Subcontractors unpaid

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December 2007 information revealed:

  • December 2001: Shortly after work on Dr. Brown's house was completed, a BCC review showed they are still owed $422,470 for work there (this number includes "an estimated $60,000 for any future work")

  • December 2001: BCC owes creditors 424, 447.64

  • October, 2002: BHC makes final payment of $229,000 to BCC for Southside project

  • November 2002: Dr. Brown pays BCC $50,000

  • Mid-2003: BCC has an overdraft of more than $200,000, and owes creditors about $200,000

  • October 2003: BHC pays $200,000 to BCC

  • November 2003: BHC pays $200,000 to BCC

  • Roughly the same time: Another construction company pays $22,000 to BCC

  • November-December 2003: BCC uses a lot of the balance in its account to pay a number of its creditors (although many get only partial payment), leaving $2,409.45 in the account

  • December 22, 2003: A deposit of $50,000 to BCC's account (source unknown); the $50,000 is withdrawn the same say (beneficiary unknown)

  • March 25, 2004: Dr. Brown pays BCC $100,000; BCC pays Island Construction Services $102,000
    April, 2004: BCC is de-listed


    while sub-contractors go unpaid

    WHEN BCC compiled an overview of its financial position in December 2001, it drew up a list of sub-contractors and vendors it had employed to help build Dr. Brown's palatial home who had not been paid for their services.

    The list consisted of 29 companies, including electricians, building supply firms and couriers. Also on the list was Island Construction, owned and operated by Zane DeSilva who, as a 25 per cent shareholder in BCC and company manager, was able to sub-contract his own firm to work under the BCC.

    According to BCC calculations, the creditors were owed a total of $424, 447.64 cash that BCC did not have unless it could call in the $422,000 it claimed it was still owed by Dr. Brown. However, the Premier was adamant he had been overcharged and refused to make any further payments to cover the cost of overruns.

    Nevertheless, after a two-year wait, creditors were able to get some of their money back but only after the BHC had paid $400,000 into BCC's coffers in November 2003.

    And even then, the sub-contractors only received part-payment. Copies of BCC cheques written out by Mr. DeSilva to a batch of companies on the creditors list show they were paid less than what they had originally been owed. The cheques were also marked 'Full and Final Settlement of Account', meaning that they had no recourse should they change their minds and try to recoup more of their money.

    One sub-contracter told the Mid-Ocean News: "I went from Dr. Brown's to Southside to work on the 20 units there and by the end of those jobs, I hadn't been paid.

    "There were problems with the company, there were complaints and delays so much so, that Arthur Pitcher didn't finish the job."

    The man said he was advised by Mr. DeSilva that he would be recompensed once the work at Southside was finished but that never happened and then the Bermuda Housing Corporation scandal broke.

    "The company was breaking up, there were problems with money and he called me and told me, 'I know you're owed in excess of $50,000. Here's $20,000 take it or leave it'. After I heard about all the crap that was going on I figured if I didn't take it I'd get nothing. I wrote it off."

    Asked why he didn't take Mr. DeSilva to court for non-payment, the man said: "I've been that route. You end up spending more money than you're owed. I decided to cut my losses and move on not knowing that four or five years down the road all of this would come about. With all the finagling going on, I decided to just write it off. I have no axe to grind but the bottom line is principle."

    Mr. DeSilva's own company was also subject to the same harsh financial reality. The 2001 list of creditors shows that Island Construction Services was owed $90,985 by BCC, yet in the end, the construction boss had to settle for just $35,182.34, paid to him on November 10, 2003.

    Bank records show that, once all the creditors had been paid off at the end of the year, BCC's account stood at $2,409.45 in credit.

    There were just a handful of further transactions on the account in the following weeks. On December 22, 2003, a deposit of $50,000 was paid to BCC. On the same day, $50,000 was paid out, although documents given to the Mid-Ocean News do not show who made the deposit or the withdrawal.

    But a similar double transaction took place three months later. On March 25, with the account balance still standing at $2,409.45 a deposit of $100,000 was made into the BCC account.

    The deposit was paid in by Dr Brown, despite insisting for the previous two years that he was not prepared to make any further payments to the firm and despite the fact that BCC no longer had any debts to pay off.

    On the same day, BCC wrote out a cheque for $102,000, effectively clearing the account.

    The cheque, written by BCC company manager Mr. DeSilva, was made payable to Island Construction Services.

    BCC was delisted a month later.

    http://www.theroyalgazette.com/siftology.royalgazette/Article/article.jsp?articleId=7d7c3cb30030004&sectionId=117

    http://www.theroyalgazette.com/siftology.royalgazette/Article/article.jsp?sectionId=117&articleId=7d7c39130030185

     

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