Injunction lifted on Howell’s assets in legal battle

| 19/10/2010

(CNS): According to reports in the Jamaican Press, the freeze order placed on the assets of Cayman based businessman Delroy Howell was lifted on Friday in the legal dispute regarding First Financial Caribbean Trust Company, formerly controlled by Howell. He and former fellow director, Kenarthur Mitchell, are accused of failing to account for millions of US dollars in assets that were under their management. However, the court has now limited the freezing order to First Financial Caribbean (Jamaica) Limited and First Financial Caribbean Limited and reduced the amount secured from the original US$13.9 million to US$1.7 million because, the judge said, the claimant had produced little evidence that the assets were likely to be disposed of.

In a bitter takeover battle, Judith Wilchcombe, who served as a senior manager of First Financial Trust Company, acquired a majority shareholding in the company and dismissed both men in August of this year. She subsequently got a court order freezing their assets, claiming that both men failed to account for US$13.9 million.
Howell told the Jamaica Observer that he was clearly pleased with the ruling. “There is much more to come on this matter but we are well prepared to address each matter through the courts and are confident that this will all continue to resolve itself favourably," Howell said.
In court documents filed in Jamaica FFC Trust had claimed that Howell and Mitchell breached their fiduciary responsibilities and caused trust funds to be transferred to accounts held by the defendants, or some of them in circumstances contrary to the interest of the claimant. But Howell, in a related case in the Turks and Caicos Islands, alleges that FFC Trust was stolen from him by Judith Wilchcombe, the company’s former vice-president for operations and business development.
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