Freeport Investor In ‘Tax Fraud’ Scheme

A business partner of Freeport-based investor, Preben Olesen, is one of two Grand Bahama residents charged by the US federal authorities with operating “a fraudulent offshore tax strategy”.

Duane Crithfield, who was a partner, director and investor in New Hope Holdings, the company that acquired the Port Lucaya Marina and Grand Bahama Yacht Club, has been accused of operating a scheme known as the Business Protection Plan (BPP).

The indictment against him and fellow part-time Freeport resident, Stephen Donaldson, alleges that BPP clients claimed business expense tax deductions in the US via “sham insurance premiums” paid to their scheme.

There is no suggestion, though, that Mr Olesen, New Hope Holdings or their Grand Bahama-based assets are involved in any way with Mr Crithfield or the alleged BPP scheme.

None have been referenced in the US indictment, nor is there any suggestion that the charges against Mr Crithfield will affect them. Tribune Business attempts to reach Mr Olesen at the weekend proved unsuccessful.

The indictment, filed in the Florida middle district court on May 13, alleged that Mr Crithfield “promoted himself as being experienced in investment banking, international financial services and international consulting involving banks, trust companies and insurance companies”.

He and Mr Donaldson, who “promoted himself as being one of the foremost experts in US compliant structures for offshore asset protection and tax planning”, allegedly operated the BPP scheme through Foster & Dunhill Ltd.

This was “held out to be an independently-owned and widely-respected international financial services firm headquartered in Freeport on Grand Bahama island”. Other key entities in the scheme were domiciled in Anguilla and Nevis.

By Neil Hartnell
Tribune Business Editor

Original News Article