Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No cash to pay - Cash Plus must recover funds on failed transactions - receivers' report

Published: Tuesday May 20, 2008

CASH PLUS lenders have received more bad news as the report of the receiver/manager for the failed entity found that the company will not be able to repay its depositors until it acquires a substantial portion of the real estate and recovers deposits it made on failed transactions.

According to the findings of a report, which was submitted to the Supreme Court last Tuesday, the alternative investment scheme currently has no available cash to repay its investors.

No documentation

The receivership team has found that Cash Plus was not operating as a growing, financially viable and diversified conglomerate.

The report states that the receivers were unable to find any documentation to support the scheme's management philosophy, methodology or financial plans.

Overall, the team found that there were poorly maintained accounting records, inadequate internal controls, inadequate financial planning and an unsustainable business model, including minimal revenue-generating activities.

Lack of due diligence

The report points out that, in several instances, Cash Plus entered into transactions to acquire companies, real estate and other tangible assets.

However, the majority of these transactions were never completed and often stalled after preliminary discussions and tendering of initial deposits.

In addition, a number of companies, land and other assets were bought above the reasonable market price, presumably because of a lack of due diligence and independent valuation.

Cash Plus Limited was incorporated on May 5, 2003 and, during the period 2004 to 2007, received lenders' funds totalling $22 billion.

The number of lenders affiliated with the company has been estimated at between 35,000 and 45,000. Further, the report states that, up to March 31, the company's cash and liquid assets amounted to less than $3 million.

The receivers say the money used for repayment appears mainly to have come directly from the funds received from lenders.

According to the report, Cash Plus did not appear to have had sufficient income-generating activities to support the interest payments and to pay staff. Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill, his brother, Bertram, and chief financial officer Peter Wilson, who are currently on bail following fraud-related charges, are to return to court on July 17.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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