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Jun 16, 2014

Court orders Luke Espat to pay $29 Million to the Belize Bank

Said Musa

Businessman Luke Espat is personally liable to the Belize Bank to the tune of twenty-nine point four million dollars. That’s the ruling which was handed down this afternoon by the Court of Appeal. Espat was before the court with his attorney, Said Musa, seeking leave to appeal a decision handed down by Justice Courtney Abel in November of 2013. In that judgment Justice Abel referred to the case brought by Espat as a smokescreen. The debt covers loans to three of Espat’s companies, namely Indeco Enterprises, Belize Crocodile and Reptile Breeders and Belize Ready Mix Concrete. Espat signed personal guarantees for those loans. This morning submissions were made by Musa for Espat and Godfrey Smith for Belize Bank Limited, after which Court took a recess until two this afternoon. We spoke to both Musa and Espat outside the courtroom this morning. They were both hoping for good news from the Court of Appeal.

 

Said Musa, Attorney for Luke Espat

“We are appealing a decision made by the supreme court Justice Abel in which he held my client Mr. Luke Espat liable personally for the debts of his companies to the Belize Bank because of certain guarantees that they are saying he signed. What Mr. Espat has been saying all along is that he signed these guarantees long after the loans were incurred by the companies…that he had a group of companies…that he was in partnership with principals of the Belize Bank with the Port…and that the Port was the main company involved in the matter. The misrepresentation came about when the President of the bank made certain representations to him that – sign these guarantees…it’s just to satisfy the Central Bank…we won’t hold you personally liable. That’s basically what the background is all about.”

 

Luke Espat, Businessman

Luke Espat

“There’s law as it’s literally interpreted and there’s the reality of the agreements that made whatever possible, possible in the development process of what we were doing. It’s like when the pressure comes down everybody grabs their marbles and runs. And I think this is a typical case of exactly what happened under this regime. This would not have happened. The principal income earner of the group was and is the Port of Belize, which is still existing and is still earning. To have broken off the bits and pieces as what has been done by the lenders was all done as part and parcel of agreements that we had. The difficulty of law is hard to prove unless we have the opportunity for a trial. That is being determined today.”

 

Reporter

“If leave for appeal is not granted this afternoon at two…what legal recourse would Mr. Espat have at that time?”

 

Said Musa

“That would be the end of it. He would be liable to the bank under his guarantees.”

 

As we said, the court declared that Espat is personally responsible for the twenty-nine million dollars, but as we understand it, there is no deadline imposed on Espat for payment of the debt. The Bank is, however, free to pursue its monies as it sees fit.

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8 Responses for “Court orders Luke Espat to pay $29 Million to the Belize Bank”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Events like this will continue to occur in our economy as long as the political parties continue to support granting monopolies to one entity for development and to disregard the invaluable merits of competition. This businessman thought he was getting an iron clad profitable deal from GOB but not factoring a change in government that is eternally hostile to him. This UDP government has erased the lines of independence of the Legislative body, the Executive office of the Prime Minister, and the Judiciary or Supreme Court. Consequently there is no justice in Belize. There is only corruption and the legacy of slave mentality i.e. to crush the head of your opponent. There is no democracy. Lord Ashcroft erred also by not being prescient to not allow this loan knowing that he was placing all the eggs in one basket. As an afterthought, his financial advisors forced the businessman to sign the personal promissory notes standard in all mortgage loans. The Belize Supreme Court and the CCJ order the sale of the Port Authority to pay off debts of the previous owner(s), or if GOB seized the port, then it must pay fair market value to the business to accelerate payments on said port. The lawyers involved should understand these standard procedures to give justice in any democracy.

  2. john says:

    he was just investing too crazy, buying prado for his ladies, building houses for them.. thats what he was doing, mek i pay it back.. he is just like novelo, only becaz they had time to run with the money..

  3. Louisville, Ky. says:

    I believe a lot of this legal wrangling could have been avoided if my friend Lukie was not so far out in left field as far as Politics go in Belize and most importantly, had he paid his bills. Then again, if the powers that be are not friendly toward you and the Belizean investment climate being the temperature that it is, the Luke Espats of this country could be in for a rough ride.
    Belize is a comparatively small economy so much so that it is conducive to monopolies in just about every industry.
    In Belize, with Politics/business, you are either in or you are out. Right about now Luke, you are out so you have to find a way to come up with that $29 mil.

  4. aldo says:

    So where are all the abundant UDP haters at ? speak up now or shutup. Rod where are u ?

  5. Greeneyes says:

    Really, wah business man sign the guarantees to satisfy central bank…. really wow!!! and that was his best arguement… your a real sucker

  6. Lone Wolf says:

    I just figured out that I am richer than Luke Espat yet I do not have a house or car of my own. Luke ‘s net worth is negative 29+ million. my net worth is $6500.

  7. J says:

    jajajajaja pirate now you get what you deserve

  8. alley cat says:

    Calling him a businessman is too generous, conman would be more appropriate.

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