Police Start Inquiry Into BPAC Bank Account

July 23, 2014

The police have confirmed they have commenced enquiries into the Bermuda Political Action Club [BPAC] account to “determine if any criminal offences have been committed in relation to the financial transactions.”

BPAC is the bank account at the center of the “JetGate” affair, with some $350,000 being deposited into the account by Maryland business tycoon Nathan Landow and his associates.

On Thursday, then-OBA Chairman Thad Hollis released a full statement on the “JetGate” investigation, which said that the money was sent to an account which was opened with two signatories; Steven DeCosta and Derrick Green.

Steven DeCosta is a private business associate of former Premier Craig Cannonier who was on the private jet flight in March 2013, while Derrick Green is an American political consultant.

Mr. Hollis said the account “was not authorised by the established protocols of the OBA” and the Party Executive did not know about until eighteen months later.

“There were withdrawals made from the account in large denominations,” added Mr. Hollis. “I was shown a print out of these withdrawals that were large withdrawals that were reportedly made to pay the grassroots campaign workers who were working for Mr. DeCosta and Mr. Green. All withdrawals required both signatories to sign.”

“From the evidence provided to me I am unable to ascertain if any funds were paid to other parties, other than what was shown to me – to pay for the grassroots campaign. I am unable to pierce beyond the BPAC account.”

“According to documents shown to me and presented, money was spent on campaign related activities. However, it should be noted these accounts are unaudited and rely on the veracity of Mr. Green and Mr DeCosta,” said Mr. Hollis.

Speaking to Bernews, Derrick Green said, “As the Chairman knows, the vast majority of the funds went to D&B Consultants — a firm associated with Mr. DeCosta — which was the main vendor used.”

“Mr DeCosta did an outstanding job with the campaign work. His team worked tirelessly 7 days per week to help the OBA win. It is my hope that the money spent was used to pay for campaign activity and these workers… they were one of the best teams I have ever worked with,” added Mr. Green.

Following the release of the inquiry, Mr. Hollis resigned from his position as OBA Chairman, tendering his resignation on Monday. Both the party and Mr. Hollis have remained tight-lipped on the reasons behind his resignation.

Speaking on the investigation, a police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service Financial Crime Unit has commenced enquiries to determine if any criminal offences have been committed in relation to the financial transactions associated with The Bermuda Political Action Club account.

“No further information with regards to this investigation will be released at this time.”

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  1. Police Investigation Into BPAC Account Ongoing | Bernews.com | August 21, 2014
  1. hmmm says:

    Good.

  2. Sandgrownan says:

    Indeed.

    • Bettty Trump's Fact Checker says:

      Well, it looks like some sinister lack of “Transparency, Openness, Fairness and Honesty… going on with in the OBAubp. Short 18 months in power, and what do we have, does not look good at all. A party who promised us so much has under delivered, and protecting only a certain sector of Bermuda. REALLY ….. looking more like a One term government!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        Actually. Quite the opposite. An investigation, resignations…that all looks like transparency and accountability to me. You certainly didn’t see this during the 14 year reign of terror.

        • Truth Teller says:

          Here we go again with the Bermuda “Tea Party” style comment: “14 year reign of terror”.

          Despite the fact that the same tea party types had a field day economically the likes of which we have never seen between 1998 through to 2008!!!!

          • Steve Davis says:

            Yes which explains why Bermudians were priced out of the property market, economic inflation was out of control and the cost of healthcare skyrocketed.

            The PLP allowed the pot to boil over because they had no idea how to manage the influx of foreign capital, so they thought the answer was to chase it away!

            • JustAskin2 says:

              Actually, I disagree on this point. The pot, as you say, was boiling over long before 1998. For years, the property market and economic inflation were out of control. However, I don’t remember anyone saying anything detrimental about it pre-1998. In fact, in a conversation I had then, a landlord was quite pleased that he could charge so high rents.

          • mixitup says:

            What he really means is the reign of terror of when a black party came into power has been 14yrs. Regardless of great or depressing economic times. It was 14years of terror to him.

            • Bettty Trump's Fact Checker says:

              A OBAubp party who has lied, and lacked any form of transparency in less than 5 months…. what does that tell you? A party built upon lies will soon fall….soon come, soon come….. listen to the bird on the wall…. Seldom are my prediction wrongs…so far I been spot on with the OBAubp boys……

            • JustAskin2 says:

              Yes, as verified by the very large number of racist comments that came to my ears when the OBA won the election.

        • Bettty Trump's Fact Checker says:

          @Sandgrownan if that were true, why did the OBAubp fight nail and tooth NOT to reveal the truth? Today the entire truth still NOT revealed? Why not just out right come forward with the entire story? Transparency….I think NOT, Honesty……I think NOT….. Falsehoods….YES I think so….. The OBAubp would have been HONEST…there would be no need for such an investigation…using of the Tax-payers monies…..Fhay and Crockwell will fall on their swords…soon come, soon come…….

          Like paying for Craig to stay at the House…. REALLY

  3. San George says:

    It is illegal for U.S. citizens to contribute funds to a foreign country for the purpose of influencing political outcomes – the U.S. Consolate should also be looking at this.

    • serengeti says:

      Illegal under what law?

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Correct, but that’s not really our problem is it.

      • serengeti says:

        You’re right that it wouldn’t be our problem, but I don’t believe it’s even correct.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          Happy to be corrected on this point.

          • OnFire says:

            Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US. Bribery Act in the UK. Both acts are designed to capture a wide range of activity associated with intended corruption. I think there is at least probable cause to look into the actions here, and the Bermuda Police statement says they agree.

            That’s something to think about.

    • Truth(Original) says:

      Um. The US do it all the time and lobbyists do it in US politics all the time. There is no revelation to uncover ! This is very much a part of politics.

    • Ruthless says:

      I guess PLP and John Duess were okay cause he wasn’t from U.S??!

      • Hurricane says:

        @ Ruthless, are you guessing, asking or just putting it out there to be RUTHLESS?

      • Robert says:

        That was fine because the entire party executive was well aware of what and where money was coming from.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I believe there is loophole to that, in that they cannot contribute to political parties, thus the reason the BPAC account was set up. There is a distinguishing between a party’s account and an action club account

  4. duh says:

    Are they smart enough to see if they same amounts where deposited into personal accounts…. doubt it

  5. Robert says:

    I hope they interview walton brown jr about those signed affidavits he is in possession of alleging voters being paid off to vote OBA.

    • Kim Smith says:

      surely they will have to interview him, given the seriousness of his allegations.

  6. Kim Smith says:

    Very good. I welcome this investigation and learning of their findings.

  7. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Good, as Mr. Hollis didn’t have the authority to see the account transaction, hopefully they will be in the police’s scope to do so in their investigation.

  8. Rhonda Neil says:

    What I find the most disturbing..is not what the OBA did in paying bloggers and people to call radio shows, with the sole intent to create descent for the plp..,. but how cheap we are as a people that we can be purchased to create said division between ourselves,all for our short term financial gain. and others political goals..

    • Unbelievable says:

      Have you bothered to ask the PLP that too?

    • Bermy Boy says:

      So you think the bloggers won the Election for the OBA or was it the complete screw up the PLP did for themselves??
      As always BLA BLA BLA

  9. BlueFamiliar says:

    I find myself wondering why the police are involved. I don’t have a problem with it because either they’ll find something criminal which would be good to know about, or they won’t. But in everyting I’ve read I’ve not seen anything that seems remotely criminal.

    Unethical? Yeah, maybe, but criminal?

    Have I missed anything?

    • Bermy Boy says:

      I agree it was not the Peoples money that is the issue. Maybe we should have them look into the Govt coffers and see “where’s de money” gone. Would not take much to figure out it was the friends and family plan of the PLP!!

      • Impressive says:

        same song,, if what is in your subjective mind was the case, don’t you think there would have been findings by now?? Or is it just in your mind that something unethical just had to have taken place, because, because, because, you just have that burning feeling inside that was the case.. Well, noone can be accused on assumptions..

  10. Terry says:

    Gonna be a long hot summer.
    Fayhy, Fayhy, …..daylight come and you shood go home………
    Crockweldial shooze are gonna bee in style.
    I need a rum.

  11. Independent Thinker says:

    The irony – If you know something say something

  12. Unbelievable says:

    OBA, please root out anything and anyone that brings the party into disrepute. Just do it.

  13. Bermy says:

    Green has failed to say why a separate account was opened for these specific campaign donations! All he’s said is that it wasn’t for US tax law reasons.

    The OBA and Dunkley need to immediately put distance between themselves and the dodgy members of the OBA I.e. The ex founding members of the BDA who left the UBP because they didn’t like the way the party was being run! The irony!!

    These are Cannonier, Crockwell, Fahy, and Pettingill.

    • cromwell says:

      Was Mr. Cannonier part of the previous UBP administration?

  14. somuchless says:

    This is becoming one ugly event.

    • North West says:

      Sure is. The truth will be revealed. Soon.

  15. truth be told says:

    Bollocks,nothing will come on this!

  16. Dreary says:

    The alternative is the PLP.How scary is that? Please God,look after my children!

  17. kc says:

    1. If the people who contributed to the account are not concerned with how the money was spent and the bank has no issues with the account, why the need for a criminal investigation? Further, why are the people of Bermuda concerned at all about private political donations? And if you are, then the same investigation should be accorded to all political parties.

    2. 4 people accepted a free ride on a plane to attend a meeting with a U.S. businessman. As it turns out, said businessman was not granted the bid on the business venture discussed at the meeting. Why is this a scandal? If the businessman came to Bermuda to discuss the matter and picked up the dinner tab, would that too be a scandal?

    For the people watching from overseas (I am one of them)and I say this will all due respect because I truly do love Bermuda,these are complete non-issues. Please let the government of the day focus on what’s truly important, i.e. reviving the economy to get everyone back to work.

    • Impressive says:

      they may be “non issues” to you, but surely the way the present government has dealt with it leaves alot to be desired,, surely you agree with that??

  18. Come On Man says:

    is this what we are waisting money on. Damn ludacriss!!

  19. Coffee says:

    Why are the police getting involved ? Is it that maybe Bob Richards had a good look under the hood ?

  20. cromwell says:

    Why do the police need to get into a political fight!

    Are our laws so complex that no one can do any thing politically without first getting permission or opinion from a lawyer, the police or a civil servant.

    We already have an army of paid lawyers on this island may be they can be required to give free legal advice to anyone contemplating saying anything or doing anything of a political nature.

    This is almost as absurd as Senator Fhay, who is a lawyer, saying he did not represent the OBA to the Bank of Butterfield.

  21. ann says:

    Not to be trite, but why do we care so much about $350,000.00 when we seem to not give a crap about $800,000,000.00

  22. Ameboa says:

    UBP. PLP and OBA all have skeletons, so the playing field is now level again.