British developer pleads guilty in Turks and Caicos corruption case
Published on June 3, 2013
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — British developer Richard Padgett pleaded guilty in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on Friday to charges of bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice by agreeing to present false or forged documents to a Commission of Inquiry.
At a plea and directions hearing on April 15, Mr Justice Harrison agreed that Padgett should be allowed to enter his pleas at the first reasonable opportunity. His case was adjourned to May 31, this being the next most convenient date for the judge to return to the TCI.
Padgett is currently suffering from ill health and in the opinion of his doctor is not fit to travel to the TCI, it was therefore agreed by the court that his pleas be entered from England, by a video link to the Supreme Court.
Padgett and the Crown were represented in both jurisdictions by counsel.
After his pleas of guilty were entered, the case was adjourned to September16 for mention as to the appropriate date of sentence.
Padgett, who has been on bail throughout the proceedings, remains on bail.
The TCI government also announced on Friday that it has settled all civil claims and proceedings against Padgett and his companies. That includes civil claims arising from the Third Turtle Development referred to in the report of the Commission of Inquiry, and a separate civil claim arising in relation to Crown land on East Caicos acquired by a company controlled by Padgett.
Under the settlement, Padgett has transferred to the government land valued at approximately US$7 million, and has made a cash contribution of $75,000 to the costs of investigating the claims.
This takes total land recoveries made by the civil recovery team to 3,058 acres, in addition to $19.6 million in cash paid or to be paid to the government.
Attorney General Huw Shepheard commented: “We are pleased that these disputes have now been settled with the transfer to TCIG of a substantial amount of further land of significant value. This settlement brings to a successful conclusion the civil claims brought in relation to the major developments referred to in the report of the Commission of Inquiry. As reported, other claims and investigations continue to be progressed by the Edwards Wildman civil recovery team.”