The Court of Appeal ruled that there were “no assets in the Bahamas” that could be seized for the US Justice Department’s $55 million forfeiture order against Derek Guise Turner, because the assets had already been declared the “property” of Loretta Butler-Turner’s family and other defrauded Bahamian victims.
The Tribune reported on the matter, excerpts below:
The Butler family and their companies, Franklyn Holdings and Milo B. Butler & Sons Investments, had initiated proceedings against Turner – who is still living in the Bahamas – and his companies in 2005, and subsequently obtained default judgments against him.
Represented in the Bahamian courts by the Attorney General’s Office, the US Justice Department argued – ultimately unsuccessfully – that the $8.106 million be “repatriated to the United States and made available” to all victims of Turner’s multinational fraud.
The Court of Appeal, backing the Supreme Court’s decision, rejected this on the grounds “that there were no assets in the Bahamas to which the December 2009 Forfeiture Order could attach”.
A previous forfeiture Order, dated February 2006, was “nullified” because Turner had succeeded in appealing the length of sentence – although not the conviction – that he received.
Harvey Tynes QC, and Damian Gomez – now the minister of state for legal affairs represented Turner and his companies in the Court of Appeal case.
The Tribune article said:
After being charged with money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud, Turner pleaded guilty to the latter. A preliminary forfeiture order was granted against him in the US courts on August 9, 2005, in the amount of $16.707 million.
Turner was initially sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment by the US courts in February 2006, at which time a $55.094 million forfeiture order was entered. This required him to relinquish his two Scotiabank (Bahamas) accounts and all Bahamian real estate assets.
Meanwhile, Mr Davis and the Butler family had taken out separate proceedings in the Bahamian courts against Turner in a bid to recover their lost funds.