El Seybo, Dominican Republic.- Hundreds of international investors in a Dominican Republic (DR) real estate scheme recently won a major legal victory in their struggle to recover funds from father-son developers Frederick and Derek Elliott.
On June 1, the Judge of the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Justice of the First Instance of El Seybo issued a temporary restraining order against the Elliotts, freezing up to us$63,758,021.57 of their assets, including bank accounts and real estate in the Dominican Republic.
The ruling supported the claims of the Hofmann Plaintiff Group, which is represented in the DR by Rodolfo A. Mesa Beltre of Mesa & Mesa Abogados, Santo Domingo, and in the United States by Hilda Piloto, Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Miami.
The judge's order was similar to another temporary restraining order against the Elliotts issued on May 1 by a Judge of the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Justice of the First Instance in Santo Domingo. Ruling in favor of the Aguilar Plaintiffs, the Judge froze up to us$34 million of the Elliotts' assets. The Aguilar Plaintiffs are represented in the DR by Jose A. Rizek of Medina & Rizek Abogados, Santo Domingo, and in the U.S. by Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP, Miami.
Noting in her ruling that the Elliotts have not honored their financial obligations to hundreds of buyers and investors at Sun Village Juan Dolio on the DR's south coast, the Judge in Santo Domingo said, "The Elliott defendants have principally dedicated themselves to diverting investor monies. As a result, the plaintiffs have been defrauded.
Sworn depositions from Frederick and Derek Elliott, as well as Gregory Clark, former chief financial officer for the Elliotts, show how investor funds intended to renovate the Juan Dolio property as an income-producing resort were instead diverted for the Elliotts' personal use.
Despite raising $91 million for the Juan Dolio project, the remodeling remains $13 million short of completion by the Elliotts' own admissions.
While the Elliotts have made public claims that lawsuits filed against them have been the cause of their financial difficulties, the Elliotts, in their depositions, admitted that that plaintiff's lawsuit has only resulted in the cancellation of one contract for purchase at the Juan Dolio in two years.
Further legal actions against the Elliotts are expected to be filed in other jurisdictions where the Elliott companies are incorporated and in jurisdictions where the Elliotts may be maintaining bank accounts and hiding assets purchased with the proceeds of sales to investors.