Antigua and Barbuda’s idyllic white beaches attract celebrities like Elton John, but it is financial shenanigans under their azure skies that have caught the eye of the B.C. Supreme Court.
A default judgment and garnishee order for $30 million have been issued by the court against the government of the postcard islands amid the confluence of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
HMB Holdings Ltd., a group of New York investors, won the rulings as part of a decade-long quest to recoup losses from the expropriation of the defunct Half Moon Bay Resort which it purchased in 1971. (The case was heard in B.C. because the resort is now owned by a B.C. company through a subsidiary).
It is a stunning seascape of sapphire coves and fecund reefs, but in 1995 a one-two punch of hurricanes devastated the resort.
Five years later the Antiguan government took the first step towards condemning the property and in 2007 decided to expropriate it, ostensibly for a “public purpose”.
The move was made at the reputed behest of Texas fraudster Allen Stanford, who held dual citizenship and was described as “the leading benefactor, promoter, employer and public persona” of Antigua, a yachting hub that is home to about 80,000.
In Nov. 2006, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation — a former British colony where Admiral Horatio Nelson lived for three years.
Calling himself “Sir Allen,” the conman apparently had plans to redevelop the Half Moon Bay property on the government’s behalf.
However, three years later U.S. law-enforcement busted Stanford over an elaborate international Ponzi-scheme. He was stripped of his title and convicted of running a multi-faceted, sophisticated $7-billion scam.
Stanford is now breaking rocks in the hot sun, serving a 110-year sentence in a federal prison in Florida.
Left holding the expropriated property, the Antigua …read more
Source:: Vancouver Sun