The top brass of the Progressive National Party (PNP) may be facing severe personal financial pressure if the creditors of Johnston International Limited (JIL) have their way.
The list of unpaid debts owed by TCI businesses and individuals to JIL, which was placed into liquidation last year, reads like a who’s who of the PNP hierarchy.
Washington Misick, Michael Misick, Floyd Hall and Clayton Greene may all be on the hook to JIL creditors, including its local employees, who are owed approximately the same amount that the liquidators told a meeting of creditors last week is owed to the company by local debtors.
The former JIL workers have claimed some $3 million, including payments not made for national insurance and national health insurance. National insurance heads Rhesa Cartwright and Leroy Tull were also in attendance at last week’s meeting, observing the proceedings.
JIL took two steps to liquidation last year. First, in July 2010, British Caribbean Bank stepped in and appointed a receiver who, in satisfaction of a loan made to JIL, assigned to the bank one of the larger TCI receivables, said to be around $8.4 million, owed to JIL by the Alexandra Resort, which is owned by brothers Washington, Michael and Philip Misick, along with Sherlock Walkin.
Once the debt owed to British Caribbean Bank by JIL had been settled by the assignment of the Alexandra receivable, the shareholders of JIL moved to put the company into full liquidation. Paul Dempsey and Andrew Newlands were appointed joint liquidators on August 27, 2010. During the past year the joint liquidators have assessed the financial situation of JIL and have separated out its local and regional receivables.
The local companies that still owe JIL include Lucaya, owned by Floyd Hall and Clayton Greene, which is reported to owe JIL some $1.7 million. It is believed that three of Lucaya’s directors have personally guaranteed the $1.7 million debt. Proceedings have apparently been filed in the TCI court to recover this $1.7 million.
Proceedings have also reportedly been issued against a director of St Charles resort in North Caicos for some $675,000 owed. Philip Misick is said to be a director of St Charles resort, which is currently closed. In addition, some $550,000 is owed by Cacique Royale in Grand Turk. A contact number on the website lists Prestigious Properties as its point of contact in the TCI.
Some $12 million is claimed to be owed by JIL in relation to the construction of the two new hospitals in the TCI to Rotary International, a plumbing contractor. This is also said to be the total amount still outstanding to Johnston from InterHealth Canada and proceedings against InterHealth for these unpaid sums is reportedly soon to commence.
JIL had been doing business in the TCI since the early 1980s and, with associated operations in the Cayman Islands, Belize, Trinidad and Barbados, was a pre-eminent local and regional contractor.