Controversial Banker, Finton DeBourg is rejoicing over a ruling handed down in his favour by the Court of Appeal.
DeBourg, whose local “Homegrown” bank known as Capitol Bank International remains in receivership, challenged the appointment of a receiver by a former Keith Mitchell-led government to oversee transactions of the bank and seeking to have full ownership of his company returned to him.
His fight for success came three weeks ago when three Justices of Appeal – Dame Janice M. Pereira, Davidson Baptiste; and Paul Webster ruled in his favour and granted him cost.
In a press release on Tuesday, DeBourg said the way is now cleared for Capital Bank to access its claim for compensation and damages against the Government of Grenada, for the unlawful appointment of a Receiver over its assets in 2008 by the Mitchell administration.
This court of appeal judgment stemmed from a decision of a High Court Judge delivered on May 7, 2008 declaring that the appointment of David Hollukoff as Receiver over Capital Bank by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Mitchell was unlawful and revoked the appointment.
The judge also ordered that, David Hollukoff, deliver up possession of the business and premises together with, among other things, all books, papers records and keys, by noon the following day, May 8, 2008, and that the Receiver file a report of all actions taken by him during the period of the receivership. According to DeBourg’s release, an appeal was filed by the Minister of Finance and subsequently abandoned.
“Yet six years later the Minister of Finance and his self-appointed Receiver have failed to obey the order of the court and continue to unlawfully occupy the Bank while depleting its assets.
“The bank applied to the court for compensation and damages for the wrong resulting from this unlawful receivership. The claim was denied by the High Court and the Bank later appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal, the release said.
“It has taken six years but judgment finally came on June 17, 2014, in favour of Capital Bank. This is an important judgment for all depositors and other shareholders of Capital Bank who suffered greatly during the past six years while awaiting justice.”
The press release signed on behalf of shareholders says, “We are supposed to be living in a democracy under the rule of law yet since 2001 Capital Bank took the ECCB and the Government of Grenada to court for relief from the wrongful denial of the Bank’s access to the ECCB’s clearing House facility to clear its cheques.
“Thirteen years later the Bank is still awaiting justice in this matter, which is indeed the genesis of all Capital Bank woes over the years that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Bank at the hands of the authorities”.
According to DeBourg he is confident that yet another major judgment will soon be delivered by the court in favour of Capital Bank with the appropriate compensation and damages that would naturally follow.
De Bourg was slapped with four counts of falsification of documents, and three counts of fraudulent appropriation of funds that were laid against him in March 2009 in connection with the operations of the bank.
He was placed on $900,000.00 bail with two sureties with one of the sureties who signed the bail form being Parliamentary Representative in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Information, (former Labour Relations Officer of the main Opposition New National Party) Winston Garraway.
De Bourg is accused of fraudulently appropriating funds amounting to $15.6 million, $975,000, and $190.97, the property of CapBank.
A Roman Catholic Priest, Fr. Sean Doggett, security officer, Arthur Nedd, and farmer, Abraham Pascal who together had savings of just over $400,000.00 in the bank suffered immensely as a result of the loss of their funds.
The State has also claimed that De Bourg falsified the account records and minutes of the Board of Directors of CapBank where he allegedly took money in the form of a loan from the bank.
This was discovered by an audit conducted by the accounting firm, Wilson and Company.
De Bourg’s misery began on February 15, 2008 when the previous Mitchell-led government placed CapBank into Receivership.
Minister of Finance, Nazim Burke, revoked CapBank’s license in September 2008.
De Bourg was first arrested at his home in Westerhall, St David’s by members of the Financial Intelligence Unit on May 14, 2008 when they carried out an operation, which resulted in the seizure of several items.
Four charges of fraudulent breach of trust were then slapped on him, but were later dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Christopher Nelson.
At the time of his arrest on May 14, 2008 it was alleged that De Bourg converted $18,227,902.60 of money entrusted to CapBank to himself between August 2004 and February 2008.