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Cablegate: Jamaica: Early Christmas for Cash Plus Investors?

VZCZCXRO6871
RR RUEHDE RUEHGR
DE RUEHKG #0806/01 2821435
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091434Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
INFO EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0001
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0001
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0040
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0038

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINGSTON 000806

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR WHA/CAR (JMACK-WILSON)(RALVARADO)(VDEPIRRO)(WSMITH)
WHA/EPSC (MROONEY) (FCORNEILLE)
EEB/IFD/OMA
WHA/PPC (JGONZALEZ)
INR/RES (RWARNER)
INR/I (SMCCORMICK)
SANTO DOMINGO FOR FCS AND FAS
TREASURY FOR ERIN NEPHEW
EXPORT IMPORT BANK FOR ANNETTE MARESH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV PGOV PREL KCRM KCOR JM XL UK AE
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: EARLY CHRISTMAS FOR CASH PLUS INVESTORS?

Summary

------------

1. (SBU) Investors in the failed alternative investment scheme,
Cash Plus, could have an early Christmas, if liquidator Hugh
Wildman is able to reclaim USD 25 million discovered in an offshore
account in a Swiss bank in Dubai. The accounts were in the names
of Carlos Hill, the embattled head of Cash Plus, his brother
Bertram and John Doe. Wildman told a press conference that he has
assembled a legal team of British lawyers to assist in the recovery
of the funds on behalf of the depositors of Cash Plus. Wildman is
also trying to retrieve USD 16 million paid on two properties in
Jamaica. These funds, combined with proceeds from the sale of
other assets, should go a far way in settling most of the almost
USD 60 million in claims received to date. End summary.

Divine Discovery

---------------------

2. (SBU) After almost a year in the job, Hugh Wildman, the
court-appointed liquidator and Trustee in Bankruptcy for Cash Plus,
has located USD 25 million stashed away in bank accounts in the
United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)state of Dubai. Wildman told
journalists that the accounts were discovered at the international
offshore banking center branch of Bank Julius Baer (Middle East)
Limited. He said the discovery was "nothing short of a divine
intervention," as the lead was provided by an anonymous source out
of Dubai. He said the tip from the apparent insider source
provided him with a detailed plan of the process required to locate
the funds.

Hill Continues to Deceive

---------------------------------

3. (SBU) The court appointed liquidator disclosed that to date the
investigation has located four accounts in the names of: Carlos
Hill, embattled Chairman and CEO of Cash Plus; his brother, Bertram
Hill; the Hill Group of Companies; and, John Doe. Wildman said the
information also comes just weeks after a heated meeting with Hill
and his lawyers at which time the accused told the liquidator he
had no funds outside of Jamaica that could be brought back to pay
depositors. This development should finally convince loyal Cash
Plus investors of Hill's apparent criminal intent, as it adds to
his history of conviction for crimes of racketeering, mail fraud,
and of making a false statement in the U.S. in the 1990s.

4. (SBU) The discovery of the hidden accounts prompted Wildman to
file another application for additional freezing orders against the
Hill brothers. The orders demand that the Hills to make a full
disclosure of the assets they have both locally and abroad. This
disclosure, under oath, is expected in seven days and has a penal
clause stating that failure to comply will be treated as contempt
of court, subjecting the defendants to imprisonment. In addition
to the USD 25 million, the liquidator is trying to secure USD 16
million in deposits paid on the Hilton Hotel in Kingston and the
Drax Hall Estate in the resort town of Ocho Rios. Several pieces
of less pricey real estate are also being liquidated.

British Team Assembled

-------------------------------

5. (SBU) After satisfying himself that the tip was legitimate,
Wildman assembled a team of British lawyers. The lawyers, who also
have a practice in Dubai, were successful in serving an injunction
on the Swiss bank requesting the freezing of Hill's assets.
Wildman disclosed that, since the particular branch of the bank
operated in the financial offshore center, it falls under British
and not U.A.E. jurisprudence. As a consequence, the lawyers were
able to serve the bank a freeze order through the British court
under the Mareva injunction. The initial application was heard

KINGSTON 00000806 002 OF 002


two weeks ago in a Dubai court, which after extensive arguments
granted the freezing orders against the four accounts. The issue
has gone back to court with a second ruling in favor of the
Jamaican liquidator.

Hurdles Still Abound

--------------------------

6. (SBU) However, Wildman was quick to caution that the other
branch of the Swiss bank operates under U.A.E. law, which could
pose some challenges going forward. He noted that the bank was
already putting up fierce resistance as it appears to be in breach
of British laws, as it is not a deposit-taking institution.
Wildman said it was for this very reason that the lawyers had
decided to go after the branch, which operates under British
jurisdiction. The liquidator, while confident of a speedy
resolution, is nevertheless harboring fears that the bank will not
cooperate. He also posits that, if the case were to be tried under
U.A.E. law, it could take much longer to resolve.

Comment

-------------

7. (SBU) The recent discovery of funds stashed away in secret bank
accounts is the first piece of good news for Cash Plus investors in
over a year. Most investors had already given up hope of ever
being repaid. The news has therefore led to renewed optimism, with
a number of investors flocking to the office of the liquidator to
get additional information. However, it would appear that this new
episode of the Cash Plus saga is far from over and the liquidator
might well have been premature in his disclosure that investors
could be paid part of their deposits by Christmas. The revelation
of the existence of this money could also lead to a flood of new
claims, diluting any possible payout. However, in the final
analysis, the discovery must be viewed as a positive development as
it sheds new light on the intention of the operators of these
unregulated schemes. End Comment.
Parnell

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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