Court orders winding up of fugitive’s firm

A prisoner transport vehicle at the Court House. - Photo: Matt Lamers

A Cayman Islands-registered investment firm whose director was described as a “fugitive” during proceedings of the Grand Court has been ordered wound up in accordance with the local Companies Law.

According to an order issued on July 22 by Grand Court Justice Ingrid Mangatal, B&C Capital Ltd. was ordered to be wound up following a petition filed in June by a British Virgin Islands-based creditor of the company.

Winding up is the legal, court-supervised process by which assets of a business are sold to pay off creditors. The business is typically dissolved following that process.

The Cayman Compass contacted B&C Capital Ltd. Director Ryan Bateman on Monday for comment regarding the winding up order, but received no response by press time. Bateman left the Cayman Islands in late 2014, missing a court appearance on a criminal charge of grievous bodily harm in connection with a domestic dispute. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has said Bateman will be arrested if he comes back to the islands.

The July 22 order signed by Justice Mangatal appointed Chris Johnson and Graham Robinson as joint voluntary liquidators for B&C Capital.

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The two were given broad powers by the order to “do any act or thing considered by them necessary or desirable in connection with the liquidation of the company and the winding up of its affairs.”

The order was made following a June 2 petition to the Grand Court by BVI-registered Lampten Corp. The court also heard from B&C Capital’s lawyers and received an affidavit concerning the matter from businessman Derek Buntain, according to records. Details of Mr. Buntain’s affidavit were not publicly available in the court.

The petition to the court stated that Lampten Corp. established an investment account with B&C Capital in February 2015. The petition further stated that the market value of the account was reported as US$1,689,764.18 as of Aug. 31, 2015.

Lampten Corp. alleged it made requests for payment from the account in June 2015 and again in September 2015, and finally in December 2015 sent an email to request that the full value of the fund be wired to a Canadian account held by firm Haywood Investment Securities.

“Throughout December, the company advanced multiple spurious excuses as to why the money could not be wired as requested,” the petition stated.

A legal demand for the money, known as a statutory demand, was made on April 19, 2016, the petition stated. The demand sought payment within 21 days of its service upon B&C Capital and stated that if the amount was not returned, B&C would be deemed insolvent.

“To date, no proceeds from a wire transfer have ever been received from [B&C Capital Ltd.] at Haywood Investment Securities and the debt has not been repaid,” the petition states. “In the circumstances, it is just and equitable that the company should be wound up.”

The winding up order is one of several legal issues facing Bateman and his associated investment firms in Cayman, in addition to the criminal court action from 2014.

Earlier this month, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority canceled Bateman’s director registration. The decision by the financial regulator alleged that Bateman had carried on “business in a manner detrimental to the public interest, or to the interests of the covered entities for which you are appointed as a registered director.”

CIMA stated Bateman was “a person that is not a fit and proper person to hold a position as a registered director.”

In an emailed statement to the Compass earlier this month regarding the CIMA order, Bateman said, “I am consulting professional advisers, will consider their advice and take such action as I may be advised.”

In 2015, a Belize-registered company, Highgate Securities Ltd., sued B&C Capital Ltd., alleging that B&C had not returned assets it held for Highgate. In March 2016, a Bermuda company, Triathlon Ltd., also sought a winding up petition against B&C Capital Ltd., accusing the firm of not paying back US$610,000 Triathlon had in a B&C account.

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