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Updated: Full Disclosure – Inside Story On The Men Behind $5bn Refinery Deal

PETER Krieger, non-executive chairman and the face of Oban Energies.
Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services. 

PETER Krieger, non-executive chairman and the face of Oban Energies. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services. 

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Russell Erickson, who says he has more than 30 years of management experience and boasts of expertise in construction operations and staff management.

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The Government was last night facing serious questions over Grand Bahama’s proposed $5.5 billion oil refinery, after the project’s chief promoter confirmed his involvement in two lawsuits alleging misuse of investor monies.

Peter Krieger, Oban Energies’ non-executive chairman, told The Tribune he was one of three defendants who were accused of misappropriating more than $3.7m of investor monies by US government regulators.

That lawsuit, which was filed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2005, was settled without going to trial some three years later. Mr Krieger, who challenged the allegations against him, paid a $110,000 civil penalty “without admitting or denying” the claims, and agreed to be bound from committing future securities law violations.

And, following further research by The Tribune, Mr Krieger confirmed he was also named as a defendant in a legal action filed in 2013 by the Bahamas-based judicial manager for a sister company of the insolvent insurer, CLICO (Bahamas).

John Lopez, the KPMG (Bahamas) accountant who took over British American Insurance Company (BAICO) in the wake of its collapse, and that of its CL Financial parent, alleged that Mr Krieger misappropriated $8.7m of the company’s funds for his own personal use.

The case against Mr Krieger, though, was dismissed on a technicality, as it was “time barred” according to the “statute of limitations” that applies in the US.

The Oban Energies principal yesterday said the claim against him had subsequently been defeated in the appeals courts, and added: “They really have no grounds to stand on.”

Mr Krieger argued that he was the injured party, given that BAICO had failed to fully pay him the purchase price for 14,000 acres of land he sold to the insurer prior to its failure.

He alleged that he had obtained a $70m judgment against the company, and that the judge had “scolded them for perjury and making these outrageous claims against me, and dragging my wife into it”.

However, The Tribune could find no record of the case or judgment, which Mr Krieger said he had filed in the middle district Florida court, despite an extensive search of that court’s case database.

The Oban Energies principal, alive to the potential fall-out, said he hoped revelations of his past would “have no effect” for Oban Energies’ $5.5 billion oil refinery/storage terminal project given that it had just signed a Heads of Agreement

for the Minnis administration on Monday.

Promising future announcements about the involvement of “major international energy companies” with the development, Mr Krieger also sought to downplay his role and importance by stressing he was not part of Oban’s executive management team.

He described himself as “more of an ambassador for the company”, and said his role would be “extremely limited” once Oban Energies obtained all the necessary government permits and approvals.

Mr Krieger’s comments, though, will likely fuel further suspicions about the viability of Oban Energies’ proposal, given that its executive team appears to have minimal experience in dealing with major, multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects.

They also give the impression that Oban is seeking to obtain a Heads of Agreement with the Government, then use this as leverage to round-up capital and partners by marketing the project as a ‘go’ to potential industry investors and partners - possibly even ‘flipping’ it to a buyer.

There are likely to be major questions asked as to whether the Minnis administration conducted sufficient due diligence on Oban Energies, given its desire to spark an economic revival on Grand Bahama.

The Government’s normal practice is for the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) and National Economic Council to use Interpol and other established sources to conduct background checks on the principals involved in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, ensuring they have clean records and no criminal past.

When asked by The Tribune whether the Government had been made aware of his involvement as a defendant in the two ‘investor monies misuse’ cases, Mr Krieger did not directly answer but instead sought to switch the conversation to another topic.

He described the SEC action, filed against him and his father, Sheldon Krieger, in April 2005 as “a very embarrassing incident in my life”, but blamed it on the actions of staff in his financial services business that had grown beyond a size he could control.

The US federal regulator had accused the duo, and one of their employees, John Madey, of “misappropriating more than $3.7 million of investor funds” from a “defunct hedge fund” they ran, called the KFSI Equity Fund.

The fund allegedly raised more than $7.5 million from 45 investors between June 1999-December 2000, with capital solicited through their registered broker/dealer, Krieger Financial Services.

The SEC alleged that Mr Krieger and his father “told investors they would generate returns by trading in securities. In the second quarter of 2000, however, the defendants began diverting KFSI Fund investor funds to run Krieger Financial and pay their own personal expenses.

“To conceal their illicit activities, the Kriegers and Madey issued false KFSI Fund investor statements throughout 2000 that materially overstated the value of customer accounts. Numerous investors invested additional money in the KFSI Fund after receiving these inflated account statements,” the SEC claimed.

“When these fraudulently obtained cash infusions failed to cover the defendants’ personal expenses and the operating expenses for the KFSI Fund and Krieger Financial, the Kriegers and Madey defrauded investors again by promoting fictitious bonds and promissory notes. Ultimately, these investments could not sustain the Fund or Krieger Financial, and both ceased operating in January 2001.”

The SEC alleged that Mr Krieger himself used $160,000 of investor monies to pay credit card bills for “dental visits, taking his pets to the veterinarian, designer clothing, jewellery, and high-end home entertainment systems”.

Confirming that he was the defendant in the action, Mr Krieger yesterday told The Tribune that the events targeted by the SEC occurred when he was between 22 to 24 years-old.

“I was both fortunate enough and unfortunate enough in having very quick success in building a very large financial services firm,” he said, explaining that its growth benefited from the ‘dot.com’ bubble of the late 1990s.

“We were able to show incredible returns for high net worth individuals,” he added. “In a year to year-and-a-half we went from starting a company by myself to having 75 employees.”

Describing himself as “extremely immature” at that stage, Mr Krieger said he found the enlarged company hard to manage and supervise. He added that the problems resulting in the SEC lawsuit stemmed from a group of employees “running a fund”, who were “not accounting properly” for the buying and selling of options they were trading, and inflated its actual performance to enjoy improved compensation.

While the SEC lawsuit did not attribute the problems to Mr Krieger’s employees, the Oban principal said he settled quickly with the regulator and ensured that investors affected were made 100 per cent ‘whole’.

“My name was on the papers, my name was on the documents and the buck stops at the top,” he told The Tribune. “I’d never been in trouble before that. It scared the s* out of me.

“I think the SEC found they were dealing with a young, immature kid that really screwed up. That shouldn’t take away from the seriousness of what happened. We really screwed up and resolved it as quickly as possible.

“Success is difficult to handle. An immature kid made a serious mistake, but no one was affected financially. No one felt any harm from it, but that detracts from the mistake I made and I don’t want that to be the case.... It was an embarrassing moment in my life. I’ve never been in trouble before, and never been in trouble since. I’ve never been to the principal’s office as a kid.”

But, when The Tribune immediately brought up his appearance as a defendant in the case brought by BAICO’s Bahamas-based judicial manager in 2013, Mr Krieger replied: “Oh, I’m glad you’ve brought that up.”

Mr Lopez and his attorneys alleged that BAICO had invested a total $10.25 million with a Florida-based investment fund, the Corban Fund, for which Mr Krieger was the director of operations, prior to its collapse.

The monies were never returned to the judicial manager despite repeated requests, and Mr Lopez and his US attorneys subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging that some $8.7 million was transferred from the Corban Fund’s accounts in 23 transactions to accounts belonging to Mr Krieger and his wife, Marla.

Mr Krieger, though, told The Tribune he was the aggrieved party, and had launched litigation against BAICO himself to recover monies he claimed were due to him prior to the company’s collapse.

He said he obtained a $70 million judgment on the balance of a purchase price owed to him for selling a 14,000-acre tract of Florida land to the insurer, and said of the judicial manager’s action: “They really have no grounds to stand on.

“I actually sued them [BAICO]. I agreed to carry some paper from them, and they only partially paid for the transaction. We sued them in federal court and got a $70 million judgment against them, and not only that. The federal judge admonished them and put in the closing documents about how he scolded them for perjury and making these outrageous claims against myself and dragging my wife into it.”

The judicial manager’s claims against Mr Krieger were defeated on the ‘time barred’ technicality, and the Oban principal said he had also won at the appeals court level. However, this newspaper was unable to find the $70 million judgment in his favour.

“The only person harmed and owed money is me,” he added of the BAICO case. “I never got justice. I’m still trying to collect on that.”

Mr Krieger expressed hope that his past would not harm the Oban Energies project, which has been billed as creating 1,200 construction jobs over the build-out’s lifetime, plus 600 direct jobs.

Pointing to the benefits “this could bring to Grand Bahama”, he added: “It’s important to understand I’m a non-executive chairman, so I’m not a part of the executive team and management team. I’m not a shareholder.

“I’m more of an ambassador to the company, and once we get through the approval process my role becomes extremely limited. We really do have a very strong management team.

“I really hope this has no effect on the project, and people can really see it for what it is. There are going to be major announcements dealing with major infrastructure and energy companies involved in this.”

The Minnis government assured the public on Tuesday that full due diligence had been done on Oban Energies before going ahead with a Heads of Agreement signing ceremony for the refinery project.

But The Tribune’s inquiries over the last few days point to the investigation carried out by the Government falling far short of requirements, and raise questions over other members of the Oban Energies team. This includes its president, Satpal Dhunna; senior vice-president, Russell Erickson; and finance chief, Mark Michel.

Mr Erickson’s biography says he has “over 30 years of management experience, in which he brings expertise in the areas of construction operations and staff management”.

It adds: “Mr Erickson also brings a wealth of experience designing, co-ordinating and managing large logistical supply chain strategies. He has a proven history in ensuring efficient cost utilisation and attainment of savings, revenue and profitability goals.”

Simply by putting Erickson’s name into Linkedin – a tool used by business around the world – throws up his profile and his position at Oban Energies.

Beneath this he lists his employment experience as including the role of managing director of R&J Marine Technologies from 2014 to the present day.

Putting R&J Marine into Google throws up its website, where it proudly declares Erickson has more than 25 years’ experience in the boat manufacturing industry, and that in 2000 he joined with naval architect Michael Peters to design a boat together. The R&J website also includes a link for would-be investors to contact Erickson.

On Monday, The Tribune phoned Michael Peters to ask about his involvement with Erickson, and the story he told was one completely different from the information contained on either R&J or Oban’s websites.

“He came to us to design a boat for him which we did,” said Mr Peters. “His intention was to take the boat to market, but I understand he only sold one or two and he then went bankrupt. His assets were bought by Edgewater Boats.

“My understanding is he was involved in car parks before this, laying the surfaces, that sort of thing, and the last I heard 10 years ago was he was selling cars. I remember he was a nice bloke but hit badly by the bankruptcy.”

Another simple query on Facebook confirmed Mr Peters’ memory that Erickson was in the car business.

Erickson details his work experience as managing director at R&J, but also roles as ‘former sales at RENNtech’ and ‘former product specialist’ at Mercedes Benz of North Palm Beach.

The Tribune spoke to Sharon Feyhl, manager at RENNtech, which her husband has owned for almost 30 years.

“I know he had some boat business in the past which fell apart,” said Mrs Feyhl. “He was a salesman for us we but we fired him for lack of performance. He was basically doing nothing – as little as humanly possible to get his nice pay cheque.

“He didn’t come across as the smartest guy around. To think he’s running a billion dollar oil business, I mean, wow. It’s ridiculous.”

Prior to working at RENNtech, The Tribune confirmed Erickson was employed as a floor car salesman at Mercedes Benz in North Palm Beach.

Floor manager Brent Ackerman told us: “He was here for three or four years before he had a difference of opinion with management and left. I thought he was a pretty nice guy and did good work for us in sales.”

The Tribune’s inquiries into Oban’s senior management team threw up several other issues not mentioned on their website.

Listed as the company’s president is Satpal Dhunna, whose biographical details are as glowing as those for Mr Erickson.

Among his achievements was that he was ‘Managing diirector – Africa, Middle East and Asia’ for the company CreditSights.

On Monday, CreditSights told The Tribune Mr Dhunna never held the title of managing director but was simply director at their office in Dubai. Mr Dhunna in an interview insisted to The Tribune he was the managing director.

The company also refused to confirm the details of why Mr Dhunna was dismissed by CreditSights in 2010 for “alleged gross misconduct”. Mr Dhunna confirmed his relationship with CreditSights ended “incredibly negatively”, but said no offence of misconduct was ever established against him.

One further problem surfaced for Oban as a result of The Tribune’s inquiries into its web page.

Among the leadership team is listed Mark Michel – Finance.

Among his details are that he is ‘managing director at a leading private equity securities firm, Drexel Hamilton Investment Bankers, and is a licenced securities representative.”

Drexel Hamilton is involved in structuring the finance for Oban’s refinery project, but the inclusion of Mr Michel’s name as part of the Oban management team and his job title came as a surprise to Drexel’s chief executive, Anthony Felice.

“Mark is not a managing director. He is a director here in what we call our structured project management team, and they have been trying to work with Oban on the finance side,” Mr Felice told The Tribune.

“I am not in love with the fact that Mark is on their management team website. I don’t know why that would be.”

Mr Krieger yesterday admitted that there were “clearly mistakes which need to be clarified” on Oban’s website.

“We did state Mark Michel was managing director, which is not correct,” he conceded.

As regards Russell Erickson’s background, he said : “I believe once we have established he has extensive construction experience it will clarify any confusion we may have caused.”

“We have disclosed everything to both governments (PLP and FNM) in order to get their approval,” said Mr Krieger. “We have been upfront. We have hid nothing from anyone.”

  • Additional reporting by Richard Coulson

Comments

Porcupine 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Who would choose an ambassador with Mr. Keigers history of legal issues? Wouldn't that ambassador strain the company's credibility and taint what should be an objective due diligence exercise? Here's what I gather after carefully reading the Bahamian news for the last decade. There is not a person in government, including the Prime Minister who can be trusted or taken at their word. There is a good editorial in today's Guardian reminding readers of what Minnis and D'Agular said only months ago. Which is exactly opposite to what they are saying now. There is not a business person in The Bahamas who can be taken at their word, if they stand to make a few bucks changing their tune. The short memory and lack of critical analysis (reading) which permeates our culture allows for the charlatans to take over and control this country's fate. We continue to swallow hook, line, and sinker the rubbish which comes out of these people's mouths. There is not a politician or a business person in The Bahamas that I trust. Is my skepticism in getting the truth from these people misplaced? The Bahamian people deserve better. But, the Bahamian people must educate themselves and demand better. Presently, we are failing miserably at this task.

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observer2 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The PLP and FNM just love dealing with foreigners and certain select Bahamians to the exclusion and detriment of the Country as a whole. It should not surprise anyone that simple back ground checks are not done, proof of finances does not exist, feasibility studies ignored, environment impact studies are nonsense, business track records don't exist. The Bahamian waters, considered the most beautiful on earth will be destroyed for forever.

Want to know why this project is being pushed? Simply look at its partners...follow the money. Who is financing the current government? Who financed the previous government. We will never know because Campaign Finance laws are non existent.

https://www.obanenergies.com/partners

Here is a list of Anchor projects. Some have be very successful, some have been brutal on the environment. But most have been spectacular failures. On balance, in my humble opinion, we would be better of if we are self reliant and develop our nation at the micro level.

And the projects that are successful are not for the benefit of the general public unless you are an A/c repair man, gardener or maid....and foreigners doing most of these jobs now anyway.

Abaco - Guana Cay Baker's Bay Abaco - Winding Bay The Abaco Club on Winding Bay Andros - North Andros Andros Aisle Development Berry Islands - Bonds Cay Bonds Cay Development Berry Islands - Chub Cay Chub Cay Club Berry Islands - Great Harbour Cay, Anderson Cay Pristine Resorts & Haines Cay Bimini Bimini Bay Cat Island Lucky Mount Cat Island - Arthurs Town Flamingo Point Cat Island - South Cat Island Crystal Mount Limited Crooked Island Pittstown Point Landing Eleuthera - Cape Eleuthera Powell Pointe Eleuthera - Current Island Current Club Eleuthera - Governors Harbour The Club at Pineapple Fields Eleuthera - Governors Harbour French Leave Eleuthera - Governors Harbour Sky Beach Club Eleuthera - Rock Sound Cotton Bay Estates Eleuthera - Royal Island Royal Island Eleuthera - Windemere Island Windermere Exuma - Bock Cay Bock Cay Resort Exuma - Crab Cay Sedona Resorts Exuma - Emerald Bay Four Seasons at Emerald Bay Exuma - Emerald Bay Grande Isle Villas Exuma - Great Exuma February Point Exuma - Normans Cay Aman Resorts Grand Bahama - West End Ginn Versaille sur Mer Grand Bahama – East End Beka Development Mayaguana I-Group New Providence - Cable Beach Baha Mar New Providence – Paradise Island Atlantis Phase III New Providence - Ritz Rose Island Beach & New Providence - Rose Island Harbour Club New Providence - Southwest New Providence Albany New Providence - Southwest New Providence South Ocean New Providence - West Old Fort Bay Rum Cay - Rum Cay Resort & Marina

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Porcupine 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree with your idea of being more self reliant and developing more on a micro level. This can be accomplished by a government that truly believes in its people, and gives the necessary support and assistance to the Family Islands especially. We have all of the resources in this country to do so at present. Our marine resources, natural resources such as aragonite, and our sun, sea and sand, can all be used in a productive way to benefit ALL Bahamians. It is a choice not to do so.

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Gotoutintime 2 months, 4 weeks ago

In the comments from Observer, maybe I missed it but I didn't see anything for Freeport---Strange??

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OMG 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Keep going with your anti foreigner attitude. You deliberately minimize the benefits of foreign owned and operated businesses. On Eleuthera Pinaepple fields and Tippys give a great deal to the community and spend a hell of a lot on tradespeople, staff and worthwhile causes. 1648 or French leave is a professional business that employs all Bahmians who are excellent at their jobs. All the substantial construction which is ongoing was done to the highest standard by a totally owned and managed Bahamian construction company. Windermere employs many from maids ,local landscaping companies, club staff and the list goes on and on.Ironically the least sucessful hotel restaurant is totally Bahamian owned. Ask most tradespeople and they will say they like working for foreign home owners or companies because they get paid and paid on time. You conveniently forget Buckaneer, Daddy Joes,Sammys, and many other Bahamian owned and run restaurants that are sucessful. Eleuthera woild be a basket case without all the foeriegn income and involvement.

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observer2 2 months, 4 weeks ago

OMG, nothing against foreign investment. Foreign investment is vital to our growth. Its just that our governments have bestowed almost messianic powers to many of these carpet beggar investors to save our country. As a Bahamian we would never be given the time of day if we walked in with a $5 billion pie in the sky project. Yes Freeport is in terrible condition but why give the poeple false hope, like they did with the legalization of gambling...on the amount of jobs and taxes that will be collected. It would solve all our problems.

I did say that "some have be very successful".

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrade Tribune Business Editor Neil, who right mind's woulda thought that but newly established limited liability outfit with a shared 2 rooms office operating out Florida with ZERO known assets - managed send their 'more of an ambassador for the company”up rub 5 BILLION Dollars worth shoulders with the nation's prime minister and senior members Imperial red cabinet - when the same data base accessed by the Tribune was indeed available to the PM. {You just cannot make this up - cause these are the men's running the nation's state of affairs big business and who else woulda had balls to actually film it all on video?} Now, what straight talking - no more bullshi# can the PM and KP say to Grand Bahamians? Begs the question - does the PM even know who the real big boss is behind the company??????

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observer2 2 months, 4 weeks ago

So right Tal, so right. You can't make this stuff up. I look forward to reading the Tribune each day to be continually shocked by the level of incompetence and naiveté displayed by our leaders.

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ohdrap4 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Looks like this fella needs to invest in a case of Badedas !!

But people such as him never get fired, they get paid off from job to job.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 4 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Tell me something Ma Comrade Porcupine, why haven't we heard a word in like 2 weeks from "Acee" out PMO... still on public purse payroll and in what official PMO capacity? How in hell could people with more than average intelligent falls hooks, lines and sinker for such a bad idea bucket mess.... oh yeah, no substitute common sense... but talk radio will spin it attempt make out that all IS well $5 BILLION Dollars because all PM was trying do was to attempt help Grand Bahamians.

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licks2 2 months, 4 weeks ago

THIS LITTLE MYOPIC MINDED NATION. . .RUNNING ON WITH THINGS THAT HAVE NO RELEVANCE IN THE REALITY OF GLOBAL BUSINESS! BAR MAR IS OWNED BY ONE OF THE BIGGEST PACIFIC RIM MOBS. . . HELL EVERY PRESIDENT ON THIS PLANET HAS BEEN THEMSELVES. . .THEIR FAMILY OR CLOSE BUSINESS ASSOCIATES INVOLVED OR ACCUSED OF "SOMETHING" OR THE OTHER. . .WENT TO COURT OR ARBITRATION OR SOME DAMN BACKYARD RANGELING FOR ACCUSATIONS OR REAL "TIEFIN" . Check it out. . .PRESIDENTS OF USSR, USA, UK, FRANCE, CANADA, ISRAEL. . .NEED I GO ON ANY FARTHER? Hell. . .persons in the USA are all over the place trying to "make something stick" on Donald Trump. Read the 1984 commission of inquiry report. . .OUR OWN LOP WAS SHOWN TO BE "ALL MIXED UP" IN DRUG RUNNING. . .HELL HIM AND ABOUT ALL HIS CABINET!!! Yet we put them crooks back as "our man" to run our government. . .

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Truism 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The spin on this one should have even better ratings than 'Where is the VAT money?' Looking forward to the FNM apologists take on revelation 1. If this wasn't so sadly a display of incompetence and lack of due diligence I could be LOL, however, I'm still hurting for the people of Grand Bahama. SAD!

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John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Why am I thinking money laundering or some type of ponzu scam? With a $5 Billion oil project in The Bahamas in your portfolio you can go out and swing the world and never store or refine a drop of oil. And the laws against the principals was lost because the statute of limitations ran out, not on merit. And he never denied the allegations of milking investors funds. Then consider the number of times this group and this investment was turned down by various Bahamian governments. But they still persist on going forward. How much has the market changed over 15 years? And what successful businesses/projects does these clowns have up and running since their original interest in investing in Freeport? The question was financing under Hubert Ingraham and the concern is about money now. How about requiring the group to put up a $100 million phone to be reduced by $25 Millon every time another quarter of the project is completed. If they do put shovels in the ground and in the seabed then bail, someone will have to clean up after them.

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John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

And despite the project bearing a $5 Billion price tag where is benefit to the Bahamas and to the Bahamian people? Six Hundred jobs and a $100,000 a year tip. But being exposed to unknown environmental factors and safety concerns and the lost opportunity of having a better fit project

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree with licks2, and also note how in our "modern" era accusations have the same weight as guilty verdicts. Maybe we don't need to budget any money for courts anymore? We can all walk around hoping we don't get accused by our enemies or competitors.

Or perhaps the new strategy will be "Accuse them first, before they accuse you."

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Search Results [PDF]PETER KRIEGER, SHELDON KRIEGER,and JOHN MADEY - SEC.gov

https://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/comp19187.pdf

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observer2 2 months, 4 weeks ago

3 from the above SEC Complaint: they "told investors they would generate returns by trading in securities. In the second quarter of 2000, however, the Defendants began diverting...investor funds to run ... and pay their own personal expenses."

I hope the Bahamas government haven't given them 10,000 acres of crown land yet for them to hawk to unsuspecting foreign investors. Hey, Minnis, Turnquest...have you guys seen SEC document? Or are you guys just chatting with each other in an echo chamber? Did you learn anything from Baha Mar? I Group? or the dozens of failed anchor projects over the last 100 years? Boy dat snake oil mussy good.

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, show some red transparency if there are local partners involved and name them and who was the go to red got him meet with the PM and senior members Imperial red cabinet....cause you don't just walk into the PMO to announce... I is here photo and video shoot...... there was no secret who point red was to get Papa Hubert.

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bogart 2 months, 4 weeks ago

At this juncture in Freeport....Grand Bahama....where citizens are joining lines for food....massive unemployment....a proud people..many fleeing to Nassau to survive...watching their lives investments reduced in value where there are not even buyers.....devestated by hurricanes...overzealous bankers giving marginal loans doomed to failure...existing businesses further squeezed by shrinking buildong collateral value...shrinking overdrafts etc..SOMEONE...has to have some vision.!!!! From time in history the Bahamas has overcome all types of investors...from Columbus seeking riches...Wallace Groves, Freeport visionary who actually did time in US jail,....Sir Harry Oakes fleeing the taxes.....Meyer Lansky yep him too pushing casinos,....Howard Hughes yep him too after his tussles with the govt.....SirSol after he was accused of bribery in Africa later dropped, ....the Bahmar chinese, many more foreign investors who had a vision etcetcetc.....Of course any Contractual Agreement must have protective clauses...when looking at dem pine forest cross the road from Statoil it is not wrong to see more than the trees.

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TigerB 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I often wonder why Bahamians dem don't come together and do somethin' for they own country for a change. I believe the way we does carry on here we gat money... we gatty have it, as all we always do is sit back and criticize, we sit here lookin at things in red and Gold, we sit here and make lots of noise, but when the smoke all clear we still gat nuttin , we never put nuttin in place where we cud say das Bahamian not a foreigner gig... that ain ga never happen. The job line long, they say they cudda find a better place for the job fair; they say they ain gat no job, the gobmon dem gatty do somethin, So they do something with a crook we say, nar the fella gettin lambase, ok fine, so who ga now step up to the plate and build the bloody oil refinery? any a we? It was the same mess in Bimini, the enviornment impact study, it was doom to fail... looka at it nar? I really get a kick out of reading these post, but it shows our true colors, no Bahamian own nuttin, nuttin, nuttin, I luv dis man!!

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John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The government can convince Super Value or Solomon’s to open three stores in Grand Bahama and create more jobs than this $5 Billion project is promising to create. And with less the environmental impact and safety issues.

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Porcupine 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Who they gonna sell the food to? People there are broke. Do we have no vision?

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

For sure the red party needs a big tent to house its circus of clowns. Talk about the PLP regaining power only to work overtime to fuc# it up. Just when you think they couldn't possibly dig a deeper hole they surprise everyone by coming out with such an clowns $5.5 BILLION joke of a deal for Grand Bahamalanders - only to seal they's coffins when its time runs back people again on or before 2022. {No way make up red bunch - they is for real and scary and they own exclusive reproduction rights mold}. I won't even call them Ma Comrades. Stick red nose on Krieger and he'd make for good red circus looking performing clown.

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John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Remembering Billy Graham. Does at 99. May he Rest In Peace.

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TalRussell 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, the fancy book the PM was holding in photo of $5.5 BILLION heads up agreement belongs right up there fictional book shelves section Salvation Army's Mackey Street thrift store #1 - on Elvis's sightings.

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Hopefully the Govt will not be swayed by these age old accusations. Anyone can be accused of anything.

The real conspiracy here is what is the true identity and motivation of those opposed to this project and who have been opposed to Freeport's success for decades. I suspect racism has been and still is at play.

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Baha10 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Grand Bahama is desperate and we as a Counrry should support “any” investment capable of alleviating decades of recession culminating in outright depression today. Indeed, only the views of Grand Bahamians should be considered, as those that remain are deserving of a return to better days and again, we should support, as opposed to allowing our “Black Crab Mentality” to get the better of us ... yet again.

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Truism 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sorry, didn't know this was about black crab syndrome, thought it was about due diligence and finding suitable investors to assist in jump starting the economy of Grand Bahama.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This reminds me of the Pegasus deal the PLP had....

Shit. And Freeport really needs something like this....

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PapaGolf 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I hate to say this, but I think it will end in tears. Can the government cancel the Heads of Agreement at this stage? Is there a "ethics clause" in the Agreement that, once triggered, can make it null and void?

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