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May 5, 2014

Court declares the release of over $6Million in Coye assets

Just before midday this morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the financial assets of the Coye family, frozen by the FIU for years, were to be released. It is a final victory for the beleaguered family, following up on criminal vindication. But the financial windfall today was just a very fleeting thing. News Five has confirmed that an ex-parte injunction was issued today on behalf of the Internet Experts SA, a Panamanian company doing business as Instadollar. That company is laying claim to a very hefty portion of the assets that were frozen. We’ll have more on that a little later, but first today’s drama, played out between the Coye family and the Financial Intelligence Unit before the Supreme Court. Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This morning when Melonie Coye and her mother walked out of Supreme Court at just after midday, the family was completely vindicated. After what seemed like a focused and very intense attack by the FIU which lasted more than five years, the ordeal was over.

 

Trecia Pitts-Anderson, Counsel for the FIU

Trecia Pitts-Anderson

“This morning, there was the hearing of an application for the unfreezing of accounts belonging to the Coyes. As you know, those funds have been frozen for quite some time. But contrary to what has been leaked to the media or said on TV that, the Coyes have been having access to these monies over a period of time. In fact, I think they have been getting close to fifty thousand dollars on four month intervals. So they were not quite without funds for the entire period of time. But this morning, I am a little out of breath coming up the stairs—but this morning, the matter effectively came to an end. The court discharged the order and so their funds are released.”

 

But for the family there is little reason to smile. During the prolonged case Michael Coye died a pauper, just days out of prison. And while the victory is unquestionably theirs, government via the Income Tax Department has laid claim to and has seized an alleged three million dollars of Coye financial assets. And according to attorney Dickie Bradley, GOB wanted more than that.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for the Coyes

“There were two applications to ask the judge to please keep the money frozen because they wanted to come at the money. And in the case of the application that income tax woulda want double check, the judge said that they had ample time and in case of the civil matter, they can pursue that in the regular civil courts. But criminal case, having been completed, the monies that these people have had in the bank—legal, lawful money for which they had already paid income tax—the judge made an order; the freezing order is discharged.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir, could you tell us who has made the application, the civil suit?”

 

Dickie Bradley

“The civil suit was represented by Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman on behalf of a company named Internet Express or Internet Experts or something, who is claiming that some of the money is theirs and they want it to remain frozen so that they can pursue a claim that they already have in the courts.”

 

That civil claim will be played out, no doubt, but at least when they left court this morning, the Coyes were completely free from the dark shadows of the Financial Intelligence Unit and possible criminal prosecution sequels.

 

Trecia Pitts-Anderson

“I believe it is the end of a very interesting matter. It is the end because the criminal matter concluded with the appeal and the time period to put in an appeal to the CCJ has since expired. And the FIU will not appeal further.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“The judge said that the criminal case completed on the fourth of March and they were attempts by the government lawyers to say that income tax wah see if they can charge more money—they get already, but now they want see if they could get more money and there was a civil suit claimant asking if the judge could freeze the money longer; keep it frozen. You know that deh ina freezer so long, it hard, hard. I noh know how dehn wah get it because… But the judge said, this particular freezing order arose from a criminal allegation against the Coyes and that that matter has been finalized in the Court of Appeal.”

 

More than one point five million dollars which was seized from the Coye home on New Year’s Eve 2008 and used as an exhibit in the criminal case will also be returned to the Coyes. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

As we told you, a Panamanian company, Internet Experts SA doing business as Instadollar, this afternoon got an ex-parte injunction from the Supreme Court. That injunction has been served on all financial institutions and on attorney for the Coye family, and acts to withhold moneys held in bank accounts from their control. As to the one point five million held as an exhibit, an order of the court also restrains the Coyes from disposing of it in any way. The injunction is effective until May nineteenth, when it will go before the court.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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