Archive for the ‘Disputes and Lawsuits’ Category

Freeford Ltd. owned by Saudi billionaire has filed lawsuit to return 4.75 million USD investment

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Multimillion dollar lawsuits against a US expatriate have been filed by two Saudis.   Investments poured into Lane Pendleton’s company, which then went bust. So, Prince Fahad Abdullah Mohammed al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister of defence and aviation, and Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, one of the richest people in the world, are suing the US expatriate.

Prince Fahad is the owner of a Swiss-based investment company Alliance.

As to a billionaire Sheikh al-Amoudi, Freeford – a company in the British Virgin Islands – is his investment vehicle. In accordance with Forbes magazines’ data, his net is worth abound 6.9 billion USD. Sheikh al-Amoudi was born in Ethiopia and is a Saudi citizen now. He made his fortune in real estate and construction before betting on Moroccan and Swedish oil refineries. Svenska Petroleum is his company that conducts oil exploration from the Nordic shelf to the Ivory Coast. Also, Sheikh al-Amoudi is the largest private investor in Ethiopia (more than 1 billion USD invested), employing more than 15 000 people there.

Both Saudis consider that Pendleton fraudulently misrepresented Orient’s financial state and prospect to encourage them to invest in it. Alliance put in 8.65 million USD. As to Freeford, between November 2000 and September 2003, it turned over 4.75 million USD.

While two wealthy Saudis want to get their investments back, Pendleton insists that his claims were reasonable. Pendleton says that  he had no reason to doubt the considerations of Orient’s management. Also, he said that Orient failed because of Freeford’s not keeping its promise to inject another 2.25 million USD.

British Businessman vs Brunei Royal Family Members or CBTL Holdings vs Smart Plus Investment Holdings

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Our last discussion was about the lawsuit which took place in the High Court of the British Virgin Islands and became widely known in the business and offshore community due to the loud names of the claimant and sued persons and due to the large sum of money claimed.

It could be interesting to see the development of the whole lawsuit story.

Mark Burby, a British businessman, which had an investment agreement with the Brunei’s family members, alleged that Pengiran Ayub and his wife Damit repeatedly reneged on their promises to pass the money.

First, he tried to sue them personally in Singapore – the place where most negotiations took place. However, the decision of the court was in favour of the Pengirans, based on the fact that the agreement was the matter between companies and not between individuals.

After that, the proceedings were launched by CBTL Holdings against Smart Plus Investment Holdings, the BVI offshore company belonging to the Pengirans. Final decision was made by the BVI High Court and it was in favor of the British businessman. The story has not finished yet and continues with company liquidation procedure.

This court dispute is the latest legal case which involves the members of the family of Brunei’s Sultan, – one of the world’s richest personalities, whose fortune is estimated at £12.4 billion. The Sultan is planning to visit Britain next month, and he has been already asked to intervene in the case with coffee chain launch where his family members are in the role of respondents.

It should be noted that Brunei itself is also an offshore jurisdiction, although not as popular as BVI. However, offshore IBC’s can be registered there, based on International Business Company Order, 2000 (IBC O).

Brunei Royal Family Members’ company Smart Plus Investment Holdings is placed in liquidation by BVI High Court

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

The story of a lawsuit in the BVI High Court that started last year has just received its continuation. In 2005 the company CBTL Holdings, that belongs to Mark Burby, a UK Jersey-based entrepreneur, filed an action against Smart Plus Investment Holdings, an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Directors and shareholders of the BVI company were Pengiran Ayub, a cousin of the Sultan of Brunei, and Pengiran Damit, the Sultan’s sister-in-law, as well as their business agent, Alice Koo. The cause of action was their reneging on the coffee shop deal.

The decision of the BVI High Court was in favour of CBTL Holdings; the court assessed damages at £46.9 million plus costs. Now it seems that the BVI company, belonging to the Sultan’s family members and their agent, failed to comply with the BVI court order. Smart Plus Investment Holdings is placed in liquidation. Now the liquidator appointed by the BVI court is investigating personal assets of company’s directors, with the intention to seize them.

Mr. Burby is a well-known British businessman which is said to have a personal fortune of £30m. He is a trained pilot whose private helicopter is used for maritime search and rescue.

Mr. Burby holds the UK franchise to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – a popular US coffee chain. He alleged the Pengirans approached him in 2000 with an intention to invest £4.5 million (later £7 million) in the venture. But the funds did not materialize, which finally led to a lawsuit in the British Virgin Islands. To be continued…