Tag Archives: Bailout Fraud

CL Financial – CLICO scandal: Silence from Price Waterhouse Coopers as forensic investigator Robert Lindquist submits report

“No one is questioning the role of Pricewaterhouse Coopers in this Clico fiasco. PwC consistently signed clean Audit reports for Clico and CIB despite knowing about the inaccurate and fraudulent accounting. CIB’s accounts for the 2007 year end were signed off on December 3rd 2009, less that 45 days before the company crashed. There was no going concern qualification, or subsequent events note that should have been in the audit report. Surely PwC knew of the company’s predicament when they signed the accounts!”

“CIB’s accounts for the year ended December 31st 2007 were signed off on December 12th 2008 to be exact. PwC knew about CIBs predicament and still signed a clean audit report. We are a backward community if that firm is allowed to continue unscathed.”

… Above comments left by BFP reader Trini Whistleblower on May 18, 2009 & June 7, 2009

What did PWC know about CL Financial & CLICO – and when did they know it?

I don’t know much about business, auditing or bookkeeping other than what I’ve read here and there – but I have the impression that a small business person could successfully hide many offside and questionable transactions from their employees, accountant, the tax people and their husband or wife.

At least, a business owner might be able to hide them for a while because, unlike a public company, small private businesses don’t usually get audited. The relatively small number of transactions is easier to juggle too. Also, a small business person can make some side deals for cash once in a while, maybe have some inventory “stolen” or “damaged beyond repair” while they sell it out the backdoor for cash.

Yes, a small business owner could probably pocket ten or twenty thousand dollars a year without raising too many red flags – and it could probably be done successfully for years if the owner doesn’t get too greedy.

Of course, if you’re a multi-national public company like CL Financial & CLICO that has to be audited every year it becomes much more difficult to hide missing cash, inventory and company value to the tune of, oh – for instance – say, 76.1 BILLION DOLLARS.

Yet that is exactly what happened…

One moment CL Financial was worth over 100 Billion dollars and a few days later it was worth only 23.9 Billion.

Now, like I say folks, I’m no accountant or auditor like the very prestigious firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers, but I can subtract 23.9 from 100 and determine that we seem to be missing 76.1 Billion dollars.

Just a minute – I’m going to check if any of those missing billions might be lying around in my desk drawer… Nope, not here. Maybe in the boot of Shona’s car? No, not under the bed either. I wonder where the 76.1 Billion dollars could be…?

I’d wager that right now there are a few Caribbean bankers, politicians and business people who don’t want shareholders and forensic auditors looking too closely in their desk drawers or in the boot of wifey’s car… or too closely at various financial transactions that happened over the last ten years.

It would be a good guess to assume that some folks at Price Waterhouse Coopers are making plans for early retirement.

Price Waterhouse Coopers and some of their associates have some serious explaining to do about where the MISSING 76.1 BILLION dollars might be and why they failed so miserably in their duties.

Hang ’em High!

The elites, including Prime Minister David Thompson, are doing their best to protect Sylvia and Lawrence Duprey, Leroy Parris and other friends – but in the end a few sacrificial lambs will have to be offered to the public.

How will the Caribbean banks, politicians and business people retain public confidence if they don’t publicly hang a few bodies at the crossroads?

The question I have is: How many of the hanging bodies will be Price Waterhouse Coopers employees and associates?

Further Reading

Keltruth Blog: Forensic investigator Robert Lindquist Submits Report on CL Financial & CLICO. Government Silent.

Keltruth Blog: What is the Nature of the Relationship between Leroy Parris of CLICO and Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson?

About BFP’s use of the PWC logo: This logo only consists of typefaces, individual words, slogans, or simple geometric shapes. These are not eligible for copyright alone because they are not original enough, and thus the logo is considered to be in the public domain – so stick it where the sun doan shine if you be PWC comin’ after poor little BFP!


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

CL Financial & CLICO Bailout – The Mystery of the Missing Billions

What is the cost of the Bailouts? Where did all the money go?

As we enter the wrongside of the boom, it is a little like traveling to the dark side of the moon.  Familiar navigation points fade from view and we are forced to use bearings that are new.

The quality of our political rulers has now joined in unholy matrimony with the sheer recklessness of their anointed deal-makers to put our economy into an entirely new and perilous place.

At these moments of turmoil and impending crisis, it is always interesting to observe closely what key people are not saying.  Yes, the pauses and silences can be very instructive in these situations.

I do believe that our national appetite for melodrama, bacchanal and commess is being played upon to distract us from the seriousness of the situations facing us.

The main example is the CL Financial bailout, which was announced a little over a year ago when the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 30th January 2009.

Given the subsequent revelations as to the withdrawals of funds by important people and the shareholdings of the Minister of Finance in CLF, it is impossible to say exactly when the actual bailout began.  All we can say for sure is that we, the public, were told of a bailout on 30th January 2009.

There has been a cascade of bewildering and disturbing events – those are set out at my blog, www.afraraymond.com – and we are now at a position of deep confusion.  The resignations of three top-level executives of the group and the subsequent bald press releases are most disturbing.  They speak of disputes and jostling taking place in terms of this huge group we are now committed to rescue.  For the record, those resignations were –

12th January – Steve Bideshi, CLF Group CEO, effective 31st January
19th January – Michael Carballo, CLF Group Finance Director, also effective 31st January
3rd February – Claude Musaib-Ali, CEO of CLICO, effective 14th February

Forensic Auditor’s Report due… but so what? Where are the audited accounts for these companies?

The growing sound we are hearing is that the Bob Lindquist forensic report into the dealings of CLICO etc. is to be completed at the end of February.  Many people for whom I would normally hold some respect are anxiously awaiting that report to see what possible wrong-doing might be revealed.

In my view it is an error at this time for us to be awaiting the publication or selected leaking of such a document.

We need to press for the Audited Accounts of the CL Financial group as at 31st December 2008.  Those accounts should be signed-off by the same professional firm which did the 2007 audit, the internationally-renowned PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

That is the most important single document, since it will fix an asset value at the end of 2008.  That is –

12 months after the last audited accounts, which showed a total asset value of $100.666Bn.  See –  this PDF

55 days after Michael Carballo, the then-Group Finance Director, gave statements to the Business Guardian that the group had assets of $100Bn and could weather any storm.  See – this Guardian story.

13 days before Lawrence Duprey, the group’s Executive Chairman, wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank to request urgent financial assistance.  That letter was accompanied by a table setting out the group’s asset values – totaling $23.9Bn – and was read into the Hansard by the Minister of Finance on 4th February.  See Hansard at page 628.

16 days before a dividend of $3.00 per share was paid to the CL Financial shareholders.

30 days before the historic press conference to announce the bailout, at which it was repeatedly stated that the CL Financial group had $100Bn in assets.

Despite its obvious importance in the mystery of the missing money, there is complete silence as to the progress of the 2008 audit.  It is almost a full year overdue and the only accounts we hear of are the forensic and confidential ones.

The CL Financial group’s audited accounts were always published anyway, so why can we not have a clear, official statement as to when the 2008 audited accounts will be published?  What is the mystery?

This country is now bailing-out a group which has failed and/or refused to provide its annual audited accounts and that is unacceptable in terms of the proper expenditure of our taxpayers’ funds. (BFP editor’s comment: To bring this a little closer to home so we slow Bajans can understand, just substitute “Barbados” for “this country” and “CLICO” for the reference to “group”.)

Let us mark this moment well, because if the 2008 audited accounts are allowed to fade into obscurity, please do not think that we, the citizens, will be treated any better with the 2009 accounts.  Please take note that this is a recipe for even greater levels of corruption than what besets us now. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption