PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- The Turks and Caicos Islands government received over $8 million in settlement of a civil recovery claim arising out of the underpayment of stamp duty on the 2006 sale of Emerald Cay on Monday.
In June 2011, the civil recovery team obtained a judgment against Emerald Cay Limited and Worldwide Commercial Properties Limited, subsequently quantified at just under $9.3 million by the court earlier this year, with interest and costs, following the discovery of substantially underpaid stamp duty on the 2006 sale of Emerald Cay. Since that date the government has been seeking to enforce that judgment by forcing a sale of Emerald Cay.
The property was sold on Monday by Emerald Cay Limited, and the government has received the total sum of $8.13 million by way of a cash payment and a payment of stamp duty on the sale in satisfaction of the judgment.
The payment brings to a conclusion one of the most significant cases of the government's civil recovery programme and represents a substantial recovery for the government.
Attorney General Huw Shepheard commented: “We are delighted that the judgment handed down earlier this year has been satisfied. Whilst obtaining judgments such as this is highly important and demonstrates the government's determination to deal with stamp duty evasion, the receipt of such a large sum represents another significant recovery to the benefit of the islands. It also represents another very good result for the civil recovery team and their ongoing efforts”
The civil recovery team was engaged in December 2009 following the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry Report by Sir Robin Auld. To date, the team has recovered over $15.5 million in cash and nearly 2,500 acres of land for the government in over 40 separate claims, with more significant recoveries expected.
The Emerald Cay payment follows the earlier summer settlement of the Salt Cay litigation with the return of a large part of that Island to the government's hands and a payment of $7 million in cash.