Former Baha Mar proprietor sues Chinese language contractor over ‘large fraud’

(Reuters) – The unique proprietor of the Baha Mar Resort, BML Properties Ltd, has filed a $2.25 billion lawsuit alleging a “large fraud” by the Chinese language contractor of the posh resort and on line casino undertaking in Nassau, the Bahamas, that opened its doorways in April after years of delays.

The 259-page grievance, filed in state court docket in Manhattan on Tuesday, accuses Chinese language state-backed contractor China Building America (CCA) of working a self-enrichment scheme that led to the failure of the $three.5 billion mega-resort undertaking in 2015.

CCA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-listed China State Building Engineering Corp Ltd (601668.SS), didn’t return requests for remark.

The biggest-ever Caribbean resort undertaking, meant to be an financial driver for the island, struggled below a collection of development delays and funding squabbles that led to finger-pointing between the native developer Baja Mar Ltd, CCA and China’s export finance financial institution – the primary lender on the undertaking – as to who was guilty for the delays.

Baja Mar Ltd, a completely owned subsidiary of BML Properties, declared chapter in 2015 and the resort was acquired by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in 2016.

In line with the grievance, CCA submitted a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of in sham payments to BML whereas understaffing the undertaking and utilizing it to coach inexperienced employees for different development tasks within the area.

“The scheme was based mostly on CCA’s efforts to falsely create the looks that it was working towards an on time and on price range opening in December 2014 whereas knowingly and fraudulently concealing its actual intent to not assemble the Challenge on time and on price range and within the course of extort extra money than it earned and was due,” the lawsuit mentioned.

Consequently, it mentioned BML Properties misplaced its whole $845 million fairness funding within the undertaking, in addition to its proper to the longer term advantages of working a world-class resort.

BML Properties is led by Bahamas businessman Sarkis Izmirlian, son of Armenian billionaire Dikran Izmirlian.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Enhancing by Matthew Lewis

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