Reeling from a whopping multi-million-dollar loss from the collapsed insurance giant CLICO, Canadian consultant and former director of the company Gene Dziadyk and his wife Mary Rose have asked the Canadian government to intervene in the matter.
Dziadyk (pronounced zadic), an actuary by profession, said he had sold all his assets in Canada when he took the position of chief executive officer of the multi-billion-dollar insurance company in 2001 and together with his wife handed over their life savings, reportedly over $35 million, into the Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA).
He said on Monday, "I have applied to the government of Canada for help to recover my property that was stolen by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, denying me all legal prerogatives in the fashion of a repressive banana-republic regime and also to alert Canadian business that these guys rip up laws and contracts, and steal."
Dziadyk, who said he is broke, his family life destroyed and is currently facing eviction from his home in Mississauga, Ontario, by Christmas, because he is unable to meet his commitments to the bank, has also written to the Governor of the Central Bank, Jwala Rambarran, about his frustrations.
He told Rambarran, in a letter dated September 18, 2012, that he (Rambarran) "inherited a monstrosity with a dirty secret". He said, "Trinidad is the only jurisdiction on the planet with statutory fund failed in parts, sanctity of insurance contracts violated, enabling theft and redistribution of CLICO assets."
He described the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) as a "degenerate institution, (an) unworthy and unfit steward of (the) nation's financial system," and urged the Central Bank governor, "Do not legitimise it. You have a duty to acknowledge horrors, clean it up, and atone for damage," or else, he said, Rambarran runs the risk of having to explain himself "as the new face covering for the old monster".
Dziadyk, who indicated that he is willing to answer questions before the Commission of Enquiry due to resume on December 3, and to assist in the police investigations against top executives of CLICO and its parent company CL Financial, also told Rambarran that the Central Bank's role in the CLICO fiasco was one involving a "conflict of interest, incompetence, negligence, corruption and complicity".
As to his own savings, Dziadyk complained to Rambarran that he had requested EFPA withdrawals in January 2009, prior to the Government's Memorandum Of Understanding and prior to any order from CBTT denying payment, but was kept hanging, with his policy eventually being confiscated and ripped up.
For her part, wife Mary Rose wrote to her MP, Stellar Ambler, for Mississauga South, of the government of Canada, on October 2, 2012, because she said all other avenues to recover their savings had failed.
She told her MP, "We have exhausted all avenues to obtain justice against the overbearing thug GORTT (Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) taking our property. We face financial ruin as our life savings in the Trinidad insurance company Colonial Life Insurance Co (Trinidad) Ltd ("CLICO") were confiscated by GORTT with the failure of CLICO in January 2009.
She said Trinidad and Tobago has no rule of law.
"Our experience is that Trinidad's a corrupt, repressive tin-pot regime. GORTT and CBTT ripped up agreements, contracts, statutes and the Constitution as they confiscated our property. It is a country with no rule of law, any property rights and a State-controlled market for just about everything and thus little freedom of the press.
"Canadian companies doing business in Trinidad must be alerted," she added.
Mary Rose added, "We have been impoverished, paid a hard penalty, appealed to simple decency to give us back our lives that CBTT took from us."
She described the whole situation as a "nightmare".
Giving a brief history of the involvement in CLICO, Mary Rose said her husband left his position as principal and consulting actuary at Buck Consultants in Toronto and sold home and assets in Canada to take up the CEO position at CLICO in 2001, adding that their assets were put into the EFPA policy.
According to her, "CLICO was a troubled financial institution, operating in plain sight outside the insurance legislation in collusion with an ineffective government, paying very high interest rates on savings akin to a Ponzi scheme and Duprey expected the local insurance regulatory regime would be amended to follow Canada's and wanted someone with that experience."
She said her husband thought he had been hired to transform CLICO into a legitimate financial institution. "But regulatory reform didn't happen and so nobody, including GORTT, wanted to change anything. Gene was set up. He was a boy scout in a foreign country run by its governing elites, bureaucrats and crony capitalists."
She pointed to her husband's love-hate relationship with CLICO having been fired six months after his proposed changes did not find favour with the CLICO board but was later retained as a consultant until 2008. She described her relationship with chairman Lawrence Duprey as "uneasy" and "testy".
She told her MP, "We expect the contractual value of our policy as the very minimum payment for the damage CBTT has caused us.
"Gene's reputation and ability to make a living as an actuary has been taken away from him...we have lived through a three-year nightmare. As I write, we await the bank to take our home as we can no longer make the payments for the loans that we had taken and that CBTT led us to believe were secured by the policy CBTT changed its mind in mid-April 2009, leaving us hanging.
"We do not have funds to engage a lawyer," she said..
Dziadyk meanwhile has indicated that he stands ready to give information to the police or to anyone else, about the failed financial empire. "I have nothing to hide," he said.
Last Thursday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard informed the country that a full criminal investigation had been started by the police into the conduct of CLICO and CL Financial executives and others involved in the collapse of the financial institution.
Dziadyk said, "I had written voluminous documents in my seven years at CLICO commenting on inappropriate and unlawful behaviour, including complicity by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, removing funds from the CLICO statutory fund, and warning of the impending disaster of operating CLICO in accordance with the "capital appreciation" business model" that I had consistently claimed was inappropriate for a financial institution, and the authorities have these documents."