Court-appointed liquidators said Tuesday they are seeking to locate millions of dollars invested with a Cayman Islands-registered brokerage once run by a man who was declared a fugitive from the local justice system.
The Cayman Islands Grand Court on Tuesday appointed Chris Johnson and Graham Robinson as joint provisional liquidators for Bateman & Company Ltd., the second firm formerly run under the group of companies controlled by Canadian national Ryan Bateman to be wound up by court order.
Another company operated within that group, B&C Capital Ltd., was also placed under Messrs. Johnson and Robinson’s direction by the court earlier this year.
Mr. Johnson said he was unaware at this stage how much money was held by the two firms, one of which was an investment brokerage and the other, which acted as a custodian for the brokerage, according to court records.
“We just cannot gauge the amount we are looking for as we did not have access to all the records of [Bateman & Company Ltd.],” Mr. Johnson said Tuesday. “However, we have already frozen several million dollars of securities held by certain brokers and will be investigating as to the whereabouts of the assets of both companies [referring to Bateman & Company and B & C Capital].”
Bateman was not represented in Grand Court on Tuesday morning during a closed-door hearing on the winding up application, nor was Bateman & Company Ltd. represented in court, Mr. Johnson said.
Attempts to reach Bateman for comment numerous times over the past month regarding the ongoing liquidation process have been unsuccessful.
Mr. Johnson filed a petition earlier this month seeking the winding up of Bateman & Company Ltd. on behalf of B&C Capital Ltd. after attempts to recover at least $4.8 million in assets failed.
The Grand Court petition alleges that Bateman & Company failed to deliver any cash or securities held following demands from the liquidators. Bateman & Company has “no directors and no management” at present, according to the petition.
“Both [B&C Capital] and [Bateman & Company] are members of a group of companies known as the ‘Bateman Financial Group’ controlled by Mr. Ryan Bateman,” the Aug. 10 winding up petition states. “The joint official liquidators of the petitioner have been unable to determine exactly what cash, securities or other assets were transferred to [Bateman & Company], but have established that … the company was holding cash amounting to at least $2,381,029.63 and securities to the value of at least $2,456,753.22 on behalf of customers of [B&C Capital Ltd.].”
Securities are usually liquid assets such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, but the term is sometimes used as a catch-all for numerous types of investments.
The winding up petition sought a declaration that Bateman & Company is liable for “any shortfall in such cash and securities,” and must pay – via B&C Capital – restitution to investors in the firm.
According to a Grand Court order issued on July 22 by 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. BVI-registered Lampten Corp. petitioned the Grand Court on June 2, stating it had 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. 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.
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.