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Jul 26, 2018

Michael Modiri Has Court Freeze Bradley Paumen’s Shares for Non-Payment

Bradley Paumen

Businessman Michael Modiri and tour operator Bradley Paumen have been going at it inside and outside the courts. This morning, Modiri won yet another legal round before Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith.  In 2016, the Justice ordered Paumen to pay Modiri a total of three hundred thousand dollars for damages and trespassing.  The feud began when Government acquired Modiri’s property, bulldozed it and built a road leading to Paumen’s gated property.  The land was purportedly acquired for public purposes, but Justice Griffith was of a different view and squashed the acquisition.  Modiri has been unable to collect the money and today his attorney successfully convinced the court to freeze the assets of two companies in which Paumen has shares. These two companies own the land around Modiri’s property.  News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

American tour operator Bradley Paumen owes Iranian businessman Michael Modiri three hundred thousand dollars. In 2016, Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith ordered Paumen to pay Modiri one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for trespass and another one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for damages. Those monies have not been paid so Modiri sought the court’s assistance to enforce the ruling. Modiri’s attorney, Senior Counsel Oscar Sabido successfully convinced Justice Griffith to issue an interim injunction, freezing the assets of Sibun Grain and Cattle Limited and Indian Creek Equestrian Center Limited in which Paumen has shares..


Oscar Sabido

Oscar Sabido, Attorney for Michael Modiri

“So we are in the court asking the court to go behind the veil, to pierce the veil of the companies that Mr. Paumen has to show that Mr. Paumen is really on control of the shares that Mr. Modiri wants to attach and charge so that he can collect his monies. So it is a matter of going behind the veil of the companies. There are two companies Sibun Grain and Equestrian. The companies that own the lands that surrounds or are next to or about Mr. Modiri’s land are those two companies which are Sibun and Equestrian. Those two companies are the ones which own the land and so the judgment would have been enforced against them and against the shares that (Mr. Paumen) has in those companies had those shares been available. But Mr. Paumen had transferred those shares to an employee. So we want to go behind that transfer to expose by the piercing of the veil that those shares really belong to Mr. Paumen and therefore should be subjected to the charging order and the sale of those shares. Mr. Paumen is in effect abusing the personality of the company, the entities to hide his shares to avoid the payment of the judgment. So in effect he is frustrating an order of the court.”


Paumen’s Attorney, Estevan Perera disagrees. Perera says that Modiri has not taken the proper steps to collect his three hundred thousand dollars.


Estevan Perera

Estevan Perera, Attorney for Bradley Paumen

“Our position is that we do not know why they came for this injunction because Mr. Paumen, no of the other defendants, have any interest in transferring any of the shares but I guess it is a measure they felt was necessary.”


Hipolito Novelo

“From what the attorney explained it seems as if though Mr. Paumen is playing hard ball with the payment.  Any reason was given to the court as to why that payment has not been made as yet?”


Estevan Perera

“My instructions and from what I know Mr. Paumen is not playing hard ball. We believe that the claimants have not taken any of the necessary or proper steps to get paid. There have been indications from our clients to start making payments to them. None of that has gone anywhere and so we are at a loss as to why they find that this is necessary. But no Mr. Pauman is not making it difficult for them to collect. As an owner he has no intention of transferring any shares that he has or his wife has or anybody else has in the company. They are saying that there are several shareholders in the company but neither of the shareholders has indicated that they wish to dispose of their shares.”


Sabido says that after reviewing substantial arguments, Justice Griffith recognized the legitimacy of his client’s case.


Michael Modiri

Oscar Sabido

“The fact that the court has granted today in a sense shows that the court feels that there is a sound issue here as to the ownership of the shares being hidden, being used in a sense by putting them in someone else to avoid a payment of an award of the court. So in effect the court does not take likely frustrating orders of the court and we feel this is what is happening here. So we are trying to find ways of going behind the veil of the company because sometimes the company is used wrongly but most people use them for protection but they can be used wrongly to hide, to be able to evade judgment, enforcement of an order of the court.”


The case was adjourned until October. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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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