11 July 2014

Liberia: Ex-Lawmaker Caught in Asset Switching

Mr. Julius Park, a former lawmaker of the 51st Legislature, has been caught switching ownership of his numerous properties to prevent their sale by Global Bank, according to information emanating from the grounds of the Temple of Justice.

Asset switching involves change of ownership of property to disguise their true ownership.

The bank dragged Mr. Parker to the commercial court at the Temple of Justice for bad loan in excess of US$1.6 million.

According to Cllr. Swaliho Sesay, one of the lawyers representing the Bank, they were informed that Mr. Parker was not just switching the assets, but he was allegedly backdating the documents in the names of collaborators, something he said will deprive the Bank of recovering the loan through the sale of said properties.

Pundits are wondering why he intends to handle the documentation with the Center for National Documents, Records and Archives. Cllr. Sesay says there is no cause for concern as the law is robust enough to bring the perpetrators to book, if any.

It can be recalled that the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice in September 2013 held Mr. Parker liable for US$1.6m debt owed Global Bank Liberia Limited.

Richard S. Klah, Associate Judge Commercial Court, said his final ruling against the defendant came from the point that the defendant clearly and factually owes the prosecution the stipulated amount of money.

Judge Klah: "In the case at bar, the defendant has not explicitly denied being indebted to the plaintiff in the amount sued for which a Restructured Agreement was signed by both parties upon their request and have admitted on the record that an overdraft in the amount of US$250,000 was extended to them".

Judge Klah noted that under the Criminal Procedure Law, all admissions made by a party himself or by his agent acting within the scope of his authority were admissible.

Judge Klah asserted that the admission of the defendant acknowledging an overdraft in the amount of US$250,000 was tantamount to confessing judgment for which an application for summary judgment should be granted.

He said the prosecution's motion for summary judgment was granted since there were no genuine issues in dispute between the parties with respect to the debt owed the plaintiff, evidence by the Restructured Loan Agreement.

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