May 23, 2014
Court appointed receivers and liquidators chasing alleged Ponzi schemer Nikolai Battoo have not been very successful in their efforts to recover monies for the hundreds of victims of Battoo’s BC Capital Group, PIWM (Private International Wealth Management) and Maven. The few assets that have been identified have resulted in clashes between the receivers, each representing a different class of investors. Now, one of the liquidators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, (PwC) representing victims of Battoo’s BC Capital, say they don’t have enough money to continue pursuing recovery efforts.
Receivers are paid from what they collect. Although receivers are appointed by the court, there is generally no public money to fund their activities. They get paid only if they find something to seize. In the case of PwC, liquidators have told the court that further investigations would likely be “halted” unless someone funds their efforts.
PwC employees Kevin Cambridge and Kevin Seymour told the court that they wish to pursue claims against a Bahamas broker dealer, Alliance Investment Management, yet those claims may not even be viable nor do they have enough money to fund their efforts.
Bahamas news source Tribune Media is quoted as saying, “In sum, Messrs Cambridge and Seymour have made little progress in recovering assets in the six months since their October 2013 report, and are warning that potential sources of recovery such as Alliance may elude them without financial support from BC Capital’s creditors.”
To date, the liquidators estimate that for every $100 received from investors, just $38.23 was actually invested.
Investors who purchased directly from Nikolai Battoo or his marketing principal, Tracy Sunderlage, can expect a difficult recovery. The same goes for investors who invested directly with PIWM or Maven. Many investors, however, made their investment through stockbrokers or on the advice of an insurance agent. Luckily, financial professionals can be held responsible for making unsuitable recommendations, selling unapproved products (“selling away”), and failing to conduct proper due diligence on the products they recommend.