Jak Civre, the principal of the Seven Stars development, who was one of 13 people due to appear in court this month charged with various offences, including bribery and money laundering, has concluded an agreement to pay $5 million dollars to the Civil Recovery Authority, as a result of which Attorney General Huw Shepheard has agreed to discontinue the criminal proceedings against Civre.
“I have agreed to discontinue the criminal proceedings against Varet Jak Civre. I took this decision having considered the public interest, primarily because of Mr Civre's age and state of health. In turn, Mr Civre has agreed not to resist the SIPTs application for a civil recovery order, by which he will pay the Civil Recovery Authority the sum of $4,750,000 plus $250,000 costs. I consider this to be a proper and proportionate outcome of the case against him,” Sheapheard
Civre was charged with providing bribes to the former minister of finance and deputy premier Floyd Hall to obtain a building code variance permitting his Seven Stars development to be built seven storeys high. Code restrictions permitted a maximum of three stories and with a special variance up to five storeys. However, a variance for ten storeys was initially sought by Civre, which was then reduced to seven at some point.
It is not known if the bribe to permit the additional storeys was solicited or offered. The alleged recipient of the bribes and the government official that reportedly approved the seven-storey variance was Floyd Hall, whose wife Lisa was part of Civre’s management group before she moved on to an association with Richard Padgett, another developer accused of bribing government ministers.
The Civre variance deal went down while then premier Michael Misick was absent and the variance was signed by deputy premier Hall, who was serving as the acting premier in Misick’s absence. Local law called for high level variances to be reserved for the approval of the premier himself, not the deputy. However, a short time after Misick’s return, he reportedly approved the variance.
This is the second plea agreement made by the AG and the Civil Recovery Authority. In an earlier deal, John Gill, a minority investor in the Third Turtle development in Provo, agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle his case. According to sources, Gill was a minority partner at the time similar bribes were allegedly paid by the Third Turtle group to the Misick government. Gill claims he was not part of the decision making process but decided to settle out of court.
“The prosecution of those persons who are suspected of serious crime and charged with offences as a result of the SIPT's investigation will continue. The Crown will also continue vigorously and wherever possible to recover assets that are the proceeds of wrongdoing,” the AG added in a statement last week.