Archive for the ‘Legal News’ Category

Thomas Anthony to Lead Exiger’s Immigration, Citizenship & Visa (ICV) Due Diligence Practice in the Caribbean Region


NEW YORK and BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Exiger, the global regulatory, financial crime, risk, and compliance company, has named Thomas Anthony the Deputy Head of its Immigration, Citizenship & Visa (ICV) due diligence practice and Director, Financial Crime Compliance, for the Caribbean Region.


Mr. Anthony joins Exiger from the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua & Barbuda, where he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In that role, Mr. Anthony managed the daily operations of the CIU, helping to transform it into one of the largest, most efficient, and fastest growing programs in the world. Before this, Mr. Anthony spent more than 26 years in the banking sector – in both commercial and investment banking – in Antigua, St. Lucia, and Miami.

“Thomas’s expertise in banking, combined with his deep local knowledge, makes him uniquely qualified to advise the CIUs and the regional banks on how to most effectively address one of the most important issues facing the industry today: the pressure placed on global banks to comply with stringent AML regulations, causing them to ‘de-risk’ smaller, regional correspondent banking relationships,” said Michael Beber, Exiger’s President and CEO. “We are thrilled to welcome Thomas to Exiger, where he will work with both our due diligence and banking experts to assist in evolving standards in the industry and ensure the sustainability of citizenship by investment programs throughout the region.”

Exiger’s ICV Due Diligence Practice is a global leader in work related to citizenship by investment programs. The business is part of Exiger Diligence, which provides global public records research and investigative due diligence to global financial institutions, multinational corporations, and governmental agencies.

“Thomas has been, and will continue to be, a trusted advisor in the Caribbean region,” said Kim Marsh, Exiger Diligence’s Vice Chairman and Global Head of the ICV Practice. “His combination of extensive first-hand experience with citizenship by investment programs and deep knowledge of the banking sector will make him a tremendous asset to Exiger’s ICV practice, the Caribbean banks, and CIUs.”

“Exiger is the gold standard for due diligence and compliance,” said Mr. Anthony.  “Exiger’s industry-leading, technology-based, due diligence tools including DDIQ and Insight 3PM, will enable clients to conduct effective pre-screening, continuous monitoring and automated lookbacks. This will greatly enhance the quality, efficiency, and security of the CIUs’ due diligence process. I look forward to working with the entire Exiger team to provide enhanced services, advice, and support to the banks and CIUs operating across the Caribbean region.”

Mr. Anthony holds a degree in banking and finance from City Banking College and a degree in business administration and management from West London College.

About Exiger

Exiger is a global regulatory and financial crime, risk and compliance company.  Exiger arms financial institutions, multinational corporations and governmental agencies with the practical advice and technology solutions they need to prevent compliance breaches, respond to risk, remediate major issues and monitor ongoing business activities.  Exiger works with clients worldwide to assist them in effectively managing their critical challenges while developing and implementing the policies, procedures and programs needed to create a sustainable compliance environment.  A global authority on regulatory compliance, the company also oversees some of the world’s most complex court-appointed and voluntary monitorships in the private and public sectors, including the monitorship of HSBC.  Exiger has four principal business units being:  Exiger Advisory; Exiger Analytics, including DDIQ, the groundbreaking cognitive computing and intelligent search platform; Exiger Diligence and Exiger Insight 3PM.  Exiger operates through offices in New York City, Silver Spring (DC Metro), Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Click Here for More Information »

UAE passport awarded a certificate

UAE Passport Force initiative aims high for 2021.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – At a ceremony, the government of the UAE accepted a certificate bestowed by the Passport Index, in recognition for being the most powerful passport in the GCC. UAE passport holders enjoy a visa-free score of 127, which places them in the top 25 passports globally.

Developed by Arton Capital, the global advisory leader for residence and citizenship solutions, the Passport Index is the world’s most popular destination for everything on passports. The index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

These great accomplishments reflect the strategic, political, economic, social and cultural dimensions, with important implications in terms of prestige and appreciation, being enjoyed by the UAE, led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan- President of the United Arab Emirates, at an international level,” said H.E. Ahmed Saeed Alham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

The ministry recently launched the UAE Passport Force initiative, with the goal to place the State’s passport on the list of the five most important passports in the world by 2021 upon the directives of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In recent years, the UAE has been focused on establishing strategic relations and partnerships that contribute to enhancing the status of the State at the international level.

We are thrilled to announce that the Passport Index serves as the official benchmark and service partner of the UAE Passport Force initiative to monitor and reflect in real time the accession of the UAE passport within the world’s most powerful,” shared John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital.

H.E. Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the ministry, said that “the higher ranking of the UAE passport is one of the most important achievements of the UAE diplomacy led, by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”

The ministry stepped up the diplomatic move towards greater openness to the world including strengthening relations with certain countries, beside strong positive presence in all regional and international forums. The government’s strategy aims to provide distinguished services to citizens, including exemption from pre-entry visa requirements to countries of the world.

About the Passport Index
Passport Index is the world’s most popular online interactive tool, which collects, displays and ranks the passports of the world. It is the only real-time global ranking of passports, updated as frequently as new visa waivers and changes are announced. Visitors can dive in the fascinating world of passports, explore their designs, sort them by country, region and even by color. For the first time ever, visitors can compare passports side by side and discover how to improve their Global Mobility Score.

Click Here for More Information »

Will Trump make owning a second passport even more desirable?

Americans anxious to join the global citizenship movement

MONTREAL, Nov. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House is by all means historic. Doubted and disregarded at first, Mr. Trump’s rhetoric gained momentum as it resonated with more and more Americans than he ever thought. Trump’s presidency will inevitably mark a new era. An era of change.


As every change creates opportunity, we reflect on the expected “Trump effect” on global citizenship, in particular to the trend of investing in second residence and citizenship. Over the past decade, countries who have implemented or restructured programs to attract wealthy investors have more than doubled, proving its resilience and sustainability as investment mechanism.

We have already witnessed a sudden spike in enquiries from American citizens looking for a second citizenship. Being used to surge in web traffic, especially post Brexit, Arton Capital’s website held up quite well. Our web analytics team noted the overlap of increased traffic and flood of enquiries originating from states where Hillary Clinton had won with California, New York and Virginia being among the top sources.

Arton Capital expects to see Americans becoming an integral part of the global citizenship movement. Just like the Brits did after the Brexit referendum. We are already witnessing an increased demand from these newly emerged markets of immigrant investors. The British are mostly looking to secure an option for relocation, due to unclear situation in the kingdom. Even though it remains to be seen, if Trump will implement everything he stood for during his campaign, Americans are concerned and are looking for ways to hedge the downside. Although the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website failed to handle the increased traffic, the liberal Canadian government is making the most of this new political conjuncture, stating their openness and readiness to welcome anyone who is interested in relocating to and doing in Canada.

Traditionally, the British Tier 1 program and the American EB-5 have demonstrated steady and solid demand. However, our team is already witnessing a significant outflow and redirection towards other parts of the world who are competing for investors. The European options are an attractive alternative, where those who would normally look for Tier 1 are now more interested in countries like Cyprus or Portugal.

The demand of the EB-5 program, whereby investors are granted a green card after fulfilling investment and job creation requirements, has also been affected. In less than 24 hours, we saw a number of our clients putting a hold on their EB-5 applications, looking for friendlier alternatives. USA may no longer be seen as a safe haven for entrepreneurs and business tycoons. Still in shock, we expect them to re-route towards those international English-speaking, business-friendly and conflict-free hubs like Canada, Singapore or Australia. The Caribbean is also likely to pick up, thanks to its relative proximity to the States and the very competitive speed and cost in obtaining a second citizenship. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Kitts and Nevis all run well known citizenship by investment programs.

Hollywood names have also spoken but will they act upon? Snoop Dogg claimed he will resettle to Toronto, Amy Schumer, reportedly said will move to Spain, Chelsea Handler has reportedly invested in a property in a different country and Samuel L. Jackson has declared that he will be moving to South Africa.

What will happen to the US passport? Passport Index, the most popular global ranking of the world’s passports had seen a surge in monthly average traffic. Surprisingly, US traffic surge also included states voted and won by Trump. “Americans are worried on the Trump effect on their passport,” shared John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital.

As the only real time ranking, the Passport Index is prone to reflect some swings in the next two to three years. If US foreign policy becomes less diplomatic, visa-free agreements may be frozen or invalidated, which will hurt the passport’s power. Currently the US passport ranks 4th, with a visa free score of 155. “Even though it is too early to say, we will not be surprised if the American passport drops to 6th position,” shared Hanafin. Similarly, in an extreme scenario, if EU imposes visa restrictions to Brits fowling Brexit, it will send the UK passport on a downward spiral landing it in the group of Argentina, Romania or even Israel.

Geographic and demographic landscape of investor immigration is changing, as a result of major shifts in the political paradigm governing Europe and the United States. Global citizenship will remain a solid and reliable solution to the new challenges HNW investors will be facing. New global centers will emerge where those will be best defined by the very values and beliefs that have been driving the world in the post-war era. Global citizenship in a Trump world, more than ever before, will stand for openness, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion and progress and will remain as one of the key proponents of the values that define a democratic society.

Click Here for More Information »

Veteran Counsels for DEA and DOJ Join Diaz Reus

MIAMI, Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Miami-based law firm Diaz Reus announced today that former Division Counsel for the Miami Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Patricia L. Diaz, and former Federal Prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, Richard N. Wiedis, have joined the firm as partners in the firm’s international litigation, arbitration, and mediation and white collar criminal defense practices. The addition of Diaz and Wiedis continues the firm’s international expansion over the past 12 months as they join other impressive and talented lateral hires, including Ali Awais (Dubai), Gayle E. Hanlon (Dubai), Louis V. Martinez (Miami), Roland M. Potts (Miami), Javier Ruiz (Mexico), and Karel Suarez (Miami and Cuba).

“We are truly fortunate to attract such top level talent in key areas that are important to our clients,” says Michael Diaz, Jr., Global Managing Partner. “Patricia has an enormously successful track record in investigative and litigation matters and is highly qualified to guide clients through sensitive criminal investigations, prosecutions, and negotiations. Richard covers multiple areas of our practice, having outside counsel, in-house counsel, and government experience. His work at the DOJ and for a large, publicly traded technology corporation will be very valuable for our clients in high-stakes litigation, investigations, and regulatory compliance counsel.”

Diaz served six years as Division Counsel for the Miami Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration—covering the State of Florida and the Bahamas—and spent 21 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, prosecuting hundreds of complex, international money laundering cases and earning Special Achievement and Meritorious Service awards from the DOJ, DEA, FBI, HHS, and other U.S. agencies. As a Federal Prosecutor, Diaz was assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, a task force dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of high level international money laundering organizations.

A member of the Florida bar since 1988, her practice will be focused on white collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, general civil litigation, civil and criminal forfeiture, money laundering, RICO, and dispute resolution. Diaz received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, Miami, Florida.

Wiedis served 15 years as a Federal Prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, where his investigatory and trial work led to convictions in high profile cases involving bank fraud, securities fraud, accounting fraud, and other white collar crimes. He holds multiple Special Achievement and Meritorious Service awards and letters of commendation from the DOJ and FBI. Prior to joining Diaz Reus, he served as Executive Vice President of Risk Management and Human Resources and Associate General Counsel at MicroStrategy, a $2 billion market cap, multinational business intelligence software company, where he oversaw the company’s litigation portfolio and designed and deployed a comprehensive risk management and corporate compliance regime for the company and its 23 international subsidiaries.

A member of the New York and District of Columbia bars, Wiedis will focus his practice on white collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, FCPA, general civil litigation, trial counsel, civil forfeiture, money laundering, RICO, mediation, arbitration, and compliance and risk management counseling. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University School of Law, Washington, DC.

About Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP
Operating on five continents, across 17 offices in key business centers, Diaz Reus offers a global practice centered around national and transnational parallel proceedings and transactions in the following broad areas: sovereign, trade, commerce, finance, and fraud; civil litigation and arbitration; asset identification, location, tracing and recovery; white collar crime, regulatory, and criminal investigations and defense in matters of corruption, bribery, money laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, OFAC, Specially Designated Nationals, and the Bank Secrecy Act; and politically sensitive investigations including the recovery of U.S. immigration status and visas. The firm is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Click Here for More Information »

British Army Needs Soldiers From the Commonwealth to Apply Now

LONDON, Sept. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Commonwealth nationals may now apply for a number of specialist roles in the British Army thanks to new rules introduced by the government.

The British Army has welcomed soldiers from Commonwealth countries for many years; however, under previous rules people could only join if they had lived in the UK for five years.

Commonwealth nationals will now be able to apply for positions including Medical Technician, Logistic Supply Specialist, Chef, Vehicle Mechanic, Metalsmith and Gunner Logistics Specialist.

General Chris Tickell, General Officer Commanding, Army Recruiting and Training Division, said: “We are delighted that key roles have been opened up to people from across the Commonwealth who are non-resident in the UK. The service given by soldiers from Commonwealth countries helps the Armed Forces to defend the UK at home and abroad, and we look forward to welcoming more Commonwealth recruits following the introduction of the new regulations.”

A specialist commonwealth recruiter spokesperson said: “We’re looking for candidates that are physically fit, can communicate well in both written and spoken English and can self-fund travel to the UK to attend one of the Army development and selection centres. Full details of the Army recruitment and selection process can be found on the Army website at”

For more information about how people from the Commonwealth can apply for the Army without UK residency, visit

Notes to editor

Did you know, as an Army Soldier:

  • You are offered over 500 different qualifications, from GCSE to degrees, including all kinds of professional and practical qualifications in areas such as chartered engineering and accountancy that will build up your CV
  • You will start on an annual salary of £18,305 after training, plus pension. In comparison, the UK’s national average apprentice earns £6,846 and may not have job security at the end of their apprentice.
  • You will be offered a clear career structure with annual pay rises and a clear promotion path
  • You receive six weeks paid leave, plus bank holidays
  • You have access to free gym, sports facilities and the chance to train with the very best coaches. You could play in overseas tournaments or on international stages like Twickenham.
  • You have opportunities to travel overseas for operations, sport and peacekeeping, from training in Kenya to supporting the UN in Cyprus.
  • You can take up adventurous training from mountaineering in the Himalayas, to sky-diving in Florida
Click Here for More Information »

Caribbean Holiday and Property Firm Harlequin Begin Action in Court Against Accountants Wilkins Kennedy

LONDON, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A court case cited by The Lawyer as one of the most significant to come to trial in 2016 has started today.

(Photo: )

The court claim sees Harlequin sue top 20 UK accountants Wilkins Kennedy for losses and damages claimed by the firm of £50m. The court case starts today in Court 18 of the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane. The case is expected to last seven weeks. Unusually the second week of the case will be heard on the island in the Caribbean where the resort is located.

Harlequin, the holiday and property business owned by Dave Ames, run Buccament Bay Resort in the Caribbean. The 5 star holiday complex is a favourite holiday destination for celebrities like Pat Cash, Lewis Moody, Sally Gunnell, Coronation Streets Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright

Harlequin employed accountants Wilkins Kennedy to provide business and financial advice whilst setting up Buccament Bay. Over four years the top UK accountancy firm were paid £800,000. Wilkins Kennedy partner Martin MacDonald was the representative of the accountants working on the Buccament Bay account.

In 2014, in a case widely reported in the international media, a company called ICE Group, led by Padraig O’Halloran, was fined for E2million due to the misappropriation of millions of pounds from the Buccament Bay project. Accountants Wilkins Kennedy had taken ICE on as a client at the same time as Harlequin.

Additionally, former Wilkins Kennedy employee Jeremy Newman publically apologised to Harlequin and the Ames family. His apology and departure from Wilkins Kennedy took place after it was revealed that he was the administrator of an anonymous website alleging that the business operated by Harlequin was a fraudulent scheme. Wilkins Kennedy and Martin MacDonald denied any involvement and an out of court settlement was reached to close the matter.

For further information, images or a video statement by Dave Ames please contact Nick Fulford on +44(0)777-159-1936 or

Click Here for More Information »

Batelco Successfully Obtains Indian Freezing Orders Against Assets of Related Parties of Chinnakannan Sivasankaran and Siva Limited to Enforce its USD 210 Million Judgment

MUMBAI, India, Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ –Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO ), the international Telecommunications Group with operations across 14 countries, has successfully obtained Indian freezing orders from the Madras High Court against certain Indian assets of Chinnakannan Sivasankaran (Mr Siva) and his related parties namely: his ex-wife Mrs Jayalakshmi Sivasankaran, his father R.C.K. Vallal, his mother Chinnakannan Chandrammal, his long-term associates Baskaran, Nithyavathi Venkatesan and his related company, Siva Limited. The value of the assets frozen by such orders is estimated to be approximately 500 Crore (US$ 74 million).

Logo –

The orders that have been made by the Madras High Court are intended to pay down a substantial UK judgment that was awarded to BMIC Limited (a fully owned subsidiary of Batelco) by the English High Court of Justice totaling US$ 212 million in June 2014 (the UK Judgement). The UK Judgement was awarded against Mr Siva and Siva Limited, following BMIC’s successful litigation against them (the defendants). The UK Judgment found that the defendants failed to honour a Settlement Agreement signed with BMIC in November 2011, relating to a commercial venture into which such parties had entered in 2009. According to the UK Judgment, full payment should have been made to BMIC by the defendants by 26 June 2014. To date the defendants have failed to pay such sum to BMIC.

Ihab Hannawi, Group CEO of Batelco said:

We fully expect all of the respondents to honour the Indian Court Orders and pay to BMIC the monies owing to it under the UK judgement. We will pursue all legal avenues available to us against such parties to secure this outstanding payment.”

[BMIC acquired a 42.7% stake of Indian registered S Tel in 2009. S Tel had been awarded a 2G Licence in 2008. Following the cancelation of 2G licences by India's Supreme Court in February 2012, BMIC sought to implement an agreed put option which under certain circumstances, such as the cancelation of its 2G licence, or in the event of a failure of Siva to secure financing, would ensure Siva bought back the shares acquired by BMIC at the price paid originally. BMIC and the defendants entered into the binding Settlement Agreement to give effect to this commitment which contained a promise by Mr Sivasankaran and Siva Limited to make payment to BMIC in agreed circumstances.]

CONTACT: Rethu Menon, Consultant, FTI Consulting India,, +91-986-718-1043, Amrit Singh Deo, Senior Director, FTI Consulting India,, +91-916-742-8242

Click Here for More Information »

Bahamian Supreme Court Grants Baha Mar Leave To Appeal Rejection Of Recognition Of U.S. Chapter 11 Proceedings

NASSAU, Bahamas, Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Baha Mar today stated it is gratified that the Supreme Court of The Bahamas has granted leave to appeal the Court’s decision to reject Baha Mar’s application seeking the recognition of the U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings in the Delaware Court.

About Baha Mar

Baha Mar is set on 3,000 feet of white sandy beach just 10 minutes from Nassau’s fully renovated and expanded international airport.  It will feature elite hotels with gaming, entertainment, private residences, shopping and natural attractions that reflect an authentic Bahamian experience. Amenities will include a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course; 200,000 square feet of flexible convention facilities, including a 2,000-seat entertainment venue; art galleries featuring Bahamian art; more than 40 restaurants, bars and clubs; global luxury designer and local artisan boutiques; and 20 acres of exquisitely landscaped beach and pool experiences, including a beachfront sanctuary with native Bahamian flora and fauna. For more information during this process please visit

Media Contact

Kekst and Company
Jeremy Fielding/Stef Goodsell/Ross Lovern
+1 (212) 521-4806

Click Here for More Information »

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Limits Upheld In Venezuelan Billionaire Mezerhane’s Lawsuit, Says Diaz Reus

MIAMI, May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Expatriate Venezuelan billionaire Nelson J. Mezerhane’s attempt to sue his government and the Venezuelan equivalent of the FDIC in U.S. courts for alleged illegal expropriations has again been turned back, this time by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The May 7, 2015, decision affirms the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida’s earlier dismissal of Mezerhane’s lawsuit claiming that the government of Venezuela its agencies, including Fondo de Proteccion Social de los Depositos Bancarios (FOGADE) (Venezuela’s equivalent of the FDIC), had expropriated his property in violation of international law. The appellate court agreed that the district court lacked jurisdiction to resolve the dispute under the expropriation exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

FOGADE’s attorneys, Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP, had successfully argued for dismissal in the district court by pointing out that the facts as alleged by Mezerhane did not show a violation of international law – a requirement under the FSIA’s expropriation exception. Both the district court and the Eleventh Circuit agreed that the FSIA does not contemplate entertaining lawsuits between foreign citizens and their governments concerning property that is within the foreign government’s jurisdiction.

“The law is very clear. U.S. Courts cannot tell foreign sovereigns how to treat their own citizens,” said Diaz Reus partner Marta Colomar Garcia, representing FOGADE. “The facts here are obvious. Venezuela and its agencies were entitled to sovereign immunity because the events alleged by Mr. Mezerhane occurred in Venezuela, where he was a citizen.”

Diaz Reus partner Brant Hadaway added, “The courts of the United States recognize that issues revolving around the conduct of foreign sovereigns towards their own citizens is a matter that our Constitution’s Framers reserved to the political branches of government – Congress and the President. To hold otherwise would open the door not only to foreign citizens bringing their grievances against their governments in the U.S., but potentially to American citizens bringing claims against the U.S. government, or the government of one or more of the 50 States, in a foreign court.”

About Diaz Reus

Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP (Diaz Reus) is a full-service, entrepreneurial international law firm offering comprehensive legal services to U.S.-based and international clients around the world. The firm’s global reach extends from its Miami, Fla., headquarters to its international offices, strategically located throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and in Asia and Europe. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jayne Navarre, Diaz Reus
P: 305-375-9220

Click Here for More Information »

Davos Financial Group CEO David Osio Loses Bid to Stop Lawsuit by Ousted Partners, announces Diaz Reus

MIAMI, May 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal rejected Miami-based Davos Financial Group CEO David Osio’s efforts to immunize several of the Davos Group’s companies from jurisdiction in a lawsuit filed by former Davos partners Rodrigo Fernandez and Andres Sotillo.

The appellate court’s April 29 ruling upholds a trial court’s earlier denial of Davos’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in Florida, allowing international bankers Fernandez and Sotillo to proceed with their 2011 fraud lawsuit against Osio and the Davos Group. Fernandez and Sotillo were ousted from a partnership interest in Davos in 2010 when they learned of a number of improper actions that Osio had taken.

Osio tried to deflect responsibility to his mother, Isabel Cecilia Montiel de Osio, claiming that the partnership assets were part of an offshore trust that was set up to benefit her. He alleged that she had loaned money to various Davos Group financial services companies but was unable to specify to which companies and in what amounts.

Several Davos companies moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that they were exclusively foreign and had no contacts with the State of Florida.  However, evidence discovered and shown to the trial court proved that all the entities were controlled and directed from Miami. Osio himself testified that he controlled the trust and its constituent entities and that he could do whatever he wanted with the companies and their assets, including granting himself a loan to purchase a luxury apartment in Paris.

“The evidence in the record overwhelmingly showed that the offshore entities in the Davos Group were foreign in name only,” said Diaz Reus partner Brant Hadaway, who argued the case in both the trial and appellate courts. “Osio, his group comptroller and others orchestrated everything from an office in Coconut Grove, right across the street from Miami City Hall.  These companies are no more ‘foreign’ than I am.”

Diaz Reus partner Gary Davidson added, “One of the companies is an Antigua bank that first came to court saying, under oath, that it did no business in Florida. But that turned out to be completely untrue – the bank had millions of dollars in mortgages on South Florida real estate, despite not having registered to do business in Florida, and every key decision was made from Miami.”

“It was incredible,” said Hadaway. “As a witness for the bank, they produced an employee from Antigua who had no idea what was going on.  She didn’t even know who the bank’s customers were.  And of course she didn’t know; she was in Antigua.  The decisions were being made here, in Miami.”

“The fact that the appellate court affirmed without an opinion strongly indicates that the panel saw this as an open and shut case,” said Hadaway. “The next step will be to depose Mr. Osio’s mother, who is also a defendant in the case. A motion to compel her deposition has been filed.”

About Diaz Reus
Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP (Diaz Reus) is a full-service, entrepreneurial international law firm offering comprehensive legal services to U.S.-based and international clients around the world. The firm’s global reach extends from its Miami, Fla., headquarters to its international offices, strategically located throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and in Asia and Europe. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Jayne Navarre | | 305-375-9220

Click Here for More Information »