Logistics are being put in place for the distribution of close to 4000 cheques worth $500,000.00 for depositors of the embattled Capital Bank of St. George’s businessman, Finton De Bourg, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine.
Addressing reporters at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Antoine said that the one-year old New National Party (NNP) government is hoping to distribute the cheques to depositors by the middle of the month through the use of Government Revenue Offices throughout the country.
He said government had been attempting to do so since last week but was behind schedule in planning the logistics with receivers
The Keith Mitchell-led administration had made a promise to the affected depositors of CapBank whose money remains in receivership since 2008 that his government will seek to refund depositors with $500.00 and less on their accounts.
On return to office following the February 19, 2013 General Election, Prime Minister Mitchell in presenting his government’s “holding budget” in April recommitted to refunding those small amount depositors.
THE NEW TODAY understands that more than 5000 depositors are affected by the closure of Capital Bank Ltd.
Controversy has been plaguing the bank since its establishment in 1988.
During the 1990-95 rule of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite, the regime refused to grant a license to the bank to operate based on advice from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
However, the NNP of Dr. Mitchell when it took office in June 1995 decided to grant Capbank a license to operate and ECCB Governor, Sir Dwight Venner reacted by refusing to allow the controversial local bank to use its Clearing House facility.
The bank eventually ran into problems and depositors started to complain of not being able to make withdrawal of their funds.
Local attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden took the operators of the bank to court on behalf of a client and in the face of mounting public pressure, the Mitchell government was forced to step in and appoint a Receiver in February 2008 to take charge of the affairs of the bank.
De Bourg was subsequently arrested on several charges of fraud in relation to use of funds from Capbank.
He is currently on one million dollars bail in connection with four counts of fraudulent breach of trust for allegedly converting $18,227,902.60 of money entrusted to CapBank to himself.
De Bourg took the government to court on the issue of the appointment of David Holukuff as the Receiver and high court judge Claire Henry ruled in his favour.
The order of the female judge was for De Bourg to be handed back the bank since the purported appointment was illegal.
The Mitchell government appealed the decision. However, then Attorney-General, Jimmy Bristol under the Congress government of July 2008 to February 2013 decided to discontinue the appeal.
The NEW TODAY understand that the effect of the ruling was that the bank and all documents held by Holukuff be returned to De Bourg and Capbank as the judge deemed the appointment of the receiver as invalid without the required recommendation from the ECCB.
The State has allegedly been in violation of the court order and the law firm of Justis Chambers, headed by current Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood had made application to the court for a committal of the Minister of Finance for not invoking the order of Justice Henry.