Financial Fraud

Financial Fraud

Individuals, businesses, institutions, governments and government instrumentalities are victimized by financial fraud daily.  The losses when measured in dollars are staggering.  By every other measure, the effects of financial fraud are undeniable and, oftentimes, devastating.  Headlines from around the world confirm that no one, no matter how sophisticated, is immune to fraud.  When faced with these situations victims of fraud are forced to decide whether to act or not to redress their situation and hold the fraudster and his or her facilitators accountable.  Inaction benefits only the fraudster and assures the permanency of the loss for the victim.  Sequor law abhors these outcomes and has built a world-renowned financial fraud practice focused on helping victims of fraud prosecute investigations and legal actions against fraudsters of all stripes.

In the course of its work, Sequor Law’s financial fraud team frequently coordinates multi-jurisdictional investigations and asset recovery efforts with legal, forensic and investigative experts in other jurisdictions, including regularly in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia. Our professionals have backgrounds in finance, accounting, and are also fluent in several languages, facilitating the analysis of evidence from around the world in real time. Sequor Law’s financial fraud team is committed to pushing cases and obtaining results as quickly and cost-effectively as possible and brings with it tested relationships with third-party litigation funders who can help putative plaintiffs prosecute financial fraud cases against well-funded adversaries.

Sequor Law also brings to bear its leadership in the International Chamber of Commerce’s FraudNet, the premier financial fraud and asset recovery network in the world. Whether the nexus of the fraud and ultimate landing place for the misappropriated assets is in the United States or elsewhere, our network acts as a “24/7” rapid deployment force that can go toe-to-toe with the world’s most sophisticated fraudsters.

Representative Cases

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Sequor Law represents the Joint Liquidators for Stanford International Bank, Ltd.(“SIB”) (in Liquidation). SIB, a bank located in Antigua, which primarily sold certificates of deposit, played a key part in a worldwide Ponzi scheme, the second largest one in history, perpetrated by Robert Allen Stanford, with losses to depositors estimated to exceed US$4.4 billion. SIB was liquidated in March 2009 and since May 12, 2011, when Mr. Marcus Wide and Mr. Hugh Dickson from Grant Thornton were appointed as Joint Liquidators of the SIB estate in the liquidation proceeding in Antigua, Sequor Law has acted as co-general counsel along with counsel in the Caribbean for the Joint Liquidators in their global asset recovery efforts, which have included helping the estate to recover (a) US$3.2 million from Panama; (b) US$20 million from the United Kingdom; (c) freezing assets in Antigua & Barbuda valued at US$212 million; (d) launching a formal claim process; (e) claims related to approximately US$330 million in frozen assets at the request of the Department of Justice of the United States in Canada, Switzerland and the U.K.; (f) filing a case for damages valued at approximately US$5 billion against a bank in Canada; and (g) initiating efforts to recover a considerable amount of funds located in Colombia, from law firms and other financial institutions, among other things. Sequor Law also initiated an application for recognition under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on behalf of the Joint Liquidators in Dallas, Texas, which was approved, recognizing the procedure in Antigua as the secondary foreign proceeding and, recently, helped the U.S. Judicial Administrator, the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, along with the Joint Liquidators and others, to reach a global agreement and cross-border protocol.

Represented a class of 2,232 victims of the Leadenhall Bank & Trust and Cash-4-Titles fraud in the British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas to recover US$14.4 million. In this case, the fraudsters, who were convicted and sentenced to multiple years of incarceration for their fraud in the early 2000s, used Leadenhall Bank & Trust in the Bahamas to launder a portion of the proceeds of their fraud. Leadenhall went into liquidation and was sued by the class of victims before the U.S. District Court in Miami in 2003. This led to a final money judgment in the sum of US$313 million in September 2007 from the U.S. District Court. The enforcement of that Judgment has resulted in a collection of US$I4.4 million, with a further US$7 million to be distributed to the class in the following 12 months or so.

Represented a multinational Colombian food products company in its efforts to collect substantial losses in products that were obtained from the Colombian company through fraud and deception. The Colombian institutional client had all but given up hope on recovering its losses when its insurer failed to cover them and sought the assistance of the Firm. Employing international treaties and U.S. domestic laws, lawyers for the firm were able to identify the products and prosecute the defendants in the United States and achieve a successful settlement.

Represented Creances, S.A.S., (“CDR”), as the successor to Societe de Banque Occidentale (“SDBO”) and an instrumentality of the Republic of France, charged with obtaining value for the assets of insolvent French financial institutions. The subject matter of the dispute was the perpetration of a fraud by a borrower in favor of whom a loan in the amount of nearly US$100 million had been issued that ultimately led to the sale of the land securing the loan without paying off the loan. Sequor Law assisted in developing the strategy that ultimately led to the recovery of millions of dollars in real estate.

Represented the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in designing the legal strategy for the recovery of assets for the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago in the CLICO insurance company corruption scandal.

Represents Bancafe International Bank (in Liquidation) (“BIB”). In or around 2006, one of the major banking groups in Central America, Banco Cafeteros de Guatemala (“Bancafe”), which had operations in Central America and the Caribbean, failed. BIB, an affiliate of Bancafe was established according to the laws of Barbados with extensive operations in Guatemala and assets in the United States, and was placed under bankruptcy in Barbados. PricewaterhouseCoopers was named the custodian. The assets of the bank in the United States included a claim for US$200 million in the bankruptcy of REFCO in New York, which has resulted in a recovery exceeding US$54 million. In December 2006, Sequor Law, acting in representation of the custodian, filed the first Chapter 15 case in Florida under the Bankruptcy Code of the United States, achieving the recognition of the liquidation proceeding in Barbados as the main foreign proceeding. A broad discovery of evidence in the United States ensued and it is still ongoing, as well as discovery and continuous tracking of other assets potentially recoverable for the estate. An account in New York was also identified from which approximately US$1 million were recovered.

Represents the judicial administrator of Banco Santos, S.A. (in Liquidation). The case followed an investigation that revealed that an executive of the bank had perpetrated a theft of more than US$1 billion through a complex scheme that involved several countries. Sequor Law initiated an insolvency proceeding under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Through the Chapter 15 action and corresponding recognition, Dr. Vanio Aguiar obtained valuable evidence located in the United States and around the world, which helped his efforts, including the recovery of works of art valued at millions of dollars. Additionally, several millions of dollars were recovered in an ancillary case against third parties through a confidential agreement.

Represents Petroforte Brasileiro de Petroleo Ltda. (“Petroforte”) (in Liquidation). Petroforte, part of a great group of commercial companies in Brazil, failed, was declared insolvent, and it is subject to an insolvency proceeding in Brazil. A Judicial Administrator was appointed to supervise Petroforte’s businesses, and the bankruptcy of the same has been extended to more than 300 entities and individuals. Sequor Law filed an application in the United States requesting deposition testimony and the production of evidence, and analogous proceedings were pursued in other countries in the Caribbean and Central America. The Firm was able to obtain important deposition testimony and collect documentary evidence to assist the Judicial Administrator with his efforts in Brazil. Depending upon the outcome of certain proceedings in Brazil, additional litigation in several jurisdictions, including in the United States through an application under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Law may result in the identify and recover additional assets.