AG and local auditors face Cash4Titles related suit

| 14/02/2011

(CNS): One of the defendants who was charged in connection with the fraud case Cash4Titles but acquitted at the end of the trial in 2005 is suing the attorney general as well as three local auditors, Dan Scott, James Cleaver and Richard Fogerty, who acted as the original liquidators in the case, for a total of over $40 milllion. Lewis Rowe was arrested in connection with the case in September 2000 but he says the case against him was based on suspicions from one report written by an auditor that were never properly investigated or ever amounted to a real case against him. As a result of the arrest and trial, Rowe claims he lost millions and is suing the AG for those losses as well as the auditors, who, he says, failed to return assets to him.

According to the legal papers filed in the Grand Court, Rowe was one of several people arrested during the Cash4Titles fraud case. He was ultimately found not guilty but he believes he should never have been charged in the first place and is suing government for damages. Rowe claims the attorney general depended almost entirely on a report by one of the auditors written in 2000 that accused him of serious misconduct and fraud without real proof.

“There was no material available to Mr Cleaver or relied on by him which would have led a reasonably competent accountant to conclude that either a) the Plaintiff had committed the misconduct alleged, namely perpetrating the Cash4Titles fraud; or b) that the Plaintiff was implicated in the said fraud; or c) that the Plaintiff has actual knowledge of the said fraud; or d) that the Plaintiff knew of the involvement of companies in the said fraud,” Rowe states in his suit against the attorney general.

Cleaver, Rowe claims, prejudged the matter and believes no case would have been made against him were it not for the report which, taken as a whole, “did not amount to anything more than mere suspicion,” he states in the suit.

“No further material was available to the prosecutors by the time when the charges were laid against the plaintiff (Rowe) such as would cause a reasonable prosecutor to conclude that there was a proper basis for charges,” Rowe said in his writ. The report was used by prosecutors, he contends, to assume that Rowe must have been aware of the fraud and was therefore involved.

In the second suit against Scott, Cleaver and Fogerty, he claims they owed a fiduciary duty to keep the promissory notes and other assets seized from him as a result of the case safe until he was in a position to get them back, but he says they did not.

“The defendants acted recklessly and irresponsibly in surrendering the said promissory notes,” he accuses and adds that these assets were never returned to him.

The Cash4Titles fraud case, which related to a US-based business which gave small short term loans based on the security of their car titles, was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme after the investors were found guilty in the US of diverting funds. Rowe, who was an investor in the company, was originally charged in connection with the case with assisting another to retain the benefit of the proceeds of criminal conduct. 

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