Ansa appeals High Court's dismissal of freezing order against dealerships

Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. - File photo/Roger Jacob
Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. - File photo/Roger Jacob

A High Court judge’s dismissal of a freezing order against six roll-on/roll-off used car dealers granted last month, as ANSA Merchant Bank sought to recover $27 million from the companies and six former employees of the bank, has been appealed.

On October 5, Justice Frank Seepersad froze the assets of the six former employees of ANSA Merchant Bank and the dealerships to the tune of $27 million.

However, three days later, he discharged his order against the dealerships because of a disconnect in the evidence to prove the bank had an arguable case against them.

ANSA Bank appealed.

On Wednesday, the matter came up for hearing before the judge, with a new application being filed to assist with discovery relating to a transaction made while the freezing order was in place. Although the matter was held in open court, details of the application cannot be reported, as the bank sought a non-disclosure order for third parties.

According to AMB’s appeal, the judge was wrong to conclude no arguable case had been made out on the evidence presented to continue the freezing order.

The bank has asked for the original freezing order against the six dealerships to be continued until December 11, when the matter will again come up for hearing.

In its claim, AMB alleged it uncovered a complex web of alleged fraudulent loan transactions involving real property and no fewer than 35 vehicles. It said it sustained almost $30 million in losses over two and a half years.

The freezing order continues against the six former employees, who still cannot dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of their properties.

The bank alleges its former employees and the six dealerships engaged in a conspiracy to present fraudulent documents and/or make fraudulent representations to the bank for over $27 in loans.

It is also alleged the former employees breached the terms of their contracts and conducted themselves in a manner that was likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust between themselves and the bank.

The bank has also accused the defendants of wrongfully engaging in actions with intent to injure the bank and cause losses by unlawful means in the conspiracy to defraud and conceal their actions.

The claim also alleges that by reason of conspiracy to defraud, each employee is liable to account for the misappropriated sums and liable for damages.

The bank is represented by attorneys Bryan McCutcheon, Candace Layers and Marcelle Ferdinand.

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