Britain-born, naturalised Vincentian businessman Dave Ames. (IWN photo)

Businessman Dave Ames failed to turn up in court on Monday, there days after an arrest warrant was issued for him after he failed to respond to a summons to appear in court one day earlier.

The Crown has brought eight charges tax evasion and theft charges against Ames and four tax evasion charges against his lawyer, Samuel Commissiong.

Ames, who was born in the United Kingdom and also has Vincentian citizenship, is founder of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, parent-company of Buccament Bay Resort Ltd. and Harlequin Property SVG Ltd.

Commissiong is lawyer and company secretary for both Buccament Bay Resort Ltd. and Harlequin Property SVG Ltd.

Crown Counsel Karim Nelson, who is prosecuting the case, told magistrate Bertie Pompey at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday that Ames is believed to have left St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Ames was seen in Kingstown up to last week Tuesday, one day before he received the summons to come to court.

He spent much of Tuesday at the High Court building in Kingstown, where the High Court of England & Wales met for one week to hear evidence in Harlequin’s US$70 million claim for professional negligence against its former accountants and auditors Wilkins Kennedy — a firm.

Commissiong was testifying on Tuesday when Ames — and his wife, Carol — was among the persons listening to the case until almost 4 p.m.

Sources say that Ames and his wife may have left SVG on board a pirogue via the Chateaubelair port, where he is said to have cleared with immigration.

iWitness News further understands that the go-fast boat arrived in the North Leeward town from the nation’s capital and then ferried the couple out of the country.

Ames is charged that:

  • between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, he stole the sum of $397,615 — the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, he stole the sum of $886,818.05 — the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, he stole the sum of $1,739,524 — the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • between Jan. and Dec. 31, 2012, he stole the sum of $404,740.09 — the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, he failed to pay the Comptroller of Inland Revenue the amount of $886,818.05 deducted from remuneration paid to employees;
  • between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, he failed to pay the Comptroller of Inland Revenue the amount of $404,740.09 deducted from remuneration paid to employees;
  • between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, he willfully evaded the assessment payment or collection of VAT in the amount of $808,405;
  • and that between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, he willfully evaded the assessment payment or collection of value added tax in the amount of $2,754,132.

Meanwhile, when he appeared in court on Monday, Commissiong pleaded not guilty to the eight charged brought against him.

He is scheduled to reappear in court on Aug. 5.

Magistrate says bail bond not necessary for lawyer charged with tax evasion

4 replies on “Dave Ames fails to turn up in court–again”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    Amazing how the Chateaubelair port of entry could be conveniently staffed, made ready and put in order just in time for Ames to bolt when randomly arriving visitors are seldom processed due to the absence of staff. Tell that to the Marines. The current crew and their upholders in SVG stink to the high heavens. May they enjoy the fruit of their labours. It is said that we get exactly the government we deserve. You gotta clap fo’ dat! Disgraceful lot along with their regular apologists.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    One system of justice for the high and mighty and one system for the rest of us.

    Ames surely got a heads up from high up.

    We are not called the “Third World’s Third World” for nothing.

    1. Yeah, makes you wonder how someone could get away with all this for so long. Just think, if he were an NDP supporter he would be ruined just on the suspicion of stealing a tiny percentage of all that money. Looks like the theft got so bad that even the ULP-controlled country could not ignore it… I guess because the UK courts forced it into the open. I also wonder: If the UK did not bring this out if the SVG Government would allow it to go on even longer? All those people that never got paid. Shows that someone must really “Love the people”.
      Let’s be honest on how this works: A rich guy robs the people and gives a portion to a government so that the government or a leader so it does not actively pursue him. This has happened often in recent history, see what US Corporations are doing right now.

  3. According to the letter of the law, the job of company secretary in any company involves you in serious potential liabilities.

    Directors and company secretaries could be held jointly liable for failures to meet the provisions of the Companies Act (except for filing company accounts, for which directors alone are responsible).

    You could incur fines or even criminal charges for failure to file the Annual Return.

    You could be disqualified, prosecuted or made liable for company debts if the law is broken.

    You could be subject to criminal proceedings if the company trades fraudulently or if company funds are misappropriated.

    If you are also a director, you could be held personally liable for the company’s debts if there has been wrongful trading.

    Failure to ensure that the directors are acting properly in the conduct of the business could leave you with personal responsibility for its debts.

    I suspect Mr Commissiongs problems are only just starting, he may well find himself jointly responsible for everything that Ames has done in SVG.

    If Ames has done a runner he may have to stand the whole rap for both of them.

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