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

Britain-born naturalised Vincentian businessman, Dave Ames, on Friday failed to turn up in court to answer tax evasion and theft charges, the third such non-appearance since he was summoned to court in June.

Ames’s lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, told Magistrate Bertie Pompie at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court that her client is still not well enough to return to St. Vincent to answer the charges and requested an adjournment.

She further indicated that it is her understanding that the prosecution was not ready to proceed.

The lawyer further made an application for disclosure in the matter, which the magistrate granted.

In response, Prosecutor Karim Nelson of the National Prosecution Service, did not object to the adjournment, telling the court that the more time they get, the more charges that are likely to be brought against Ames.

The magistrate adjourned the matter to Feb. 17, 2017.

In June, Ames left St. Vincent in a speedboat via the Chateaubelair Port, two days before he was summoned to appear in court.

His lawyer in Britain later wrote to say that he was ill with a chest condition and was not well enough to travel back to St. Vincent and asked for an adjournment, which was granted.

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.

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.

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