A high-ranking American government official, and a representative of the United States Marshals Service, who were in Antigua this week, to take custody of former Antiguan banking regulator, Leroy King, met with the country's Attorney General, Steadroy Benjamin. The US has sought King's extradition since 2009; he is charged with multiple counts, including money laundering, for his role in facilitating the billion dollar Stanford international Bank Ponzi scheme, and the final legal impediments to his extradition were removed recently.
Unfortunately, the Americans learned that neither the Court of Appeal, nor the High Court, has ever chosen to rule upon two bogus appeals, neither of which is supported by the law, as his appellate remedies were long ago exhausted. His attorneys filed those cases anyway, in a patently transparent effort to delay justice. Antigua's reputation, as a jurisdiction whose courts follow the rule of law, was severely diminished, as the result of the King case. Its courts have even played a game of "musical chairs" with the King case, sending it from one member of the judiciary to another, in what can only be interpreted as a purely dilatory procedure. Such tactics often directly result in an increase in Country Risk.
Most observers of the Caribbean political scene are well aware that King has information regarding corruption, at the highest level of government in Antigua, and that, to avoid a life sentence, he could potentially testify against certain powerful officials, as well as certain prominent local attorneys, who represented those officials during the period that Stanford International Bank operated its massive Ponzi scheme. Whether he will ever pay for his crimes remains to be seen, given the history of the past nine years.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant