FIU goes after companies in U.S. scam

The saga of Titan International Securities and its related partners has been ongoing in the courts of Belize for a few months now, but before Tuesday it had centered on the fate of Bahamian executives for Titan, Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles, who made bail after being picked up on unrelated charges.

But the center of the case is an allegation of fraud against the U.S. Government in the State of New York to the tune of $1 billion, and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which deals with financial and cyber crimes, has been tasked to go after the assets of those involved.

On Tuesday there was an interparties hearing before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in chambers at the Supreme Court.

We spoke with Senior Counsel Michael Young, who represents one of the affected companies, Unicorn Securities International, LLC.

 

vlcsnap-2014-10-22-08h07m33s224Michael Young – Attorney for Unicorn Securities International LLC

“Well of course what has happened is that there have been freezing orders which have been granted by the court on the application of the FIU and in respect of the respondents, various attorneys who represent the respondents have made applications for these freezing orders to be discharged. 

There have been a flurry of applications, between the FIU on the one hand, and the respondents on the other, and what we dealt with this morning on the part of the court was what we would call housekeeping. 

These applications are going to be heard, of course the respondents say that the freezing orders should not have been granted, should be discharged, and the court has set the twenty-seventh of October to hear the applications.”

 

Of the six persons accused of involvement, only American Robert Bandfield and Knowles and Leach have gone before any court. There is a Belizean, Andrew Godfrey, who has been implicated, and today we heard from his attorney for the first time. She is none other than former director of the FIU, Marilyn Williams. But she did not have much to say.

 

vlcsnap-2014-10-22-08h12m50s55Marilyn Williams, Attorney for Robert Bandfield/Andrew Godfrey
“You know, I am always reticent to discuss matters that are before the courts, because I don’t that that it’s appropriate. The matter was actually held under an in-chamber matter, which means that it’s not something that ought to be discussed.”

 

 

Geovannie Brackett – Reporter
“And there is something that you can comment without prejudicing the case?”

 

Marilyn Williams
“No, there is really nothing. There is a reason why the judge cleared out the court room of anybody else but the counsels.”

 

Geovannie Brackett – Reporter
“The banks that these monies are in, in Belize, are they subject to investigation as well, at the very least?”

 

Marilyn Williams
“That you would have to ask the FIU, because I am not sure who they are investigating.”

 

Neither Michael Young nor Marilyn Williams would tell us whether the banks in which the frozen monies are kept are being investigated, nor what amounts are involved.

The case returns to court on October 27.

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