By anguillian February 3, 2012 11:29



Pat Fleming receiving letter for payment from Jerome Roberts with Government and Cube Credit Officials and other recipients

There has been little or no delay to commence paying Anguillian suppliers of goods and services to the former owner of the Flag/Temenos golf course project. The payments are being made by Mr. Leandro Rizzuto of CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa, who now owns that property.


The money is in the amount of over US$3.6 million, owed to 103 suppliers, and up to Tuesday this week about 60% of the ex gratia vendor payments was disbursed. In a letter from Cube Credit Services Limited, the creditors were told in part:


“The Developer [Mr. Rizzuto] acknowledges that there was no legal obligation to make these payments, but has offered to make the payments in good faith and in accordance with the Golf Course Project (now the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa). Neither Anguillian Development Corporation Ltd., its directors, officers, shareholders, successors, assigns, agents nor solicitors assume the liability of any entities involved in the Golf Course Project prior to its acquisition by public auction.”

The commencement of the payments followed a recent agreement between the Executive Council and Mr. Rizzuto who won owner ship in an auction sale of the large Golf Course Project which ran into financial difficulties and was closed down over three years ago.

Arrangements for the payments, which are being handled by Cube Credit Services Limited, a subsidiary of John Benjamin’s Caribbean Juris Chambers, began on Thursday, January 26. Speaking on that occasion, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, Haydn Hughes, thanked the Trade and Investment Committee which he said had assisted the Government in obtaining the payments.

“I would like to place on record my gratitude [to the Committee] with the Hon. Jerome Roberts, for working very hard to ensure that people are paid, and for lending advice to the Chief Minister and other members [of the Government] relating to this,” he said.

He went on: “The Government of Anguilla worked very, very hard with long hours…to make this a reality. There were times when people and I thought that this day would never come. It was difficult to remain optimistic. We would also like to thank Mr. Rizzuto because he was not under any legal obligation to pay these monies, and he stayed committed to his word, when we negotiated the Memorandum of Understanding, and put in the hands of a number of Anguillian vendors and suppliers over three and a half million US dollars.”

Mr. Jerome Roberts, who, like Mr. Hughes, holds membership in the Trade and Investment Committee (with other members being civil servants), said the money, in excess of US$3.6, was an injection in the economy.

“This came about as a result of hard work and negotiation, and the dedication of the Chief Minister, in particular, for pursuing a course of action that, whatever happens to the project, the local vendors should be treated fairly,” he stated. “I think that this is something we have to commend the Chief Minister for, in terms of standing strong on this particular matter.” He also commended the technical Tourism and Investment Committee, saying that “it is all about partnership and team-work.”

Mr. John Benjamin said the payments amounted to a milestone in the history ofAnguillain terms of development projects. He thanked Chief Minister, Hubert Hughes, for “believing in Mr. Rizzuto and persevering in a settlement which is good forAnguillaat a time when the economy world-wide is so difficult.” He was grateful to the technocrats in the Ministry of Finance for their work. He thanked Mr. Rizzuto, stating that it might have been the first time, in a matter relating to development that the Government’s technocrats and the lawyers involved were all Anguillians. “In the majority of times, the investor brings in his own international lawyer, but Mr. Rizzuto felt confident in his local lawyers,” he stressed.

Mr. Benjamin said his company had a list of claimants and that persons had two years in which to make their claims. “Unfortunately, not everybody is on the list, but we can only settle with what we have. People had a fair opportunity and we are thankful for those who are on the list and for their patience,” he added. “We shall endeavour to ensure that everything is done above board and transparent. Our client, Mr. Rizzuto, has asked us to make certain that everything is done transparently and so we have to feedback to him.”

Among the suppliers present were Pat Fleming of Pat’s Trucking & Brokerage Co. Ltd., who received a letter for payment for his services and expressed thanks to all concerned; and CossyOLoughlin, of Anguilla Block & Sand Co. Ltd., who was also grateful on behalf of her organisation and other suppliers in attendance.


By anguillian February 3, 2012 11:29


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