The Call Centre fiasco

Michaele Rose: ‘I refused to sign a fraudulent $3M insurance claim

The controversial Call Centre that was set up by the former New National Party (NNP) government of former Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell was the subject of an investigation under the Tillman Thomas administration.

THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain some of the highlights of the information obtained by the investigators.

See below for details:

 

CALL CENTER GRENADA INC (CCG)

 

2002

June

Tim Antoine memo on application of Cable & Wireless (C&W) dividend used to offset amount owing by CCG to C&W

 

May

CEO is Steve Horsford and CFO is Gerard Crosse. Cash flow very critical, heavy financial loss, C&W owed 5.4M, 20 persons to be laid off

 

August

May to July 2002 loss of $1.8M

 

2003

January

Board discusses payment of GG dividends to C&W for $5M

 

February

Monthly loss is $659,000

 

October

Revenue is only 24% of expenses, august 2002 to October 31, 2003 net loss of $1.8M. Bryan Slinger is in-house accountant

 

November 24, 2003,

Cabinet appointed Lev M. Model as Director of CCG. Lev Model is Russian born, a convicted fraudster, has a US Passport, a New York Driver’s License and at the time his spouse Nina, lived in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

 

2004

January 15

CCG Board meeting where Patricia Antoine introduces Lev Model as new director appointed by

Cabinet and holder of 49% shares of CCG. Loss from August 1 to December 31 is $2.4M. Cabinet had given Model a 49% share interest in CCG and a salary of US$6,000 per month.

 

March 18

CCG Board minutes shows unpaid to NIS is $1.7M and unpaid taxes is $107,000, debt has increased to $11.4M due to additional $600,000 received from shareholders.

 

March 29

Cabinet agrees to give Lev Model 49% share interest in CCG. Value of 49% shares by Agostini is deemed to be nil given annual operating losses.

 

May

Lev wants new trainers, more cable, loss for month is $595,000 and net loss from August 2003 to April 2004 is $4.3M. Shareholder loan now $14.2M

 

June 17

Special CCG Board meeting where Lev Model is told to manage CCG as a “private entity”

 

June 21

Cabinet approves use of C&W dividends to repay C&W for CCG debt

 

August

CEO Horsford is terminated and Michele Rose starts work at CCG.

 

During the years 2004 and 2005, CCG was funded primarily by loans from GG and GG guarantees to RBTT for its ECD 2.5 million overdraft. There was minimal operating revenue.

 

2005

February 3

CCG issues a cheque for $55,000.00 for deposit to Lev Model’s ECD account.




 

February 3

CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,303.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s ECD account.

 

February 17

Lev Model issues a cheque in the amount of $40,000.00 for deposit to CCG bank account.

 

February

Up to the month of February, the EC$ account was in the name of Lev Model, Westerhall Point, St. David’s Grenada but starting in March the account name becomes Lev Model, Call Centres Grenada Inc., Seamon, St. Andrew’s Grenada. This account name continues until the end of 2005 when the name reverts to the original.

 

March 1

CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,303.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account. (Gross amount is $18,223.57)

 

March 2

CCG issues a cheque for $19,000.00 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

March 30

Lev Model issued the following cheque from his ‘Model Call Centre’ EC$ bank account #6300131: Cheque #000148730 for EC$ 200,000.00 issued to CCG

 

March 31

CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,303.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

April 29 CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,303.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

April 29 Lev Model issued the following cheque from his ‘Model Call Centre’ EC$ bank account #6300131: Cheque #000148743 for EC$ 160,000.00 to CCG:

 

May

Antoine says during recent months operations of CCG had been heavily funded by Lev Model, CCG’s investor

 

July 8

Lev Model issues a cheque in the amount of $10,110.70 for deposit to CCG bank account.

 

August 11

CCG emergency Board meeting is called and Patricia Antoine starts discussion on the next step for CCG as a result of severe financial constraints coupled with two hurricanes and the destroyed equipment. Lev Model regrets that the situation leads to closure of CCG and expressed appreciation for the government efforts. Wildman commended Model who brought about a change in culture and attitude to work among workers and the operation of CCG. The RBTT overdraft will be an additional debt to government. It was resolved to close the company effective August 31, 2005. Since inception, CCG lost ECD 19.8 million according to financial statements prepared by Agostini.

 

 

September 1 An amount of EC$ 65,694.28 is deposited to the Lev Model, Call Centres Grenada Inc., St. Andrew’s Grenada RBTT bank account #6300131 and credit memo states “Part RBTT chq #147793 B/O Call Centres Gda Inc”. The cheque is derived from the gross amount of EC$ 77,481.73 drawn on the CCG bank account #5535420 at RBTT. This cheque represents 4 months (June – September) of pay for Model.

 

September 29 CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,423.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

October 6 An amount of EC$ 26,000 is deposited to the Lev Model, Call Centres Grenada Inc., St. Andrew’s Grenada account #6300131 and credit memo states “RBTT chq #142429” drawn on the CCG bank account #5535420 at RBTT.

 

October 27 CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,423.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

November 11 CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,423.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

 

December 16 CCG issues a payroll cheque for net amount of $16,423.57 for deposit to Lev Model’s EC$ account.

2006

January 31 CCG financial statements are prepared by Agostini that reports total assets of EC$4.4M and total liabilities of EC$32.2M and a net loss of EC$19.8M. Under long term loans an amount of EC$19.0M is due to the Government of Grenada and EC$3.1M is due to Lev Model (US$1.1M)

2007

November 9 In the matter of RSM et al vs. Fridman, Bowen et al, Michaele Rose made a declaration.

 

She stated that she started to work at CCG in August 2004. She states that Lev Model was the CEO at CCG and that she worked directly for Lev Model as the “number 2” person at CCG. At its peak CCG had over 300 employees. Monthly she appeared before a board of government officials to report on the status of the business. The officials would typically include G. Bowen. “I became aware that Model was paying my salary out of his personal account and not a CCG account”. He told me this was necessary as CCG was losing money. At one time he told me he was paying the college tuition of Bowen’s daughter, and his daughter, who I met confirmed to me that Model was paying for her college.

 

I refused to sign a fraudulent $3M insurance claim. Model implied that he could have me arrested and detailed in Grenada or give me problems with immigration so that I would have difficulty leaving Grenada. I left in June 2005 at midnight after observing practices that my husband and I felt were fraudulent and illegal.

 

 

 

 

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