A jury in Miami, Florida, has awarded a record amount in damages in a groundbreaking RICO trial on behalf of an elderly Floridian woman and her family, who had been targeted by a corrupt cartel of politicians, justice system officials, and other powerful persons in the United States, Barbados, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
A press release following the trial says: “A jury in Miami, Florida found for the plaintiffs in a Civil RICO lawsuit and awarded substantial damages, which were trebled under RICO to a final amount of US$269+ million dollars – a record for this type of lawsuit.”
This enduring and far-reaching case holds significant international implications. Legal proceedings were initiated in 1998, centering on the plaintiffs’ claim to ownership of a one-seventh share in Kingsland Estates Limited. This Barbados corporation possesses substantial land and business assets, once evaluated at approximately $1 billion.
The lead plaintiff in the trial, Kathleen Davis, is the daughter of the original shareholder Marjorie Knox, who passed away in 2017 at 95 years old. Marjorie was born in 1922 at Kingsland in Barbados, she married in January of 1954. Marjorie’s family history is significant in how it tells the story of a mixed race woman, whose family went from slaves to eventually owning a billion dollars worth of land in Barbados until the powers that be decided they were going to take it from them, because she refused to accept pennies on the dollar for the land, they starved her of dividends, took control, and in the end she had to raise chickens and sell eggs on the island to survive.
John Knox, son of Marjorie Knox and a primary witness in the trial, explained in court how the threats and harassment against their family seriously escalated starting in 2003.
The media release states that “the jury considered and accepted evidence showing an international conspiracy and corrupt activities by persons in the United States, Barbados, Canada and the United Kingdom.
A coordinated and systemic racketeering scheme employed by a person named Iain Deane and various co-conspirators to intimidate, threaten, defame, defraud, and extort (the elderly victim) Mrs. Knox into a forcible sale of her shares in Kingsland Estates Limited for a price that was far below market value.
When defendant Iain Deane (now deceased), his estate, and co-conspirators failed to respond to the case filed in Miami courts in 2014, Deane and his co-defendants defaulted and admitted the truth of the facts stated in the Plaintiffs’ complaint.“
Moreover, additional testimony shed light on the harrowing experiences endured by the Knox family. These emerging accounts of harassment, threats, and international corruption played a crucial and compelling role in the trial.
“Witness testimony and documents considered by the jury included evidence showing threats, harassment, and violence against Knox family members and their witnesses, fraud, fabrication of evidence, obstruction of justice, bribery of police, and other corrupt activities by business, lawyers, politicians, government officials, police, and others (including judicial officials) in four countries – with a purpose to steal, defraud and deny the Plaintiffs the proper value of their shares.
The jury also heard evidence that some of the stolen funds were transferred and money-laundered internationally between the United Kingdom, Barbados and other offshore havens. Some of the documentary evidence seized in a 2018 search of a defendant’s home in the United Kingdom shows the participation of banking officials and lawyers in these illicit transfers.”
As the trial approached its conclusion, investigative reporter Christopher Gelinas interviewed a private investigator involved in the case. These firsthand materials, obtained from the investigator’s work alongside the plaintiffs, offered key insights into the intricate details of the events.
Documents seized in a 2018 search of defendant Iain Deane’s home in the United Kingdom show the participation of banking officials and lawyers in these illicit transfers. Photographs from 2018 show documents and boxes found during the search at Deane’s home. Among the discoveries in these documents were details of Iain Deane’s use of the alias Adam Whyte, under which he worked for the BBC and on stage. Also found at Iain Deane’s home were government documents including a document titled “Guidelines for the detection and prevention of money laundering in Barbados.” This is a government guideline that tells government officers what to look for when investigating money laundering. Iain Deane was not a government officer, why would he have this document at his home? Possibly to know what investigators would be looking for?
Records found at the home also show that Iain Deane was a private high net worth client at a leading Canadian bank where he had been moving money offshore. Also found at the home was a summons issued in 2014 notifying Deane of the Miami case, which he ignored.
The lead plaintiff, Kathleen Davis, said of the jury verdict “My mother was born in 1922 at Kingsland in Barbados, in the very parish where our ancestors had been slaves. She worked at Kingsland from age 17 and spent her whole life on her lands until 2008 when she was forced to flee Barbados at 86 years old due to threats and violence intended to force her to sell her shares in Kingsland Estates.“