-- Posts Summary: Airlines and Airports operating and not operating --

DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

News about this airline - please include a link to the source as well as the article text itself.
Web site: http://www.skybahamas.net/
Post Reply
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://ewnews.com/dpm-and-sky-bahamas- ... loan-fraud

DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud
Natario McKenzie
November 19, 2020

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest and Sky Bahamas Principal Captain Randy Butler have been accused of defrauding a company of some $30 million via “bogus loans”, court documents obtained by Eyewitness News have revealed.

A writ filed by the law firm Scott & Co. on November 16 lists Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd. as the first and second plaintiffs.

Randy Butler, Sky Bahamas Airlines Limited and Aviation Oversight Group Ltd. are listed as defendants.

While Turnquest is not listed as a defendant in the matter, the court documents allege that he was a director and manager of Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd., while Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight were at all material times, owned, controlled and/or managed by Butler.

It is alleged that between 2008 and 2017, Butler, Turnquest and the Aviation Oversight Group conspired to defraud the plaintiffs and conceal such fraud and the proceeds thereof.

It is further alleged that at the end of December 2017, the defendants had caused Alpha to pay $20,680,337.33 to Sky Bahamas in each case by way of “some kind of bogus loan”.

Court documents allege that at the end of December 2017, the defendants had caused Advanced Aviation to pay via wire transfers $5,916,587.67 to Sky Bahamas.

It is further alleged that as of December 2017, the defendants had caused Alpha to pay $3,026,000.00 to themselves via a company controlled by AOG Maintenance Ltd.

The plaintiffs also claim that between February 2008 and July 2016, the defendants caused Alpha by some 36 fraudulent invoices and book entries to pay away to Aviation Oversight 37 cheques and to Sky Bahamas two cheques totaling $3,800,000.

The plaintiffs claim that Turnquest and Butler breached their fiduciary duties by failing to keep proper financial records, keep proper management accounts or ensure that adequate financial controls or systems were in place.

The plaintiffs also assert that Butler knew or must have known that monies were being paid away by Turnquest in breach of his fiduciary duties and dishonestly received by Sky Bahamas and Aviation oversight.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2020/nov ... laim/?news

[Bahamas] Turnquest Denies Conspiracy Claim
NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor
Friday, November 20, 2020

The deputy prime minister on Thursday night branded claims that he “conspired” to defraud Sky Bahamas’ financier of almost $27m via sham loans as “categorically false”.

K Peter Turnquest hit back at allegations levied by two companies controlled by Fred Kaiser, a Canadian businessman with whom he previously enjoyed a long and close relationship, by saying he was “appalled” his name had been dragged into a dispute with another “former business partner”.

That business partner is Captain Randy Butler, chief executive of Sky Bahamas, which was forced to cease flying last year after the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority refused to renew the air operator certificate that was required to carry fee-paying passengers. Mr Turnquest, though, noted that he is not named as a defendant in Mr Kaiser’s statement of claim - only Captain Butler.

Implying that the dispute has nothing to do with him, Mr Turnquest said: “The Writ does not name me as a defendant but makes several allegations in its statement of claim that are categorically false.

“I deny these false claims. I am appalled that my standing as a public servant made calling my name in this dispute between my former business partners worthwhile. There is no room for that kind of misuse of our judicial system in our society. I am confident that the facts will defend my integrity once presented.

“My record of transparency and accountability in my private and public life is a matter of record and reputation. My focus remains on further deepening our democracy by enacting legislation to reform and modernise the management of our economy and public finances as we work through this very challenging period in our country.”

It is unclear why the action brought by Mr Kaiser’s companies, Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation, does not also include Mr Turnquest as a defendant given that it calls the deputy prime minister’s name repeatedly.

It also notes that he acted as “a director and manager” of both entities, as well as “owning and/or controlling and/or managing the two companies listed as defendants, Sky Bahamas Airlines and Aviation Oversight Group. The latter is understood to be a Sky Bahamas affiliate.

Mr Kaiser, whose main business interest, Alpha Technologies, agreed in 2004 to pay some $36m to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after pleading guilty to tax fraud, is alleging that Captain Butler and Mr Turnquest engineered a decade-long conspiracy that lasted until 2017 “to enrich themselves” by defrauding his companies while concealing their activities.

The statement of claim, which has been seen by Tribune Business, claimed that the duo “dishonestly caused” Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation to “pay away” $20.68m and $5.917m, respectively, to Sky Bahamas via “some kind of bogus loans”.

No particulars were given to describe how the scheme worked, although Mr Kaiser’s companies alleged that Mr Turnquest and Captain Butler then used “some 39 fraudulent invoices and/or book entries, and for no adequate consideration”, to drain away some $3.8m paid by Alpha Aviation to Aviation Oversight Group via 39 separate cheque payments between February 2008 and July 2016.

A further $3.026m was also alleged to have been siphoned off by the duo “as at December 31, 2017, to AOG Maintenance Ltd, a company that owned Sky Bahamas’ maintenance hangar at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

“In breach of their duties of honesty and fidelity as directors and/or managers of both the plaintiffs (Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation) and of the second and third defendants (Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight Group), and their duties to act in the best interests of the companies, Turnquest and Butler failed to keep or to ensure that the companies kept any, or any adequate, financial books of account or financial records recording and/or documenting the companies’ financial transactions, failed to maintain or keep any proper or any proper management accounts or bank or cheque or wire transfer reconciliations and failed to put in place any or any adequate financial controls or systems,” the statement of claim by Mr Kaiser’s company alleged.

Further claiming that “none of the payments were documented properly, or at all”, the statement of claim alleged: “At all material times, Butler knew or must have known that the receipt by Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight from Alpha and Advanced were paid away by Turnquest in breach of his fiduciary duties and dishonestly, and were received by Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight... on behalf of Alpha and Advanced and held by them on resulting trust for the plaintiff.”

Kaiser and his companies, making it clear that they have come for the monies they believe are due and owing, are seeking a Supreme Court Order that an accounting be done to determine what is outstanding and that this money subsequently be paid to them.

Several observers on Thursday privately told Tribune Business they thought the nature of the allegations, consisting of financial irregularities and accounting improprieties, would make it difficult for Mr Turnquest to remain in his post as minister of finance - effectively the nation’s chief financial officer.

There was no sign of any such moves last night, though, as Mr Turnquest effectively sought to disassociate himself from a dispute that he sought to pin on Captain Butler and Mr Kaiser. This newspaper understands that senior members of the Free National Movement (FNM) were briefed that the lawsuit was imminent some weeks before it was filed.

However, Captain Butler, when contacted by The Tribune on Thursday, pointed the finger of blame at Mr Turnquest and denied any knowledge of the latter’s financial dealings with Mr Kaiser. While he “absolutely, categorically” denied the allegations against himself, the former Sky Bahamas chief questioned whether there was an effort “to protect” the deputy prime minister by not naming him as a defendant.

“Don’t forget I am not his director of finance,” Captain Butler said in reference to Mr Kaiser. “I don’t have any access to his money; never did. I think you could see whose name he called in all those places. He’s naming the of two of his companies who was his accountant, director and managing director.”

He acknowledged that it may look odd, when pressed by The Tribune, that as a shareholder and chief executive he “knew nothing” about Sky Bahamas’ finances, but said he had always insisted he was the “technical guy” who ran the airline’s operations and left the finances to Mr Turnquest before the latter left for government.

“I had nothing to do with money and that kind of stuff; the accounts and all that. I didn’t have anything to do with that. They go in every paragraph to the money man, and say I should know. How do you make allegations against him [Mr Turnquest] and protect him at the same time? Fred has put out there death by 1,000 pieces for me.”

Legal sources suggested that Captain Butler and his attorneys will likely apply to the Supreme Court to add Mr Turnquest as a third-party defendant, but the Sky Bahamas chief did not confirm that on Thursday.


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



Comments

ThisIsOurs

"The Writ does not name me as a defendant but makes several allegations in its statement of claim that are categorically false."

thing is this isnt some foreign entity filing in our courts. Michael Scott filed the claim, they both from Grabd Bahama. Michael Scott working on the Lucayan deal, a big item for Turnquest. wouldn't it be extremely strange for him not to know this?

Why the denial take so long. This is very strange. And "senior FNM officials knew for weeks"? And they didnt have a rebuttal prepared?

Its also odd that Butler says he didnt handle the finances but only he is named. Who handled the finances?

It's also strange for this much money to flow through the company and only Butler knows about it. As Director and a professional accountant it seems like questions should have been asked. That in itself is bad enough how does someone like that look after the county's finances.

--

ThisIsOurs

would be interesting to find out if Mr Kaiser has been attempting to get any other business dealings going in the Bahamas that have been denied.

"Sky Bahamas’ financier "

It's weird how the narratives over the years made this company seem like a bootstrap company when millions were flowing to it from an intl investor. the whole thing is just plain weird

--

John

This is a tangled web. Was Turnquest named to cause embarrassment or is his hand in deep pit? It was strange that as the second highest ranking man in the country, he couldn’t get Sky Bahamas back up and flying. So are the plaintiffs attempting to force certain actions in a last ditch effort to recover? And what if Turnquest is complicit? Remember he just borrowed $1.3 Billion on behalf of the people of The Bahamas ( and the financial secretary is acting). Should these loans now be microscopically scrutinized? And what is Turnquest has to resign... will this put irreparable damage on the Minnis Administration do much so that there has to be early elections? And is the main opposition house in order,at least to the point that the Bahamian people will have enough confidence to put them back? Remember it is not business as usual in government and in government and economies stouthearted world. Will it be a matter of allowing more Lito on a sinking ship already under drive?
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://www.thegallery242.com/post/dpm- ... ud-lawsuit

[Bahamas, SkyBahamas] DPM caught up in $20M fraud lawsuit
19 November, 2020

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest has been accused of fraud and a “bogus scam” in a writ filed against Captain Randy Butler and Sky Bahamas, where Turnquest served as chairman and partner.

Alpha Aviation Limited and Advanced Aviation Limited, which Turnquest was a director of, are listed as the First and Second Plaintiffs while Butler, Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight Group Limited are listed the First Defendant, Second Defendant and Third Defendant respectively.

The writ is dated November 16, 2020.

According to the writ, “Between 2008 and 2017, the first, second and third defendants along with Turnquest, wrongfully and with intent to injure each Plaintiff and/or to cause loss to them by unlawful means and/or to enrich themselves, unlawfully conspired and combined together to defraud each Plaintiff and to conceal such fraud and the proceeds of such fraud from the Plaintiffs and thereby unjustly to enrich themselves.”

The writ was filed by Scott and Co, the law firm of Bahamas Hotel Corporation Chairman Michael Scott, who became a Queen's Counsel under the Minnis Administration. Scott is also chairman of Lucayan Renewal Holdings, the special purpose vehicle formed to facilitate the sale of Grand Lucayan Resort on Grand Bahama.

Though Scott, an influential Free National Movement supporter, names Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest frequently in the writ, Turnquest is not named as a defendant.

The lawsuit further alleges that, "As at 31 December, 2017, the conspirators had dishonestly caused Alpha to pay away a total of $20,680,337.33 to Sky Bahamas as, in each case, some kind of bogus loan."

They are also accused of dishonestly causing Advanced Aviation to send wire transfers totalling over $5 million to Sky Bahamas, causing Alpha to pay over $3 million to them via a company managed by Aviation Oversight (the third defendant) and using 39 fraudulent invoices and book entries to persuade Alpha to issue 37 cheques totalling $3.8 million to Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight between February 2008 and July 2016.

According to the writ, Turnquest and Butler "failed to keep or ensure that the companies kept any financial books of account or financial records".

The defendants were given 14 days to meet at Scott’s Old Fort Bay Office and deliver their defense of the allegations.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://ewnews.com/dpm-and-sky-bahamas- ... ally-false

DPM and Sky Bahamas chief slam $30 mil. fraud claims as “categorically false”
Natario McKenzie
November 20, 2020

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest and Sky Bahamas Principal Captain Randy Butler yesterday denied allegations of their involvement in a $30 million “bogus loan” scheme, slamming the claims as “categorically false”.

Turnquest and Butler have been accused of defrauding a company of some $30 million via “bogus loans”, court documents obtained by Eyewitness News have revealed.

Turnquest in a statement last night slammed the claims as “categorically false”.

“I have been made aware of a writ filed in the Supreme Court, Commercial Division on November 16, 2020 involving two former business associates,” Turnquest said in a statement.

“The writ does not name me as a defendant but makes several allegations in its statement of claim that are categorically false. I deny these false claims. I am appalled that my standing as a public servant made calling my name in this dispute between my former business partners worthwhile. There is no room for that kind of misuse of our judicial system in our society,” said Turnquest.

“I am confident that the facts will defend my integrity once presented,” he continued.

“My record of transparency and accountability in my private and public life is a matter of record and reputation. My focus remains on further deepening our democracy by enacting legislation to reform and modernize the management of our economy and public finances as we work through this very challenging period in our country.”

For his part, Butler told Eyewitness News, that he intended to defend himself against the accusations.

“I can say from my side, I categorically deny those claims and I am going to defend myself against them,” he said.

“I was on the operations side dealing with a lot of stuff. I don’t know the details to say yay or nay other than the fact that I did not take any funds.”

Sky Bahamas was grounded last July after being denied an air operator’s certificate. The airline was evicted from its head office a month later. At the time, Butler told Eyewitness News the airline’s losses were over $24 million.

A writ filed by the law firm Scott & Co. on November 16 lists Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd. as the first and second plaintiffs.

Butler, Sky Bahamas Airlines Limited and Aviation Oversight Group Ltd. are listed as defendants.

While Turnquest is not listed as a defendant in the matter, the court documents allege that he was a director and manager of Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd., while Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight were at all material times, owned, controlled and/or managed by Butler.

It is alleged that between 2008 and 2017, Butler, Turnquest and the Aviation Oversight Group conspired to defraud the plaintiffs and conceal such fraud and the proceeds thereof.

It is further alleged that at the end of December 2017, the defendants had caused Alpha to pay $20,680,337.33 to Sky Bahamas in each case by way of “some kind of bogus loan”.

Court documents allege that at the end of December 2017, the defendants had caused Advanced Aviation to pay via wire transfers $5,916,587.67 to Sky Bahamas.

It is further alleged that as of December 2017, the defendants had caused Alpha to pay $3,026,000 to themselves via a company controlled by AOG Maintenance Ltd.

The plaintiffs also claim that between February 2008 and July 2016, the defendants caused Alpha by some 36 fraudulent invoices and book entries to pay away to Aviation Oversight 37 cheques and to Sky Bahamas two cheques totaling $3,800,000.

The plaintiffs claim that Turnquest and Butler breached their fiduciary duties by failing to keep proper financial records, keep proper management accounts or ensure that adequate financial controls or systems were in place.

The plaintiffs also assert that Butler knew or must have known that monies were being paid away by Turnquest in breach of his fiduciary duties and dishonestly received by Sky Bahamas and Aviation oversight.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://csjreport.com/2020/11/20/turnqu ... legations/

Turnquest Denies Fraud Allegations
CHERIKA JOHNSON
2020/11/20

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest denied claims of a writ filed in the Supreme Court, suggesting that he played a part in defrauding an aviation company.

In an article, Eye Witness News claimed that Turnquest and Sky Bahamas Principal Randy Butler defrauded Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation Ltd of nearly $30,000,000.

Though Turnquest is not named as a defendant in the writ, he was reported to be director and manager of Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight which was owned by Butler.

The defendants are listed as Randy Butler, Sky Bahamas Airlines and Aviation Oversight Group Ltd.

What does DPM Turnquest say about the allegations?

Turnquest says he is “aware” of the writ filed in the Supreme Court involving two former business associates.

He makes it clear that he is not named as a defendant.

Turnquest says the “several allegations” are “categorically false.”

He says, “I deny the false claims. I am appalled that my standing as a public servant made calling my name in this dispute between two former business partners worthwhile. There is no room for that kind of misuse of our judicial system in our society. I am confident that the facts will defend my integrity once presented.”

What are the allegations in the court document?

On December 31st, the defendants caused Alpha to pay a total of $20,680,337.33 to Sky Bahamas.

As of December 31st, the defendants had dishonestly caused Alpha to pay $3,026,000 to themselves via a company.

Between February 2008 and July 2016, the defendants caused Alpha to pay to Aviation Oversight by means of 39 fraudulent invoices, to pay to Aviation Oversight, 37 cheques, and to Sky Bahamas two cheques totaling a sum of $3,800,000.

As of December 31st, the defendants caused Advanced to pay wire transfers totaling $5,916,587.67 to Sky Bahamas.

It is further alleged that as of December 2017, the defendants had caused Alpha to pay $3,026,000 to themselves via a company controlled by AOG Maintenance Ltd.

The plaintiffs also claim that between February 2008 and July 2016, the defendants caused Alpha by some 36 fraudulent invoices and book entries to pay away to Aviation Oversight $3,800,000.

The plaintiffs claim that Turnquest and Butler failed to keep adequate financial accounts documenting the companies’ financial transactions and failed to put in place an adequate financial system.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2020/nov ... est-fraud/

Davis Calls For Turnquest To Resign Over Fraud Allegations
TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
Friday, November 20, 2020

Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip "Brave" Davis has called for Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest to resign over allegations of a $27m fraud.

Mr Turnquest hit back on Thursday at allegations levied by two companies controlled by Fred Kaiser, a Canadian businessman with whom he previously enjoyed a long and close relationship, by saying he was “appalled” his name had been dragged into a dispute with another “former business partner”.

That business partner is Captain Randy Butler, chief executive of Sky Bahamas, which was forced to cease flying last year after the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority refused to renew the air operator certificate that was required to carry fee-paying passengers. Mr Turnquest, though, noted that he is not named as a defendant in Mr Kaiser’s statement of claim - only Captain Butler.

Since the allegations were publicly aired, there has been no comment from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Free National Movement, Carl Culmer.

Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip "Brave" Davis' request for the matter to be addressed by the Office of the Prime Minister, is the second such public request from the Opposition. The PLP first asked for matter to be addressed on Thursday just before the Senate adjourned, but were told by Leader of government business in the Senate Attorney General Carl Bethel, that he was only aware of what was written in the media.

“It is now day two since the Progressive Liberal Party laid in Parliament a writ of summons alleging a 20 million dollar fraud by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance,” Mr Davis said. “The Prime Minister has not said a word. The Deputy Prime Minister's statement was arrogantly dismissive and missed the point of good governance entirely.”

The PLP said Dr Minnis must be reminded that he has a duty to act when his ministers refuse to take the honourable course.

“There are two appointees of the Prime Minister, the statement continued. “Each has different versions of the truth. Michael Scott, QC, has placed in the public domain by court action, allegations of fraud and dishonesty against the Minister of Finance.

“Mr Scott is the chairman of the Hotel Corporation and in charge of the sale of the Grand Lucayan Hotel in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The second appointee is Peter Turnquest, the Minister of Finance. Mr Turnquest has said that what Mr Scott alleges in the writ is false. In other words, the Finance Minister said that lies have been told on him.”

In the statement, Mr Davis asked how is this resolved in the face of two of the prime minister's appointees alleging one has told lies on the other?

Mr Davis said one of them must be telling the truth.

“Both have clear conflicts between their public duties and their private affairs,” Mr Davis further said. "In our view, before the end of the day they must both act to do the honourable thing which our system demands. If they fail to resign, the Prime Minister must invite their departures forthwith.”

Mr Turnquest is not named as a defendant in the civil law suit, but is accused of conspiring with his former business partner, Captain Randy Butler, to defraud the plaintiff, Alpha Aviation Limited and Advanced Aviation Limited, by unlawful means to enrich themselves.

DPM Turnquest released a statement, late Thursday, denying what he called, “false claims” and saying that he is confident facts will defend his integrity.

Mr Turnquest’s statement read:

“I deny these false claims. I am appalled that my standing as a public servant made calling my name in this dispute between my former business partners worthwhile. There is no room for that kind of misuse of our judicial system in our society. I am confident that the facts will defend my integrity once presented.

“My record of transparency and accountability in my private and public life is a matter of record and reputation. My focus remains on further deepening our democracy by enacting legislation to reform and modernise the management of our economy and public finances as we work through this very challenging period in our country.”

The Tribune contacted the Office of the Prime Minister for commentary on the matter, but was told: "The Office of the Prime does not comment on matters before the court”.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://ewnews.com/former-cabinet-minis ... llegations

[Bahamas] Former Cabinet minister calls for DPM to resign over fraud allegations
November 22, 2020

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Former State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez QC has called for Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest to resign over allegations of his involvement in a $30 million “bogus loan” scheme.

Turnquest and Sky Bahamas Principal Captain Randy Butler were accused of defrauding a company in a writ of Summons that was filed by the law firm Scott & Co. on November 16.

Gomez said the allegations should prompt law enforcement agencies to investigate the veracity of the claims and uphold the rule of law.

The QC argued the public interest is “superior to and greater than any personal interest of individual members of Cabinet” regardless of Turnquest’s innocence or guilt.

“The Opposition has properly requested a public response from the Government. Days have passed in deafening silence,” Gomez said.

“Surely, the Government should at the very least make a public assurance that its relevant agencies have become engaged and that they are each performing their legal duties, including contacting the US Justice Department to ascertain what accounting evidence it or any other government department (such as the IRS) might have to assist our local functionaries in their investigation and making a similar request of the principal of the companies that have made these most serious allegations.”

He said: “This is not a matter that can be compromised, and the public has every right to expect the investigation to be transparent and fair to both the accused and the accusers.”

The writ lists Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd. as the first and second plaintiffs, with Butler, Sky Bahamas Airlines Limited and Aviation Oversight Group Ltd. listed as defendants.

Turnquest is not listed as a defendant in the matter; however, the court documents allege that he was a director and manager of Alpha Aviation Ltd. and Advanced Aviation Ltd., while Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight were at all material times, owned, controlled and/or managed by Butler.

Both men have denied the claims.

Gomez insisted Turnquest’s resignation would be in accordance with the conventions of the Westminster system of Government, and noted the prime minister is obliged to dismiss him in the public interest.

“By now, these steps ought to have been completed,” Gomez said.

“Our standing as a country demands no less from its political leadership and those charged with the duty to uphold the rule of law without fear or favour nor regard to the station of those alleged to be guilty of very serious criminal matters impacting our standing in the financial services global environment.”

Pointing to relationships with global financial institutions, Gom furthered the country’s national and international standing is not a “political football”.

“Our national reputation demands of our Government that every step be taken to preserve it!” he added.

“For these reasons, the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister ought to resign or be fired on the premise that our national interest is superior to and greater than any personal interest of individual members of Cabinet.”
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com ... -minister/

Bahamas PM Responds to Opposition Calls for Resignation of Finance Minister
November 23, 2020

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis Monday broke his silence on opposition calls for the resignation of his Finance Minister Kevin Peter Turnquest amid allegations of his involvement in a reported US$20 million fraud scheme.

Opposition and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) leader, Phillip Davis, has called on Prime Minister Minnis to issue a statement on the matter while urging him to dismiss the Deputy Prime Minister if he fails to resign over the ongoing controversy.

But Minnis said that his Cabinet is “deliberating” over the issue that is now “a court matter right now.

“We’ll get back to you as soon as Cabinet completes our deliberation and discussion,” he told reporters, dismissing suggestions that the controversy could hurt the ruling free National Movement (FNM) in the next general election constitutionally due in 2022.

“I think the people know exactly what we’re doing. The people know our heart. The people know the challenges we faced in terms of Irma when we first came in. We were challenged with Hurricane Irma. We were the first government to have embarked on-air evacuation from the south to ensure that there were no deaths during that hurricane and in spite of that, an economic programme continued to move forward. Then we were challenged with Dorian and in spite of that, we continued to move forward.

“And now we’re plagued with COVID and the entire world is plagued with COVID and in spite of that we continue to focus our concentration on building a better Bahamas,” Minnis said.

Turnquest has in the past denied any involvement and has referred to the issue as “false claims”.

Although he is not named as a defendant in the legal action, Turnquest is accused of involvement in a conspiracy that led to two companies being defrauded of millions of dollars.

In a statement of claim, the two companies – Alpha Aviation Limited and Advanced Aviation Limited – allege that Randy Butler, Sky Bahamas Airlines Limited and Aviation Oversight Group Ltd., together with Turnquest, conspired “wrongfully and with intent to injure” those companies and/or “to cause loss to them by unlawful means and/or to enrich themselves…”

The court document alleges that these fraudulent acts occurred between 2008 and 2017. Alpha and Advanced allege that Turnquest, who was a director and manager of those companies, and the other “conspirators”, dishonestly caused them to pay away millions of dollars in “bogus loans” and fraudulent invoices and/or book entries.

But in a statement to the media last week, Turnquest said he was appalled that his standing as a public servant made calling his name in this dispute between his former business partners worthwhile, and added that his focus remains on his work to improve and modernize the management of the country’s economy and public finances.

However, Davis said that Turnquest’s statement was “arrogantly dismissive” and missed the point of good governance entirely.”

The PLP said Dr Minnis must be reminded that he has a duty to act when his ministers refuse to take the honourable course.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

[SkyBahamas] Investigators: Get Sky’S Records For Fate Of $28m

Unread post by bimjim »

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2020/nov ... -fate-28m/

[SkyBahamas] Investigators: Get Sky’S Records For Fate Of $28m
NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Forensic investigators have urged Sky Bahamas’ main financier to subpoena its accounts via the Supreme Court so the fate of more than $28m advanced to the failed airline can be determined.

The BDO accounting firm’s report - which Fred Kaiser’s companies are heavily reliant upon to support the allegations made against his former business partners, ex-deputy prime minister K Peter Turnquest and former Sky chief executive, Captain Randy Butler - says there is presently insufficient evidence to conclude that a fraud has been perpetrated.

Asserting that such claims can only be proven if access is gained to Sky Bahamas’ accounts, BDO’s forensic report said for them it raised questions about the accounting, record-keeping and support documentation for loans advanced to Sky Bahamas by Mr Kaiser’s two companies, Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation.

Mr Turnquest, who is not named as a defendant in Mr Kaiser’s action despite purportedly playing a central role in an alleged “bogus loans conspiracy”, managed both these entities on Mr Kaiser’s behalf while also being Sky Bahamas’ 70 percent majority shareholder and chairman. He has vigorously denied any wrongdoing and pledged to fight the claims made against him.

BDO’s report questioned the processes followed in making payments in compliance with First Caribbean International Bank (Bahamas) banking mandate that stipulated who the account signatories were and set limits on how much they could authorise for payment in any transaction.

The report, which has been seen by Tribune Business, emerged as both Mr Turnquest and the Prime Minister last night confirmed he had stepped down as deputy prime minister and minister of finance to ensure the allegations against him do not become “a distraction” for the Government as it grapples with the worst fiscal and economic crisis in Bahamian history. Branding the allegations “unfounded and untrue”, Mr Turnquest said: “To protect my family, and in the best interest of my constituency and my party, I have offered my resignation as deputy prime minister and minister of finance to the Prime Minister with immediate effect.

“When I met with the Prime Minister today, I informed him that while I am confident my reputation of transparency and accountability will be vindicated once the allegations against me have been fully ventilated through the courts, I did not want a private business dispute, which occurred prior to my taking public office, to become a distraction to the Government, or to the important national work that lies ahead.

“Our nation is undergoing an unprecedented time in its history. We are fighting a global pandemic, resulting in unprecedented economic challenges and a difficult road ahead to maintain stability and recovery. We must all continue to commit to doing our part.”

Mr Turnquest added that he had acted with “total fidelity” while holding ministerial office, and said: “I look forward to putting this matter behind me and continuing to encourage modernisation and reform in our country, to which I remain so grateful for allowing me to serve. “At an appropriate time, I will have more formal comments to make in regards to the circumstances of the allegations made against me and the actors that have perpetuated it.”

There was much speculation yesterday that Dr Hubert Minnis would appoint former Central Bank governor, Wendy Craigg, who is currently a senior adviser at the Ministry of Finance, as minister of state for finance while he retains the “minister of finance” portfolio.

Such a move would require that Mrs Craigg be named to the Senate, necessitating a change in the Government’s line-up there. Several sources said the only likely alternative to this was to shift Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, who has an accounting and business background, to the Ministry of Finance.

BDO, meanwhile, said it needed “access to Sky Bahamas’ financial records” to determine whether the advances from Mr Kaiser’s two companies were used for the intended purpose. “The loan payable to Alpha Aviation from Sky Bahamas was in the amount of $22.556m as at December 31, 2018. The loan payable to Advanced Aviation from Sky Bahamas was in the amount of $5.917m as at December 31, 2018,” the BDO report states.

“As a result of the aforementioned loans, we suggest that Mr Kaiser petition the court to have Sky Bahamas’ books and records subpoenaed and turned over for forensic review. This forensic review will identify the use of funds transferred to Sky Bahamas from the companies.”

The forensic accountants said they were unable to reconcile Sky Bahamas loan liabilities to Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation from the records they studied.

BDO said it also required the financial records for AOG Maintenance, the company that owned Sky Bahamas’ hangar at Lynden Pindling International Airport, be subpoenaed as loans and advances were also made from Mr Kaiser’s firms to this entity.

And it added that it needed to take a closer examination of Aviation Oversight Group (AOG), one of the defendants named in the “statement of claim” by Mr Kaiser and his firm. “Aviation Oversight’s purpose needs to be examined in more detail,” BDO said.

Captain Butler, when contacted by Tribune Business last night, voiced surprise at BDO’s suggestion Mr Kaiser subpoena Sky Bahamas’ financial records on the basis that the Canadian businessman already possessed them.

The former Sky Bahamas chief said Mr Kaiser and his agents “took everything with them, record and computers”, and had them for seven to eight months after he took over AOG Maintenance and subsequently tried to block the airline from accessing its airport hangar.

Captain Butler also alleged that Advanced Aviation, which owned Sky Bahamas’ planes and engines, leasing them to the airline, effectively made the aircraft “stateless” and failed to inform the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority when it redomiciled to the Cayman Islands.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/113753

Bahamas DPM resigns over fraud allegations
Friday 27 November, 2020

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts

THE Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Peter Turnquest, has resigned following days of pressure to do so after several reports alleged that he was involved in fraud.

Turnquest, on Wednesday (Nov. 25), submitted his resignation and it was accepted by that territory’s Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis.

In a statement issued on the said evening, the Prime Minister explained that he accepted the resignation with immediate effect.

He thanked the former Finance Minister for his service to the country, “especially during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Turnquest had allegedly been caught up in a $30 million fraud claim that allegedly involved a “bogus loan”.

Local media entity Eyewitness News Bahamas reported that a writ filed in the court against Captain Randy Butler and Sky Bahamas also saw Mr. Turnquest being mentioned.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that he would serve in the capacity as Minister of Finance in the meanwhile until a substantive appointment is made.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news ... raud-claim

Sky Bahamas CEO and gov’t minister deny $30mn fraud claim
30.11.2020

Randy Butler, president and chief executive of Sky Bahamas (SBM, Nassau Int'l), and Kevin Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance of the Bahamas, have denied allegations that they were involved in a USD30 million fraud, the archipelago’s Eyewitness News and The Tribune have reported.

Turnquest resigned over the issue on November 25, saying in a letter that he was stepping down to focus on clearing his name from what he claimed were “unfounded and untrue claims” against him.

A statement of claim seen by the two newspapers alleged that Turnquest and Butler “dishonestly caused” two companies controlled by Canadian businessman Fred Kaiser, Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation, to “pay away” USD20.7 million and USD5.9 million, respectively, to Sky Bahamas via “some kind of bogus loan” between 2008 and 2017.

No details in the court papers described how the scheme worked, but Kaiser’s companies also alleged that Turnquest and Butler used “39 fraudulent invoices and/or book entries” to pay another USD3.8 million to a firm controlled by Butler, Aviation Oversight, between 2008 and 2016.

In addition, the defendants allegedly prompted Alpha in December 2017 to pay USD3 million to the defendants via AOG Maintenance, a company that owned Sky Bahamas’ maintenance hangar at Nassau Int'l Airport.

The claim did not specify Turnquest personally as a defendant, but the court documents alleged he was a director and manager of Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation. The papers claimed that Butler and Turnquest conspired to defraud the plaintiffs and conceal their actions by failing to keep proper financial records.

As previously reported, Sky Bahamas ceased flight operations in July 2019 pending the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority’s renewal of its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). Butler has suggested that his business was intentionally sabotaged for political and personal reasons, claims the authority has rejected.

Butler told Eyewitness News that he intended to defend himself against the accusations, saying: “I was on the operations side dealing with a lot of stuff. I don’t know the details to say yay or nay other than the fact that I did not take any funds.”
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 33927
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

Re: DPM and Sky Bahamas chief accused of $30 mil. “bogus loan” fraud

Unread post by bimjim »

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2020/dec ... unch/?news

[Bahamas] Turnquest Turns His Guns On The Punch
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest has fired back at tabloid “attacks” against his reputation and term in office, which he suggests is motivated by the Minnis administration’s dismissal of a private loan agreement.

His statement came after The Punch carried a front-page report and headline that contained several new allegations against the former Cabinet minister.

“Ever since the government of The Bahamas dismissed a private loan arrangement with a foreign finance firm in favour of an international bond offering, the bi-weekly tabloid, The Punch, has launched a relentless attack on me and the Ministry of Finance,” Mr Turnquest said in a statement yesterday.

“The rationale for the decision made, following extensive analysis by technical experts at the ministry, were fully and objectively explained in Parliament. Yet the personal attacks continue. One has to wonder why.”

“What motivates or is the publisher’s special interest in this particular transaction above all of the other financing transactions the government has issued since coming to office?”

Asked yesterday by The Tribune if he intends to bring court action against the tabloid, Mr Turnquest did not confirm or deny, but said he is going to defend himself.

“The front page story in today’s edition of the tabloid is a continuation of that attack,” Mr Turnquest continued in his statement. “The allegations contained in the article are false and completely misleading and I condemn and deny them in the strongest terms.

“Today’s attack article and false claims follow an equally damaging article printed in the Thursday, November 26, 2020 edition of the tabloid, which reported that I purchased two apartment units in Bayroc Condominiums, Nassau, Bahamas and received allowances from the government of $10,000 per month for living accommodation in said units.”

Mr Turnquest said the allegations were intentionally placed to cause public speculation, ridicule and to further damage his reputation and integrity. He said the allegations are equally false and easily disproved.

Last week, Mr Turnquest resigned from Cabinet nearly a week after the East Grand Bahama MP was named in a Supreme Court lawsuit relating to an alleged $27m fraud.

In a statement of claim, Alpha Aviation Limited and Advanced Aviation Limited alleged that Randy Butler and Mr Turnquest conspired “wrongfully and with intent to injure” their companies and/or “to cause loss to them by unlawful means and/or to enrich themselves.”

Plaintiffs alleged that Mr Turnquest and Captain Butler used “some 39 fraudulent invoices and/or book entries, and for no adequate consideration” drained away some $3.8m paid by Alpha Aviation to Aviation Oversight Group via 39 separate cheque payments between February 2008 and July 2016.

They claimed that a further $3.026m was also alleged to have been siphoned off “as at December 31, 2017”, to AOG Maintenance Ltd, a company that owned Sky Bahamas’ maintenance hangar at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

Mr Turnquest was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and maintains his innocence. His former Sky Bahamas partner, Captain Butler, has also said he is innocent of the accusations in the suit.

Last week, Mr Turnquest said he resigned in the best interest of his constituency and his party.

However he said he will discuss the circumstances of the allegations against him and those who perpetuated the claims at a later date.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis was sworn in as interim minister of finance yesterday. Dr Minnis has said he will name a substantive minister of finance soon.
Post Reply

Return to “SkyBahamas Airlines”