Foundation asks court to void Pelican auction

POSTED: 03/25/13 12:52 PM

St. Maarten – The Foundation for the promotion of the interests of the Pelican Resort and Club has filed a lawsuit against Quantum Investment Trust, the Simpson Bay Resort Owner Company NV and notary Henry Parisius. The foundation asks the court to void the auction of December 16, 2010, whereby the Pelican Resort was sold to Quantum as the first mortgage holder. Quantum then transferred the ownership to the Simpson Bay Resort.

The Pelican-auction and its aftermath have kept politicians, unions and attorneys busy for the past two years. United People’s party MP Jules James came under fire because he was the managing director of the resort and also because he was involved with other companies in the web around the timeshare resort.

The foundation, together with plaintiffs Robert Russo and Franklin Biddar claims in the lawsuit that legal provisions and the conditions for the auction were violated. For this reason, the plaintiffs ask the court to declare the auction void.

The foundation furthermore asks the court to order Quantum, Simpson Bay Resort and notary Parisius to undo all legal actions that have resulted in a change of status of the property.

Parisius has to make sure that the court ruling to void the December 16 auction will be properly recorded in public registers. The foundation asks the court to impose a penalty of $50,000 for each day the notary does not comply with such an order. The maximum penalty the foundation demands is for 500 days, or $25 million.

Russo and Biddar put a lien on the property on December 16, but this lien was crossed out by the mortgage supervisor. The foundation asks the court to void the deletion and to give Russo and Bidder a mandate to put a new lien on the property to protect the claim they have on Pelican resort club the Owner Company NV. The foundation also asks the court to sentence the defendants to pay damages to all plaintiffs.

The foundation writes in its petition to the court that quantum bought the resort at the auction for $30.5 million – fifty percent of its real value. According to auction rules, the buyer has to deposit the purchase price on an account of the notary. “That did not happen and that is a violation of the law,” the foundation says in its petition.

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