TCI government recovers $8M in public cash
(CNS): $8.13 million has been paid into the TCI government coffers following the settlement of claims arising out of the underpayment of Stamp Duty on the 2006 sale of crown land. The government received the windfall following the forced sale of Emerald Cay by its owners. Officials from the TCI said that the payment brings to a conclusion “one of the most significant cases of the TCI government's civil recovery programme and represents a substantial recovery”. TCI’s Attorney General Huw Shepheard said the government was delighted that judgment handed down earlier this year had been satisfied.
“Whilst obtaining judgments such as this is highly important and demonstrates the Government's determination to deal with Stamp Duty evasion, the receipt of such a large sum represents another significant recovery to the benefit of the Islands. It also represents another very good result for the civil recovery team and their on-going efforts,” he added.
In June 2011 the civil recovery team obtained a judgment against Emerald Cay Limited and Worldwide Commercial Properties Limited, subsequently quantified at just under $9.3m by the Court earlier this year, with interest and costs, following the discovery of substantially underpaid stamp duty on the 2006 sale of Emerald Cay. Since that date the TCIG sought to enforce that judgment by forcing a sale of Emerald Cay.
The property was sold Monday by Emerald Cay Limited, and government got the cash payment and a payment of stamp duty on the sale in satisfaction of the judgment and the money will be used to pay down TCIG debt, government officials said in a release.
The civil recovery team, led by London law firm Edwards Wildman, was engaged in December 2009 following the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry Report by Sir Robin Auld.
To date, the team has recovered over $15.5m in cash and nearly 2,500 acres of land for the government in over 40 separate claims with more significant recoveries expected. The Emerald Cay payment follows the earlier summer settlement of the Salt Cay litigation with the return of a large part of that Island to the Government's hands and a payment of $7m in cash.
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