties as previously referred to on this website)THIS does i’m afraid give cause to believe that monies are tight and the only sure way of proving this wrong is by actually providing accounts for the overseas companies that will SHOW without doubt how much monies are available to continue the build of ALL the resorts/pay the workers/ Contractors etc etc . the uk audited accounts for HMSSE give no indication of the overall state of play with regards to OVERALL monies available to complete ALL the projects..

  5. BFP

    Hello Henry

    You said “And furthermore how come the Harlequin statement was removed from the BFP website??????”

    The answer is that BFP did not remove the statement from our website. It is still there at https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/harlequin-hotels-and-resorts-goes-nuclear-to-silence-news-media/

    What happened is that Harlequin removed the document from their website so the link no longer works… but we still have the document wording in our story.

    So don’t blame us! Ask Harlequin why they removed the document from their website!

  6. yatiniteasy

    I believe that Ames is experiencing what is know as “The Streisand Effect”…that is , the more one strives to stifle, hide or threaten people from publishing something..the more it gets publicized.
    This from Wikipedia:
    The image of Streisand’s Malibu house that led to the naming of the effect.

    The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

    Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.[1][2]

    I think Mr Ames might do well to see what happened to Alan Stanford.All he has to do is defraud 1 US investor and he is toast.It seems there is little protection in the UK for these overseas developers who promise all sorts of returns, capital gains etc, but who never deliver. Harlequin did this in Thailand and got away with it…next..The Caribbean.

  7. Anonymous

    lets be clear. FIRSTLY no-one knows how much has been spent on the build at BB as the accounts are not available and there has been no clear evidence of how much has been spent – only verbal figures quoted by mr ames. secondly HE has not invested this- the people who have bought into the concept , some 6000+ people if harlequin are to believed have invested. IT is their money that is being spent (on anything and everything with no accounts to show how their investment is being utilised) has ames used his own money at all?? if yes, lets have some proof. his uk company albeit owned by his family have taken millions in commission. have they used to this to assist with the construction of any of the resorts/ pay bills/ fight court cases/ buy airplanes etc etc etc. this whole debacle can be easily stopped with one simple item. the accounts/bank statements for harlequin svg/st lucis/barbados etc etc that show harlequin are well funded and in a position to pay employees/contractors/ build the rest of BB and all the other resorts that to date have not had any meaningful progress in terms of build. nothing at any of them apart from some part built show homes??? AMES has the ability to stop all this speculation. why doesn’t he provide the proof that he has the funds to BUILD/pay his employees/ contractors/investors????

  8. Anonymous

    harlecon.net website down- message temporarily suspended. shame if carter ruck has managed to close as gave a lot of detailed information. if this info was not correct- why didn’t harlequin just show their evidence that this website contained inaccuracies to the press for distribution and dis-credit the website claims once and for all and put an end to speculation. even if this site closes i am sure that due to all the recent press/speculation/government intervention etc etc there will be more to come.

  9. yatiniteasy

    Looks like Ames was able to get Harlecon.net website taken down after all. This is what showed today when trying to access the site…..
    “Thanks for dropping by.

    This site is temporarily suspended.”

  10. 144

    Taking the site down proves nothing other than that more hominvestor funds have been spent on legal fees. It would be more reassuring for all if they were able to refute all the allegations made not just by harlecon but by many others. How are they going to build the 7000 homes sold? Why has it taken 7 years to start a show home at Merricks and not build all the homes sold? etc etc etc. Also, ainteresting to see SVG give Ames citizenship for money he has “invested”. All the money he has invested belonged to others.

  11. 144

    Lies always associated with all things Harlequin. Reports from SVG are of 20% occupancy and in St Lucia of only 4 paying rooms in house. Yet potential buyers told of 85% occupancies. Only greed can motivate a buyer or seller of this product and buyer will be the loser.

  12. Pingback: Did Harlequin’s David Ames falsely accuse builder Paudie O’Halloran? | Barbados Free Press

  13. 158

    the real court case is happening this week