Watchdog reveals statements in Bush-Thomas enquiry

| 23/11/2011

(CNS): The Miami based watchdog, OffshoreAlert, has published more details of the police probe into the Cayman Islands premier and the as yet unexplained “financial irregularities” which may have occurred in 2004. The specialist subscription media house has revealed statements from the investigation into the Stan Thomas – McKeeva Bush affair, as well as the content of a letter from Cayman’s director of public prosecutions (DPP). Thomas has been questioned by the local authorities about two payments that he allegedly made to Bush, OffshoreAlert reveals, based on the DPP’s correspondence asking Thomas to explain why he was allegedly giving money to the then leader of government business possibly regarding the rezoning of land on Seven Mile Beach.

OffshoreAlert has also published two witness statements by local realtor Brian Wight, who was the broker involved in the purchase by Thomas of the Vista Norte land, which was owned at the time by Guillermo Freytag.

In his statements to the police, Wight claimed that he had several telephone conversations with both Bush and Thomas regarding alleged payments made by the Texas-based developer to Bush in connection with the need to rezone the land before it could be developed. 

The report also refers to a letter to Thomas, also seen by CNS earlier this year, from DPP Cheryl Richards who asks the developer to explain payments of US$375,000 that he allegedly made to Bush “and/or his firm, Windsor Development Corporation,” in 2004.

The police probe into the premier was exposed when a letter that Bush allegedly faxed to Thomas from his former ministry office in October 2004 was leaked to the press. The letter, which appears to be from McKeeva Bush, asked the Texan for $350,000 and Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor eventually confirmed that this letter was the subject of a police investigation into “financial irregularities”.

Although Bush has made very few comments regarding the investigation, other than threatening to sue anyone who accuses him of corruption, the premier has referred to the letter, which is on Windsor Development letterhead, as a real estate bill.

David Marchant, the editor of Offshore Alert, reports that neither McKeeva Bush nor Stanley Thomas, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, responded to his inquiries.

Thomas no longer owns the Seven Mile Beach property, which includes the Courtyard Marriott site, as it was sold to the Dart Group earlier this year and now forms part of the controversial ForCayman Alliance investment plan.

While Thomas had asked government to move the West Bay Road to allow him to open up the property for the development of a beachfront resort, the previous administration had been reluctant to do so because of local opposition. It is not clear if Thomas had approached the UDP administration with the same request before he sold the land to Dart.

Go to Offshore Alert’s full article here

See Brian Wight’s statements and the original Stan Thomas letter below.

Category: Crime

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If such evidence which, if believed, relates to serious criminal offences were made public about the head of govt. in any developed country he would have resigned already unless he had an excellent explanation.  It is in the interests not only of Mr. Bush and his party but more importantly the country at large that we the public hear such an explanation if this is indeed a legitimate transaction. Obviously saying it was a "business transaction" and declaring that your "hands are clean and (your) heart is pure" will not do at this point.     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't know what the fuss is all about. Ellio said it was a simple real estate bill, and that's what it looks like to me.

    • Dred says:

      Ellio = McKeeva 2.0

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would this be a real estate bill for land on which McKeeva did not act as real estate agent and where the sale had closed some 9 months previously? Why does it not resemble any other real estate bill?  Why did he not sue when it was not paid? (based on recent events we know he has no objection to filing law suits).  

    • Anonymous says:

      If Ellio sez so it is so.

  3. anonymous says:

    One strange point in Mr. Whight's testimony that does not seem technically correct as he was alledgedly told…the agenda of the Executive Council was fully controlled by the Governor. It was only with the advent of the change of the Consititution (in 2009) did the LOGB, now Premier, have control on the agenda.

    I am sure if the relevant ministry withdrew the intent to present to the EXCO the Governor would pull the item from the agenda but for full technical clarity the Governor was in charge in what went or did not go to EXCO prior to 2009.

    Otherwise this is alot of third party info and heresay so I can see why RCIP has not brought charges yet without some better grounds that this.

    • Anonymous says:

      We all know that before the changes in the Constitution the Governor was supposed to be in control of the agenda for ExCo, but that was how it was "supposed" to be. BUT we all know that things are different when the LoGB is Mckeeva Bush, because we all know it is what Mckeeva Bush says it is, so if he demands the removal of an item from the agenda then it WILL be removed, Governor or not! Can anyone say dictator? That is just how the system is under Mckeeva Bush!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are very naive.

    • Dred says:

      MLAs are suppose to declare all their interest and working with the government also prior to said deadline also but we have two BT MLAs who did not .

      MLAs (or any member of their teams) are not suppose to be handing out political material on elections day but it happened in GT.

      BIlls are to be allowed 21 days prior to being voted on but how many times has it not happened now???

      All projects costing more than $250K are suppose to be ran thru the CTC but how many went around them?

      Let's never ever forget who we are talking about. For me you and the rest of the world yes for him the rules do not seem to apply. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think most of us know that what happens in practise at the Govt. Admin Bldg does not necessarily match the theory. If the LOGB no longer wanted to present a matter to Cabinet the agenda would be amended accordingly. The letterthat appears to come from the LOGB says that he has "ensured" Cabinet approval of the rezoning. One might also say that since there are other Ministers he alone could not ensure this but recent eventsshould have told us that that would be naive.  In any event there should be a record of whether the matter was on the agenda and who asked for it to be removed and whether the LOGB was in attendance or not at the relevant meeting and when he was off Island.

      Some of this is important first hand information, particularly in respect of the alleged numerous telephone calls from the LOGB  to Mr. Wight demanding that Mr. Thomas pay him certain monies and Mr. Thomas allegedly in return refusing to pay and referring him to his attorney. It appears to match the letter perfectly.

        

  4. Anonymous says:

    Of course it is McKeeva's enemines who are feeding Offshore Alert and others in an attempt to deal with the current government.

    The problem is that discrediting McKeeva and having an Opposition who are actually capable of good governance are two distinct things and one does not necessarily follow the other.

    So we have a feeble opposition who provide no answers and Ezzard who must be his own grandstand.  Things are bleak indeed.

    • Dred says:

      Hold on a cotton pickin second….are you even beginning to suggest that UDP is running a "Good Governemt"???? Does good government dismantle boards who won't do your bidding? Does good government go around boards who he knows won't listen to his molarky?? Does good government take plane rides from people looking to do business with them? Should I go on about your good government? I could probably form a good government out of complete greed and still do better than we have now. Are you really that mental? UDP should be the last government on earth to even speak the words "Good Government". They should get suggestions from the TCI government on how to run a good government because they are even closer than UDP is now.

      PPM might have done some stupid things and there are times I wish I could take a bat to them with some of the brain dead things they did but probably the one thing they didn't do was all this SHADY stuff you see UDP with.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they are indeed, but thanks to Ezzard and the Opposition they are most definitely going to get better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because he's your Mac doesn't mean we need to invent a new word for folks who don't like him, does it? Or perhaps the original word was working overtime?

  5. Anonymous says:

    So, with all this evidence I would love to know what is holding up the RCIPS investigation. I mean, this is NOT some complicated jigsaw puzzle. It's not rock science. Maybe CNS can shed some light on this for them as they can't seem to deal with it on their own.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn't expect too much from the poor guys if they can't tell a red light from a green light.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Until proven otherwise, it is only right to presume that our Premier is innocent of these serious and shocking revelations in the Bush-Thomas affair. There are always 3 sides to any story and no matter how bad this looks right now, it is clearly not right to assume that Mr. Bush is not innocent until proven otherwise.

    I personally hope that Mr. Bush is found to be completely innocent of these allegations because, IF, God forbid, he is found guilty of corruption in the Bush-Thomas affair, this would then surely cast serious doubt, possibly leading to further Police examination, over all other deals and MOU's that he has been involved in or guided. 

    The Brian Wight Affidavits raise sufficient concerns that it would seem prudent that Mr. Bush should no longer be involved in the structuring of any Government deals lest he might leave himself open to additional allegations of impropriety and, in the best interests of the country, it might be best if Mr. Bush stepped down temporarily as Premier while this investigation is speedily concluded.

     

  7. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    I'm sure there will be a thorough investigation taking place about this case. And then when that is completed and after others are called in to assist in the investigation there will be a thorough report done. After the thorough report is examined in detail there will have to be a conclusion drawn. If the conclusion is the perception of any wrongdoing it will be thoroughly examined after consultation with….

    You can't rush these things

  8. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac, your corner is getting very dark.  

    Let's see how you (and Elio) can blame it all on the PPM!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is why this manbought the churches and continuously and generously throws public money around on those willing to support him. In the final analysis its tough to fin fault with the masses-not much money, bills to pay, mouths to feed. But for the likes of Cayman Finance, the Chamber of Commerce, DART and CITA to stand shoulder to shoulder with this man is a national disgrace. Money before country, Cayman will always have the government it deserves.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is … pure bureacratic harassment…

    Thisis … bure pureacratic embarassment…

    This is … sure photographic embezzlement…

    This is … the end of my investment,,,

    Michaaaaaaaaaaaaaaael, prepare the spare bedroom, me voy pronto!!!!!!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    All I have to say is that Charles Clifford, AKA "The Chuckster", told us this day would come. It will get even worse over the next few months….watch ! How embarrassing for the Cayman Islands. Will we ever be able to repair the reputational damag ?. When will the Opposition awake from their deep sleep and do something of substance ???????

    • Anonymous says:

      The Opposition is doing much of substance. Including helpingto illuminate the public about this investigation. Without theopposition, the general public would very likely still be unaware of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chuckie, da you na tru?

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    I'm just wondering how Offshore Alert can get all of this information, and we the tax-paying public are left in the dark wondering what is going on with this case.

    • Kent McTaggart says:

      Because we are actually ruled by the UK, and the "understood/unwritten" protocol is silent chastising behind closed doors as not to tarnish the title or office in question, especially one as high as “Premier”.   So until the people are able to get the information in these other “non-official” manners then in masses scream at the top of their lungs on the pavement leading to the Governors residence with longevity and persistence, the executive privilege that the so called “Honorable” Premier will continue and he will fade from power XXXX at the expense of the blind public.

    • Dred says:

      Because just like rezoning it takes grease to keep the wheels turning. Grease we don't have.

    • Empty Chair says:

      I cannot understand why the rules are not the same for everybody! It shouldnot matter if a person is influential or not, when it comes to crimes of anykind or nature all persons are equal, or should be! It is obvious to everyone what has taken place & nobody is above the law, nobody!

      • Anonymous says:

        "It's good to be the king."

         

        — Mel Brooks

      • Kent McTaggart says:

        Nobody is above the law, but in the eyes of the the UK based judicial system, you better have much, MUCH stronger evidence than you would if a commoner was suspected of doing the same thing.

        However, at the same time once the evidence is collected, which may take a very long time, (say till the suspect is no longer in the high office he may occupy at the moment) the governor will have to act, as his office will be tarnished if he does nothing.

        So with that being said, it would not surpirse me in the least that the so called "Honorable" Premier is allowed to complete his term under investigation.  As although sad, it is very likely that there would be civil unrest if he was charged, and given that this is the first term that the office has been occupied it would almost definately send a less than stellar message to the rest of the world about Cayman and it's stability.  I also believe personally that this "fact" is of major comfort to the said suspect.

        But also keep in mind that I am an uneducated carpenter, so what the hell do I know! LOL!

      • Anonymous says:

        …….but unfortunately we don't have anybody here with any balls so the laws or only enforced once in a while. Everyone who would have the authority or ability to step in and put an end to this is caught in the same web and doesn't want to draw attention to themselves.

      • Dred says:

        Works on paper but in real life not so much.

        Fact is this. With what I have read so far I know with 1,000,000,000,000% accuracy I would have been so far in prison they would have to pipe daylight to me. Not saying he is guilty but saying it looks that way and I know I would not be walking around right now outside of a cell.

        So saying that it must be because of money, influence or position that makes him still be in his post.

        Sad part is his UDP cronies will not show any SPINE and stand up for what is right.

        In 2013 if I had to choose between a UDP member and a bum on the street the bum would get my vote. The UDP team has shown me without a shadow of a doubt that their allegences are with their leader and not their country. They put the team before the people. The team before the law. The team before everything.

  13. cow itch says:

    zzzzzz… why do i have this sense that nothing realy matters in life… zzzz zzzz

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let me see. According to these documents:

    1. Mr. Bush was not the real estate agent for this transaction and the sale had taken place before the application for rezoning.

    2. The application for rezoning was already on the agenda to be approved by Cabinet when, at the Premier's instructions, it was removed from the agenda until his return.

    3. Mr. Thomas understood that if he did not make a payment to Mr. Bush the rezoning approval would not proceed. 

    4. Mr. Thomas made an initial payment.

    5. Mr. Bush wrote to Mr. Thomas indicating that he had ensured that the rezoning has been approved and making a demand for a further payment of $350,000.

    6. On the advice of his attorney Mr. Thomas refuses to make this payment unless an invoice was produced to show the services rendered.

    7. No invoice was ever produced by the Premier.

    I just can't figure this one out.  This is just too difficult.

     

    • Dred says:

      I am glad to hear that you are struggling with this also as I thought I was TOTALLY alone. I can CLEARLY see why our RCIP can not close this matter in 1.5 years. It's so COMPLEX I mean.

      However could we determine anything with all these SCATTERED details what the payment was being made for? I mean.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps we could try convincing the RCIP to read the affidavits?

        • Anonymous says:

          Remember the First Cayman Bank affidavits?

          The ones circulating at that time purported to be from the liquidator to the Attorney General, asking if a certain politician should be prosecuted on the basis of certain events. If the events happened, the answer was yes most definitely, but in the end nothing happened apart from the temporary stepping down of the politician. This looks as though it will end up with evenless action! Or maybe the affidavits were false!

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh yes. Was it too difficult to secure a conviction that time? What happened?

            • Anonymous says:

              The real problem is they can't keep Mac out of China long enough to verify his fingerprints on the letter.

              • Anonymous says:

                FCB or Thomas or one of the other deals that should probably be investigated, again.?

              • Theo says:

                What utter nonsense, you all believe that the leader of the OPPO did not like to travel him and the huckster do an foi. As to the fingerprints how stupid can you get do you know how many hands touched that document found in the files of the court. Go scratch.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not my fault…