UPDATE ON THE MUGGING OF THE TRADE WINDS CONDOTEL LTD

The following letter was couriered to Lord Michael Anthony Ashcroft on the 2 December 2013 in connection with the involvement of the British Caribbean Bank in the “mugging” of the Trade Winds Development Ltd and the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd.

We must clarify that the British Caribbean Bank was not the instigator of the “mugging” nor were the various lawyers involved; including Jonathon Katan of the firm Miller*Simons*O’Sullivan and Larry Caroe of the firm Saunders and Co.  As has been exhaustively documented, all have played their part in this unsavory matter but none instigated a situation that had been conspired and executed by various individuals with purely profit and greed as motives.  Because of ongoing investigations and pending litigations involving at least two of these persons we are unable to publish their names or extensive details of possible criminal activities in the Turks & Caicos Islands and the United Kingdom.

TRADE WINDS DEVELOPMENT LTD

 

PO Box 170
2 Newlin Street
Ocho Rios
JAMAICA

2 December 2013

Gerald Tyrrell
HARBOTTLE & LEWIS
Hanover House
14 Hanover Square
London W1S 1HP
UNITED KINGDOM

Dear Sir,

                   Re: British Caribbean Bank, Turks & Caicos Island, BWI

It is our understanding that your firm represent the interests of Michael Anthony Ashcroft in reference to the British Caribbean Bank in the Turks & Caicos Islands in which he holds more than a 70% interest. and with the ultimate owner in which the public has an interest by way of the company listed on the Bermuda Exchange. In this regard and with the greatest of respect we would like to draw to his attention certain matters involving the bank and its manager of which we can only assume he is unaware. These matters involve the manager, Stewart Howard, and the bank’s relationship with two companies named The Trade Winds Development Ltd and the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd.

It is our contention that the manager and the bank have acted improperly in its relationship with the above named companies whereas a formal complaint has already been filed with the Financial Services Commission regarding the activities of the British Caribbean Bank and its manager to which we are sill awaiting a response from Kevin Higgins, Director of the FSC, who has thus far only displayed a transparent bias in favour of the British Caribbean Bank.

This communication is not intended to be confrontational rather we believe your client should be informed of the bank’s activities in matters that will undoubtedly have serious consequences for the manager of the bank and quite possibly tarnish the long term reputation of the British Caribbean Bank in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Rest assured, the directors of the Trade Winds Development Ltd and the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd will continue to pursue the matter in a persistent and exhaustive manner to ensure both truth and justice eventually prevail and are fully exposed to the light of day. This can only be good for the future of the bank and its customers.

Undoubtedly both your firm and your client are unaware of the activities of the British Caribbean Bank and its manager in this particular matter and so we would like to take this opportunity to highlight just some of the complaints brought to the attention of the Financial Services Commission on Providenciales:

  1. The manager of the British Caribbean Bank did directly interfere in the business activities of the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd., a company registered in the Turks & Caicos Islands that had no association with the bank whatsoever.
  2. The Manager of the BCB has consistently refused any direct communication with its client, the Trade Winds Development Ltd  (not to be confused with the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd that has no association with the bank)
  3. Until very recently, the BCB refused all requests for a number of years to issue statements to verify what the Trade Winds Development Ltd legitimately owes the BCB. At the same time the BCB by way of its Receiver did demand documentation from a former employee at the Trade Winds Condotel to verify the person was the owner of all the contents associated with the assets of the Trade Winds Development Ltd., whereas Stewart Howard had been privy to this documentation more than a year prior and subsequently admitted the bank had no charge on the contents. We can only suggest the Receiver harassed the former employee by way of intimidation to secure the contents of the assets at a much reduced cost to the bank by way of any eventual forced sale of the property.
  4. Until recently the BCB had refused for more than two years to provide a copy of the original loan agreement signed between the Bank of Belize and the Trade Winds Development Ltd in 2001 to justify their claim against the Company.  In this regard the attorney, Gordon Kerr, who has recently been charged with fraud in a $1.5 scam to deprive the Turks & Caicos Island government of land tax revenue, represented both parties.
  5. The manager of the BCB, Stewart Howard, did meet with an attorney after Howard had been informed the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd had filed a fifty-page complaint with the Turks & Caicos Bar Council regarding this particular attorney. Stewart Howard’s meeting did jeopardize both the Trade Winds Development Ltd and the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd by revealing information to the benefit of the attorney and his clients; indeed, the revelations had such impact the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd was later forced to close.
  6. Stewart Howard by revealing information to persons he well knew we were intending to pursue through the Courts flagrantly broke bank/client trust, taking a position detrimental to its client in favour of third parties.
  7. When Stewart Howard first assumed the position of bank manager he demanded a $55,000 payment to draw down the principal of the loan. This, of course, is the prerogative of the bank except this demand was based on information he had received from a third party suggesting the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd was in financial difficulty. Not only had this particular company no business association with the bank, at that time in April 2012 it was entirely untrue to suggest the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd was in financial difficulty.
  8. In September 2012 the Trade Winds Development Ltd was unable to meet its loan commitment to the bank. A constructive proposal was made to Stewart Howard and the bank at that time in an honest attempt to avert the potential of a very difficult situation for both parties. Neither Stewart Howard nor the bank responded.
  9. Subsequent to our offer to meet to resolve the default of the Trade Winds Development Ltd., Stewart Howard did meet with Jonathan Katan, the DEVCO attorney, concerning whom we had submitted a fifty-page complaint to the Bar Council of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Howard was fully aware at this point that the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd and the bank’s client, the Trade Winds Development Ltd, were both in a dispute with an unlawful “Cartel” of owners Katan claimed as representing the Trade Winds Strata Corporation and whose illegally, self-appointed directors had been driving an effort for two years at that point to replace the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd with a management company of their own. At that meeting Stewart Howard did reveal information about both companies that assisted in this aggressive take over of a highly respected island business.
  10. Subsequent to this meeting Howard did connive an agreement with an attorney who we understood at the time was representing the interests of the Trade Winds Development Ltd. regarding which we, the clients, were never fully apprised nor did we ever approve. We have e-mails to this effect, suggesting their proposal would never work and that it was in our view the proposal only served the interests of the new management company and the Trade Winds Strata Corporation.  Subsequently we discovered the attorney who represented himself to us as our attorney was also acting on behalf of the British Caribbean Bank in other matters. This same attorney had also notified another attorney at the firm of Graham Thomson, who acted on behalf of the British Caribbean Bank, that he no longer represented the interests of the Trade Winds Development Ltd and the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd. The bank was therefore well aware that this attorney was not acting in the best interests of the Trade Winds Development Ltd at the same time Stewart Howard concocted an arrangement with the attorney purporting to represent the Trade Winds Development Ltd whereas by his own admission to one of the bank’s attorneys was quite obviously working in the best interests of his client, the British Caribbean Bank.
  11. As part of the above arrangement, the BCB did pay a sum of $40,000 against our wishes to the Trade Winds Strata Corporation for money we did not owe. In fact the Strata Corporation owed the Trade Winds Development Ltd., and still does, a sum now exceeding well over $100,000. Stewart Howard was aware of our objection but went ahead regardless without communicating with us directly. The bank is now claiming that the Trade Winds Development Ltd owes this money to the bank, money we never owed to anyone in the first place and never agreed should be paid. This was supposedly approved by an attorney who we later discovered had informed the bank’s attorney that he no longer represented the Trade Winds Development Ltd.
  12. Stewart Howard did make a proposal to the Strata attorney by suggesting the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd should share the building known as the administration building with the company that had been illegally attempting to replace the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd. At this juncture the BCB had no legal authority in the matter. The Trade Winds Development Ltd had not been notified of foreclosure nor had the bank’s attorneys even been in contact with the Company. This proposal was made by Stewart Howard to the very people the Trade Winds Condotel Ltd are proposing to take to Court for the illegal interference of an established business.
  13. On April 2013 a letter was addressed to Michael Bailey from the law firm, Graham Thompson, with no reference to Lina Bailey whose property at Trade Winds is held In Trust by the Trade Winds Development Ltd. The letter simply stated we had until July 28 to comply with the bank’s demand for payment and attached an unaudited statement of what the bank claimed the Trade Winds Development Ltd owes. The statement is incorrect but the bank has refused to submit any documentation to support their claim except by way of a statement. There is no mention in the letter from Graham Thompson that the bank claims any legal position over the assets belonging to the Trade Winds Development Ltd until July 28. The Company was not placed in receivership. It was simply warned to pay the loan by a certain date.
  14. Within days of receiving the letter from Graham Thomson in April, the bank did enter the administration building and changed the locks. At the same time either the bank or the Strata Corporation changed the locks on all of our other assets. No notification or explanation was provided to the Trade Winds Development Ltd.
  15. The Trade Winds Development Ltd was effectively shut out of its own properties and was unable to show the properties to prospective purchasers to sell in order to satisfy the bank’s demand for payment by July 28. The Trade Winds Development Ltd did receive two offers on condition they could gain access to view. One offer was from a lady in Florida for the administration building and a gentleman made one other offer for one of the condominium suites from Germany. Both offers were later withdrawn because the bank continually ignored our request for keys until it was too late. The fact the bank stymied our efforts to sell our properties, as was our right, leads us to believe these properties were already earmarked for someone else well below the market value of the assets once the deadline of July 28 was reached.
  16. The BCB has refused to acknowledge that the Trade Winds Development Ltd holds legal title to two suites at the Trade Winds Condotel for which it has not been fully paid.

The undersigned will be travelling for the next several months but can be contacted via his personal e-mail address:

Sincerely.

J. Michael Bailey
Director
TRADE WINDS DEVELOPMENT LTD

 
2013 Trade Winds Condotel LTD