The Bahamian attorney at the centre of the Oceania Heights debacle has been ordered to repay almost $80,000 in unpaid real estate tax monies to a Canadian investor group, after he failed to make the necessary payment to the Public Treasury.
This case represents the second time that Mr Thompson and his law firm have received money from clients to pay Stamp Duty on their behalf, yet failed to pay the money on to the Public Treasury and used the funds for a different purpose.
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"Over 100 people paid $32 million for property at that resort of which, as the primary owner, surely he is fabulously wealthy? He needs to be more specific as to why heâ€s owed $1.045 million, because he's owed nothing."
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"We were led to believe, and encouraged, to go down this path by the Bahamas Bar Association and seek justice through this channel. We're bewildered. What kind of justice is this?"
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Mr Anthony Thompson ( the corrupt attorney ) admitted, in his own writing, to receiving just over $400,000 in Stamp Duty monies from around 10 clients but failing to pass this on to the Treasury - again creating title problems for purchasers.“the rule of law does not exist in the Bahamas”, and said of Mr Thompson’s latest business: “You can’t make this up. Only in the Bahamas.” Read more here
The Bahamas Bar Association’s Disciplinary Tribunal found that Anthony Thompson’s service to Canadian couple, Chris and Jane Bain, fell “far below acceptable standard” after he failed to inform them he was representing both parties to the deal.
Yet, despite all this, Mr Thompson has been punished with just a six-month suspension from practice and a $750 costs bill.
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The main complaints of Oceania Heights homeowners are that they have been unable to obtain title/conveyancing documents to the properties they have bought; there are questions whether more than $880,000 in Stamp Tax they paid has been passed on to the Treasury; Mr Thompson failed to disclose he was also a beneficial owner of Oceania Heights when acting for the buyers in their purchases; the same lots have been sold to different buyers; and the hotel and other promised amenities have not been constructed.
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Investors with a collective $50 million exposure yesterday said they felt betrayed and abandoned by the Bahamian justice system, with their development struggling to move forward under the weight of its controversial past. “It’s becoming increasingly known that it’s lawless at the same time as the Bahamas is trying to open up a $3.5 billion project in Baha Mar and attract investors from around the world.” Read more here
The value of our properties is probably less than 10 % of what we paid for them. Meanwhile, Mr Scott said he had been unable to discover whether Mr Thompson had made good on his May 13 pledge to turn over all title documents to Oceania Heights buyers who had fully paid their purchase prices, and from whom he had received Stamp Duty monies. Read more here
Oceania Heights homeowners, who have been embroiled in an increasingly bitter battle with the community’s developers, Canadian citizen Howard Obront and Bahamian attorney Anthony Thompson, are waiting to hear from Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davies.
Series crimes in The Bahamas are just “civil matters” Read more here
Oceania Heights victims Not one happy owner at Oceania Heights Exuma, 30 percent of lots sold experiences title issues. Bahamian real estate and attorney corruption is clear when 125 lots sold and only 22 been recorded in the Registry of Records. Way to go Bahamas! Read more here
The main complaints of Oceania Heights homeowners are that they have been unable to obtain title/conveyancing documents to the properties they have bought; there are questions whether more than $880,000 in Stamp Tax they paid has been passed on to the Treasury; Mr Thompson failed to disclose he was also a beneficial owner of Oceania Heights . Read more here
From: Derrick Nedzel [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 11:33 PM
To: Borkowicz, Brandon L / US Embassy Nassau Bahamas
Cc: email@example.com; Chris fleming
Subject: Graham Thompson law firm
I spoke with Eyal today, he mentioned you needed to hear 3 complaints about a law firm before you can take them off the list on the embassy website. I know I told this story to Carina, not sure if I shared it with you.
In 2011 I was working with Chris Fleming to bring Anthony Thompson and Howard and Donna Obront to justice via the Bahamian Police. I retained Graham Thompson to represent us to try to get title to our property as Anthony Thompson was demanding $60,000 in legal fees to file our conveyances, that in addition to stamp and duty (which he had already collected from my Dad). Anyway, Graham Thompson was representing it to recover our conveyances from Anthony Thompson and Oceania Heights. We paid Graham Thompson in the neighborhood of $30,000 for these services - don’t laugh, I was nieve regarding law and lawyers in the Bahamas.
At one point the Bahamian Police called Anthony Thompson and Howard Obront to Police Headquarters in Nassau to answer questions regarding our charges of fraud at Oceania. They brought council to represent them. That council was a partner at Graham Thompson - they were representing us and Anthony Thompson and Howard Obront at the same time regarding the same case. I only learned of this from the Bahamian Police. I called Graham Thompson and asked them if this were true, they confirmed it. I said this is a conflict of interest and unacceptable behavior. They said they didn’t feel there was any conflict - you really couldn’t make this up!
After this we switched to another firm: Andy O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien hasn’t produced any results either, although he has certainly sent us a lot of invoices.
I would strongly recommend any US investor to avoid the firm of Graham Thompson - if they were in the US their conduct in this case would have at least gotten them disbarred, if not brought up on fraud charges for billing us for work to get our conveyances and then representing Oceania. If there is anyway they can be put on a list to warn other US investors I would strongly request that you do that.
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