A lawsuit against former Clico Investment Bank (CIB) chairman Andre Monteil, the bank’s former CEO Richard Trotman and two companies has gone to trial.
Hearing the multi-million-dollar lawsuit is Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams in the Port of Spain High Court.
The lawsuit surrounds the financing of a block of Clico-owned shares in the Home Mortgage Bank, of which Monteil was chairman up until April 22, 2008, to Stone Street Capital, a private investment firm which Monteil owned.
Named in the lawsuit are Monteil, Trotman, Stone Street Capital and First Capital Ltd, St Lucia, which was also incorporated by Monteil.
The Central Bank-controlled CIB is suing to recover money as a result of a loan transaction by Monteil in 2007 to his investment firm, alleging that a $78 million loan paid out in 2007 to facilitate Stone Street Capital’s acquisition of Clico’s 43.8 per cent interest in the Home Mortgage Bank breached the bank’s internal controls.
Testifying yesterday was Yvette Peters, former project manager for the Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC), which is the liquidator for CIB.
She was questioned extensively by Monteil and Stone Street’s lawyer Jason Mootoo on his client’s directorship of CIB, its parent company CL Financial (CLF) and the HMB.
Peters repeatedly said she had no knowledge of Monteil’s positions and was called as a witness so that certain documents being held by the DIC could be presented as evidence in the lawsuit.
She was asked about the nature of a $70 million and a US$3 million security being held by CIB for Stone Street.
Peters said as far as she was aware CIB had two source of funds being held as security for a $78 million loan and will be released when the funds are paid.
She agreed with Mootoo that the funds had not been released, but said she could not say why not.
“I am not aware of any decision taken not to release the money to Mr Monteil,” she said under cross-examination.
She was also questioned about an unsigned and undated credit policy, allegedly of CIB, and about a 337,269 share dividend payment to CIB by CLF.
“I can’t say the dividend paid has never been repaid to CLF,” she said, adding that she was not aware that a request had been made of CIB for it to be paid.
Monteil has denied any wrongdoing and is expected to testify in his defence.
Also representing Monteil and Stone Street is Christopher Sieuchan, while Trotman is unrepresented.
Queen’s Counsel Michael Green is representing CIB.