Mon | Feb 24, 2020

TIMELINE: How the Cash Plus fraud case unfolded

Published:Wednesday | May 24, 2017 | 6:18 PM
Carlos Hill... says he will be seeking to refund depositors

Former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill was today freed of fraud charges in the long-running case against him in which thousands of depositors lost money in the unregulated fraud scheme he operated.

It’s the culmination of eight years of court attendance and nine trail dates.

Here’s the timeline of some of the important developments in the case:

2002 - Cash Plus Ltd, led by Carlos Hill, starts operations in Jamaica.

December 15, 2007 - Information published on the Financial Services Commission (FSC) website and notices published in the press state that Carlos Hill-led organisation has until December 20 to disclose details about its assets; including how and where they are held.  The FSC has also demanded balance sheets and profit and loss accounts.

On December 17, 2007 - Cash Plus Ltd. granted injunction barring the National Commercial Bank (NCB) from closing some 26 accounts which it has with the bank. The bank has served notice that it will appeal the decision. 

December 30, 2007 - Hill’s controversial Cash Plus Group says it will transform itself from mainly a financial operation to a multifaceted conglomerate. “[We] ... have begun to strategically reclassify the group to ensure the continued long-term development, growth and success of the company,” Cash Plus says in a newspaper advertisement.

IN PHOTO: Harold Brady 

January 17, 2008 - The Court of Appeal ordered that nine of 26 accounts must not be closed, hence the Carlos Hill-led Cash Plus Ltd. will continue to be a customer of NCB. 

February 1, 2008 - Attorney-at-law Harold Brady, one of the lawyers representing Cash Plus Ltd, said that the investment scheme would be taking steps immediately to go to the Court of Appeal to get an order to stay the judge’s order to close its remaining accounts with the NCB. 

March 30, 2008 - Cash Plus announces that persons with balances up to $100,000 would be repaid on April 14. Those with balances up to $200,000 were to be repaid on April 21, while persons with larger balances would get a portion of funds invested at Cash Plus. At that time, Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill claimed the investment scheme had the money to refund its clients in full.

April 9, 2008 - Court-appointed co-interim receiver manager, Kevin Bandoian states: “The dates for repayment to lenders, which were published by Carlos Hill on March 30, are no longer valid, as Hill has confirmed his inability to source the money to begin the repayments.” Bandoian voiced that Hill informed him of the development on Friday, April 4.

April 10, 2008 - Carlos Hill arrested. Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green tells reporters cops would be conducting investigations overseas to trace funds deposited by investors of Carlos Hill’s informal investment scheme, Cash Plus Limited. His brother Bertram and chief financial officer Peter Wilson were later arrested. 

October 9, 2009 - Cash Plus boss, Carlos Hill, is charged with 15 counts of fraudulently inducing people to invest after he appeared before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate Court.

October 6, 2009 - Hugh Wildman, the liquidator of the unregulated investment firm Cash Plus Limited, told a press conference that his team has discovered US$25 million (J$2.2 billion) that Carlos Hill and his brother Bertram are suspected to have tucked away in a Swiss bank in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

April 7, 2010 - the case against Cash Plus boss, Carlos Hill, his brother Bertram and chief financial officer Peter Wilson is set for August 13 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. Bertram and Wilson were later freed.

November 16, 2010 - Carlos Hill, the former head of the failed investment scheme Cash Plus Ltd, appears in the Home Circuit Court and is offered bail in the sum of $15 million with a surety.

January 10, 2011 - the trial of Carlos Hill, former head of the failed investment scheme Cash Plus Ltd, is set to start on June 13 in the Home Circuit Court.

June 13, 2011 - the fraud trial of former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill has been put off to November 21.

November 21, 2011 - Former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill, who is facing a fraud charge, had his bail extended to return to the Home Circuit Court on March 12, 2012, for the start of his trial.

March 12, 2012 - the fraud case of former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill is to start on October 1 in the Home Circuit Court. Hill’s case was placed on the priority list as his trial was put off again for several reasons.

October 1, 2012 - Although the prosecution was ready to proceed with the fraud trial of former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill, the matter had to be put off to March 4, 2013 because his lawyers were engaged in other cases. 

IN PHOTO: Hugh Wildman

March 4, 2013 - Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, the former Cash Plus liquidator and former trustee in bankruptcy, said he was now representing former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill in the liquidation process. He made an application for Hill’s trial to be put off because his instructions were that there were some developments which should result in the depositors being in an advantageous position to benefit. Hill had his bail extended and was to return to court on March 11.

March 7, 2013 – The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre reports that Carlos Hill has indicated to the authorities that he wants to make amends.  In documents sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Hill indicated that he has found US$75 million (J$7.3 billion) which he intended to forward to the Office of the Trustee in Bankruptcy for disbursement to investors.

March 11, 2013 - The Cash Plus trial begins. A seven-member jury is selected to try the case, but an adjournment was granted until March 12, 2013 to give the defence lawyers time to review a document which the prosecution served on them yesterday morning.

IN PHOTO: Valerie Neita Robertson

July 24, 2013  - Attorney-at-law Valerie Neita Robertson states that Carlos Hill, who is facing fraud charges, would take his case to the Constitutional Court to have the charges against him dropped.

March 3, 2015 - A trial date of July 3, 2015 was set for former Cash Plus boss, Carlos Hill but the matter was not ready for trial by that date. 

November 21, 2016 - A prosecutor revealed that a number of witnesses in the fraud case against former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill cannot be located. The admission came in the Home Circuit Court where Hill’s trial was again postponed, eight years after he was charged in connection with the collapse of the investment scheme.

IN PHOTO: Former Cash Plus Boss Carlos Hill speaking with reporters

May 24, 2017 - Carlos Hill freed after the prosecution offers no evidence.

- Compiled by Syranno Baines