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March 27, 2009
SEC moves on Millennium Bank

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained an emergency court order against Millennium Bank, alleging that the bank deceived targeted US investors in a US$68 million Ponzi scheme.{{more}}

The Millennium Bank, a licensed St. Vincent and the Grenadines bank, with its office at Stoney Ground, Kingstown, has been accused by the SEC of misleading US investors by making them believe “they were putting their money in supposedly safe and secure CDs that purportedly offered returns that were up to 321 percent higher than legitimate bank-issued CDs,” the SEC website states in a release issued yesterday, Thursday, March 26th.

The SEC alleges that the above mentioned sum was raised from more than 375 investors since July 2004 through “blatant misrepresentations and glaring omissions…”.

SEARCHLIGHT questioned the bank’s operations in our edition of February 27,2009, and the following week, we were told that the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA) was about to audit the bank to “confirm by independent and transparent means the bank’s financial condition and the safety of its practices.”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, reading a statement from the IFSA on Thursday afternoon, in the wake of the SEC’s action, said that the bank had objected to the auditor who had been appointed by the IFSA and another auditor from Barbados was about to be appointed, when this action by the SEC was taken. IFSA’s statement also said that they (IFSA) are assisting the SEC with its investigation.

At press time SEARCHLIGHT was unable to determine what this action by the SEC will mean for the bank’s local employees.