ONE of the businessmen behind the multi-million dollar Palm Cay development in Nassau is due to stand trial in the UK following an investigation into money laundering carried out by Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.
The Tribune has learned that Paul Cummins, 51, who splits his time between Nassau, where he has a property in Port New Providence, and Cheshire in the United Kingdom, was arrested in 2010 and later charged with money laundering and false accounting offences.
He is due to stand trial in the UK on July 29.
It is alleged that Mr Cummins, who is co-owner of Palm Cay Developments Ltd, laundered money, believed to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, for a convicted drug trafficker through a property development in Spain – the proceeds of which passed through financial systems in various countries, including the Bahamas.
The trial for Mr Cummins and four other British nationals is expected to last six weeks.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is an elite unit, sometimes dubbed “the British FBI,” which tackles serious and organised crime that affects the UK and its citizens.
A spokesperson said: “British national Paul Cummins, aged 51, from Cheshire in the United Kingdom, was arrested in 2010 and later charged with money laundering and false accounting offences. He is due to stand trial on July 29 along with four other British nationals.”
Palm Cay is described on one real estate website as an oceanfront gated community in the “true British colonial style”, which blends “a magnificent, fully equipped marina with panoramic waterfront and glorious beach front real estate in the Bahamas.”
When The Tribune attempted to speak with Mr Cummins at his Port New Providence home, guards at the security barrier said he wasn’t available.
A spokesperson for Palm Cay declined to comment, while a local law firm reported to represent Mr Cummins refused to confirm whether he is or was a client.
Meanwhile, Mr Cummins’ business partner and another Palm Cay co-owner, Henry Moser, was recently fined by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) for mortgage sales and arrears failings.
Moser was personally fined £70,000 and his company, Cheshire Mortgage Corporation Ltd, was fined £1.225 million.
According to a report in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, the company charged borrowers with tainted credit records more than 12 per cent interest.
The FSA found that the company which is based in Cheadle, in the UK, overcharged some customers who were behind on their payments, applying penalty charges “inconsistently and unfairly”, The Guardian report said.
The FSA said: “Moser, as CEO, was ultimately responsible for the actions and compliance of the firm, however he failed to ensure the firm was being properly managed so that problems would be identified and remedied.”