Lawrence Duprey, once considered to be the most shrewd businessman in Trinidad and Tobago, is now feeling the effects of the crash of the CLICO empire.
On Thursday morning, Justice Ricky Rahim ordered Duprey to repay British American Insurance Company (BAICO) a US$60 million (TT$408 million) debt he owed to it.
In October 2017, BAICO’s attorneys, Andre Rudder and Bryan McCutcheon filed a claim for the sum of US$122,636,450, plus interest.
The application followed a ruling by a Florida judge in July 2017 against Duprey to pay more than US$60 million to BAICO in damages in relation to the TT$1.9 billion Green Island project in Osceola County, Florida.
The application also noted that Duprey had not filed an appeal of the Florida judgment and the time for doing so had since elapsed.
The insurance company had taken Duprey and one of its former executives, chairman, Brian Branker, to court claiming a breach of fiduciary duties on their part by allowing it to pump billions of dollars into the real estate transaction which was executed by BAICO and British American Isle of Venice in January 2008 for the purchase price of US$295 million.
Duprey and Branker were ordered by Judge Erik P Kimball of the United States Bankruptcy Court in the South District of Florida to each pay BAICO US$61,318,225, a total of US$122,636,450. Court documents stated that the companies had pursued the land transaction that resulted in a loss allegedly exceeding US$100 million.
This loss was a primary cause of the insolvency of the companies and their multi-national insolvency proceedings. The Florida Court found that the motion for judgment should be granted in part, ruling that Duprey and Branker shall be held liable for damages.
Judge Erik P Kimball