News

Jersey courts (April/October 2019) are reminded of Jersey TCSP poor conduct in its apparent backdating of commercial contracts, share sale agreements and accounts

22/10/2019

On the 1st April 2019, a news item was posted on the comsure website about Backdating of Documents Revealed in Jersey Court Proceedings

Background - April 2019

  1. Berge Gerdt Larsen (read here for some background https://www.ardentchambers.com/howard-sharp-qc-secures-larsen-and-volaw-tiea-judgment-in-jersey-court-of-appeal/) is back in the Jersey courts, and in reading through the judgements, there are some interesting revelations (under oath) about the behaviour of Jersey directors.
  2. In the reported judgement [click here https://www.jerseylaw.je:443/judgments/unreported/Pages/%5B2019%5DJRC040.aspx] the following is cited
  3. Mr Larsen was convicted of aggravated tax fraud using offshore structures administered by Volaw at first instance in 2013.
  4. The trial at first instance featured Volaw directors admitting on oath to backdating commercial documents (page 1709).

JFSC standards today

  1. Interestingly the JFSC recently issued a guidance note (Issued: 19 July 2018) on integrity and competence [click here – https://www.jerseyfsc.org/media/2051/2018-07-19-guidance-note-on-integrity-and-competence.pdf] and in doing so suggest back-dated documents is indicative of a lack of integrity.
  2. This guidance note supports a test that has always been in the codes of conduct for regulated persons.

As at 16th October, this matter gain has been highlighted in the Jersey courts

Background – October 2019

  1. The Applicant (“Mr Larsen”) applies to judicially review the decision of the Respondent (“the Attorney General”) to maintain a notice issued under the Investigation of Fraud (Jersey) Law 1991 (“the Investigation of Fraud Law”), leave having been granted on 18th March 2019.
  2. On 4th October 2013, Mr Larsen was convicted in Norway of fraudulent breaches of trust and tax offences which covered the period 1999 – 2006.
  3. As part of his preparation for his appeal against conviction, Mr Larsen and his defence attorneys requested that the prosecutor in Norway obtain, through the Attorney General, further information from Volaw Trust & Corporate Trust Services Limited (“Volaw”) in Jersey, covering the period from 1st January 2009 to 1st June 2015.
  4. Volaw had administered a number of companies associated with Mr Larsen, and it was claimed that the procurement of such documentary evidence from Volaw would be of significant assistance in his appeal, by shedding light on the actual relationship between the shareholders during the earlier period covered by the criminal charges.
  5. Previous notices had been issued by the Attorney General to Volaw under the Investigation of Fraud Law in July 2006 and pursuant to this further request, a supplementary notice was issued by the Attorney General on 19th August, 2015, which we will refer to as “the Notice”.
  6. Backdating documents
    1. Para [75] states:-  The Attorney General’s affidavit sets out the concerns about Volaw’s conduct, taken from the decision of the Norwegian Court of First Instance.
    2. They include an apparent practice of backdating commercial contracts, share sale agreements and accounts that run from 1996 – 2006.
    3. The Attorney General is entitled to investigate whether this established pattern of conduct continued and, inter alia, if it is the reason for the claim to PSI.

To read original article please click here