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Antigua St. John's - Yesterday, Asot Michael sent a media press release regarding a high court judgement in his favour against Caribarena. At this time, Caribarena would like to respond to the allegations contained in his press release.

But first, Caribarena would like to give Antigua and Barbuda's public a glimpse into the character of Asot Michael. Below is a recording of Asot Michael, speaking with Lester Bird, in regards to a chain of bank accounts used by Michael and Bird to steal public funds.

This recording is part of over 7 hours of recordings in Caribarena's possession, which are currently being prepared for publishing, and which will provide unquestionable proof of Caribarena's statements in the IHI series.

The recordings also expose other persons, including businessmen, politicians, and media figures, who have engaged with Michael in covert and corrupt transactions. As can be heard below, Asot Michael has engaged in corrupt and criminal activities both during and after his tenure in the Government.

Michael uses his money and power to manipulate the courts and political institutions in order to oppress groups and individuals who attempt to disclose his schemes.

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"And then I wire transferred the money here to Patrick A. Michael company, and they are going to subpoena all the bank accounts of Patrick A. Michael company, and see transfers from Patrick A. Michael company to your account at Scotia Bank. (unclear)…they already got all my accounts at Wachovia. They going to see the cheques that I gave Rika for the deposit for the house in Miami, they are going to see all the payments that I paid Frattarelli for that house for $1.2 million dollars, for $1.3 million dollars for Pat Bird house in Hodges Bay. They going to see all that. I mean, this thing is explosive! "

St Peter Parliamentary Representative Asot Michael published a misleading and malicious press release regarding a lawsuit against Caribarena CEO Ofer Shaked.

Michael claims in the press release that, “Shaked had claimed on the Caribarena website that he had been threatened by the sitting Member of Parliament…”

This is a blatant lie, as Caribarena never published a statement that Asot Michael had threatened Caribarena.

In an article titled “Politician Threatens Caribarena,” Caribarena did state publicly that an ALP politician had threatened Caribarena, however, this politician was never identified beyond his/her party affiliation.

The press release further states that, “… Shaked disappeared from Antigua and Barbuda with claims against him by creditors.” 

While it is true that Shaked left the island with his family, Michael is attempting to mislead the people and take advantage of the situation. Shaked decided to leave after he and his family were threatened on multiple occasions. In two of these instances, his home was broken into.

In one of these cases, Shaked confronted the intruder, who said a politician had sent him. And despite videos and images of the intruder’s face being supplied to the police, he remains on the loose. In another instance, Shaked’s daughter was told that her father would be “mailed to Israel in a body bag” if the IHI series did not stop. Shaked’s car tyres have also been repeatedly slashed at night. 

Shaked said that his family’s safety is his highest priority, and it was these circumstances that led to his departure.

The press release continues to say, “The High Court has awarded judgement in Mr Michael’s favour and is assessing the amount of damages that Shaked and Caribarena will have to pay to him.”

Caribarena has not been made privy to any judgment in this regard and is yet to see any confirmation of what actually took place in the High Court. 

Furthermore, the press release states that, “For his part, Mr Michael has produced documentation showing that Shaked and Caribarena have been acting maliciously to defame him because he objected to Shaked’s offer to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party to  “put the UPP government out of office for a fee of US$750,000.”

This statement is untrue and malicious on several counts. Here is what actually transpired according to CEO Ofer Shaked:

Asot Michael himself called me and requested that I meet with him and Gaston Browne at Le Bistro restaurant to discuss certain matters. At this meeting, he demanded that I cease publishing the IHI series. He said it was damaging to his reputation, and he is in negotiations with the World Bank to remove the documents in regards to the IHI scandal.

“Furthermore, he told me that Edmond Mansoor, Minister of IT, had agreed to remove documents on the Government’s website relating to IHI, and that the late Winston Derrick had also agreed to remove IHI articles from the Daily Observer website. He attempted to convince me that IHI is old and no longer relevant, and it is damaging to the ALP, and he asked me why I was publishing these stories.

“I responded that it is of public interest, and my information showed hundreds of millions of dollars being stolen by the ALP Government, and that I am obligated to publish the information as a responsible media house.

“Asot also shared with me that Nuffield Burnette, head of the CID, had requested assistance from Asot in getting Shelton Daniel, former editor-in-chief of Caribarena Today, to desist his requests for information regarding the IHI investigation.

“Later in that same meeting, Gaston Browne arrived, and said that the ALP would like to engage my services in my capacity as CEO of Smartnet Ltd for marketing and campaign services. I explained to Michael and Browne my ability to manage an online election campaign for the Antigua Labour Party, which in my professional view is critical to a successful campaign. I told Browne that I would send a formal proposal to him soon.

“At the end of the meeting, Gaston Browne and Asot Michael again requested that I stop with the IHI articles, work with the ALP, and when they are elected, they will make me rich. I refused to desist with the IHI articles, but I reaffirmed that I would send a business proposal to Browne in regards to the online campaign soon.

“I prepared and emailed the proposal to Gaston Browne and Gaston Browne alone.”

As can be clearly seen from Shaked’s statement, Asot Michael is attempting to mislead the people and the courts with his press release. The press release also stated that the fee of US$750,000 was requested in Smartnet Ltd’s proposal.

However, as can be seen in the proposal, which was attached to Michael’s press release, the fee is US$50,000 a month, a far cry from Michael’s dishonest claim. 

Finally, Michael’s press release closed by saying, “Mr Michael welcomed the judgement of the High Court and pointed out that ‘as part of his retribution,’ Shaked is continuing to post on Caribarena unsubstantiated, misleading, and false claims about him in connection with a transaction with a Japanese firm IHI.” 

Caribarena would like to state that it has evidence in the form of documents and voice recordings between Asot Michael, Lester Bird, and other leading politicians and businessmen that show exactly how much and how Asot Michael benefitted in the IHI Scandal and other affairs. 

This information will be published soon and will show the Antiguan people who Asot Michael really is.

Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst  

Contributed by Charles Fu Wang - Barrister Solicitor (UK)

Reposted from CARIBANTIGUA