Tag Archives: Offshore Alert

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Announces $2,500 Voluntary Fine For Infractions… That Should Stop Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Frauds Like CLICO!

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”  … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds” … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Carlos Belgrave, Former Chicken Feed Manager, Sets The Standard For Barbados Insurance Industry

The recent collapse of the CLICO insurance company exposed the fact that successive Barbados governments have allowed insurance companies and offshore corporations to pretty much do as they please so long as those political campaign donations, kickbacks and business jet rides keep rolling in.

But now that the world’s attention has come to focus upon our failings, Barbados decided to make some noises so investors and other governments will believe we’ve taken effective measures to supervise our offshore insurance industry. The key here is that we haven’t taken any new steps… we just make noises and promises so others will be taken in and believe that things have changed in Barbados.

The sham press conference by Barbados Supervisor of Insurance was all about repairing investor confidence after the CLICO debacle – not about real change to protect investors & policy holders

To kick things off, our Supervisor of Insurance held a press conference (Nation News article) announcing that the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) members have agreed to some voluntary standards that may be enforced by a $2,500 fine. It is hoped that maybe, sometime in the future, these voluntary standards might possibly become law in Barbados. Maybe. If. Sometime.

Judging by the accounts in the local news rags, the revelations at the press conference were shocking – but true to form the Barbados media spun an outrageous admission of incompetence, guilt and amateurism into a positive story. In truth, the Barbados Supervisor of Insurance admitted that Barbados lacks effective standards in law respecting the financial health, financial management and financial strength of insurance companies. (Barbados Advocate coverage of press conference here)

CLICO investors and policy holders probably thought we had such standards as laws – but they thought wrong.

But hey, we’re going to put those laws in place. Someday, maybe, if… but for now the Barbados insurance companies promise to volunteer to maintain those standards or risk having to pay (again voluntarily) a whopping BDS$2,500 (US$1,250) fine. Wow! That should prevent another CLICO-type collapse, don’t you think?

Our lack of rules, laws or effective oversight is what allowed a healthy insurance company like CLICO Barbados to “invest” in huge loans to parent company CL Financial and other Clico companies – loans that were secured by way-overvalued swampland in Florida. Loans secured by deals where executives of CLICO-associated companies took secret commissions and kickbacks for engineering the over-payment for swampland!

See our articles about the CLICO fraud…

CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

A US$3 Million Florida Mansion Belonging To CL Financial Director - Thanks For The Bailout, Prime Minister Thompson!

One of many: A US$3 Million Florida mansion belonging to CL Financial Director - Thanks for the bailout, Prime Minister Thompson!

Meanwhile, the Directors of CL Financial were purchasing millions of dollars of prime, upscale Florida waterfront mansions for their own enjoyment and profit.

That is the legacy of two successive Barbados governments and our Supervisor of Insurance, Carlos Belgrave.

Now Belgrave says he wants to make a law requiring minimum capital standards for insurance companies. Hopefully Belgrave no longer accepts “bearer peat certificates” as security for capital! Such standards saw Belgrave named in 2006 as the “worst regulator” by Offshore Alert.

The CLICO Chicken Came Home To Roost

A Chicken Named CLICO

A Chicken Named CLICO

In the case of CLICO, the Barbados insurance company was allowed to operate for years without sufficient cash reserves – and no one thought it dangerous when a otherwise healthy CLICO loaned all kinds of money to its parent company to purchase swampland in Florida at a price that greatly exceeded the real value of the land!

Not to be outdone by the previous BLP Government for looking after friends and concealing the truth from the public, current Prime Minister David Thompson has pledged millions of your tax dollars to assist collapsed CLICO. Oh… did you know that the Prime Minister and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris are godfathers to each other’s child? Did you know that CLICO contributed to the DLP election campaign and that David Thompson borrowed CLICO’s business jet?

All a coincidence I’m sure as the Prime Minister works diligently to socialize Clico’s losses with our tax dollars.

You know the drill for the Prime Minister’s friends: Profits are private, but losses are paid for with your public tax dollars!

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Carlos Belgrave Approved US$ Half A Billion Insurance Assets That Were “Bearer Peat Certificates” !

Instead of pulling Reliant’s license and despite there being no change of control or management, Belgrave allowed Reliant to continue in business by approving replacement capital with a face value of $518 million that consisted of nothing more substantial than a loan note issued by a newly-formed Panama firm that was secured by “bearer peat certificates representing the right to obtain peat, a pre-coal state organic material used as energy or for horticultural use, from the Changuinola Peat Deposit of Northwestern Panama”…

… quoted from Offshore Alert in the BFP Article: Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert

barbados-insurance-belgrave-500

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”

… from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

IMF Says Barbados Insurance Sector Needs “Tighter Regulation” – No Kidding!

The chaos surrounding the Barbados financial and insurance company called CLICO is in full swing so the International Monetary Fund – IMF – feels obliged to tell us that our insurance industry needs “tighter regulation”. (Hey, thanks for the tip IMF! We’d have never known without you.) Next the IMF will be telling us to take a closer look at Sir Allen Stanford.

Perhaps if the IMF staff could have torn themselves away from their duck pate and champagne back in 2007 they would have seen that Carlos Belgrave, Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, was named “Worst Regulator” by OffshoreAlert.

Apparently OffshoreAlert was most impressed by Belgrave’s staunch support of three Barbados insurance companies that faked their books and had owners previously convicted of fraud. Not to mention that Belgrave approved and licensed the companies when other countries had turned them down.

IMF Report Talks Of Potential For Bank Failure In Barbados?

Our friends over at Barbados Money Laundering Advisory have published an excellent article about the IMF and Offshore Alert reports AND they seem to think that the IMF report also talks about another potential failure of a Barbados bank. Scary times we are living in.

barbados-offshorealert

Hello KYC & OffshoreAlert!

KYC – Know Your Client – is an investigative organisation dedicated to exposing financial crime wherever it is found. OffshoreAlert! is one of its newsletters. The organisation is run by journalist David Marchant out of Miami, Florida. Marchant has an impressive track record and was even kicked out of Bermuda by the government of the day in retaliation for his work. Somehow, I don’t think that Mr. Marchant would be made too welcome by the Barbados government either!

We’ve made a decision to publish a part of Mr. Marchant’s work to illustrate to our readers just how capable and fearless he is. We also think that this little sample will convince many people of the value of subscribing to OffshoreAlert! and of attending their next conference in Miami Beach, Florida this April. (As a side-note to Mr. Marchant, if you have any problem with us publishing this excerpt, please email us. Thanks!)

Here’s what OffshoreAlert discovered in 2006 about Chris Belgrave – Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions…

OffshoreAlert Awards – Best & Worst of 2006

KYC News, Inc., January 7, 2007

Worst Regulator
Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, in Barbados

OffshoreAlert had occasion to investigate three Barbados insurers in 2006, namely Strategy Insurance Limited, Reliant Insurance SCC and River Reinsurance Limited. The first two are part of a Canada-based group whose insiders have included three people convicted of fraud-related offenses, while the third, which has a business relationship with the Canada group, is partly-owned by two Bermuda-based businessmen who are currently under investigation for securities fraud in the United States and only sought an insurance license in Barbados after being turned down in Bermuda. If all that was not warning enough for Belgrave, Strategy Insurance Limited’s parent, which trades as a penny stock in the United States, disclosed that the insurer had been carrying 104 million of non-existent capital on its books for 11 months. The capital had once existed, according to the firm, but it was allegedly illegally transferred out of the company by unnamed shareholders, rendering the entire group insolvent.

Instead of pulling Reliant’s license and despite there being no change of control or management, Belgrave allowed Reliant to continue in business by approving replacement capital with a face value of $518 million that consisted of nothing more substantial than a loan note issued by a newly-formed Panama firm that was secured by “bearer peat certificates representing the right to obtain peat, a pre-coal state organic material used as energy or for horticultural use, from the Changuinola Peat Deposit of Northwestern Panama”.

When OffshoreAlert contacted Belgrave, he farcically claimed that he was legally prohibited from even having a general discussion about the Barbados Insurance Act, let commenting on individual companies. Belgrave declined to impart any information about his professional background and qualifications so we did our own research and found that, prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”, according to its promotional material. When we found out that Belgrave is currently the ‘Third Vice-President’ of the U.S.-based International Association of Insurance Fraud Agencies Inc., we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Further Reading

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory: Bajan Banks and Insurance Companies Inadequately Supervised

KYC News – Offshore Alert: Website Link

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